Cheddar’s in Tyler

by admin on October 5, 2009

in American Food

Cheddar's Casual Cafe

Cheddar's Tyler TX

If you love causal dining, you are probably familiar with this decision: do I choose Chili’s, Applebee’s, or TGI Fridays? It’s a difficult call. All three have a bar inside, have exciting food choices, and are chock full of pep. They each have good food, and are fun places to go. So let’s be honest: they are essentially the same restaurant.

Between these three titans stands Cheddar’s, a national chain with a location on South Broadway in Tyler. Unlike its 3 older brothers, Cheddars is not decorated with Elvis vinyls, shiny hub-caps, or posters of the cast of Friends sharing a malt. Whether you’re eating outside next to the classy fountain or inside in the elegant decor, Cheddar’s actually allows your senses to relax while you eat. That’s a novel concept for casual dining fans who are used to sensory overload.

Wherever you choose to sit down, you simply must have some chips and salsa. They will come complimentary, but you would pay for them even if they didn’t. What you need to pay for is the cheesy Santa Fe Spinach Dip, as long as you know when to stop. It is creamy and intoxicating. You won’t regret it. The only downside is you might not have room for any other appetizers, like the Chicken Fajita Quesadillas or fabulous Texas Cheese Fries.

The main menu, while not earth-shakingly original, is filled with delicious options. The soups and salads are fresh, and the burgers are terrific. Their Great Plates menu is full of cant-misses, like the Grilled Chicken Fettucini Alfredo, which would make the Olive Garden proud. But for this customer, it’s Cheddar’s sandwiches that set it apart from its competitors. Whenever I go, I struggle mightily between the Monte Cristo and the Philly Cheese Steak. I’m not going to tell you that the Philly is better than anything on the east coast, but it is plenty authentic enough for me, and I’ve had a Philly in Philly. And the Monte Cristo–a perfectly concocted blend of batter, meat, cheese and raspberry preserves–is one of those meals you feel you can’t go wrong with.

There are better restaurants in Tyler than Cheddars, but there is no better meal for your money. The portions are large, and the prices are alarmingly small. You can easily get filled up on a very nice meal for less than $10.

When I took my friends from out of town to Cheddars, they wanted to bottle up their salsa and take the whole restaurant home to Minnesota. It’s a well-run establishment, committed not to flair but to value. The only gimmick you’ll find is a great meal at a small price.

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