Yeah, I know it seems like an oxymoron, but the Calabasas Hills-based restaurant chain is introducing 40 items, from entrees to desserts, that won't have the emergency rescue folks on alert. "It's something America wants," Chief Executive David Overton says of the "SkinnyLicious" menu. The lineup includes 15 entrees under 590 calories and 12 appetizers under 490. From USA Today:
This from the same chain with the dubious distinction of earning the top two slots on the "Worst Foods in America" list from Eat This, Not That. At 2,730 calories, Cheesecake Factory's Bistro Shrimp Pasta has the calorie equivalent of 14 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts, the book says. "It used to be the only way you'd get out of Cheesecake Factory eating fewer than 600 calories was if somebody pulled the fire alarm," says David Zinczenko, co-author of Eat This, Not That. "It's really a smart business decision."
The alternative menu will offer fresh vegetables instead of potatoes on steak and fish entrees. Tacos will have less cheese. And chicken salad will be made with light mayo. Of course, you can still stick to the cardiac specials. Cheesecake Factory took a nosedive during the recession, and the pace of recovery has been slow. Even so, Cheesecake remains the nation's highest-grossing restaurant chain per unit.