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The Cheesecake Factory

1504 Old Country Rd Mall at the Source Westbury, NY 516-222-5500

A Santa Fe salad, a Chinese chicken salad

(Credit: Karen Wiles Stabile)

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Type: Eclectic, American, Fusion, Pizza, Burgers Special features: Lunch, Kid friendly Price range: $$ (Moderate) Description:

There's lots more than just cheesecake at this big, bustling bi-level temple of gustatory and decorative excess. In a space whose decor bridges the gap between ancient Egypt and modern Tuscany, you'll elbow your way to the reception desk and, after giving your name and being handed a vibrating beeper, join the crowd and wait.

What's everybody clamoring for? Appetizers such as the vibrant Vietnamese summer rolls and firecracker salmon rolls. Brontosauran-sized salads (the Santa Fe salad and Thai vegetable salads are recommended)made with sparklingly fresh ingredients. Pizzas run the gamut from the traditional to the outlandish (Thai chicken pizza with peanut sauce anyone?). Not everything succeeds, but the prices are right, and the place is filled with a buoyancy that's hard to resist.

For dessert, try one of the signature cheesecakes flavors such as Key lime, white chocolate macademia nut and mocha java mousse.

It doesn't get much more corporate American than this chain.

Joan Reminick

Hours: Lunch and dinner daily. Reservations: Not Accepted Accessibility: Yes