I know the Beehive is the hip, new place to see and be seen. It's crawling with well-groomed people who are willing to stand in line in the rain to get inside; there's live jazz, tasty drinks, and fantastic french fries. But honestly, I think I'd rather be at the Cheesecake Factory.
I've been to both places in the past week, and my experience at the chain restaurant inside the Cambridge mall was much more enjoyable. First of all, it was easy to park, and it only cost $2 (it's $15 for valet parking at the Beehive, which is in the parking-spot-deprived South End). At the Cheesecake Factory, there was no pretentious man wearing an earpiece barring our entry at the door, despite having a reservation, and once we got inside, we could actually hear each other talk. The din at the Beehive, on the other hand, was almost unbearable.
The food is good at both places -- more creative at the Beehive, no doubt -- but it's truly tough to beat chocolate/peanut butter/cookie dough cheesecake.
I'm all for supporting local businesses over chains, and I'm all for checking out new places, especially when they have live music, but these hot spots can be a major pain. I'm not sure when I'll have the energy to go back to the buzzing Beehive, but I'm already thinking about making another trip to the Factory.
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.