The details

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, a Texas-based chain with over 160 locations, opened in Port St. Lucie, Florida last month along NW St. Lucie West Boulevard. The busy stretch of road has a number of chain restaurants with many apartment complexes and corporate offices nearby. When two friends visited us from out of town, we decided it might be fun to all try a restaurant we’d never experienced before.

The good

Portions. Sweet lord, the portions. We started with the chips & homemade queso appetizer, opting not to include the free seasoned beef. The size wasn’t alarming, and the quality was certainly there. The queso was good, and the additional salsa had a little kick to it, though I questioned whether it was homemade or store-bought. We proceeded to order a chicken tender basket (an appetizer as an entree) with a small side of cheese fries, a Monte Cristo, a buffalo chicken wrapper, and a homemade chicken pot pie. When they came out, the amount of food spilling off the plates surprised us all.

The bad

The homemade chicken pot pie lacked any spice or flavor whatsoever, to the point that my wife had to cover it in a pile of black pepper. My buffalo chicken wrapper, while tasty, could have been labeled just a chicken wrap. I lean on the side of hotter spices, but this lacked even the typical restaurant-level style of “heat” I expected. We didn’t hear any complaints about the Monte Cristo or the chicken tender basket, but the “small” order of cheese fries was an enormous platter, making us question what the other “regular” size would have looked like.

Judgement call

Overall, Cheddar’s wasn’t bad, but it never blew us away either. Reasonably priced for a chain, they provide a fair amount of food but at the cost of quality. Don’t turn down an invite, but don’t go out of your way to visit if better options exist.