Food: Grand Lux Cafe
There's always a sort of trepidation that accompanies the first session at a new restaurant. At "Grand Lux Cafe," this problem was somewhat softened since it's owned by the same folks as "The Cheesecake Factory," a middle-of-the-road casual dining concept with large portions. Now, "The Cheesecake Factory" will never be fine dining (far from it, in fact) but it's always been edible, and the restaurants themselves are usually nicely decorated, if a bit noisy.
The Polynesian Chicken Salad I ordered at "Grand Lux" was drowned in a too-sweet apricot dressing, but the actual concept of the salad would have fared well had I ordered the dressing on the side. Mom's lettuce wraps were pretty lame, with a chopped-up mash of Chinese-flavored something-or-other inhabiting the space between the pieces of lettuce - not very good at all. Dad's chicken sandwich was serviceable; the chicken was nothing to get excited about, but there was plenty of avocado and bacon layered on top. Our dessert, beignets with various dipping sauces, was good and had enough beignets to feed four people's sweet tooths comfortably, all for $7.50.
The ambient noise was somewhere below a dull roar. The high ceiling might be impressive, but it makes for some killer reverb in a room filled with several hundred people talking. Service was prompt if unspectacular, and the waiting area could have used enlarging. We're unlikely to return, but it wasn't a bad meal.
2/4 stars (barely)