“Bye Bye Strawberry” – Reese’s Advances

In a unanimous 3-0 vote, #3 seed Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake eliminated #6 seed Fresh Strawberry from the First Ever Cheesecake Playoffs.

As I mentioned in my last post, we (and especially Monroe) had a FULL day!  It started at 9 AM with Monroe’s soccer game.  She played well, making some big kicks and playing goalie for a period…  The team was down 2-0, but managed to come back strong to score two goals in the third quarter to tie things up.  Monroe’s team (the Snow Leopards) kept the score even through the rest of the game and took away a 2-2 tie.  Not a bad start to the day…

Next came basketball!  The Newbury Park girls basketball team hosted a tournament for 5th through 8th grade teams this weekend (luckily it was at home, so we didn’t need to travel…).  Monroe started for our 5th grade Newbury Park team, playing against a team (we think of 6th graders) from Torrance.  Unfortunately, we got blown out, which meant we had to go to another gym to play in the 5 PM game…

That game turned out better, but it didn’t land us in the win column.  It was close (we lost 20-16), but that meant Monroe played in the 7th place game on Sunday.

However, we weren’t about to allow this to put a damper on Stephanie’s birthday celebration (or, of course, the important quarterfinal matchup we had on tap!)

Earlier in the day, I took Monroe to lunch before her basketball games, and we secretly stopped off at the Cheesecake Factory located in the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks.  The afternoon manager John was incredibly helpful in planning a special evening for us, scheduled for 8 PM.  He mentioned that Kia was the night manager for tonight, so we knew we were in good hands, since she made sure things were great for Monroe’s birthday celebration a couple weeks prior

After the tourney, even though we were all beat, we headed out to the restaurant, and were promptly seated once we arrived.  Joel took care of us, making the whole dinner fun and entertaining!

One other cool thing was that the general manager Jenn was on hand and came by to meet us.  It was really great meeting Jenn (I had spoken on the phone with her to work on Monroe’s birthday…).  In my first conversation with Jenn, she happened to disagree with our assessment of the best cheesecake on the Cheesecake Factory menu – we voted the 30th Anniversary Chocolate Cake Cheesecake as our top ranked offering, while Jenn said she loved the Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake™.  However, I can’t hold that against her – To each their own!

On came our orders – I had the Tomato Basil Pasta, Stephanie chose the Grilled Chicken, and Monroe went with the Cheeseburger Sliders…  And after we downed the food (and a healthy offering of bread), we geared up for the contest…

The waiters came by with our cheesecake, decorated to celebrate Stephanie’s birthday.   But, that’s not all – Joel then presented Stephanie the gifts that Monroe and I got for her (that we had secretly left with John earlier in the afternoon…).  Stephanie was pleasantly surprised, and happy that they would make her dinner so special.

So, on to the contest!  The Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake was really fantastic – as Monroe put it “chocolatey peanut buttery bliss”!  Although the classic taste of the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake made for a tough running – the extra decoration on the Fresh Strawberry plate also added an slight edge going in…

But, in the end, we all voted for the Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake, so Fresh Strawberry was eliminated from the Cheesecake Playoffs.  As Joel would say, “Bye Bye Strawberry!”

A special thanks really needs to go out to the General Manager Jenn and shift managers John and Kia for helping to arrange this special evening for Stephanie, and to our waiter Joel, who made it fun for all of us.

Here are the brackets as they stand today.  Next up, another peanut butter chocolate combo as #2 seed Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple takes on #7 seed Pumpkin Cheesecake…

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I currently serve as Vice President of Decision Science at CenturyLink. I've previously served as a leader in the Advanced Risk & Compliance Analytics (ARCA) practice at PwC and as Director of Data Science & Analytics Engineering at Areté Associates. I've served the public as Chair of the Thousand Oaks, CA Planning Commission. I have been married to my wife Stephanie since 1993, and we have a wonderful daughter Monroe. Learn more about me »

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