Guidespot.com recommends a visit to Eli’s Cheesecake at the Taste of Eli’s Cheesecake World….”Best Cheesecake. Ever.”
Posts Tagged Eli’s Cheesecake World
Nickelodeon Parents Picks Awards nominates Eli’s Cheesecake World as one of Chicago’s top Tourist Spots
Chicago Tribune Highlights “Kids Love Illinois;” One of top site for families to visit is Eli’s Cheesecake World
The Resourceful Traveler
By J.D. Brown and Margaret Backenheimer
October 7, 2007
“Kids Love Illinois,”Kids Love Publications, $14.95; ISBN: 978-0-9774434-0-6
George and Michele Zavatsky, along with their children, Jenny and Daniel, put in over a thousand hours seeking out and sampling scores of kid-friendly attractions in Illinois. The results are divided
into seven geographical zones. Within each zone, the sites are described and sometimes evaluated by the kids; driving directions, addresses, phone numbers, Web sites, hours and admissions are supplied; and a smattering of lodging and dining suggestions are appended. The order of attractions within each zone is alphabetical by city or town, although this is not immediately evident and needs to be made so. Favorites are posted for each zone. In
Chicago, the top family picks were Eli’s Cheesecake World, Hancock Observatory,
Navy Pier and the Shedd Aquarium. What gives this book (one of 11 state guides in the series) its charm and authority is that every attraction listed has been visited and carefully evaluated by a full family of
Concierge Preferred is a Chicago resource for visitors and native Chicagoans alike. We congratulate Tim O’Malley, Publisher and Founder, and Amber Holst, Editor, on the timely information and advice.
One question we get alot from visitors is “where are you located.” The good news is that we are on the northwest side, just west of Wright College, has tons of free parking and are accessible via public transportation. I have attached a closeup of the Chicago Metro Map from Concierge Preferred showing our relationship to 0″Hare, the Kennedy Expressway
and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park.
Come visit the Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery Cafe seven days a week or visit online 24/7 at www.elicheesecake.com.
|“The Big Cheese”
Eli’s Cheesecake may seem mainstream to the average Chicagoan who knows it from grocery shelves and convenience stores, but try paying a visit to Eli’s Cheesecake World and get a friendly yet fabulous
experience. The moment you enter the café you are greeted by a gigantic, ceramic, cheesecake-eating cow on rollerblades as well as a huge display case packed with fresh, mouthwatering cheesecakes and desserts. You may have to wait a few minutes before you go on the factory tour, but waiting has never been more entertaining. Customers can pick up samples of various flavored cheesecakes, brownies and tarts to snack on while Elvis’ “Don’t be Cruel” plays in the background.
Once 1 p.m. rolls around every Monday through Friday, an Eli’s baker leads a group tour through the factory. For $3 a head, customers get to enter Eli’s 62,000 square-foot factory where 17,000 to 19,000 cheesecakes are produced each day. Visitors get to ooh and ahh while watching white-coat-clad bakers whip up endless batches of cheesecake using apparatuses like their 70 x 12-foot central oven and 500 pound-capacity mixing bowls. Tours also include information about founder Eli Schulman and how he created Eli’s
Cheesecake as well as various celebrity fans. This may not be as riveting as consuming the actual sweets, but it’s fun to learn about the time Bill Clinton solicited 32 of Eli’s bakers to come to Washington to bake a 2,000-pound cake for his second inauguration. Or the time Jay Leno visited the factory with his show and went home with a huge chocolate-chip cheesecake saying, “Jay Leno: The Big Cheese”. And in the spirit of saving the best for last — everyone gets to take home a piece of their favorite flavor of cheesecake at the end of the tour.
The fun doesn’t end when the tour does, either. Throughout the year, Eli’s offers children’s birthday parties as well as family cookie-baking classes. Owner Marc Schulman, son of Eli, said the company prides itself on constant community involvement, holding annual events such as its annual cheesecake festival held the third weekend of every September in the parking lot. Approximately 1,000 people attend every year to party with the Eli’s mascot, “The Slice,” and see acrobats spring off trampolines and sail over giant cheesecakes. “Since no one has fallen in yet, the festival continues,” Schulman said.
If you can’t get to the festival, feel free to stop by the café which serves breakfast, lunch and, of course, dessert seven days a week and even offers free wireless internet. Eli’s can be ideal for a quaint dessert or meal with a friend, child or relative, but don’t miss out on the comic relief of talking
with many of Eli’s employees who are more than willing to talk to you about their product or anything else you might (or might not) want to know. Al Panfil, 78, said he has volunteered at Eli’s for more than three years. It all began when his doctor dared him to work there, claiming he would eat all of the profits, Al says. Now, three years later, his weight has gone from 260 to 180 pounds, “But I gotta tell you, it’s been damn difficult,” Panfil said. “They make so many different types of cheesecake here it’s been hard keeping my paws off.”
Want to know more? Check the Eli’s Cheesecake blog.
Eli’s Cheesecake serves up sweet, sweet amusement
Holiday cooking in most families is a fiasco, especially at my house. At Christmas dinner, out of the nine people at the table, there is a vegetarian, a diabetic, a no fat/cholesterol dieter, a gourmet food aficionado, a strictly “meat ‘n’ potatoes”-eater, and a 16-year-old that still refuses to eat vegetables. Accordingly, dessert is almost out of the question. The dishes, drama and ensuing headaches in the kitchen make everyone glad these are yearly family functions.
This one-shot baking extravaganza pales in comparison to the production that occurs at The Eli’s Cheesecake Company, 6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr., every day. Eli’s makes 22,000 cheesecakes daily during the holidays and 12,000 otherwise to fill the orders of customers with different tastes and demands in all 50 states and around the world. They even hand-wash every pan. This feat is so impressive that factory tours are already booked through the summer and reservations are being made into December, says Korey Grace, who handles reception and tours at Eli’s.
Up to 1,000 guests per month take the Eli’s Cheesecake World Bakery Tours, Grace says. The numbers add up fast, as Eli’s has given tours to as many as 150 guests in a single day. The volume of visitors might stem from the fact the tour is ranked number one by Food Network’s “Top 5 Tasty Tours.”
Eli’s has tours for both large and small groups. For parties of nine or fewer, the cheesecake-decorating tour allows visitors to adorn their own cheesecake to take home after the factory tour. For parties of more than 10, there are tours like “Be a Star” that let tourists take part in the Quality Star taste test. They sample a variety of flavors and get a commemorative T-shirt to take home.
If the long reservation wait is unappealing, the “Sneak Peek” drop-in tour is given at 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, and you don’t need to book ahead. For $3, visitors are given the factory tour and get to eat a slice of cheesecake at the end. You must wear closed-toed, low-heel shoes while on the tour.
Each tour allows salivating guests to walk right through the many stages of production, during which mechanics and fun facts about cheesecake are divulged. First, though, each person must put on a hairnet then pose for a glamorous group photo that will be posted on the Eli’s Web site later in the week.
First, an introductory video highlights a 2,000-pound cheesecake Eli’s made for Bill Clinton’s second Inaugural Ball. It served 10,000 guests and took 35 hours to assemble after it traveled on a flatbed to Washington. A two-handed saw was used to cut through it. Eli’s also makes cheesecake for the Taste of Chicago every July, and a special planning team is already beginning preparation for this year.
After the video, guests are led to the kitchen, which has been bustling since 4 a.m., churning the batter to make 12 different flavors of cheesecake (along with an assortment of other cakes, cookies and cobblers). The area looks like an enormous metal playground of cooking equipment. Along with 500-pound batter bowls, there is a 24-foot spiral cooling rack – as tall as a 2-story building – that blows cold air over the cheesecakes after they’re baked. The “small” ovens can bake 2,000 pounds at a time, which, if you’re wondering, if more than enough to stock your local Starbuck’s – several times over.
The cheesecakes are Kosher and made with all-natural ingredients whose volume puts Sam’s Club to shame. Eli’s uses 2,500-pound bags of sugar, 2,000-pound containers of eggs and 50-pound blocks of cream cheese. The most expensive ingredient is pure vanilla from Madagascar, which costs $100 per gallon.
Next, visitors get a peek at the decorating room, where 35 decorators are split into two lines to hand-adorn the desserts. Depending on the design intricacy, between seven and 120 cakes can be finished per hour. Every decorator has culinary training and knows how to decorate 100 different kinds of dessert, as the rotation changes daily.
After smelling cheesecake for half an hour, guests finally get to eat a slice (picked from about five varieties pre-cut in the Dessert Cafe). Eli’s makes more than 50 varieties of cheesecake, though, ranging from Original Plain, to Tira Mi Su and Lemon Mixed Berry.
The cafe has freezers of cheesecake to purchase or ship home. There is also a section called “Sweet Imperfections,” desserts with design flaws – a crack or dent – that are discounted 50 percent. The aesthetics are a little off, but the flavor’s the same.
If you just want a piece or whole cheesecake, Eli’s Dessert Cafe is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. To book a tour, call (773) 736-3417. For more information on tours and ordering, visit www.elischeesecake.com.
Medill sophomore Deena Bustillo is a PLAY assistant editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local fun for the family
May 18, 2006 – Who says you have to head far away to vacation?
There are hundreds of activities going on right in your own backyard for kids of all ages. Whether you’re planning a day trip, seasonal festival, weekend get-away or full-week excursion, look to Illinois attractions for great kid-friendly diversions.
But, planning trips can be so frustrating especially when your kids seem bored and are begging for new ideas on something fun to do. Sure, go on the internet and try to plan a short family trip, but it takes so much time! And, how can you decide which places are kid-friendly” and a good value?//–>//–>
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|May 26, 2006
|Eli’s Cheesecake Welcomes Eddie & Jobo of B96 to their new studio at Two Prudential Plaza
After more than 50 years at the converted stables at 630 N. McClurg Court, the CBS Radio Stations have moved. Today it was our pleasure to salute Eddi & Jobo, the morning co-hosts on B96 FM with their move this week to new studios at Two Prudential Plaza overlooking Lake Shore East and Lake Michigan. What a change from the windowless bunker on McClurg Court to some very slick studios with picture windows just off Michigan Avenue.
Eli’s Marc Schulman presents a welcoming Eli’s Cheesecake to B96 morning team, Eddie Volkman, Joe Bohannon and Erica Cobb.
Eddie and Jobo at work in their new studio with a big window overlooking Lake Michigan and Lake Shore East.
One of the great events of the summer in Chicago is the B96 Summer Bash. This year the Summer Bash is on June 24th at the new Bridgeview Stadium, which is home to the Chicago Fire. We are delighted the Happiness Club, which a group that we actively support, will be a participant thanks to Pepsi and B96.
All of us at Eli’s Cheesecake are delighted to welcome visitors to our bakery from around the City, the State and the country. Because of our interest in agriculture and after just finishing our Groundhog Job Shadow Day activities with CHSAS, it was great to see the story below from the Star Courier in Kewanee, Illinois, which is almost 3 hours west of Chicago and Eli’s and over 153 miles away.
We look forward to welcoming the ladies of the Farm Bureau and to share the story of how our products are made by artisans with such great care and the also giving the guests the Ultimate Eli’s Experience.”
Farm Bureau plans Ladies Day Out
|By Star Courier
Updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2006 9:36
CAMBRIDGE — The Henry County Farm Bureau is scheduling a ‘‘Ladies Day Out’’ on Wednesday, April 5.
The group is planning a “Sweet Delight” trip to Chicago.
The group will leave around 6 a.m. and arrive in Chicago around 10, with a break stop along the way.
The first stop will be Eli’s Cheesecake Factory for The Ultimate Eli’s Experience.
Included will be a bakery tour, lunch at Eli’s, cheesecake tasting, cheesecake decorating for each guest, and an Eli’s t-shirt.
After that the group will tour the Long Grove confectionery.
They will shop at the Factory store where purchases can be made.
The group will head home around 4 p.m. and will make a meal stop along the way, which will not be included, so supper will be on your own.
Arrival home will be around 8 p.m.
To make reservations or for more information call the Farm Bureau at 937-2411.
Watch “What Not to Wear” on TLC this Friday when Clinton and Stacey come to Eli’s Cheesecake World and Chicago
Our daughter, Elana’s, favorite television show is “What Not to Wear” and its talented hosts, Clinton and Stacey. Elana and my wife, Maureen, were shopping in a vintage store on the north side and met several producer from WNTW who were interviewing a nominator to get more information on a candidate for a wardrobe makeover. The producers were intrigued with the Eli’s Cheesecake Story and scheduled a special visit by Clinton and Stacey.
The result was this week’s “What Not To Wear” airing this coming Friday, January 6th at 8pm CST. We had a great time with Clinton and Stacey, and Robin, the winner of a very interesting competition between three teachers.
Elana, Marc and Maureen with Clinton and Stacey
Clinton and Stacey enjoying a very special WNTW Cheesecake created by Eli’s for their visit.
The visit by WNTW was a total Eli’s team effort. Thanks to all our people for making this visit so successful.
It is always our pleasure to host student groups from our neighborhood educational partner, Jacqueline Vaughn Occupational High School. This is a unique school for students with special needs that has a faculty committed to helping these students take advantage of their talents.
Today, we hosted Ms. Marlene Winn, a Vaughn teacher and school leader in career development, with a group of sophomores. We appreciated their interest in careers at Eli’s and the opportunity to take advantage of the resources of Wright College.
Monday started with a rain storm so it was great to be able to get the group out on our patio. Vaughn is just 1 1/2 miles east of Eli’s and the group took public transportation over for their tour.
Vaughn teacher, Marlene Winn, and Eli’s Marc Schulman, with Eli’s associate, Ivan Hernandez in the center. Ivan joined Eli’s as an intern in his senior year and has become a valuable member of Eli’s team.