I think the first time I heard about The Old Spaghetti Factory was when a college roommate came home with a glass with a logo and red and green stripes on it, the signature “keepsake glass” they give you with every Italian Soda purchase. It took me years before I ever actually tried The Old Spaghetti Factory.
The first thing I noticed besides the dark woods, Tiffany-style lamps, and dim lighting inside was the trolley sitting in the middle of the restaurant which also doubles as a dining car. I’ve never sat in the dining car, but it seems like it would be fun.
We were seated at a booth for our party of five, which was fine with us, but the first table we were seated at was quite dirty and we asked to be moved. The second booth was clean, but quickly got crowded since as our meal progressed, the server didn’t clear anything from our table unless we asked her. So we weren’t impressed with the service, but onto the food.
Sourdough Bread – The complimentary sourdough bread is served hot and crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. It’s a fairly mild sourdough.
Sicilian Garlic Cheese Bread ($6.25) – Because a loaf of bread isn’t enough for this family, I guess. But what’s not to love about garlic cheese bread? Garlic bread topped with a blend of melted cheese and served with marinara sauce? The cheese bread was really soft and loaded with cheese; the marinara sauce was really good. Loved it!
Strawberry Italian Cream Soda ($3.99 includes take-home glass) – As long as they put enough syrup in there, the Italian sodas are awesome. Choice of 6 flavors. Wish these had at least one free refill and that you could order the soda without the glass. I don’t need it. You don’t have to take home the glass you use…they bring you a clean one at the end of the meal.
Minestrone Soup – Good, but not like my grandmother made (of course, how many restaurants can make soup that good?!)
Side Salad with Creamy Pesto Dressing – Salad was pretty typical iceberg side salad, but the dressing was delicious! If you like creamy dressings, definitely go for this one.
Kids Spaghetti and Meatball ($5.99) – Served with applesauce or salad (Sweet Diner loves salad!), a drink, & dessert. Marinara sauce was good and the ground beef meatball was good, too.
Italian Sausage with Meat Sauce ($11.85) – The sausage was really good, but I was disappointed with the presentation and the meat sauce. Just putting a whole sausage on top of pasta, really?! It makes it look like a hot dog. The meat sauce was not very flavorful, either.
Sicilian Meatballs ($11.95) – Meatballs should be big, right? These are large beef ones that were well-seasoned and delicious.
Gourmet Jumbo Crab Ravioli ($13.50) – Can you guess who ordered this – of course I did! These ravioli were filled with lots of crabmeat and ricotta cheese and topped with a creamy Pesto Alfredo sauce.
Spumoni – I love that every meal includes vanilla ice cream or spumoni. Can’t resist the chocolate, cherry, & pistachio combination of the spumoni! And because I believe dinner should end on a sweet note, this is definitely a plus in my book.
Overall, we think The Old Spaghetti Factory is fairly average. Our server was friendly and fast, but the clearing of the table and the first dirty table brought the service level down a notch. The food is pretty average, but the kids were happy with it. I do love that their meals include dessert and that their kids’ meals have a side salad option. If you go, try the meatballs and the cheese bread! The Mizithra Cheese & Browned Butter Pasta is a specialty here and it’s good, but my taste buds prefer meaty or seafood choices.
If you’re thinking about going soon, they are celebrating their 45th anniversary with select meals for only $4 or $5 for lunch or dinner on Jan. 13-14 & 20-21, 2014, which is a great deal! These meals still come with all the same sides and dessert. Kids meals will be $3 those days. Nine traditional favorites are offered at these prices including the Sicilian Meatballs ($5) & the Spaghetti with Browned Butter & Mizithra Cheese ($4).
Entree Price: $$
Average Fork Rating: 3.9
Mr. Diner: 4
Mrs. Diner: 3
Amazing Diner: 4
Sweet Diner: 4.5
Little Diner: 4