The very first time I dined at The Old Spaghetti Factory was several years ago in my university days when we had a small reunion with friends. I remember the good Italian food and the beautiful one-of-a-kind decor that was housed inside this restaurant. According to their website, they were:
“ Originally a Blacksmith Shop, built in 1898, this huge old warehouse was converted into a 600 seat restaurant in 1971, filled with a fabulous collection of antiques and truly unique artifacts and is now known as the famous “Old Spaghetti Factory.”
This unique restaurant is complete with high ceilings, skylights, antique elevator, streetcar, numerous interesting nooks and crannies, original stained glass windows from Europe, gas lamps, a 100 year old carousel and countless other intriguing antiques and artifacts (ever dined in a streetcar or a king size bed?).”
I hadn’t visited again since that time and since we were looking for a dinner spot in the Esplanade area, Ken and I hopped in around 8 p.m. on a Saturday night. The restaurant was packed and we received an electronic pager from the hostess to inform us once our table would be ready. The hostess told us a 30-40 minute wait would be expected. There were a lot of people waiting around too and in about 30-40 minutes, our pager rang and we received our table.
I love the decor and interior of The Old Spaghetti Factory. I know certainly there is no other restaurant in Toronto or even in Canada that has such unique features like getting to sit next to a carousel or dining in a streetcar. The table that we sat at wasn’t one of those special ones but dining in such an environment was still a treat.
We already knew what we wanted to order since we had looked at the menu while we were waiting and I placed our orders with our server immediately so that we could fill our hungry stomachs as soon as possible. I liked that each entrée on the menu included complimentary bread, a starter of salad or soup, ice cream for dessert, and tea or coffee! It was truly a family friendly restaurant and affordable for anyone.
Our salads arrived very quickly. Before that though, the server brought over a loaf of OSF Classic Bread. She did it by sticking a knife through it and setting it on the table with a cup of Whipped Garlic and Plain Butter. It was amusing throughout the night to watch other servers carry around the loaves of bread in this manner — the knife stuck through the bread. This is something characteristic of The Old Spaghetti Factory for sure!
Sometimes, the most simple things are the most delicious. This loaf of OSF classic bread with whipped garlic and plain butter was so good. The bread wasn’t too hard and the whipped garlic and plain butter was so delicious — I really like garlic butter. ❤
My Crisp Green Salad was doused in Blue Cheese dressing while Ken’s was doused in Balsamic Vinaigrette. I really liked the blue cheese dressing; it truly tasted of blue cheese. The Balsamic Vinaigrette was quite sour!
Within less than ten minutes, our entrées arrived! I ordered a Spaghetti Classic, the Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce. The spaghetti was covered in a light garlic and basil cream sauce with baby clams scattered throughout the dish. The light garlic and basil cream sauce was really good and the baby clams were rather plentiful and they didn’t taste rough or chewy at all. When it comes to spaghetti though, you need to eat it relatively fast otherwise once the cream sauce settles and gets cold, you have a big lump of pasta all stuck together. I enjoyed this simple spaghetti dish. 🙂
Ken ordered the Lasagna which included layer upon layer of pasta, meat sauce and mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan cheeses. I tried a bite and liked it!
Our server came to check on us often and offered us a choice of Vanilla, Chocolate, or Spumoni Ice Cream for dessert. Spumoni was a combination of vanilla, chocolate, and pistachio ice cream. I couldn’t pass up on such a unique combination so we both chose that one. Luckily for me, my bowl of Spumoni Ice Cream didn’t contain too much pistachio and had more chocolate — my favourite over pistachio any day. Ken’s scoop included the opposite which worked out really well.
The meal finished off with a cup of Hot Tea or Freshly Brewed Coffee, also included with the entrée.
We were one of the last to leave the restaurant, having taken our time to enjoy the meal and environment. The Old Spaghetti Factory is such a classic place to come back to again and again for decent and affordable Italian food! Maybe next time when I come, I will get a seat at one of their antique features! 😀
(One thing that I found interesting on our visit was that we were given a 30-40 minute wait for a table, but once our table was ready and we sat down, we noticed that many of the tables around us in the restaurant were empty. Why do they make customers make for over 30 minutes if they already have so many empty and available tables in the restaurant? Could it be that the kitchen cannot fulfill that many orders quickly enough? [But our dishes of food came out rather quickly!] In any case, the meal itself was great and would have been even better if we received a table without having to wait for so long; especially after seeing so many empty tables when we walked in!)