The Old Spaghetti Factory

June25

When I was asked by Sisters #2 and #3 where I would like to go out for my birthday dinner, would you be surprised when I responded with the Old Spaghetti Factory?  Well readers, here was my train of thought.  Dining decisions aren’t made solely on what you are going to get to eat (I have to remind myself of this, over and over again).  Central location is a consideration and the OSF at The Forks is precisely half way between my locale and Sister #2 and our Mom.  The latter loves to come along for birthday celebration dinners (and she also truly loves picking up the tab)!  Since our Mom is 86, we also have to consider wheelchair accessibility and parking and the Spaghetti Factory does a great job of both.  I had also hoped since it was a glorious night, that our Mom might enjoy a stroll along the paths at The Forks.  This would extend her outing, get her some fresh air and her girls some exercise.

I also predicted that it would be easy to get in without a wait (which it was) and knew that the restaurant is well laid out to maneuver a wheelchair around.  As our hostess escorted us to our table, she indicated that we would be next to huge windows where we could enjoy the fresh greenery of the park and see folks go by on the biking/walking path.  I thought that was a really nice touch and we made a point of taking it in.  The service is so prompt.  I would say a bit too much so, for my dining tastes.  But our Mom loved that there was food in front of us, before we even noticed, starting with their crusty bread that can be slathered with garlic butter.  A small but crisp and tasty salad came next and before we knew it, our spaghetti dinners had come.

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The time has come for me to fess up.  There is one particular dish from the Spaghetti Factory that I crave and that is the Browned Butter and Mizithra cheese.  Although I have seen ownership change and menu items come and go, I am delighted that it has stood the test of time.  I like to offset the sharp saltiness of the cheese with the creamy texture and taste of their clam sauce and the Manager’s Special allows you to chose any two sauces.  These preferences run in the family as Sister #3 thought that our Mom would also enjoy the clam sauce (she prefers cream sauces to tomato based ones), and Sister #2 also ordered the Mizithra.  She requested that hers come with a side of sautéed mushrooms and let me have a taste.  These too were exactly as I recalled-individual pan seared so that they come out plump and juicy and not braised as is the case from some kitchens.  Sister #3 has her long-time preference too-the combination of spicy meat and clam sauce.  I selected a side as well, of sautéed chicken.  By including a number of these side options on their menu, the OSF creates endless taste possibilities and is sure to have something for everyone.  Which is another reason that restaurants like this are often preferred.

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There were a number of large groups in that evening and with the quick service and spacious dining room, they do a really good job with large groups.  Our family has had a number of parties at the restaurant over the years.  In fact, D and I had our wedding cocktail reception at Brandy’s that used to be attached to the restaurant when it was located on Bannatyne.  Can you remember that far back?  Our Mom even recognized some of the décor pieces that have long been displayed.  So for our large family who have spent many wonderful times together, a visit to the restaurant is like a walk down memory lane.

Old Spaghetti Factory on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “What keeps me motivated is not the food itself but all the bonds and memories the food represents.”   Michael Chiarello

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Love-that is all.


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3 Comments to

“The Old Spaghetti Factory”

  1. Avatar June 27th, 2014 at 5:30 pm Marion Says:

    I always enjoyed going to Spaghetti Factory.
    This year I was in charge of organizing an outing with my co-workers and since we work close to The Forks, the Spaghetti Factory seemed the perfect location. I called about two months ahead of time to make reservations for lunch on Friday, June 27th and asked for the room with the windows for a group of 25. The girl said that is fine.
    When I called last week to confirm, I was told that it is Spaghetti Factory ‘policy’ not to promise a certain location in the restaurant. I didn’t like it but could live with it.
    When we got there, we were in the middle of the restaurant, and not together, we were seated at two separate tables. I was very upset and talked to the manager. There was a half-hearted offer to try to put the two tables together but it was decided not to do that. The manager gave the impression that she couldn’t care less about my concern.
    I am very disappointed that this happened at the Spaghetti Factory, and don’t plan to return because of this.


  2. Avatar July 1st, 2014 at 5:14 pm Kathryne Says:

    So sorry to hear about your experience. I understand that the restaurant is owned by different people now then when I last visited.


  3. Avatar August 23rd, 2014 at 1:52 pm John Says:

    Back in the mid 70s I worked as a busboy at The Old Spaggetti Factory in Toronto we were allowed a free meal at the start of every shift. It was a rush to get out of school and to the subway so I’d have enough time for my Mangers Special before I had to start clearing tables. I always asked for half spicy meat sauce half Mizithra cheese I’d get it every time. At the end of every shift I’d take a whole loaf of bread slice it down the middle from end to end then lots of garlic butter. I’d put it under my coat and devour it on the subway ride home.
    When your 16 you never stop eating so it was a great job


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