I decided to do an updated post on Old Spaghetti Factory (Downtown Location). I’ve been here a few times before, and this time, I got a good number of photos to post, along with some older ones to post. Most recently, I was invited here with a few other social media members to try some of their new dishes, and a few of their classics.
Old Spaghetti Factory is a franchise of restaurants with locations in BC, Alberta, Winnipeg, and Ontario. Part of their restaurant idea is to provide good quality food for a reasonable price, along with providing a full meal experience including appetizer, entree and dessert. There aren’t many places where you can get a bread, a starter, entree, and dessert for 15-18$. They also do other events around the city, like Taste of Edmonton. If you haven’t been, one of my favourite things to get is their Bam bam shrimp, which was chosen as a ‘crowd favourite’ in 2015. One thing that’s unique about the downtown location is that it’s actually one of the few franchise-owned restaurants. It gives them more liberties to kind of experiment and do their own thing. It’s located right across the street from the Bay and relatively easy to get to via the LRT station. There’s also quite a bit of meter parking around, which is free after 6 and on Sundays.
The interior is quite spacious, and what’s kind of cool about this location is that they have a trolley which you can dine in. There are booths all around the restaurant. I saw an immense amount of food getting pumped out of the kitchen. I can definitely say that they have really strong standard operating procedures, which results in consistency in the kitchen.
Our meal started off with some complimentary sourdough bread with whipped garlic and plain butter. The bread was nice and warm and went nicely with the butter. I thought that the garlic butter could have been a bit more garlic-ey but otherwise, this was pretty good to start your meal off. If the restaurant is really packed, this is a good way to temporarily satisfy hungry customers!
Next, we had the clam chowder and Caesar salad. If you’re trying to decide between the two, I’d definitely recommend the clam chowder. The Caesar salad is pretty standard. Nothing too amazing, but I’m not a huge salad fan anyway. The clam chowder, however, is definitely the better alternative. It comes with hearty bits of potatoes, and a generous amount of bacon, though a bit light on the clams.
The Bam Bam shrimp came out nice a hot. It’s lightly breaded white-shrimp glazed in a spicy sriracha sauce, topped with fresh green onions. This was definitely one of my favourite things of the night. It was really light, and the glaze didn’t make the breading too soggy. Definitely recommend this appetizer. If not at the restaurant, definitely try it at Taste of Edmonton if they’re on the menu this summer!
The Calamari Fritti was also really nicely seasoned and cooked. I always find that calamari can be hit or miss. It’s really easy to overcook squid, so I’m glad that these were nice and tender, and not too chewy. The calamari was seasoned enough and didn’t really need additional dip. Pretty good on its own! If you’re trying to decide between appetizers, both are decent, but I’d still have to give it to the Bam Bam Shrimp.
This is from the previous time I was at Old Spaghetti Factory with my friend, Jamie. The Chicken Parmigiana, which is hand breaded chicken breast, fried to a nice golden brown, then topped with marinara sauce with melted parmesan and mozzarella cheese. The cheeses in the restaurant are all locally sourced from family-owned producers, which is always nice. The chicken was nice a tender, and not dry. Relatively nice piece of meat, and went well with the marinara. The spaghetti at Old Spaghetti Factory is made of 100% durum semolina, which makes it a bit higher in protein.
This was also from the last time I was at Old Spaghetti Factory. The New York Steak. This was a nice piece of meat, which I ordered it medium rare, and that’s exactly how it came out. It was well-seasoned and tasted pretty good. For my spaghetti, I opted to get the meat sauce. This was definitely a good idea. If you have the choice to have either just the regular marinara sauce or meat sauce, definitely go with the meat sauce. It gives the sauce another dimension and makes the dish all that much better.
Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce
Cheesecake with Blueberry sauce
Lastly, we had the homemade sweet cheesecake. You get to choose your own sauce, and we opted to get blueberry and and strawberry. I read that a lot of people like the cheesecake. It was really good, but a bit too rich for me. That may just be a personal preference. I thought that it should be a bit more firm, less cream, and more cheese. The sauces that you get flavoured the cheesecake nicely.
For this most recent occasion, we also got the Clam chowder, calamari, and bam bam shrimp. We were seated with a few other people from social media and had some share plates and ate kind of family-style so we could try multiple dishes.
This is their spaghetti and meatballs, which is an Italian classic. This was the first time that I’ve ever gotten it. Their meatballs are handmade, and served with a marinara sauce, topped with parmesan cheese. This was pretty good! the meatballs are not bad and you get a decent amount.
Another thing that I’ve never gotten was their lasagna. They gave us both their classic lasagna and their vegetarian lasagna. Both were pretty good. I’ve always underestimated lasagna, but it’s definitely a good dish. The noodles were cooked to the perfect tenderness, and I love ricotta cheese.
This is one of their newer dishes, Red Thai Curry Linguine with Prawns. It also comes with a chicken version as well. It’s a light red curry with coconut milk, sauteed peppers, topped with fresh cilantro. This was also a very nice dish. It’s a bit of a fusion, but well executed. I really like the coconut milk flavour that comes out in this dish.
Also one of their newer dishes, Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo, which comes prawns, scallops, sauteed mushrooms, with a spinach and egg fettuccine, topped with alfredo sauce. This was also really good! I really liked the spinach fettuccine, which was a really nice touch.
This their Fettuccine Con pollo, which comes with sauteed chicken and mushrooms in a tangy white sauce, then topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, and slowly baked. By this point in the meal, I was already so full. We were all given an absurd amount of food. This one is quite heavy on the cheese, but had a very generous amount of chicken.
Ginger spice cake topped with a caramel sauce
Spumoni Ice Cream
Finally for dessert, we had their warm ginger caramel spice cake, cheese cake, and some of their spunomi ice cream. Though the cheesecake comes with a different variety of choice of sauce. We got the chocolate and a mango. Both were really light and pretty good, similar to what I got last time. Very soft, and heavy on the cream. I’ve read a lot about the spunomi ice cream here, which is chocolate, pistachio, and vanilla ice cream. It is pretty good ice cream, but to be honest, my favourite dessert was the warm ginger caramel spice cake, topped with vanilla ice cream. This was really moist and flavourful. It could have used a touch more ginger but overall, this was my favourite.
Overall, my experience at Old Spaghetti Factory was relatively good. I really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the ambiance of the restaurant. There are a lot of “courses” with a reasonable amount of time in between, which gives you a good chance to socialize. The people I see that come here are regulars, who have been coming here for many years, and they definitely seem to know exactly what they want, and are mostly there for the company. The food is pretty good, given the price. You get a substantial amount of food. I don’t know anywhere else in Edmonton where you can get bread, a starter soup/salad, an entree, and a dessert, all for 15-18 dollars. I feel like Old Spaghetti Factory definitely has a niche market, and it really is good for the price. If you’ve never been, it’s relatively cheap any day of the year. I definitely recommend giving it a try!