Johnnie Does Old Spaghetti Factory

By Johnnie Does

Spaghetti is a very heavy food and not usually a lunch option, but since the Old Spaghetti Factory is right by my office I decided to take the plunge, as usual we tried it twice. (OSF) is a small family owned business that has grown to 45 stores from its humble beginnings in 1945 by Guss Dussin. Here is the review.

Ambiance: The one near my office is a standalone building that looks like any other strip mall type venue, large, concrete and somewhat uninviting. If you want a really cool scene check out the downtown Sacramento location. The interior is very cozy with a décor reminiscent of being on a train car. The booths have Tiffany lamps and also quite a bit of gleaming brass which sets a nice tone. In one part of the restaurant, there is even a refurbished trolley car you can sit in and enjoy your meal. However, at 12:50 in the afternoon, during what should have been peak lunch time, the place was empty. When you walked into the restaurant, instead of the aroma of food, you could smell the Windex used to clean the place. 1.3/5 Disclosure: I have gone by this place during dinner hours and it seems very busy, so your experience likely will differ.

Menu/food: This is your standard Italian-American faire. Once you are seated by the hostess, you are greeting by a loaf of bread and some butter, and the menu is basically spaghetti, pasta, sandwiches, and salads. They put tons of different spins on their pasta with sauces that include: clam, garlic, Alfredo, meat, meatless, mizithra (brown butter), and pesto. I ordered the spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce, it also came with a salad, I choose creamy pesto dressing (balsamic was the only other option).

The spaghetti was standard noodles with red sauce tasting very much like Prego scooped over it. The plate also featured 2 very large baseball sized meatballs. The salad was bagged salad from a local grocer and the dressing was ladled over it as well. I was not impressed with this at all. True Italian food, the pasta and sauce are mixed together in a bowl, not just tossed on top, the meatballs were ok, but very large and you almost feel cheated just getting 2. Generally, the plating was unimpressive.

Pre-fab salad mix

As mentioned earlier, I come back a second time and will share the reason in the conclusion when I ordered the mizithra pasta. It was very interesting to say the least, much improved and I’ll average the scores call it 2.2/5. I would definitely order this again if I come back, it was a very good cheese/butter taste.

mizithra pasta

Overall: The Old Spaghetti Factory is not much to write home about; just standard Italian faire from a decent non-chain place. I would recommend avoiding the spaghetti and meatballs; however, I did thoroughly enjoy my other meal. The price point for lunch is around $10. OSF claims great food and fast food prices. The bizarre flex here was I asked my server what the best thing on the menu was and she pointed me toward the spaghetti with meatballs, after finishing and paying my check, she shared with me her favorite is the mizithra?????????? HUH? That’s a weird flex, sweetie, you probably would have gotten a decent score if I had that meal first. 1.75/5 I don’t think I will return.