Sunday, August 22, 2010
Last week we took our 2-year-old to Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. Jeff has strong nostalgic memories of going there as a kid, and it was a college-student-on-a-budget staple for us years ago. I was leery of dinner for two reasons....1) we're used to pretty high-end, quality food, so i was worried it was going to be nasty, and 2) in the past I remember waiting FOREVER for a table, which is pure torture with a toddler. To avoid problem number 2, we went early...got there at 5:15 and there was no wait at all. We were impressed right away with their kid-friendly setup. As soon as we sat down, our daughter was presented with an activity/color sheet and 2 crayons (as a parent, I appreciate that she was only offered two colors, so we didn't have to spend the next 15 minutes chasing runaway crayons all over the floor). The coloring kit also came with a package of saltine crackers, which kept her busy until the bread came. Pure genius!!! The kids menu was great - lots of choices, and came with apple sauce and milk, along with the small bowl of pasta with spaghetti sauce and one giant meatball.
Given our nostalgic feelings towards the place, we were pleasantly surprised with the dinner. It was not fancy. It was no gourmet. It was not quality ingredients. But it was hardy, tasted good, and was dirt cheap. We LOVED it. For tired parents with a toddler, this is an ideal outing for dinner. My only complaint was that the vanilla ice cream (or spumoni, if you choose) that was served to my daughter was WAY too much. We solved that quickly by scooping two-thirds of her dessert into my husbands bowl without her noticing.
Overall, if you have little kids but really don't feel like cooking, head out to your local Old Spaghetti Factory. Just get there early, or you'll end up waiting forever for a table. There was already a wait by the time we left and headed to the car. Dinner for 3 $23!!