The Old Spaghetti Factory, A Culinary Dinosaur.

It’s been years since I’ve eaten at The Old Spaghetti Factory (OSF for short, I’m lazy and that’s a long name…). I remember fresh sour dough bread, reasonably good American/Italian pasta dishes, and spumoni (Italian ice cream). Hayley and I had dinner at the OSF in Richmond during a recent “Awesome Dads” outing with my pal Allan and his daughter. The place was packed and there was a 30-40 minute wait for a table. Thankfully there’s a bowling alley next door with an arcade so the wait passed quickly.

"Bacon" Caesar
“Bacon” Caesar

Once seated we received our ubiquitous loaf of sour dough bread that comes with regular and garlic whipped butter. The only problem I found with the sour dough bread was that it was not sour dough… When did this happen?! It’s a loaf of white bread, not particularly fresh either. That’s fairly disappointing. I ordered a Bacon Caesar from their drink menu. Where do I start. The bacon garnish was of the “McCain Readycrisp” variety and had been sitting out a LONG time. It was pale, floppy, and disgusting. My straw kept getting clogged by something which, after some digging, turned out to be artificial bacon bits. Seriously, just a bunch of soy based crunchy garbage added to a drink for flavour? No thanks.

Caesar Salad
Caesar Salad

Next up was an appetizer sized Caesar Salad. Other than a few bits of brown Romaine the salad was ok. Store bought croutons, dressing not dissimilar to The Keg’s Caesar dressing you can buy at a grocery store. To be honest this is what most people would bring to a pot-luck/picnic.

Spaghetti with spicy meat sauce
Spaghetti with spicy meat sauce

My entrée was Spaghetti with Spicy Meat Sauce. You would think that having a restaurant with the word Spaghetti in the name would mean they would know how to cook spaghetti. You would be wrong. Mark, aka @TheLowerCrust on Twitter, provided that insight for me and added this gem when I asked my followers what they thought of OSF and their pasta;

The noodles seem like they were made days ago and reheated. The sauce is ok, slightly oily and not much spice for “spicy meat sauce”. The random parsley is almost pointless and looks as if it was put there by mistake.

For dessert I had spumoni that tasted like ice cream.

There you have it. No entrées over $13 might be the only thing that would get me to recommend this place. I apologise in advance to all of the tourists who end up at the OSF in Gastown because they don’t know any better. It’s not your fault.

Twitter – @OSFCanada

Facebook – Old Spaghetti Factory Canada

World Wide Web – oldspaghettifactory.ca

Scott.

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The City I Love and a Recipe!

Every once in a while in my current job I am given the opportunity to soak in some great views from the top of Vancouver’s high rises. Even more rare is the chance to see these sites at night, when the city is at its most beautiful. This week is one of those rare occasions. I’m not saying that I enjoy working at night but it does have its benefits. Take a look.

Truly beautiful, I love Coal Harbour. Now let’s try something new, it’s recipe time!!

Today’s recipe is Creamy Cajun Chicken Linguine, be forewarned, this isn’t health food. I like to make this on a rainy day or when it’s cold out, the heat is a little much for a hot day but you can adjust that to your own taste.

Things you will need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into cubes or small strips.
  • 2 ounces of linguine cooked al dente.
  • 1/4 cup of Cajun seasoning.   http://bbq.about.com/od/rubrecipes/r/bl90515b.htm
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  • 1 bunch thinly sliced green onions.
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream.
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. (not the stuff in a plastic can…) .

Toss chicken and seasoning in a mixing bowl until chicken is coated. In a large pan, preferably a deep frying pan, add the butter and sauté chicken over medium high heat until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat and add green onions, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper and heavy cream. Let simmer until cream starts to thicken and it is heated through. Add to pasta and toss with Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

If you like more heat you can add chili powder to the Cajun seasoning, and for the truly adventurous you can add chorizo sausage or shrimp or both. Hope you like it, it’s kind of a Louisiana twist on an Alfredo sauce. Not sure where I found this recipe but it’s awesome.

Scott