603 Douglas St.,
The rustic flavour of the Old Spaghetti Factory is one of the main draws for some tourists. But for locals, you either love it or hate it.
Originally started in Portland, Oregon, the chain became popular and expanded to all ports at sea. For those people coming out of the Victoria bus depot or the Coho ferry, this restaurant may very well be the first place people can go to have a fast meal before heading off to other destinations unknown.
I had the Spaghetti with Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese ($11.25). Out of the various dishes I ate here past and present, this one can easily turn any cheese lover into a Homer Simpson. I discovered a new flavour to go “mmmm” over. The sharp, creamy tanginess of the Mizithra really made this dish stand out, and it’s grated over simple pasta that’s served al dente.
The meal was almost filling with with a baked french onion soup as a side ($2.25). But I have tasted this soup before with croutons and there wasn’t any here. Instead of hot, the soup was warm by the time it was served. There was far too much broth, the beef stock was too strong, and the crisped cheese topping just didn’t have the same punch.
And desert didn’t even floor me. One type of ice cream offered here is spumoni, and it’s traditionally made with chocolate, pistachio, whipped cream, and mixed with candied nuts and fruits. I tasted none and reluctantly finished off the mostly chocolate serving. I think I got the bottom of the barrel and whoever spooned out this request did not bother to think of opening up a new tub when all he found was just chocolate left. I do enjoy this flavour, but I found this place’s cocoa offering to be very rich.
While the party I was with got a more balanced scoop, I looked around to complain, but no one was around. I was almost tempted to shout out loud where’d all the pistachio go?
The factory may be a long-time stable for some harbour seals to float over to, I will simply pass by it next time. Instead, I’ll be harping over to Roger’s Chocolates Soda Shoppe for their creamy delights instead. Their cherry cola soda with whipped cream is to die for.
2½ Blokes out of 5