Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Old Spaghetti Factory- Downtown SD

275 5th Ave
San Diego, California 92101
(619) 233-4323

Impromptu birthday dinner with my friend, her sister and her aunts took me to dtsd.  It took almost half hour to get a parking spot but it turns out that I had pleeenty of time before we were going to be seated.  Since they dont take reservations by phone, we waited an hour to be seated.  Once seated, everything rolled pretty smoothly though.  In case you havent been before, every entree comes with a free non-alcoholic drink, side salad, bread and a cup of spumoni ice cream. In the words of the rapper Drake, we fancy huh?  We had to upgrade to the cheese bread.  Pretty good...cheesy for sure, I thought they could have gone a little longer in the crisper for more browner edges but that is my own personal quib.  

After much prompting, I opted for the Manager's Favorite option $9.99 where you pick two of the following sauces: meat, mushroom, white clam sauce, mizithra cheese w/ browned butter or marinara sauce.  I picked the mizithra and mushroom.  Guess I didnt feel meaty today.  They have a pretty right on marinara base for their sauce.  The mushrooms seemed more of an afterthought than a rich component in the sauce but still good either way.  I like that you can request gluten free or whole wheat pasta too--I opted for whole wheat.  The mizithra?  Here's my dos centavos on that.  Tasty, yes.  It has almost a chewy texture.  I think it is more the browned butter that gives such a nice base to the pasta dish though.  I wish they wouldnt let the two pastas mix sauces though....

Friend's garlic mizithra pasta $10.99.  It had the mizithra cheese, browned butter as well as garlic, bacon and sauteed mushrooms.  She always gets the mizithra pasta and said that she prefers that better than this.  I tried it and couldnt really taste the garlic.  I thought it was still decent but didnt seem that the other things really jazzed it up as much as the menu suggested.  Decent size portion.  

Small side of brocooli $2.95.  Prepared with the same mizithra cheese and browned butter (notice a theme?). Not overcooked, but I wasnt too impressed.  Seemed a little bland in my humble opinion.  

Lasagna vegetariano $9.99.  Cheese, alfredo sauce, artichokes, squash, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and marinara sauce.  Does anyone know why many places like to make alfredo sauce and marinara sauce the office mixture for veggie lasagna?  I dont like to mix sauces and certainly not alfredo and marinara.  They are like opposite sides of the coin in my book and I dont like them combined! Yes I feel that strongly about it.  

There were more entrees but I didnt get to take pics.  The cheese bread went over well.  The regular lasagna and chicken marsala had a thumbs down from one of the aunts.  The shrimp ravioli was well received and recommended for next time.  Spumoni of course was a winnerl.  We also ordered a slice of bday cake for us three bday girls.  Very strong coffee taste in their mocha ice cream cake...not a winner with me but other eaters loved it.   Overall I might come back but NOT on a saturday dinner night.  An hour wait?  it better be free if I have to wait that long for some food lol.  


  1. I love the Spaghetti Factory so much. I also didn't care too much for the garlic mizithra one, I like the plain old mizithra dish the best. And I usually hike it up to San Marcos so I don't have to fight for parking or wait an hour to eat. It's far, but it's worth it.

  2. I haven't been here since the new one opened. I remembered the long one hour waits...that's mainly why I haven't come back. I liked the food when I used to go, but I hated the wait time. I'll have to find a not-busy day to go.

  3. i had my 21st birthday there! gosh, eons ago! ha ha! that was back when going downtown was kind of scary. there was a parking lot across the street and homeless bums would be hanging out trying to ask for $$. one guy offered to put my $$ into this bog with numbered slots corresponding to your parking space. the gaslamp was not as developed in 1990.

    anyways, love their dish with the four types of sauces. especially the mizithra cheese - i miss that. makes me want to go back and try it for old time's sake.

  4. I ask the server to mix every sauce in the house and slather it over an extra-large portion of paster. It's great, trust me!