A Few Weird, Wonderful, and Grotesque Memories from the Old Spaghetti Factory

Comments

1
I am not ashamed to confess my love of OSF. I grew up in a family that was as rube as could be when it came to dining and OSF was one of the most interesting places their wonder bread pallets could endure. In my mind it was super duper fancy and getting to go to one was an occasion. I used to seek them out in motel phone books when we were on road trips so we wouldn't have to eat Arby's AGAIN. When we were really little it was especially thrilling to get to sit inside one of the cabooses. I once met guy who restored those things for OSF and I lauded him for all the enchantment he had bestowed on kids like me.

Thanks for the memories, OSF.
2
My mom moved us to Seattle when she divorced my dad. I was 11. She took us out to the OSF as often as she could afford it. It had always been a treat for us when we lived in Spokane, and it gave us a taste of home. While we were waiting for a table, my brother and sister and I would go out to the railroad tracks next to the restaurant and set pennies on the rails. During dinner, a train or two would go by. After dinner, we'd go out and look over the tracks and find our squashed-beyond-recognition pennies - souvenirs of a night out.
3
20 years ago, in the middle of August, I had gone to the OSF for dinner with my girlfriend. They couldn't seat us in the dining room right away (of course), so we got a table in the lounge, ordered wine and our dinner. After we'd started the second bottle of wine, my girlfriend turned to me and said "You know I'd marry you if you asked me." If I hadn't been thinking the same thing, I suppose that would have been scary.

"Okay, so marry me," I said.

"You can't ask me now, you're drunk!" was her reply.

We've been married for those 20 years, and now we have to be sure and have dinner there just one more time before it goes away.
4
OSF was an occasional treat when we would visit Seattle or Tacoma. We had dinner at the Seattle location for my 13th birthday, I ordered a larger meal and made myself sick eating the whole thing after the waiter egged me on. I think he felt bad afterwards, but I enjoyed it.
5
Also I never want to eat dinner with Tobias or his friends.
6
Working as a prep cook at The Spag I had some of the best conversations about life, love, cars, people and more. Rolling 50 lbs of meatballs provides alot of time for a white boy from the country to make friends with the staff who came from all parts of life. Andreas, Alphonso, Rob, and the lady who brought tamales that I swear where made from cat meat will never be forgotten!
7
Oh, the nostalgia of the Old Spaghetti Factory - we first went there probably 30 years ago, on a family trip to the big city of Seattle. The food was not memorable, but decent, but sitting in the trolley car - now *that* was a coup! I've been there numerous times, even as an adult (and, yes, as Sean said, it still makes you feel like a kid), and the most ridiculous memory is going there in college with my aunts, uncle, and grandparents. As we were waiting to be seated a rather large woman passed in front of us as she was leaving, and my grandmother made a not-so-quiet and quite rude remark, I believe something along the lines of, "well, she certainly doesn't need any more pasta." It sadly solidified my adult view of my grandmother, but never ruined the perfect nostalgia OSG always provided. And the moment was completely ridiculous, as horrified as I was. Thank you, Old Spaghetti Factory, I never got to sit in the trolley as often as I wanted to, but I will always remember it.
8
On a trip to Sacramento to visit my great uncle, he took my poor hippie family out to the OSF. I don't remember the endless bread or the spaghetti or really anything except for that my uncle told me that spumoni ice cream was controlled by the mafia and that's why you couldn't find it at grocery stores, only Italian restaurants. I had no reason to doubt him, and somehow went on believing this until college, when I shared this important information with a friend while ice cream shopping. He proceeded to sit on the floor in the freezer section and laugh and laugh and laugh. I've still never seen spumoni at a grocery store, though.
9
Rachel Kessler - after years of resentment and bitterness towards the OSF (bad meal, bad deal in Oregon) i now understand it and want to like it again. i always did. never did step in the seattle one. sounds like it was a nice place to chow down with your family.
11
Only you could write a Spag-Fag time-travel piece as vapid as this heap of tripe. Why would any reader care that you were so light-weight you tripped-out at the Spag'?
Were you twelve years old, or are writing as if?
Jeez.
12
@5 I can make that not happen for you.
13
I took my very young daughter to OSG after a summer-day visit to the sculpture park. When we were done she desperately needed to go potty so I took her to the men's room with me. The one stall there was a hideous wonderland: someone had somehow sprayed diarrhea across three walls of the stall, as if from Hell's own water gun, and it was running down the walls in brown ooze. We looked at it for a moment and my kid asked, "What's that?" and I said, "Someone had an accident. Can you hold it until we get home?"

"Yes," she said. We never went back.
14
We moved (back) to Seattle when I was 6. I think we went to OSF for my 7th birthday, and several thereafter. I LOVED IT. That was a little over 40 years ago. To say I "frequent" the Old Spaghetti Factory would be unfair to my friends and relatives who really do go there almost regularly, but it is in heavy rotation when my family get together, or is that "gets together"? Anyway. I love OSF. I look for it when I travel, just last month when in Vancouver BC for the women's world cup soccer finals we -almost- went there. And I was sorry that we didn't.

I hope a downtown location for OSF is resurrected after whatever happens happens with the building. It's family-friendly, and affordable, and par food. That's a winning recipe, in my book; a lifesaver for a big family with small children.

Meanwhile, I'll start frequenting it more, while I can.
15
I remember going to OSF when I was in college. A plate of Spaghetti with marinara was around $5. $5! That was for a salad, bread, entree, drink, and dessert. Sure, it wasn't gourmet, but it always left everybody satisfied. And for a buck or two more than a meal at McDonald's, it was and is a great value.

Also the owners deserve a lot of credit for opening restaurants in the city when it wasn't popular. They singlehandedly kept some life in an area of Tacoma that was basically dead. That matters.
16
This place is and always has been a shining beacon of shitty mediocrity in a city with so many great options. Yes there are the memories and it is a landmark for some damn reason, but fuck it, I'm glad it's closing. It had all the charm of a airport Denny's and the high quality and sanitation of the Hurricane, with none of the good points of either. The bar was terrible and it was always packed with uninteresting people... Ok that's harsh but the people watching was as exciting as the food. For once a old building is being torn down and a shitty steal and glass box o' condos is going up and it feels like progress.