The Cuisine Scene
Old Spaghetti Factory
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
The Old Spaghetti Factory has
been a favorite of mine for many years. In the early eighties, when my
son was waiting for the train in Denver to take him to boot camp, we
had dinner at the Spaghetti Factory across the street from Union
Station. What a memorable evening. My son, leaving home to serve his
six-year term in the U.S. Navy. I was sad, yet proud, and could barely
eat for the lump in my throat.
We chose to have that special
dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory because it was my sons favorite
place and I loved it as well. Separate dining rooms, rich woods,
stained glass, and antiques from around the world make you feel as if
youre dining in a restored Victorian mansion, except at the Spaghetti
Factory you dont have to worry about using the wrong fork. With cushy
booths as well as tables, its casual, cozy, and the food is great.
Guss Dussin, the founder,
believed that a memorable dining experience shouldnt cost a lot of
money, so based on that theory, he opened the first Old Spaghetti
Factory in Portland, Oregon in 1969. Each dinner served then and now is
complete with choice of soup or salad, bread, spaghetti entree, coffee,
tea or milk, and dessert. His wife Sally furnished the restaurant with
items from garage sales.
While his first days tickets
grossed under two-hundred dollars, word spread, and by the end of the
first week, they were grossing around a thousand. By the end of the
first year, they had sales of almost a half-million.
Today, theyre an
international company serving over ten-million customers annually, and
each location is unique. Sally supervises the restaurants interior,
choosing restored antiques from their 25,000 square-foot warehouse.
They even have small amount of seating in a streetcar inside the
In 1997, Guss stepped down and turned the operation over to his son Chris.
Nearly everything in the meal
is made from scratch, using fresh ingredients. Their sauces are made
daily, and for pasta dishes, you have a choice of durum semolina, angel
hair, whole wheat or gluten-free.
I visited the Rancho Cucamonga
location on Foothill Boulevard Just a few blocks west of I-15N, and was
seated in a side room filled with colorred cloth booths, red-fringed
lampshades, antique sideboards against yellow walls trimmed with wood.
The dinner menu is loaded with
a variety of pasta dishes, from the Italian favorites such as lasagna,
ravioli, eggplant parmigiana, and salmon Tuscany, to assorted spaghetti
dishes served with a variety of sauces. Theres white clam sauce,
mushroom, meat sauce, meatballs and Italian sausage.
If youre like me and cant
decide, you can choose a combination. I had the Sicilian meatballs of
ground beef and pork seasoned with sage and garlic over angel hair
pasta and spaghetti with browned butter and Mizithra cheese. Outside of
the Spaghetti Factory, Id never eaten Mizithra cheese, but its one of
their most popular choices. Made from sheep or goats milk, the Greek
cheese is white and known for its creamy texture, with a flavor similar
My salad and freshly-baked crusty bread arrived with a side of soft, creamy butter.
They offer appetizers and more
salads, but unless Im with several people and we want to talk before
dinner, I pass and save room for dinner.
Mud pie, chocolate mousse
cake, and several other desserts are available, but spumoni or vanilla
ice cream comes with the meal. Spumoni is an Italian ice cream made
with layers, usually three, of different colors and flavors, usually
containing candied fruits and nuts.
Prices for the different
spaghettis range from $7.95 for the pasta with marinara sauce, to $9.95
for the rich meat sauce. A combination of two is also $9.95. Other
dishes range from $9.95 for the fettuccine Alfredo to $13.95 for salmon
The lunch menu runs a little
less and also offers three different sandwiches, sausage, meatball, and
Tuscan chicken, offered with your choice of soup or a salad. Prices are
between seven and eight dollars. Daily specials, at $7.65, include soup
or salad, and each day features a different special such as shrimp
newburg or chicken cacciatore. You could call ahead to see the special
for a certain day.
The also have a senior and a childrens menu.
11896 Foothill Blvd
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Mon-Fri: 11:30 am-2:00pm