The Old Spaghetti Factory, Downtown Nashville, TN
The Old Spaghetti Factory is a family owned and operated restaurant that opened it’s first location in Portland Oregon in 1969. If you’re looking for a unique experience in downtown Nashville, but don’t want to spend a fortune on food, this might be the best place to go! And don’t worry, the food is great!
As soon as you walk into this restaurant you’ll notice the decor. It has a feel of an old Victorian Era Mansion including Victorian Antiques (I didn’t inspect them, they could be knock-offs) and Tiffany lamps. As you walk onto the eating floor the atmosphere remains the same until you get to the rear of this HUGE eatery.As you walk the place transforms to look more like a street with a trolley car in the middle of it. On reading their website I found that all of their restaurants have a trolley in them. We happened to be seated inside the trolley (which, by the way, is perfect if you have a kid).
The lighting is fairly dim, so if you have trouble seeing in the dark this may be a strain for you. However, if you’re looking for atmosphere this could be perfect. This place is teeming with it. We ate there for lunch around 1:00, so slightly after the big lunch rush, but this was also on a Saturday and we had our table within 15 minutes.
Sitting in the trolley gave the impression of an eating car in an old passenger train. Our kid (toddler) loved it, of course and spent the first few minutes excitedly jabbering about the train he was in. Again the lighting was dim, but I felt like it helped to isolate us for the other tables around us and allowed us to eat as a family with little outside interference.
The serving staff was polite, but not exactly cordial. They speak to you much the way you would expect someone to speak to you if you met them on the street. They just bring you food while the talk to you. They kept the table clean and our drinks filled and chatted a bit, but not enough to become a nuisance.
It took only a couple minutes for them to bring out salads for my wife and I and a bowl of applesauce for the young one. By the time we finished eating it our food was there. The whole process of being seated, ordering and getting our entree’ took about 40 minutes. In my opinion that’s not bad considering they were barely on the back end of the lunch rush.
The food here was spectacular. The bread was baked fresh, the sauce for my lasagna and my wife’s alfredo were both made in house, and you could tell by taste! These people claim they are the masters of spaghetti, and their marinara sauce backs up the story! Neither of us could quite finish off the dishes, but we tried our hardest and it was enough to make me not want to walk the 5 blocks back to the parking garage.
The kid was another story. You have to understand that, like all two year olds, our child is a terror when it comes to eating. He is picky in a way that no one else can understand so taking him to a restaurant is always a crap shoot as to if he’ll actually eat. He ate his spaghetti. Wow did he eat it. You can read about that experience here. He ate almost his entire plate (a lot for this child) and nodded and mumbled yes when asked if he liked it.
All in all it was a decent experience. The final bill was around $50 and, considering that included a bourbon and diet for ol’ dad, for the area that’s not a bad bill at all for a family of three. The serving staff was friendly and the atmosphere is great for a family or a date. I fully recommend this restaurant to anyone in the Nashville area looking for something delicious to eat and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
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