The Old Spaghetti Factory
110 East Santa Fe
Fullerton, Calif. 92832
This restaurant is located next to the Amtrak station for Fullerton. The building where the restaurant is located was once the Orange County depot for the Union Pacific Railroad. The building was built in 1923. It is quite large; cavernous is only a slight exaggeration.
I was dinning alone as I had just dropped off my son at the Fullerton Junior College and he would not be done with his class for a few hours. I was yearning for lasagna. Our family had attended the Spaghetti Factory in Riverside quite often, so I knew exactly what to expect as this is quite a large well thought out restaurant chain. I arrived at 7PM and was seated immediately. I had asked for a quiet place to read while I had dinner. I was shown to one of my favorite locations in the restaurant, a row of booths. Each booth one cannot see over but only across and down the isle as these booths have backs and sidewalls that goes up quite high.
The table did not tilt. The table edge had a gentle roundness, which was nice. The place is done in dark wood, high ceilings, muted lighting. The lights all seemed to be quite warm, orange look, a low Kelvin temperature and low intensity.
The menu was very reasonable in cost and the offerings were not that diverse, pasta and chicken variations. The most expensive item on the menu was from the “Factory Platters’ called “The Premier”. This was a lasagna and Chicken Marsala for $11.45. I think the typical cost was around $9.
I ordered the lasagna and chose soup instead of salad. Soup or salad comes with the meal as well as a small loaf of bread. The bread arrived after the soup, not to my liking. The loaf of bread was as long as the tip of my thumb and pinky extended as far apart as I could extend them away from one another. I have large hands. There was plenty of bread for two people. It was sour dough, quite nice flavor.
The soup, minestrone, was full of vegetables, cup size, not too hot, a bit under temperature. The taste was just ever so slightly salty, and had good flavor.
The lasagna was quite nice, topped with a rich tomato sauce upon which I took the table Parmesan shaker and lambasted the dish like a snow storm until I could not see the previous red sauce upon my lasagna but a white thin covering. I like Parmesan on my lasagna because there is another wonderful flavor to enjoy. The lasagna was tasty, not compacted but broke apart nicely. I love Ricotta cheese in my lasagna but I could not taste any. Funny thing, I normally would immediately notice if Ricotta was missing from lasagna but this dish did not make me think of this missing element. I guess I was so pleased, that I did not notice any deficiency.
The whole restaurant seemed to offer good handicapped access. The restrooms seemed to be handicapped friendly, quite spacious. One stall was large and had the handrails. There was even a baby-changing device in the men’s restroom, a pull out table hanging from the wall.
My first complaint was that a refill for my iced tea was not offered until I asked for the bill. My second complaint was I was offered desert but I forgot that it was included in the meal. It would have been nice for my server to remind me of that fact. It was my mistake as this fact is printed in the menu, but still a minor detraction from the total score.
The ticket showed I owed $11.80 for the meal. That should be $10.95 for the meal, which includes the soup, bread, main dish and drink. The tax came to $.85 for a total of $11.80. I put a tip on the table, which raised the cost a bit. Take note that most restaurants charge a lot more for drinks on top of the main dish. I found it remarkable that the beverage (coffee, tea, iced tea, or milk) is included in the price when you order a complete meal.
This place is comfortable and interesting to approach, enter into and through and sit to dine. It was enjoyable for me because I could be alone, read a book and enjoy a good tasting meal. I was not rushed. It meal was very reasonable in price.