Before I found out I couldn’t have gluten, one of my favourite meals was a heaping plate of rich, flavourful pasta, washed down with a pint of beer. Spaghetti, rotini, penne, it was all good! When my diagnosis put an end to that, I started experimenting at home. But I’m a lazy chef, and missed having someone else make pasta for me. I didn’t have to miss it for long! The Old Spaghetti Factory has gluten free options that have resurrected my love of pasta-filled nights out.
Gluten Free Options at Old Spaghetti Factory:
The green salad: This might seem like an obvious one, but lots of restaurants hide gluten in salads with things like croutons and dressings that contain gluten. At Old Spaghetti Factory, the ranch, 1000 island, and house-made Italian dressings are gluten free. The Italian dressing is tangy and bold, so I highly recommend it!
The pasta: The gluten free pasta option is corn penne, cooked slightly al dente. I’m a fan of corn pasta, because it tends to be lighter and less chewy than many rice pastas. This pasta can be ordered with the following gluten free sauces:
- Mushroom sauce
- Mizithra cheese
- Cheesy baked tomato chicken pasta
- Seafood alfredo
- Red Thai curry
- Seafood marinara
I usually get the “Manager’s Favourite,” which is two different sauces over a plate of pasta. My most-ordered combination is mushroom sauce and mizithra cheese. The button mushrooms are tender, and the mizithra cheese is salty and rich. If I’m feeling a bit fancy, my other go-to gluten free dish is the red Thai curry with chicken or prawns.
The grilled meat: If you’re in the mood for something hot off the grill, Old Spaghetti Factory has that covered too. They offer steak or lemon garlic chicken breast. Just make sure to specify it’s the gluten free option, because both come served on a bed of pasta.
The ice cream: You’re never too old to enjoy ice cream! Old Spaghetti Factory’s signature spumoni is gluten free, so go ahead and indulge.
The drinks: Although beer is an off-limits menu item, they have an extensive array of beverages that are safe for thirsty gluten intolerant people.
What to Watch Out For:
The soup: All the meals include either soup or salad as a starter, but the soup is not gluten free. Stick with the green salad to be safe.
The caesar salad: It might be tempting to order a caesar salad without croutons as a starter, but unfortunately, the caesar dressing is also not gluten free.
The meat sauce: Both the regular meat sauce and the spicy meat sauce contain gluten. If you’re feeling carnivorous, I recommend ordering chicken pasta.
The free bread: Each table is served a loaf of warm sourdough bread with butter. It looks delicious, it smells delicious, but it’s absolutely 100% not gluten free! I just enjoy it vicariously through my table mates.
No matter how many times I’ve gone to Old Spaghetti Factory, I never cease to be impressed at how careful the staff is when it comes to gluten free. They always verify that gluten free requests are due to an allergy, and let you know if the gluten free dish will take longer than their normal service time. Once, the manager even came out to assure me that they would take every precaution to avoid cross contamination! This level of care ensures I’ll always be back for more.
In some ways, stepping into the Old Spaghetti Factory is like stepping back in time. This is especially appropriate in New Westminster, with its abundance of heritage buildings and status as the oldest city in Western Canada. Stained glass, polished wood, and deep red carpets create an atmosphere of cozy antiquity. If you’re lucky, your table might even be located in the refurbished trolley car in the middle of the restaurant!
Old Spaghetti Factory is known for their all-inclusive meals. When the menu says “It’s all included,” they mean it. The price of the pasta includes a salad starter, your main course, ice cream for dessert, and tea or coffee. (As well as bread for your gluten-eating companions.) It’s great value for gluten free people on a budget.
The Old Spaghetti Factory is a fun, casual place to enjoy a consistently good gluten free meal. They have gluten free options to suit a wide variety of tastes, they’re careful and knowledgeable, and you’ll always leave full and satisfied.
Happy spaghetti twirling!
If this is your business and your gluten free options have changed, please let me know! My goal is to provide the most up to date information on New Westminster’s gluten free choices.