Gluten free menu at restaurant in Whistler,
March 28, 2013
South Riding, VA
We had never eaten at an Old Spaghetti Factory, because they don't have them in our area of the U.S. So when we saw there was one in Whistler, we figured it would be a good time to try it out. After all, they offer a Gluten Free Menu. It's rather limited, but it gives you enough options for some variety: gluten free pasta with a choice of three GF sauces (tomato sauce, mushroom sauce, and mizithra cheese and brown butter), cheesy baked tomato chicken pasta, Red Thai curry with prawns or chicken, roasted garlic grilled chicken, or New York steak. All meals come with bread (although no GF bread is offered -- we brought a GF roll for our son), a salad with choice of homemade GF dressings, dessert (ice cream), tea of coffee. So it's a good value -- and a good place to take the family, especially in Whistler, where most places are quite expensive. Clearly, Old Spaghetti Factory brings in a lot of tourists and locals alike -- the place is big, and it was still packed, with a wait of about 20 minutes even with a reservation.
We wanted to sample most GF things on the menu, so we ordered 4 things to share. We chose the GF pasta with both the mushroom sauce and mizithra cheese and brown butter sauce on the side as one of our entrees. The GF pasta is quite white in color, clearly rice-based pasta. It was linguine, and it was cooked well -- not too mushy. But rather bland. My husband and I agreed it really needed sauce, but our son, who loves "plain pasta" with just parmesan cheese actually loved it and said it was the best GF past he's had. To each his own, I guess. I thought the two sauces were really good, especially the cheese and brown butter sauce which was so unique. I couldn't get enough of it. We also tried the cheesy baked tomato chicken pasta, which was such a nice -- and unique -- option to find. Most restaurants never offer baked GF dishes. It was quite good -- basically the same GF linguine mixed with tomato sauce and chicken breast and baked with melted cheese on top. The garlic chicken entree was fine -- good but nothing to write home about. Our fourth entree was a special request. We love pesto sauce and noticed it on the regular menu. We asked if it was gluten free -- and if we could order it with GF pasta, even though it wasn't on the GF menu. Our server checked with the chef, who confirmed the pesto was gluten free, so we ordered that and were pleasantly surprised with how good it was. There was another pasta entree on the "regular" menu, too, that we'd inquired about (pasta with scallops and shrimp and a tomato sauce), and the chef confirmed that could be done gluten free as well. So if you see anything on the main menu you're interested in, don't be shy about asking if they can do it gluten free.
Overall, our experience here was good. A lot of food and a good value. We were so full we didn't have room for the ice cream. It was nice to try their many offerings from the GF Menu, and my favorite was the pasta with cheese and browned butter -- and the pesto. It would have been fun to try the Red Thai Curry entree with prawns or chicken, but we were planning to have Indian food the next night!