The attraction may be the complete meal of salad, bread, spaghetti entree, beverage and dessert for a decent price or that almost everything is made on-site, from scratch, with fresh ingredients. Or it could even be the locations, often in historic buildings. Whatever the draw, Nancy and husband Jim Nestler, a Walla Walla University professor of biology, love The Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant so much they have visited the more than 40 OSF restaurants around the United States and seven or so "unofficial" ones in Canada.
This summer, they were guests of honor at the opening of a new one in Tukwila, Wash. Their travels were included OSF's newsletter The Garlic Press.
"My wife, Nancy, and I were delighted to be at the grand opening in Tukwila June 29. What a wonderful honor! Kirk Michael and the rest of the OSF folks treated us like royalty," Jim said in The Garlic Press.
The pair began visiting Old Spaghetti Factories in the early 1980s. In 1991 they decided to try and visit all of them, because they enjoy the food, atmosphere and people.
"And our journeys have allowed us to visit parts of the country we might not have visited otherwise. Why else would we go to Minneapolis, Fresno, or Phoenix?"
They say The Old Spaghetti Factory has broadened their horizons and helped them plan their vacations.
Their most fun trip was in 1995 when they drove from Walla Walla to St. Louis to surprise two of Jim's students who were getting married. On that trip they visited the restaurants in Kansas City, St. Louis and Minneapolis in four days. "What a great road trip. We also enjoyed a 1996 Thanksgiving three-day trip to Indianapolis, Louisville and Cincinnati."
It's hard for the couple to nail down their favorite OSF, Jim said.
"Oh boy, that's a tricky one. You might as well ask me which kidney is my favorite." They liked talking with the employees in Chesterfield, Mo., "and keeping them from doing their jobs." Eating at the OSF and going to a Seattle Seahawks game in St. Louis were highlights.
The OSF in Atlanta is built in a mansion with beautiful staircases, Jim said.
The river view from the Nashville location is particularly memorable. "We might be slightly biased since we're Washingtonians, but we also love the Seattle location, right by the waterfront. But they're all wonderful."
Jim's Web site tells about his OSF visits at www.people.wallawalla.edu/~jim.nestler/nestler_osf.html .