One summer, when I was in college, I worked as a hostess at The Old Spaghetti Factory in St. Louis for like 30 seconds. Really, it was more like a few weeks. And that was a few weeks too many.
The place didn't take reservations, so there was often an hour+ wait. The manager was a nut who refused to let the hostesses keep a list of available tables, so tables were always getting double-sat on busy evenings. Hostesses were responsible for getting together to-go orders, which meant venturing into the steamy kitchen. Rats...big river rats...lived under the infamous trolley car.
Like I imagine with so many restaurants, once you work there you never want to eat there again. And that's what happened with The Spaghetti Factory. Employees could eat for free before their shift, so I had my lifetime supply of the Pot Pourri, "A sampler of Browned Butter & Mizithra Cheese, Meat, Clam, and Marinara Sauces."
I haven't eaten there in well over ten-years. In fact, the last time I ate there was the night Sarah & I got looped up on red wine with dinner before getting our tattoos. For some reason, other than the tattoos, I've been thinking about that place recently. After foraging in my kitchen for dinner tonight, I decided to pay homage to OSF with some spaghetti & browned butter with grated ricotta salata...mostly because I have the cheese in my fridge I am curious about what to do with it.
And now I feel like puking.
I think I burned the butter, instead of lightly browning it. And the cheese is so dry. Thank god I have an entire bottle of cabernet to keep my palate moist!