June 22, 2008



Location: 631 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
Telephone: 604-254-5633

For over 50 years, the family-run NICK'S SPAGHETTI HOUSE has been serving pasta to East Vancouver and it has become somewhat of a local tradition. If you were looking for a cheap plate of big pasta, you go to NICK'S, you want a quick bite before or after the game, you go to NICK'S. We'll as many times as I've known people to go to NICK'S, I've never been myself, until last week when I thought, hey, let's give this sucker a try. We'll try I did and I was very disappointed.

I went with my wife and our friend and as soon as I opened the menu, my eyes bulged at the prices, steep, steep, steep. I was lead to believe that this was a place for big, cheap pasta. Well, it isn't cheap, none of it, the average plate of pasta will cost you around $17 or $18, not what I was expecting. I ordered the Spaghetti & Meatballs, my wife ordered the Baked Lasagna and Victoria ordered the BBQ Ribs & Beef Ravioli and after waiting for 20 minutes, the food arrived.

I was greeted with a plate of pasta that had two giant meatballs on it and it was surrounded with sauce but as soon as lifted my pasta to mix it, underneath was sloppy with water (bad pasta draining). The sauce itself was weak, lacking taste other than lots of salt. Michelle's Lasagna had gigantic blocks of ricotta tossed throughout it which gave this otherwise bland dish a very uneven texture and flavor. Vic's raviolis were basic and while the rib meat itself was tender, the BBQ sauce tasted like it came from a bottle. All in all, three disappointing meals.

For the price that we are paying, there was very little taste and not alot to eat. If you are expecting the giant portions of Anton's in Burnaby don't bother with NICK'S, you pay more for less. If the portion size was large, I could justify the price and if the flavor was fantastic I could justify the size unfortunately it all falls down. Perhaps it was an off night, I mean this place has been around for over half a century but after talking to a few folks, they too find it overpriced and flavorless. Too bad.

NICK'S SPAGHETTI HOUSE is one local tradition you don't need to partake in. High prices do not equal high quality.


rich johnson said...

I cooked there for a few years and I can back up what you are saying. The pasta is drained just fine. It's the horrible sauce. The ladies in the back add water to the sauce when they make it. And there is nothing anyone can do about it. They would kick your ass if you tried. I never wanted to mess with em. There was one Woman who was in her eighties, fell off her barn and broke her back. She came into work the next day and started lifting giant pots of sauce up from the cooler floor onto the stove.Tough as nails. They like to add that damn water to the sauce. So the water just drains through the pasta. If you go there late at night the sauce doesn't do that, because it has been sitting on the steam table all night evaporating.

The rib sauce is "Kraft" brand.

I love the people and have some fond memories working there but never did I feel as if I was cooking anything that tasted good. Just a lot of it, and fast.


Thanks for writing in Rich, I knew I'd tasted that BBQ sauce somewhere.