Food for thought: Oodles of noodles hidden Artisan's Alley gem

Header image for the article Food for thought: Oodles of noodles hidden Artisan's Alley gem
Here in London, Ontario, there comes a time every now and then when we stumble (not on the Internet) upon a hidden gem within the alleyways of the city. In the decades that have passed since the time of our parents and their parents, the downtown and even the entire city has undergone facelift after facelift. One place, however, has stood the test of time and remains active to this day; serving customers in the same friendly manner that greeted patrons 30 years ago. I speak, of course, about Spageddy Eddy's.

With the end of the year upon us, and exam stress in full swing, it's nice to take a moment to appreciate one of the finer things this city has to offer. If you happen to be from out of town, this is an excellent way to take in part of London's history while enjoying a wonderful meal. Nestled in what is known as Artisan's Alley, Spageddy Eddy's is located right in the heart of downtown, yet I'm sure many of you have never heard of it or even seen it.

If you take a stroll down Richmond Street heading north just past Dundas (on the east side of the street), you'll notice Bob Burke Jewellery. Right beside this store stand large iron gates with the words "Artisan's Alley" written above. This gate stands as a sentry, almost guarding the walkway that leads into an area most avoid: the back alleyways.

Be brave, take those first few steps and walk onward! If you keep your head up, you'll notice a door near the back of the alley propped ajar with a large "Open" sign fixed to it. Pass the graffiti on the walls and head to it. Open the door and you'll be greeted with a dimly lit stairway leading down, let your eyes adjust and descend.

The first thing you'll notice is the strong aroma of freshly made savoury sauces and pasta wafting up. If you feel yourself begin to drool, just go with it — this is a natural and expected reaction. Once at the bottom of the small flight of stairs, you'll be greeted by a friendly, helpful waitress/hostess who will lead you to a seat. At this point, take a look around and appreciate the many, many things to look at. The restaurant is literally littered (in the nicest possible way) with bits of memorabilia of the past. Items from London's history and just things from "back in the day" make it a really cozy experience. It doesn't leave anyone with a lack of conversation topics and keeps things interesting.

So you're settled at your table and it's time to scan over the menu and see what this place has to offer! I always smile when I go as the menus are laminated within a vintage record sleeve and it's always a treat to see which "record" you'll be handed. As for the menu, they offer lunch and dinner prices depending on when you choose to visit; the dinner prices are more expensive, but you do get a bigger portion.

Jess and I went for dinner, and she got the chicken Parmesan and I got the seafood fettuccini. The portions are to die for and you'll see for yourself when you're handed a large, large bowl filled with delicious pasta and in-house made sauce. Complimentary bread comes with the meal and is placed in a basket that lowers from above on a pulley system.

As for drinks, Eddy's is licensed so you can get a variety of alcoholic beverages as well as a selection of soda. Soda is served in a mason jar with a straw. To top off the meal, with the bill you get a piece of Dubble Bubble chewing gum, which is a surprise and a treat compared to the standard mint at most places.

Spageddy Eddy's is an amazing experience that everyone in London has to try at least once. The atmosphere is truly unique and never leaves you disappointed. The prices aren't the cheapest, but it's well worth it for the quality of the food. The service is quick and reliable, though if you arrive on a busier night, be prepared to wait for a table — it's completely worth it. It goes to show you that some things can stand the test of time in this city and Spageddy Eddy's is one of those things. Check it out, I promise; you'll never leave hungry!

Quality: 4.7/5
Staff: 3.9/5
Affordability: 3.9/5
Atmosphere: 5/5
Total: 17.5/20

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