The seasonal student population of Queen’s, St. Lawrence and RMC has been departing over the past few weeks, and the impact has been noticeable in the area between the institutions, specifically the downtown strip. We’ve noticed signs in various storefronts announcing reduced hours until the tourist traffic picks up, while other ghetto-centric eateries have closed up shop entirely until the return of our young scholars in September. This trend was noted on my recent culinary adventure to Spaghetti is Ready, a relatively new Italian resto on the corner of Division and Queen.
The restaurant sits on a once faded corner that was home to Papa Pete’s pizzeria, and more recently, the purveyor of deep fried buckets of chicken known as Dixie Lee. Thankfully, Spaghetti is Ready has breathed new life into the location, and it is developing into a simple restaurant on the fringe of the hub. Their menu is a good size thanks to the availability of a variety of types of fresh pasta and sauces, which diners can combine to suit their individual cravings. Although they didn’t have any penne when I visited, I “settled” on linguine, which was topped off with a generous helping of sausage, peppers and tomato sauce. My fork didn’t stop until my bowl was left with only a few smears of sauce.
As mentioned, the restaurant was quite empty during the dinner hour, which our server attributed to the lack of Queen’s students, however a few scholars clad in Lulu Lemon and key lanyards stopped by to pick up take out while I was there. On that note, our server remarked that they do so much take out business that they’re considering offering pre-made meals, which will be ready for pick up during meal hours. This may spell more business down the road for Spaghetti is Ready, but it may not make for an overly intimate or sophisticated dining experience.
Spaghetti is Ready specializes in fresh pasta meals that are fairly priced. The quaint resto is centrally located, but parking is an issue, especially if you are hoping to park on the same block. I found it a bit hard to relax with the traffic coming in and out, as well as the kitchen staff who kept making surprise appearances behind the bar. Not to knock the experience, but next time around, I think I’ll borrow a page from the other patrons and take my meal to go. Be sure to check this place out before it is swarming with students!