We found ourselves wanting comfort food last Thursday, on a blustery California night. Headed down to Newport and Spaghetti Bender, and weren't disappointed. This place has been there since the 1960's--Lauren remembers dining here as a young boy. Here's what we love about it these days: the atmosphere is cozy, warm, candlelit and red checkered tablecloth authentic. We ALWAYS get the full dinner, and here's why: it includes great garlic bread, unlimited yummy minestrone in a big pot that yields several bowls... and the finest salad imagineable, with plenty to spare family style. The salad dressing is special, and the capers, garbanzos, avocado and tomatoes really shine. We're usually almost full before the main course arrives, and full with healthy veggies. Lauren likes to try the various specials (Rigatoni was great) and Laura loves the half spaghetti/meat ravioli with marinara and mushrooms added. We usually take home two substantial lunch portions. Dinner for two, without wine (which is reasonable when we choose it), under $50 with tip... and really more like 4 or even 5 meals. Service is always good, parking pretty easy. Worth the trip and good value if you are in Orange County, especially near the water.
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