Restaurant of the Week: Vince’s Spaghetti, RC

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Vince’s Spaghetti, 8241 Foothill Blvd. (at San Bernardino Road), Rancho Cucamonga

While I prefer the Holt Boulevard Vince’s in Ontario for history, as it’s been there since 1945, the location in Rancho Cucamonga, known as the Route 66 Vince’s, is closer to the newspaper, and thus more convenient at lunchtime.

By this point the upstart, in operation since 1984, is starting to feel historic too. The high-backed wooden booths are private and some are capped by the top of a wine barrel, stamped name faded but visible.

The food, of course, is the same. The In-N-Out of pasta, Vince’s has six menu items, and I don’t know that anyone orders one of them, Victoria’s antipasto salad. Actually, this Vince’s has a dinner item known as mostasagna, a combination mostaccioli and lasagna, unique to this location.

On a recent visit, a friend had his standby, a half-order of spaghetti with meat sauce ($8), which comes with soup or salad and bread, either garlic or cheese. Having been there fairly recently for spaghetti, I plowed new territory and finally tried the french dip ($7) with soup.

Have you had the Vince’s french dip? That was the main item when Vince’s opened as a six-stool dip stand. As a history on the website says, “If Frank Cuccia’s uncle hadn’t eaten a plate of his grandmother’s spaghetti in front of the customers, Vince’s Restaurant might still be a French Dip Stand.”

The sandwich turned out to be tender and delicious, even better when dipped in the au jus. I began wondering if they don’t put a little extra care into the dips simply because it’s more of a specialty item. In any event, while I dote on the pasta, the french dip may be Vince’s secret weapon. Why, it might almost be the “revelation in taste” the menu quaintly promises about the cheese bread.

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  • Jim

    Vince’s is definitely a multi generation tradition with so many families. In many ways, it’s the Inland’s version of LA’s Philippe’s or Original Pantry. If not in menu, certainly in comfort and familiarity.

    Oh and the dinners are served with soup AND salad.

  • http://dailybulletin.com Kent

    I LOVE Vince’s Spaghetti!

  • shirley wofford

    When a family-operated business can continue to exist with all of these chain restaurants around, it is amazing. The chain restaurants do not serve spaghetti that is equal to Vince’s or like the former Antonio’s. Antonio’s, which was also a family-operated restaurant just a few blocks west of Vince’s, was a worthy competitor of Vince’s. I was sad when they sold, and would be so too, if Vince’s ever left.

    [You'd have a lot of company, Shirley. -- DA]

  • Karen Rosenthal

    I had the mostasagna last month. It was delicious. It was a huge serving
    of densely layered mostaccioli, meat sauce and cheeses. Too large to eat
    in one sitting, I took two-thirds of it home to finish it off in two
    more meals. It was served with a side of Vince’s great tomato sauce.

    [I'm going to have to try me some mostasagna. -- DA]

  • Andy

    Wasn’t there a Vince’s location in Eagle Rock on Eagle Rock Blvd. near York / Verdugo in the 80s? I remember eating there and receiving a pack of Vince’s spaghetti playing cards.

    [I'm not aware of our Vince's ever roaming that far west but am open to being corrected. -- DA]

  • Randy Potter

    How could I ever forget Vince’s!

    I’ve never been to the RC one but growing up my family went to the one on Holt many times. It was a great place! It was a place my dad could go…invite my sister and brother in law…their 4 kids and be proud of the excellent meal he was treating everyone to.

    The food was excellent. The atmosphere was fun, relaxed and everyone there had a good time. Many times we had to wait in their outside area as the inside waiting place was only a cushioned bench in back of the eating bar. We never minded waiting…it was a time we talked, joked around and met other people. Everyone was in the same frame of mind and seemed to know that his was truly a special place.

    I remember seeing large cuts of cooked beef hanging there while they shaved the beef for their sauce. It wasn’t hamburger! You could tell by the texture of the beef in the sauce.

    Later, while I was in high school my friend Tom and I would pool our resources…hoping we could come up with the $3 needed to get the “special for two.” We would take it back to my house and enjoy the spaghetti, garlic bread and salad. We were stuffed.

    Every experience there was perfect. Lots of talking, laughing and fantastic servers. There was a house on the property in the back area…we were always told it was where the family lived who owned the restaurant. Never did see anyone going in or coming out of there.

    I moved away to Washington in 1978. I went back to visit in 2000 and one of my main places to visit was Vince’s. My daughter and I had the special for two. It was everything I remember. The place looked and smelled just as it had in the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s. I hope it will never change…what a great place for families. My dad was treated so well there…truly a place where everyone was really welcome.

  • Charles Bentley

    GREETINGS:

    In response to Andy’s question, no, I don’t believe there ever was a Vince’s in Eagle Rock, at least not one with connections to the local establishments. As I know it, “official” Vince’s locations include current operations in Ontario (original), Rancho Cucamonga and Temecula. (There is another in Torrance, but it’s not directly affiliated with the other three.) Former Vince’s locations include Ventura, Glendora and Redlands.

    I can say I have dined at every one, past and present, except the former Ventura restaurant; I did pass by it once, but never got the chance to eat there. I’ve even been to the Torrance location. If there are others — ones with ties to the original, close or otherwise — I’d love to learn about them.

  • Scott in RC

    Hi David,

    We usually go there two to three times a month for a take-out meal on the way home from work.

    They recently remodeled the bar/take-out area to include a pictorial history of the Cuccia family, from old pictures of the family visits to Italy to local beach vacations to employee pictures. They also show old pictures of people working in the restaurant and some Christmas party pics. Kind of nice to check out and piece together some Vince’s history while waiting for your food to go.

    BTW- Love their french dip as a change of pace.

  • Andy

    I too recall going to a Vince’s sphaghetti in Eagle Rock. I even had a set of the Vince’s playing cards which I eventually threw out in the late 90′s.