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For a Little Lunch at “The Old Time Vincent’s”

After a doctor’s appointment (see next post) I was hungry and ready to eat. It was way too hot outside so I didn’t want to go far. I found The Old Time Vincent’s nearby.

From the outside it looks like a small shop that may or may not be open. I would have been pleased with a regular slice of pizza I didn’t need a whole meal. But as it turns out this is a restaurant specializing in seafood and classic style Italian fare. Pizza would not be in my view until dinnertime.

The menu has more than enough choices. There are chicken, fish, veal, and steak entrees. You can have any pasta style you desire served with any sauce you can think of. The prices are reasonable and on this quiet Friday afternoon there was only one other table occupied.

Since I wasn’t that hungry I was to share a dish with my mother. We agreed on spaghetti with sweet marinara sauce (you could select sweet, mild, or spicy) topped with fried shrimp. Easy right? Wrong. We were informed there is a five-dollar fee for sharing a meal. I did not take this news kindly. Instead of wasting money we went with a side Caesar salad for a similar price. Now I know how they make their money when the restaurant is slow.

When our food arrived I took one look at it and shot my mother a somewhat dirty look. The spaghetti had red sauce popped right in the middle and the food that appeared to be the fried shrimps seem small and like that hadn’t been cooked at all. I inquired about this and our waitress said that the shrimp is only breaded in flour before it is fried thus giving it this weird look.

I am a VERY picky shrimp eater. If there is any sort of fishy flavor, the breading comes off, or is too chewy I am all done with one bite that I will spit out.

However to my total surprise this was actually good. Actually it was better than good. After a few bites I actually kind of loved it. We had mixed it all together so it looked better but the taste was WAY better than it even looked. I have never been more pleasantly surprised with a meal in my life.

The Caesar salad was all right but I’ve had better. It could have easily been made from those bags of salad you get at the supermarket, open, and mix the ingredients together.

The Old Time Vincent’s – there is not a New Time Vincent’s in case you are wondering, I asked- has a sign out front reads: “from Little Italy to Long Island”. I guess that is supposed to be their credentials for quality assurance. Speaking of Long Island if you are familiar with the Garden City area you might know of Vincent’s Clam Bar. Previously I thought these two establishments were related but they are not. The similar sounding names are there only connection.

If a Little Italy experience is what you are after you should go to the San Gennaro festival that opens this week. They are celebrating their ninetieth year. It is certainly the best location for fun and food.

The only other Vinny’s Restaurant I have been to the one in Carroll Gardens ( and I have to say that The Old Time Vincent’s rains supreme out of the two.

I have visited Vinnie’s Pizza ( once and if pizza is what you wish for this is definitely the most creative way to eat it.

I can now say that I recommend that you go to The Old Time Vincent’s and as they as say: “get lost in the sauce”.

Be prepared to expect the unexpected.

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