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Family Platter Linguine Frutti di Mare

Chain Italian Restaurant

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Buca di Schleppo--Over Priced--Over Rated--Over Here

  • Jan 18, 2010
  • by
Pros: Food is decent.

Cons: Over priced, over rated, poor service, nasty attitude from majority of wait staff

The Bottom Line: I'm looking for the button next to recommend that reads--not only no but---"HELL NO!"

SERVICE----1 Star

Sorry guys, but in all honesty--lying to the customer is no way to placate them. Admittedly we showed up at a busy time, and telling the customers that 40 minutes is the expected wait time is acceptable--especially when the customers are ammenable to the wait time. We told them we'd be happy to wait and we went to the bar to entertain ourselves, and wait.

After 35 minutes I went to the front to check on our wait time as 40 minutes was fast approaching, and I hoped we would get lucky, but was prepared to wait a while longer if the answer was "No." The hostess looked at me and let out a deep throated sigh and I was immediately greeted by a rather snarky--"We're doing the best we can!" , before I even had a chance to ask. The other hostess was  taken aback as much as I was by the tone of the other's voice, and told me--"It'll just be a bit longer as there are only 3 parties in front of you."

I went back to the bar, and my wife and I ordered another round, and continued to have an entertaining talk, as it had been a while since we had gone out on the town by ourselves. In the meantime, another half hour passed, and three parties had been called from the bar. When the fourth one was called I again went to the hostess, where they pretended to ignore the fact that they had told me there were three parties in front of us. (while they quickly sat another) and I was once again greeted with a, "We're doing the best we can!", and I told them I didn't mind the routine as I was familiar with busy restaurants, but I did ming getting lied to." Two other parties that had been waiting as long as us--(funny parties of two are obviously not welcomed at this establishment)--walked out. They hurried a bus boy into the bar and wiped off a grimy table in a booth and sat us down with yet another snarky---"We know you guys are in a hurry so this will have to do." (We should have left right then and there.)

--3 Stars

After 10 years in Boston--with weekly trips to The North End, and several monthly trips to Federal Hill in Providence, I'd say I know my Italian Food. Oh yeah--let's not forget the occasional trip to New York City and a drop by into Lunas. Geez there's a beat up little diner type place across from symphony hall in Boston that serves what they call "Spaghetti and Meat Cakes " for $5 a plate that blows the doors off of what these clowns call Spaghettti and Meat Balls. Hell my first wife was from The Peroni Clan, and my big nose and moustache have me looking like Mario for a reason. As a person who has had to make a living in the food business while attending music school I learned a lot. This stuff  at Puke of the Hippo---I mean Buca di Beppo is passable--but it sure as hell ain't the 5 star Italian Cuisine they'd like you to believe it is.

The garlic bread is quite good. You can taste the butter ---and the fresh garlic buds are almost impressive. Trouble is, at $10 for six little triangles--it better be the best damned garlic bread in The Entire World. I thought this place was reknowned for it's large portions. This looked like the little basket of fries you get with your steak fingers at Dairy Queen. The meat balls were large, but the pasta was overcooked, and there was barely enough marinara in the bowl to keep the pasta moist. The sauce itself was made with top notch sweet tomatoes and top notch sweet onions. Sadly- the lack of basil, pinch of rosemary, and other such little touches that make a marinara the real deal were sorely lacking. Some obvious fresh out of cooking school novice tried to cover this fact up with way too much oregano. Basically it was like eating at Olive Garden on a bad night while paying full bore Italian Boutique Bistro prices.

----2 Stars

Nice try at funky Italian, but it's way over done. It would be acceptable if the snarky attitudes and the self righteous wait staff were held in check. I really can't recommend this restaurant at all. I thank my lucky stars I was not entertaining guests from out of town. If any of my east coast relatives had come down to Texas for a visit, they would have laughed me out of this over priced, over rated cliche of an Italian Restaurant, and given me the old story about getting good Italian Food in the land of cattle being a joke. (Actually we have lots of good Italian restaurants down here. This just isn't one of them.) I really was not only taken aback by this establishment, but completely insulted.


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More Buca di Beppo reviews
review by . December 20, 2010
Cuisine: Italian (family style)   Restaurant Features: Bar Locations: **St Paul (site of this review), Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove and Minneapolis   Addresses: St Paul 2728 Gannon Road  St. Paul, MN 55116  651.772.4388   Burnsville 14300 Burnhaven Drive  Burnsville, MN 55306 952.892.7272   Eden Prairie 7711 Mitchell Road  Eden Prairie, MN 55344  952.934.9463   Maple Grove 12650 Elm Creek Boulevard Maple Grove, …
review by . June 23, 2010
posted in The Bluff
Great style, tasty food, fair prices
I have been to the location on 2nd street in Santa Monica several times now and it does not disappoint.  The atmosphere is always festive, making a reservation ahead of time takes care of any waiting issues, and the food is always very good in my humble opinion.  As a side note,  I love the interesting, eclectic, and sometimes shocking photos on the wall and I appreciate the extent the restaurant goes to make the establishment more pleasing to the customer.    …
review by . April 14, 2008
Pros: good food, lots of fun, great atmosphere     Cons: long wait if you don't have reservations     The Bottom Line: An awesome restaurant for your large group.     Italian food. Whether a quick pizza or a six course Italian meal at your best friend’s Italian grandmother’s house, we all love it. More than the food is the camaraderie that goes along with Italian families. They are loud and boisterous, and nearly every time they …
About the reviewer
Bill Brott ()
Ranked #856
   I am a teacher, avid golfer, and semi-retired bassist. I grew up in North Dallas, moved to Boston where I went to college, and eventually came back to Texas. I found that the western side … more
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About this restaurant


Buca di Beppo an American chain restaurant serving Southern Italian food often just called "Buca." The first Buca restaurant was opened in 1993 inMinneapolis, Minnesota in the basement of an apartment building. Currently there are 88 Buca di Beppo locations across the country.

All Buca di Beppos are decked out with vintage pictures hanging throughout the restaurant. Buca menus are geared towards families as most of their dishes are platters which serve 4-6 people.  However, due to a loss in business, in 2005 they began to serve an a la carte option which is a smaller portion for 2.
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