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The experience that is Buca di Beppo

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The experience that is Buca di Beppo

David De Silva | Sep 1, 2002 01:52 PM

I had the misfortune of eating at this circus of a restaurant last night when I was invited to a birthday dinner there. I expected the worst and wasn't disappointed. We ate in the "Pope Room", a huge round table with a nearly as huge lazy susan in the middle. There encased behind (bullet proof?) plexiglass was a bust of John Paul II. Everything in the room revolved around past and present pontifs.

Fortunately we arrived late so we missed the tour of this cavernous place. Regular tours would come by the room and we would wave, give the sign of the cross, etc.

What can I say about the food? Plenty of low-grade, belly filling plates. Ravioli in acidic-red sauce that could take the paint off my car, "veal-parm" and "eggplant parm" in that same sauce, etc. When they brought the meatballs that are "as big as your head" my grandma Lena rolled over in her grave. When the lemon chicken came, my grandfather did the same.

What amazes me is that 1) they pass this off as Italian food and 2) that the place was absolutely packed telling me that everyone else believes that it is good food. Unfortunately, this place perpetuates the sterotype that Italian-Americans are slovenly and uncultured people who just love to gorge themselves and yell things like "hey Stella, where's my beer?" (or "Yo Adrian", etc.). IMHO, this is NOT a chowhound place at all. For, true chowhounds know good food.

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