|1249 Howe Ave. (at Howe & Hurley)|
Buca di Beppo is a large nation chain restaurant that serves family style Italian food, i.e. it's casual and each dish is supposed to be shared by everyone at the table. After walking through the kitchen to the main dining room, you'll find the food moderately good and the portions truly oversized. If you've got a large group or kids though, this would probably be your restaurant.
Be sure to check out the Pope room if you have a big group. This room is adorned with all things Pope including pictures of Popes playing tennis and other random acts. In the middle of the table is a life-sized head of the Pope that rotates on a lazy susan. It is very entertaining to make him stare at a friend and wait for them to notice the creepy Pope gaze.
They removed the Pope's head from the lazy susan, probably due to his recent passing. No idea if they will replace it with the new pope's head or not. But it appears that the other Pope adornments are still intact throughtout the restaurant. RogerClark
Having just eaten at Buca barely 12 hours ago, the experience is still fresh in my mind. Although the group I was with had reservations for 5:00 PM, the place was packed and they didn't seat us till 5:20. We were in the godawful "Pope Room," so it's hard to believe that they had to clear the room of a group of similar size before us, but considering that so many people were chowing down at that hour, anything is possible.
The decor is gaudy, vulgar, and distracting. The staff our group came in contact with seemed barely capable of handling the behind-the-counter chores of a fast food restaurant. An order for chianti—probably not rare in an "Italian" restaurant like this—brought Riesling, we were done with our salads and garlic bread before they took our dinner orders, and the entrees came sporadically and only after repeated prompting. The spaghetti and gnocchi were ordinary, the garlic mashed potatoes dry and pasty, and the garlic bread was unusual. The green beans were surprisingly good, but served in a much more modest quantity than the over-plentiful and not inexpensive carbs.
The two or three stars out of five awarded above is probably generous unless you value poor service and cheesy surroundings much more highly than I do. By the way, the bust of the Pope is still mounted in the middle of the large lazy Susan on the table in the Pope Room. How droll. —DavidRobinson
2007-05-28 19:57:10 Is it just me or does the main article here seem possibly opinionated? —MichaelAWoods
2007-05-28 20:16:14 Of course it's opinionated. There's not a problem with that. If you have something positive to say, add it! —WilliamLewis
2007-08-29 17:59:42 This place is the perfect place to take a large group or a few friends. Everyone knows this so don't be surprised if the place is a little noisy and hectic on payday. Keeping this in mind, the food has a homey quality that is appropriately served family style. Its not what most would consider fine dining, definitely not a romantic date place, but I think the food is good. As a frame of reference, I would personally place their food far above Olive Garden and Macaroni Grill. —TheodoreSuryapurnama