Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Buca di Beppo – Minneapolis, MN

My nephew, the Delivery Boy, was in town so we decided to try some restaurants we’ve never been to. I’ve been commanded to go to Buca di Beppo since before I left Illinois, but never got around to going. I heard about the huge portion sizes and thought, “who better than to gorge myself with than my bottomless-pit-nephew?”

We had not made reservations, so we were told we had a 1.5 hour wait. Not a problem. The two most patient people on the planet (after my father, of course) were not going to be denied good food just because we had to wait. We sat down and got comfortable. Once the party of 18 was seated, the number of people in the lobby diminished considerably – as did the wait time. We got seated in about 45 minutes.

The waitress explained that everything is served family style – so large portions. The “small” served 2-3 people and the “large” was closer to 4-6 people. We got some bruschetta for an appetizer and ordered some things to split. The prosciutto-stuffed chicken breasts looked good as did the chicken carbonara. Why not? And guess what? ANOTHER restaurant with Mt. Dew. I think I’m on a roll.

The bruschetta was awesome. Plain, but awesome. Big loaf of bread cut into four pieces and covered with olive oils, tomatoes, and green things (someday I’ll figure out the names of various green things – wait, I looked it up, it’s basil). Of course this filled us up more than we expected.

The chicken carbonara came out and we dug in. Super tasty spaghetti with alfredo sauce with chicken, prosciutto, and peas. Everything about this dish was phenomenal. We thought it was going to be the best part of the meal… Until they brought out the prosciutto-stuffed chicken. Wow, this is one of the best Italian dishes I’ve had (and yes, I’ve been to Italy). Two giant chicken breasts with mozzarella and prosciutto, covered with marinara and sitting in a bed of pesto cream sauce. Each bite was more tasty and filling than the previous bite.

We didn’t finish all of our meal – we really thought we could, but then as we slowed down, it caught up to us. So now I’ve got a bunch of food in my fridge at home. We did manage to eat more than half of our meal, so I feel pretty good about that. We ordered enough for 4-6 people (by ordering two smalls entrees and an ap) and did some damage.

They were also having a free dessert special, with it being valentine’s day (the worst valentines day ever). So we got free chocolate-dipped strawberries. The waitress said we didn’t have to feed them to each other if we weren’t comfortable with that. Thanks, lady.

Now I know what everyone was talking about with this place. It’s really good and I won’t be scared to go back, but now that I know about the portion sizes, I’m better equipped to order next time.

Top 5 things about Buca di Beppo
1. Prosciutto-stuffed chicken
2. Chicken carbonara
3. They have Dew
4. Bruschetta
5. Portion sizes were… uhhh… generous

Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd wasn’t there to share this meal
2. Scary wait time – it was valentine’s day, so our fault
3. Really cramped dining rooms
4. Really loud atmosphere
5. Spelling – is it two Cs or two Ps? dang


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