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Buca di Beppo - what's with the music?

Buca di Beppo - what's with the music?

Old Feb 21, 07, 12:50 pm
  #1  
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Thumbs down Buca di Beppo - what's with the music?

I had dinner at Buca di Beppo last night for the first time. Like any chain, it has its good points and bad.

The worst of the bad points for me was the music. My musical taste is pretty broad, but it skips over what my Parent's generation was listening to when I grew up - easy listening crooners from the 50's with an ethnic emphasis. The soundtrack was Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Mambo Italiano, Volare, etc. at a volume that Pete Twnsend would have found uncomfortable. Maybe I was more sensitive because I was trying to read. It didn't seem to bother the guys at the other end of the bar. I mentioned it to the bartender and she just shrugged. Eventually, I stopped looking around for a sledgehammer, passed on a 3rd beer and left.

I will not be back.
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Old Feb 21, 07, 1:17 pm
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Maybe the music was a problem at this particular location? I've eaten at the one here in Austin and I didn't notice the music as much as the food being the main distraction. Kind of like an Italian Taco Bell...everything made with the same insipid sauce, meat, and seasoning/flavorings. The only thing that was different about each dish was the style of pasta the main ingredients came with. Definitely not made by someone's Italian mama.

I've only experienced music being a distraction like this at Joe's Crab Shack. You can't hear yourself think at that place, much less carry on a conversation with your dinner partners.

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Old Feb 21, 07, 1:22 pm
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Fully agree on the music. It is a definite turnoff at this place. Apparently there is no control over the volume, as I have had requests to lower the level rejected also !
Regarding the food....I find only one thing good on the menu. It is the chicken cacciatore with mashed potatos. After eating, you feel like expelling a brick....however it does taste good going in.
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Old Feb 21, 07, 1:58 pm
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^ ^ ^

That's a thumbs-up to the other opinions here, not to Buca di Beppo itself. Having had "real" mom-and-pop Italian, Buca strikes me as someone's theme-park, cartoonish interpretation of home-style Italian food and Italian dining experience. And enough with the music!
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Old Feb 21, 07, 2:57 pm
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OK, now that I've had a couple people agree with me. Next bad:

They put ham on top of the Chicken Parmagiana! That ain't kosher! It was a wafer thin slice of ham in between the sauce and the parmesan cheese. There was more ham than cheese. I didn't ask to see the menu after eating it, but I do not recall ham in the description of the dish. Don't get me wrong, I like ham. But it doesn't belong there.

Last edited by BamaVol; Feb 21, 07 at 8:51 pm Reason: Why do I only notice misspellings after I'm quoted?
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Old Feb 21, 07, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
OK, now that I've had a couple people agree with me. Next bad:

They put ham on top of the Chicken Parmegiana! That ain't kosher! It was a wafer thin slice of hame in between the sauce and the parmesan cheese. there was more ham than cheese. I didn't ask to see the menu after eating it, but I do not recall ham in the description of the dish. Don't get me wrong, I like ham. But it doesn't belong there.
LOL. No, indeed not.

As far as the music is concerned, it may have well been above 300 decibels, but the food was still the biggest distraction for me. So much so that I can't even remember the music (style or volume) being out of the ordinary. LOL.

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William R. Sanders
Customer Service Coordinator
Starwood Preferred Services

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Old Feb 21, 07, 3:05 pm
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Having grown up near South Philly, I know real Italian food when I taste it. Buca ain't it. However, it is a fun place to go with kids or out with friends.

If youve never been, one entree will feed three people!
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Old Feb 21, 07, 6:29 pm
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It looked like it would be fun, and it sort of was in a frat house, crap restaurant sort of way, but I found the food to really be horrible. And that is coming from someone who thinks P.F. Changs is absolutely delicious, so I am not a big foodie snob obviously.
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Old Feb 21, 07, 6:43 pm
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
I had dinner at Buca di Beppo last night for the first time. Like any chain, it has its good points and bad.

The worst of the bad points for me was the music. My musical taste is pretty broad, but it skips over what my Parent's generation was listening to when I grew up - easy listening crooners from the 50's with an ethnic emphasis. The soundtrack was Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Mambo Italiano, Volare, etc. at a volume that Pete Twnsend would have found uncomfortable. Maybe I was more sensitive because I was trying to read. It didn't seem to bother the guys at the other end of the bar. I mentioned it to the bartender and she just shrugged. Eventually, I stopped looking around for a sledgehammer, passed on a 3rd beer and left.

I will not be back.
LOL, so that's where you ate last night? We were only there once, and won't be back unless someone pays us. We were there because they were paying us, so that says something. When we got there, they had an hour wait, so we sat in the bar. Two hours later, after the bartender told the hostesses we were still waiting, they finally seated us. They'd forgotten about us, or skipped over us, or our pager didn't work apparently. Then, on top of that, they burned our appetizer. If I want real Italian food, I'll either cook it myself, or invite myself to dinner at the neighbor's house.
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Old Feb 21, 07, 8:45 pm
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Originally Posted by MileageAddict View Post
Having grown up near South Philly, I know real Italian food when I taste it. Buca ain't it. However, it is a fun place to go with kids or out with friends.

If youve never been, one entree will feed three people!
Yeah, the 2 guys at the end of the bar ordered a salad that could feed four followed by 2 entrees. They took a lot of food home. Since I'm not home, I made sure my meal would equal no more than enough for 2 people. I didn't finish. The chicken wasn't horrible, just oddly prepared. The pasta was anything but al dente - it must get scooped out of a big pot. The sauce was ok, not authentic, and rather bland. The beer was perfect.

Originally Posted by kipper View Post
LOL, so that's where you ate last night? We were only there once, and won't be back unless someone pays us. We were there because they were paying us, so that says something. When we got there, they had an hour wait, so we sat in the bar. Two hours later, after the bartender told the hostesses we were still waiting, they finally seated us. They'd forgotten about us, or skipped over us, or our pager didn't work apparently. Then, on top of that, they burned our appetizer. If I want real Italian food, I'll either cook it myself, or invite myself to dinner at the neighbor's house.
We made the right choice going to Uno's Monday night. Buca wasn't overly busy, but the service was still poor. The bartender was wresting kegs half the time I was there, and trying to cover 3 tables plus the bar (2 additional parties). There was a function in the back room and that seemed to have affected service throughout the restaurant.

Oh well, I can say I've eaten there once.

Originally Posted by mattkorey View Post
It looked like it would be fun, and it sort of was in a frat house, crap restaurant sort of way, but I found the food to really be horrible. And that is coming from someone who thinks P.F. Changs is absolutely delicious, so I am not a big foodie snob obviously.
I'm no snob either, but I can appreciate something that's done properly. Frat house is a good term for it, although the music should have been Louie Louie.

Last edited by cblaisd; Jul 19, 18 at 9:37 pm Reason: merged poster's three consecutive posts
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Old Feb 21, 07, 9:01 pm
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I'm not overly fond of Buca food overall, but if you sit in the kitchen, it's always a lot of fun. BTW, their Eggplant Parm. stands out as pretty decent.

The music is not an issue when you are sitting in the kitchen. The ambient noise drowns it out.
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Old Feb 21, 07, 10:46 pm
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Buca di Beppo is the place where you have your office party if you don't value your office very much.
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Old Feb 21, 07, 11:17 pm
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The food is terrible, but the portions are huge!
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Old Feb 22, 07, 12:06 am
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
I had dinner at Buca di Beppo last night for the first time. Like any chain, it has its good points and bad.

The worst of the bad points for me was the music. My musical taste is pretty broad, but it skips over what my Parent's generation was listening to when I grew up - easy listening crooners from the 50's with an ethnic emphasis. The soundtrack was Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Mambo Italiano, Volare, etc. at a volume that Pete Twnsend would have found uncomfortable. Maybe I was more sensitive because I was trying to read.
That is your problem. This is not a place to read and almost appears kind of rude for those around you that are trying enjoy the loud social and party atmosphere. Part of being there is to be entertained in a campy sort of way and just the fact you came alone to a place that serves family portions it is no wonder you were so turned off. As you describe it Sinatra's That's Amore begins echoing through my head and I get a smile on my face. "When the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie..."
Shame on you.

Last edited by westcoastman; Feb 22, 07 at 12:12 am
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Old Feb 22, 07, 6:27 am
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Originally Posted by westcoastman View Post
That is your problem. This is not a place to read and almost appears kind of rude for those around you that are trying enjoy the loud social and party atmosphere. Part of being there is to be entertained in a campy sort of way and just the fact you came alone to a place that serves family portions it is no wonder you were so turned off. As you describe it Sinatra's That's Amore begins echoing through my head and I get a smile on my face. "When the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie..."
Shame on you.
Yeah, well I've been living with Mambo Italiano stuck in my brain for days now. Aughhhhhh.
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