Sunday, September 09, 2012

Buca di Beppo: Chain or Manly?

Fried Calamari

I can't remember if I've ever been to an outlet of Buca di Beppo, but if I had been there, it was probably close to fifteen years ago. So tonight's visit was effectively the first time for me. And the main selling point of this Italian-American chain is the family-style servings from a gigantic bowl.

I went in with low expectations, and in that sense, those expectations were met. The portions were large, salty, and pretty much what I figured would come out of a commercialized chain restaurant in the US. And yet, somehow I still ate a decent part of it, including that crispy fried calamari above. Admittedly I am curious enough to come back here to try their "famous" spaghetti with meatballs or baked rigatoni that I saw on the menu.

Then again, if I really wanted this kind of stuff again, I'd rather go somewhere like Original Joe's, which incidentally I just discovered was listed by Men's Health magazine as one of the "manliest" restaurants in America. And if I had to go to a chain, I suppose that one could do much worse (think: Olive Garden). One of these days, I'm sure that somehow I'll end up at an outlet of Romano's or Maggiano's too.

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