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Saint Paul, Minnesota
August 1, 2005
Part of a large chain, it may be surprising how tucked away Buca di Beppo is. This medium-sized restaurant is located on a basement level of a nondescript building. Buca is smushed between downtown Minneapolis and Loring Park, which makes it perfect for family travelers and celebrations alike.
Buca is a great place to visit with a large group, but be prepared for a wait! This family-style restaurant is always bustling with activity, and waits can be up to an hour. I made reservations for my group on a Sunday evening and still had to wait almost half an hour for our table. Since there is a full bar, the wait isn't unbearable.
The food here is good, hearty Italian dishes. Everything you expect at a traditional Italian eatery is here: pizza, garlic bread, salads, lasagna, alfredo, and every other pasta you can imagine. Buca also has fantastic desserts, from spumoni to tiramisu to cheesecake. The small portions will feed a single person, while the large portions come on huge platters and feed two to three. When Buca says "portions," they don't skimp. With ravioli, it is filled to near exploding and smothered in meat sauce. With chicken cacciatore, you get a full chicken over garlic mashed potatoes (perhaps their best dish!).
The only complaint I have about my visit is the wait staff. Our waitress was friendly but forgot things constantly. First it was our silverware, then a couple of our drinks, and then one dish came out later than the rest. Besides her forgetfulness, the trip was fantastic! You can visit the Buca di Beppo website for locations near you and menus with prices.
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