Monday, April 24, 2017

Pizza from Buca Di Beppo

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Buca di Beppo. Large format, family style, chain restaurant, Americanized Italian, yadda, yadda, yadda, but, really, it isn't *that* bad.
Signage.
Ok, their signs are bad.  As is the cheesy "Italian" music blasting out onto the side.  And, granted, I've only been to Buca di Beppo a couple times.

The first time was a rehearsal dinner for a wedding in Seattle, and the only thing I really remember is that Ojan loved the baked ziti. Or was it the ravioli? I don't recall anything noteworthy myself, besides, well, the massive scale of everything. A few years later, Ojan threw me a surprise birthday party at the Buca in San Francisco. I can't confirm it, but, I kinda think this was a case of rather late planning, and, where else can easily handle a large group? Again, I don't recall much about the food, but, I did think it made a decent enough venue for our large and rowdy group, and, I recall liking the garlic bread.
I've also had Buca di Beppo catering a few times, and again, recall thinking the caesar salad and fettuccine alfredo weren't bad.  Ojan likes the chocolate chip cookies.

My general impression has always been that the place is decent enough, for what it is, except of course, the brownie sundae, which I've just never liked.

April 2017

Fast forward to 2017, and now that I have a blog, I decided to pay attention when my apartment building hosted a party and had pizza from Buca di Beppo.  It was delivery, and, certainly suffered in transit.  To call it lukewarm would be generous.  I wanted to rush a slice up to my apartment to warm it up in the toaster oven, but, I felt a bit guilty running out of the party, just to provide myself tastier food.  So I stayed, and ate lukewarm pizza.
Pizza con Formaggio, Large. $29.99.
"Mozzarella, garlic-infused olive oil and our authentic pizza sauce."

I laughed when I looked up the cheese pizza online: "pizza con formaggio", it read.  Really, Buca?  Nothing else on the menu sounds pretentious, why the simple cheese pizza?  I laughed further as I copied over the description: "our authentic pizza sauce".  Oh, really?  Authentic what exactly?

It was decent pizza though.  Not fancy artisanal pizza cooked in a 900 degree oven.  Not made with flour imported from Italy, the finest tomatoes, or house made mozzarella.  But, for simple pizza?  It was good.  

The crust was thin crust, and nicely crispy.  The sauce was fine, not too sweet, not too tangy, nothing strange going on there.  Cheese well distributed and melted.  Did I taste the garlic infused olive oil?  Well, no.  Did the sauce taste "authentic"?  I have no idea what that even means, really.  But the pizza was fine, just, not special.

We had large size pizzas, oblong, with 18 slices, designed to feed 5 people according to the web site.
Pepperoni, Large. $30.99.
"Large slices of pepperoni, mozzarella, provolone and our authentic pizza sauce."

We also had pepperoni.  I didn't try the pizza itself, assuming the base was the same as the cheese pizza (but, it wasn't?  According to the description, no garlic infused olive oil on this one, and, provolone cheese too?), but I did steal a giant pepperoni off of one of Ojan's slices.  Because, really, how do you resist those insanely large slices?  #theBucaWay.  

The pepperoni too was, well, fine.  Sorry this review is so boring, but, there just isn't much more to say.  Ojan did like the pizza, and commented on how it was better than he expected.

Buca di Beppo is solid, reliable, and won't leave anyone unhappy, they just probably also won't remember it either.
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