Friday, April 10, 2009

What the f#@k happened to Buca?

Sorry about the image, that's my lame attempt at writing "FAIL" across the Buca di Beppo logo. You didn't know they let the mentally challenged write blogs, did you?

So anyway the whole point of that graphic is that Hubs and I went to Buca last night and to our utter horror, all of our favorite dishes had been changed. Traditionally we can rely on Buca to have the best Italian food around. It's always hot, fresh & delicious. Last night was a rude awakening.

The first thing we noticed was that they'd done away with the wall menus. You used to have to look at the wall to view the menu, and now they've covered the old menus up with giant photos of 1940's ladies slurping spaghetti and you'll receive a spiral bound menu, a la Cheesecake Factory. I kind of used to like the wall menu thing, man. It was so, "this is how we do it here, take it or leave it."

Also, the staff was being very friendly, overly so. They introduced us to the managers as we walked through the kitchen, asked us how we were doing, and sat us with well wishes for an enjoyable meal. Usually the staff are complete assholes, which I kind of liked. If a person isn't kind to you, then there's no need to be kind to them!

Despite the foreshadowing of the menu situation and the friendly employees, we ordered chianti and settled in for our expected feast of yumminess. We always order the same food because it's tried and true, and we love it. So we ordered mozzarella garlic bread, cesar salad, and chicken parmigiana.

First the bread showed up. It was cut up and placed in a basket, unlike how it used to be presented, in the pan in which it had been cooked. And it tasted different -- not as good. I guesstimate there was about 20 percent less bread than usual.

Then the salad arrived. Hubs had already been told he could no longer receive anchovies on the side because no one liked them and the restaurant had decided to do away with them. The salad was also presented differently, in a smaller bowl rather than on a long platter. There was no shaved parmesan, as there normally is.

The chicken was the biggest slap in the face. Buca's chicken parmigiana was to die for, before. If I were a prisoner on death row, I might request it for my last meal. No longer, I'm afraid. Where there used to be a thin slice of prosciutto, now there was none. No more chunks of tomatoes and garlic. The chicken wasn't as well-seasoned as we're used to, and the cheese lacked taste. There were two pieces rather than the normal three.

So we received sub par food, in much smaller portions than Buca normally doles out, but we still paid the normal price. WTF, Buca?

No one on the interwebs seems to have wised up to this, but I'll tell you what; we won't be going back unless the menu reverts to its previous, much tastier state.


  1. I agree with the asshole staff. I find myself kind of liking that as well. Sometimes you just don't feel like exchanging bullshit pleasantries. I do that enough at work.

  2. Yeah the food sucked. I guess most of the restaurant going public is too dense to notice though. Who knows..

  3. I just sent an email to Buca Headquarters and noticed on the contact page that they were acquired by Planet Hollywood in Sept. 2008. I think this might explain the stinginess, drop in food quality, lack of a feeling of abundance in the restaurant presentation and the INCREASE IN PRICES! DO THEY THINK LOYAL CUSTOMERS ARE JUST PLAIN STUPID?! GREED is what we are talking about here. We won't be coming back to Buca and a whole bundle of others who PAY ATTENTION will also stay away!!! WISE UP CORPORATE AMERICA! PEOPLE CAME FOR THE RIGHT REASONS AND YOU ARE SCREWING UP A GOOD THING!