I went to Buca di Beppo last night. And holy gut bombs, Batman! This place is a palace, a mecca, a magnet of unadulterated excess.
For our intimate table of 10 we ordered the large family-sized portions of: mixed green salad, ceasar salad, garlic cheese bread, table bread with olive oil, tomato basil bruschetta, lemon chicken, chicken parmesan, fettucine alfredo, gnocchi, rigatoni, spaghetti marinara, and followed it all up with 5 basketball-sized slices of chocolate and red velvet cake (the latter of which one of our guests quickly dubbed “Wop Cake” for its red color, white frosting and green sprinkles – go Italia! – but before you mount up on your high horse, we’re allowed such disparagement thanks to the italians in our party), and not to forget the half dozen or so 1.5 liters of red table wine.
Does Buca carry a special license for putting people at risk for split stomachs? Do you realize how much food must go through this place in one night? They could feed an army – but then the army’d be heftily overweight, heart attack prone and suffering from extremely elevated cholesterol levels – so maybe they shouldn’t… And when they see you ordering and eating all of this food, do they stop you? No. I think they’re trying to kill us. And it’s impossible to take control of the situation yourself – the food is just so damned delicious and once weakened by seemingly bottomless wine glasses, it’s inconceivable.
So when I got home and was changing into my largest, stretchiest PJ pants I noticed my bloated stomach (looking more like a botulism-infested victim than a well-fed patron) I had a moment of panic. Thinking that I might never recover from the excess, I thought to weigh myself to take stock of the damage. And do you know what? I weighed a full 8 lbs. more than I did that morning! WHAT THE HELL?! Did I really ingest 8 lbs. worth of food and drink? What is Buca putting in their food?? Lead weights? Sand bags?They’re trying to kill us. I’m sure of it. But I might be OK with it because really, it’d be a tasty and terrific way to go…