202 West 300 South, Salt Lake City, UT | Directions 8410140.7629 -111.89717
M-Th 11:30am-10pm, F-Sa 11:30am-11pm, Su 11:30am-9pm
Neighborhoods: Rio Grande
Could use some work. – We wanted to go somewhere new, with family from out-of-town. We had wanted to try this restaurant, but that is good as it got - a new place. We beat the evening rush, but our food was served cold. We admit we were new and did not know what to expect, and we had a large group of 12, but the attention from our less than helpful waitress was pathetic. The lasagna was served burnt and cold, another dish was poorly spiced, and then the waitress disappeared. When she finally brought our check to us, she was gone again for a good 15 minutes, so we took our check to the front and asked them to run the bill. She looked and acted supprised when she saw us on our way our down the stairs. Never to return. 11/24 If this is authentic Italian food, we just might fast when we are in Italy.
Awesome manicotti & Lemon Chicken – Most of the stuff at Buca's is average but their manicotti and lemon chicken are both to die for. Foccaccia isn't bad either but don't waste your time with the mixed pasta dishes or rum-SOAKED tiramisu.
Real Italian wife says OK! – Its a great atmosphere and lots of authentic things on the wall. The wife and I are transported back to Italy when we used to live there. The food, amazingly enough, is great. We were surprised when we tried the green beans in oil and vinegar, just the way they make it back in her moms house. Rest of the food was great.
Only problem we had was someone broke a glass in the ice machine so our ice had glass shards in which my mom swallowed one. The restaurant paid for medical and we were reimbursed (later after the manager regained himself from being flustered).
Take Out and Enjoy! – I've eaten Buca's food twice. Once for take out and once in the restaurant. Save yourself the "experience" and get your food to go. There's an excellent online menu with pictures and descriptions, which is actually more helpful than the menu (or the waiter) at the restaurant. If you have a reservation, waiting for the table is not a problem. Make a reservation, especially on the weekends! However, as so often happens in Utah's restaurants, Buca is a "family friendly" atmosphere. Which means that there are large tables of people yelling and laughing in the same room (3 feet away) from your table of 4. If you can hear your waiter, you're doing better than we did. We placed our order, and waited. We waited for water. We waited for salad. We waited and waited and waited for our meal.
By the time we got our very standard chicken parmesan and spaghetti marinara plates, we had been at the table over an hour. Then something very strange happened. My dinner partner was passing the red pepper across the table and the shaker broke in half, leaving glass and about a pint of red pepper flakes all over her meal. We signaled for a bus boy, who promptly got the manager. He moved us to a clean, but ill-equipped table, and got her a new plate in FIVE MINUTES! Then our dopey waiter said "Sorry, that happens all the time." What?! That really shouldn't happen more than once or twice a year, but whatever.... We were more upset that her plate arrived so quickly while we had been waiting so long that our food wasn't even hot when we got it.
A word about the employees: they are young and unprofessional. Buca charges upscale prices and fosters an upscale expectation by offering reservations, but the hostess and waitstaff were college/ high school age in jeans and t-shirts. They were talking about what they were going to eat for lunch while we were in the foyer. They were loud, laughing and joking with each other, not the customers.
The food is excellent. Get it to go!
Manager/Owner is terrible constant problems with bill. Too bad cause food, service and atmosphere is nice. – Food and proportions are good! Everyone loved the lasagna. They have vegetarian options which is great. Servers are friendly and atmosphere unique.
However, like other patrons we also had problems with the manager/owner and our bill. He refused to accept coupons for $10 off (for every $25 purchase) which four people in our group of ten had. He said coupons are "per person" but since we were all at the same table he would only accept one. It's a family style restaurant so everyone dines together. We read the coupon print and it said "per person" not "per table". Manger's reply was "yes, it says that but that's not what we meant or intended". After 10 minutes of explaining whether we are billed seperately or in a lump sum the final outcome would be the same. His final reply "well, you're obviously upset so I have no guarantee that you'll return. So I have no incentive to give you the discount". If that wasn't enough, he followed us out to the parking lot and demanded a tip of 15% instead of 10%, citing it was an industry standard. Someone in our group gave the extra amount to tip the waiter. The manager's response, "I don't want your money".
This restaurant would be a fun and delicious dining experience if the manager/owner had customer service and math skills.
Wont be back – I've been here a few times, but dont plan on returning anytime soon. The first couple times were awesome. I love the chicken parmigian, and the garlic bread, and its usually a fun atmosphere. But the last time,
y husband and I ordered the small "Quattro al Forno" or something like that. Neither of us got too full off it, and it wasnt the best italian food. The garlic bread with mozzarella is super good though.
The service is usually friendly, and we got refills just fine.
We left a cash tip, but a couple days after we ate there, I was looking at our bank account, and saw that they had charged us a few extra dollars. We called the manager, and he said that a tip had been added to the receipt, even though we hadnt. The manager credited the extra money back to us, but I dont feel comfortable using my card there anymore.
Bland, poor quality food – Although attemps are made to 'appear' to be an authentic Italian restaurant, Buca di Beppo's food dissapointingly does not compare to any of the various restaurants I've been to in Italy, or to most Italian restaurants here in America. The food is very bland, lacks flavor, is comprised of lots of pasta with little sauce, and the chicken was overcooked and tasted as though it had been frozen for months prior. Yes, you get alot of food, but no thanks when it just doesn't taste good. This is one of many Buca di Beppo locations I have been to and unfortunately all have provided the same poor quality food. There are many other Italian style restaurants to go to in the Salt Lake City area, I recommend you avoid this one.
Poor service, lackluster food – Service was slow from start to finish. I can understand when a restaurant is busy but it was a Wednesday night and they had just opened their doors yet it took 10 minutes to seat us in the nearly empty restaurant. The waitress was less than helpful and would spend inordinate amounts of time flirting with the patrons across the room from us. Maybe it's part of the ambiance to make us think that they are freshly preparing our meals with loving care in the kitchen below, however, the lackluster food didn't give us that impression when it finally made it to the table. We were very disappointed with the whole experience and we won't be back anytime soon.
amazing italian – This restaurant is outrageous. The decor makes you feel like you're in an italian home. There is so much to look and the food is wonderful. The help is nice and attentive and they even let you tour the kitchen, seeing the cleanliness they pride themselves in and watching all the cooking action will really help you work up and appetite. I would recommend visiting the bathrooms, which are clean and cleverly decorated and try my two favorite dishes, the margarita pizza, and the penne cardinale with artichokes and creamy irresistable sauce.
hyper-reality at its worst (cheeeesey) – The food is good enough, the service too. Try a glass of the house red wine ($4?) if you want to gag - it's right from the carlo rossi jug and served in a jelly jar glass. I think they called it "burgundy". This could be overlooked if you were in new jersey at an old italian restuarant that actually has some authenticity, which is what the interior designers were going for. The over-done and completely fake decor reminds me of las vegas or disney. super cheesey (or multo formaggio if you're keeping with the phony italian theme). Please stay away from places like this... they are displacing what little culture this place has. try as they will, this place was about as much fun as a local wedding reception.
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