Florida Guide > Dining
Buca Di Beppo
Having experienced Carrabba’s Italian Restaurants in several locations in Florida we have become hooked on Italian Food. Our cousin who lives in Tampa decided it was time we tried something different as he believed he could find an Italian restaurant that would tempt us try somewhere else occasionally.
We were taken to the Buca restaurant in the Florida Mall (Tel 407 859 7844) where we received a very warm welcome and asked whether this was our first time in their restaurant. Since it was we were given a guided tour initially of the kitchen where there is actually one oblong table where you can sit and watch the cooks prepare the food seating 6 - 10. The next stop was the Pope’s table. A circular table seating twelve to eighteen people with a Bust of the current Pope as a centre piece. It is a good idea to book in advance if you want to sit at either of these tables. Final destination a table for our party of nine.
The surroundings are pleasant and bright with red and white check tablecloths. The walls are covered in images of famous Italians including Joe DiMaggio, Sophia Loren and the World Cup Winning Italian Football team to name just a few but there were many more that I did not recognise.
The menu offered a wide choice of Italian favourites but rather than ordering for individuals, being a family style restaurant food comes in two sizes. A Buca Small is enough for two people and a Buca Large serves four.
The children were easily satisfied with Pizza to share for their main course and ice cream to follow with the adults selecting a number of different dishes to share. A very large bowl of Caesar Salad arrived together with some very tasty garlic bread topped with cheese which was to die for. This was followed by portions of Chicken Marsala, Cannelloni, and Lasagna together with garlic mash potato for the main course. Dessert for those that could still find a little space was a difficult choice with a number of very tempting options. Eventually Tiramisu and Double Dark Chocolate Cake covered in cream were the winners.
The table waiters were very attentive and for the number of dinners in the restaurant service was surprisingly quick. The food had been prepared to a very high standard and there was very little left over food despite the portions sizes which were definitely on the large side. Drinks were reasonably priced and overall I felt that we got good value for our dollars. We were more than happy to leave a generous tip and will definitely be coming back for more the next time we come over to visit Orlando.
Author: Mike and Michelle Walden (Villa link: click here)
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Page added on: 18 January 2007
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