"What does Buca di Bepo mean?" I asked my boyfriend, as we drove around looking for the parking entrance.
"I don't know" he said.
The restaurant is visible from I-40 just west of the Louisiana exit, the entry road is not so easy to spot. It was April 16th, our first visit and we managed to find the location hidden between hotels.
The parking lot was fairly empty that Tuesday afternoon, it was the day after the tragic Boston Marathon Bombings. As runners, we were both in a somber mood but the restaurant visit was a good distraction.
We walked in to the waiting area and waited for our hostess to direct us to the dining room. Upon entering the main room, I was overstimulated by the decor. Black and White picture frames depicting Italian culture were strewn along the walls.
We sat in a booth directly under a television screen airing the 1983 NBA Western Conference Semifinals, LA Lakers vs Portland Trailblazers. The place gave off a really cozy feeling. It's almost as if I had walked into somebody's home.
The dim lighting plus red and white checkered tablecloths enforced that comfortable sensation.
Our friendly waiter came with the menus and recommended we order the small portions, since it was just the two of us. He mentioned the large portions were meant to feed a family of four. A small Supremo Italiano Pizza was our choice.
"Wow! That's a small?... It's huge!" I thought to myself as the waiter placed our pizza atop two cans of bell peppers. It smelled great.
The pizza was delicious. It was made of a toasted thin crust, small square slices, Italian sausage, red onions, bell peppers, pepperoni, and a blend of two cheeses. All toppings were cooked just right. We managed to finish the entire pie.
It was a pleasant visit, our waiter was great and the staff were friendly. Before leaving our waiter gave us an e-club entry form to fill out. We've received really good coupon deals via e-mail since then.
We ended up going for a second visit, to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. A few of the staff came to our table to sing him, their special Birthday Song.
I later went on to find out that Beppo is a nickname for "Guiseppe" and Buca means hole. In 1993 the first restaurant opened up in a Minneapolis apartment building's basement, the owner's name was Guiseppe. So it was Beppo's Hole.