Working mother of two boys on the autism spectrum, traveler, lifelong theatre & music gal, reader & charity fundraiser & try to incorporate my children into all. Traveling, dining and any other activities with special needs kids are challenging. I had trouble finding advice, so I decided to write about the things I want to read about. Those of us who are living with autism are all on this ride together. This is a place of thoughts, ideas, feedback, venting and most of all, support.
I have been to Sam Buca’s for
events related to one of my favorite organizations, Opening Night Arts
Group.We have had membership meetings
and cast parties there.The restaurant
is warmly decorated and very comfortable.
I called to make a reservation
for my birthday – 6 adults, 3 kids.We
were told getting a table at 5:30 wouldn’t be a problem.This was true – we were the only customers in
the restaurant, but were told our waitress wouldn’t be there until 6.We were, however, brought beverages by a
woman who appeared to be a manager.There
is a rooftop terrace that I have heard is very nice.We originally planned on sitting upstairs,
but my dad didn’t want to deal with the blazing sun.
We ordered fried calamari for our
appetizer.It was done right – not rubbery,
just the right texture with a crispy but light breading.It wasn’t drowning in oil, either.I had the pasta fagioli soup, which is
something I’m picky about.I wasn’t disappointed,
it tasted perfect.
I had the Penne alla Salcicia
(penne with creamy tomato vodka sauce).It was very tasty.I hate when
Italian sausage tastes like nothing but fennel seeds.This sausage had just the right amount of
spice with just a little heat.My
favorite Italian sausage of all time is from Calabria
in the Beverly
neighborhood.I could tell this wasn’t Calabria sausage, but it
was still good.The portions are
generous.I brought home half and had it
for lunch the next day.I always feel
like I got my money’s worth when I can get several meals out of a dish.My sister-in-law had the lasagna which came
in a small oval-shaped, but deep dish.Tons of cheese.My brother had a
big salad, called the Sam Buca Special, which is an understatement.Huge salad.The unfortunate thing about big salads is it’s useless to bring home
leftovers.Salads don’t age well, just
like French fries are useless to bring home because they’re soggy and gross as
leftovers.My husband had sausage and
peppers and finished his plate.The kids
had Italian chicken tenders and regular fries.(They also have Italian fries, which my brother had and were a bit spicy
for him, so they were probably too spicy for the kids.I, however, love lots of spice and heat.)The chicken tenders were somewhat overdone
that gave the breading a little burnt taste.I think this is why the kids didn’t care for them.
We’ll be back.I think we just went at an odd time of day,
so things weren’t up to par like usual.I’m sure I will return in the near future for a cast party or other
Sam Buca's is located at 12231 South Harlem in Palos Heights, Illinois.