Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sam Buca's

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 theatre event.

Sam Buca's is located at 12231 South Harlem in Palos Heights, Illinois. 

Sam Buca's Restaurant, Bar and Rooftop on Urbanspoon

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