Buca di Beppo Brea on Valentine’s Day take out
1609 East Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92821
Not recommended for take out on Valentines Day.
Traffic: I found traffic atrocious at about 5:15 on Valentine’s Day around this restaurant. I used side streets to avoid traffic around Imperial Highway and Associated road.
Parking: This shopping center had a lack of adequate parking near this restaurant. I drove around and around trying to find a parking spot but could not. I had to park illegally behind the restaurant parallel to where they dump their trash.
Service: The restaurant take out line was so long it reached the front door and it moved very, very, slowly.
Our pick up time was 5:30. Our food was already prepared by the kitchen staff, bagged and the paid receipt was hung on the wall inside the take out closet just waiting for me to pick it up. I did not reach the take out person until about 20 minutes after I arrived.
Our order was made using the Internet using Buca di Beppo web site so the items were preselected and paid for. Quite a few people in the take out line did not pre-order but decided what to buy when they reached the take out booth. The only menu was at this counter which was a big mistake.
A waitress came up to the people that were close to the take out window to see if they had pre-ordered or not. I was able to get my food just before reaching the cashier but had to wait quite a long time to pay and get out of the place. The person in front of me took his time deciding what to buy and the cashier typing in the order did so with a computer screen instead of a keyboard. I could see her fingers slowly traversing the screen typing out the fellow’s order.
The food comes in very good aluminum containers. You can not microwave using these containers so you must put the containers in an oven which requires more wait time or you can dish what you want on to a plate and then microwave.
We ordered a salad which came in a very large bowl and the salad dressing was adequate and in side containers.
The spaghetti marinara dish had very little tomato sauce, a telling deficiency. My wife took some extra tomato sauce from the (wrong) chicken dish and poured it on to the spaghetti which helped a little. I doused the dish with Parmesan cheese which helped.
The main meat dish should have been chicken Limone but we received chicken parmigiana instead.
They did get the desert correctly, large chocolate chip cannolis.
The pre-order process did ensure that our food was ready to be picked up but that is the only advantage. I surmise that if we had table reservations, instead of take out, we could have had a much better and quicker meal.
The total bill for 4 people was $59.80.
Summary: Take out for me is this. You arrive, pay; they hand you your food and you leave in quick time. Take out at this restaurant on Valentines Day for me was the opposite, a dreadful slow painful process. I will never do this again. I totally understand that the restaurant had no control over traffic and parking. The lesson for me is to celebrate Valentines Day some other day when the automobiles and restaurant are more relaxed to perform better. The restaurant made a large number of mistakes probably due to the speed at which they had to push out product and being swamped with customers all wanting attention.
- They should have had a person going down the take out line seeing if anyone had a pre-order. That person could call using a FRS radio or go and get the completed order and holding a mobile credit card device complete the transaction. They also could have had two people side by side dealing with take out. Both those improvements would have sped up the line. Even better yet, they should have directed all take out orders to a separate entrance next to the freeway.
- The kitchen staff could have shown more professionalism in their preparation and delivery.
- Almost every other take out establishment that I have used in the past, I find my food hot enough upon arriving home to sit down and eat right away but not with this meal.