Buca di Beppo. The name sounds like a rejected moniker for a long forgotten Marx brother. Beppo Marx; think about it. In reality, it's the name of the restaurant I ate in last night with a group of friends. You know, one of those different things you try just to do something different. The trouble is, I hate different. I don't want to try new things.
The food is served, I think they call it family style, where you order large dishes and share them. It's supposed to be fun. But what's the fun of dinner being ordered by committee? If I had wanted that, I'd have voted for Obama and let him and Congress tell me what to eat like they want to tell me everything else that I need these days.
Yet as with acts of Congress, it took an insane amount of time to get anything done. It took forever to order because everyone had to debate which salad, which sides, which entree, and which style of plates and silverware to use. All right, maybe not that last part, but still. I don't want to eat what the person next to me wants, I want to eat what I want when I'm in a restaurant. This is America, by gum, and I can order my own food. If I want to have dinner family style I'll do the obvious thing and stay at home with my family for dinner. Sure, I may then have to eat what my wife sets in front of me, but hey, at least it came from my own larder. She cooks better than some 19 year old working their way through college anyway.
Then the food finally comes and everyone gets their first helping. After another fifteen minutes, that is. Passing dishes about among ten people squeezed around a tiny restaurant table is more confusing and frustrating than getting home to the suburbs during rush hour. You need an air traffic controller to keep the flying dishes in order. And the food isn't cold by the time you finally get to eat, oh no, sure. Then, since it's served the way it is, there's always those last two pieces of chicken which everyone is being too kind to take in case someone else may want one, when the truth is everyone at the table wants one because they haven't had enough to eat. The remaining veggies remain alone, pleading for attention, but who wants them? Family style without the family style portions, that's what it is. At home, where the real family style is, there's always enough for everyone.
I think that the next time I'm invited to such a place, I'll politely decline and have a beer and burger at home. The drink will be cold, the food hot, and all the atmosphere I need will be supplied by the ball game on the tube. Any new experience will be limited to who the Tigers play next. That's about all the diversity I care for.