Sunday, April 29, 2012

Buck's Pizza - Alabaster

Remember when I wrote a review of a new Mexican place near our house,  El Potro? Well, they didn't even last a year. A place called PaNYC moved in, but it was so many different things I never knew what exactly is was and refused to try it on principle. It didn't last long, either. The building sat empty for quite a while, but a couple of months ago we noticed the "for lease" sign removed from the front. Then the sign changed and it said "coming soon - not panyc" which immediately endeared us to whatever it was going to be. Pretty soon the sign changed again and announced that Buck's Pizza was moving in, and we waited excitedly. We noticed lots and lots of cars in the parking lot in the past few weeks so we knew staff were being trained and it wouldn't be too long. They finally opened on Monday and the parking lot has stayed pretty stinking full ever since.

We decided Thursday night would be as good a time as any to give it a try. We went early (about 5:45 pm) and were seated immediately, but they were obviously already busy. It took longer than I would have expected for our server to greet us but after a rather awkward first encounter, she took our drink orders and got our drinks pretty quickly. She asked then if we were ready to order, but we asked for a few more minutes. Then she disappeared! It took us maybe five minutes to decide what we wanted and then sat and stared for at least ten minutes waiting for her to reappear. When she finally did appear from wherever she had been, she walked straight past us so we continued to sit and wait several more minutes. Finally, a gentleman we assumed was the owner came by and noticed Jeff's drink was empty and offered to get him a refill. Jeff told him we really just wanted to place our order. Although he was obviously not comfortable with it, the guy took our order. Several minutes later our waitress finally reappeared and asked if we were ready to order and we told her we already had so she just walked away. We didn't even get a "sorry about that, do you need anything else right now?" which kind of ticked me off, but whatever.

Jeff's food came out first. He got a small "Wild Buck" (basically a super-supreme) and we were going to share an order of the boneless buffalo wings, but when they brought it out there was no silverware and only one plate. We asked the guy who brought the food from the kitchen (not our server) for silverware and got a couple of forks and a hand-full of napkins. I just ate a few wings from the basket while I waited on my stromboli and they were really good. They had a nice flavor without being too unbearably hot. The waitress came by and asked if we needed anything before I got my food but we just said no because the guy from the kitchen said it was coming. It probably took almost 10 minutes before mine came (Jeff was at least halfway done) and I immediately noticed a problem. Although I had ordered a CBH special (cheddar, bacon, and ham) I got a bacon cheeesburger, although I didn't know that's what it was until we got the check at the end. I just knew there was something missing (ham) and something I didn't order -  I kind of thought it was sausage, which I normally hate. I tried it and it tasted pretty good, but it just wasn't what I wanted. I didn't send it back because I knew the guy had put it in wrong but it wasn't really his fault since he didn't have anything written down and Jeff had put him on the spot in the first place. I probably wouldn't order it again, but it wasn't bad. I ate half and brought the other half home with me so I'll probably have it for dinner tomorrow or at some point over the weekend. My bigger gripe was that I didn't have a knife and it wouldn't cut with the side of my fork so I just had to kind of rip it apart. I generally don't like doing that, but it beat trying to bite into it, and a bunch of the ground beef fell out while I did that which saved me having to scrape it out, although I still did a little of that too. I ate some of the beef and it did have a good flavor (I still thought it was sausage) but again, not what I wanted.

We didn't see much of our waitress after my food came out. The one time she did appear, I asked for a box. Next time I'll know to also ask for a cup for the sauce because it wasn't offered. I consolidated our two containers of ranch into one and put my extra sauce in the empty ranch cup so it worked out. Our drinks stayed pretty well filled, but that was thanks to several other staff members! After we finished and my leftovers were boxed up, we again were left sitting for quite a while, to the point that Jeff was asking if there was someplace we went to pay or if they were going to bring us a check. I had seen other tables get their check so I knew that from observation. At this point the place was packed and there was a line of people waiting for tables. The busboy stopped by and asked if he could get stuff out of our way, to which we agreed because we were beyond ready to go. We even gave him our drink glasses, which I will pretty much NEVER do. When he asked if we needed anything, we told him we were waiting on our check. He went in the back and told someone, and came back to tell us that it should be right out. Several minutes later, after he had cleared a few more tables he was walking back by our table and noticed us still waiting and rolled his eyes. Obviously he said someone again because the owner came back to our table to ask if we were waiting on the check and we told him we were. Our waitress finally appeared with our check, and we were ready to hand it back to her almost immediately. She walked back and forth in front of our table several more times and I was about ready to have Jeff stick the folder with our check in it out to block her path the next time she came by, but I think she realized I was glaring at her and she came to take it. Again, it took what seemed like an eternity before she came back with our credit card so we could finally get the heck out of dodge!

I'm sure we will return, but it may be for carryout next time. I expected a little bit of dysfunction because this was their first week, but everyone else was very polite and on top of things except for this one girl. I still want to try the CBH special!

*Edit 5/6/12 - We went back for lunch today, and all the little "kinks" from our previous visit seemed to have worked themselves out. In fact, if it's possible, even the food was better this time! I am guessing that, before too long, we'll be on a first name basis with most of the staff at Buck's!


  1. There used to be a Bucks Pizza in Calera. I was never crazy about their sauce, so the only pizza I ever ordered was I think the Old World Pizza, it was a white pizza and it was always good. The one thing I love from there (aside from their cheese sticks) is the CBS stromboli. I don't know what they do to the steak meat but it was always so good.

  2. I tried Bucks on Friday 5/11/12. Worst pizza I have ever had. The toppings were the similiar to what comes on a frozen pizza. The crust was not cooked completely. I would rate their pizza on par with Little Ceasers. I got the Buck's Supreme.

  3. My favorite thing at Bucks is there Buffalo chicken sandwich, with bbq sauce, amazzing. I also love there pizza's. The best you could ever ask for, from pizza restaurants.

  4. It's been a while since your visit, and I'd say a lot has changed! You should stop by and give them another try. The food has improved in quality and the service is wonderful!

    1. Although my last update was a little over a year ago, that does not mean it was our last visit. We generally eat there at least twice a month and it's one of our local favorites.