Thursday, June 22, 2017
200 Views of Rome: Buddy
We went to Buddy for food or drinks 5 times. Unlike many of the churches, even ones I adored, I can still picture Buddy with perfect clarity; the open, comfortable tables, the woman cleaning the juicer, the window thrown open onto the busy street full of fascinating passers by, the bucket and mop blocking the use of the bathroom for such a long time, the shelves full of glittering bottles and glassware, the chalkboards and piles of lovely produce, the jar glasses that the juices came in, the buffet full of domes lining the counters. And though I needed no refreshing of my memory, in a moment of curiosity I read some reviews of Buddy anyway. I was innocently shocked at how different reviews can be of a place one knows pretty well. I poured over reviews of hundreds of places in Rome before I went. They were all misleading. Reading one now, afterwards, I was amazed at how much more sense they all made.
Buddy reviews are wild, contradictory, falsely comprehensive, and all over the place. I suppose reviews are like this for almost any place with a fair bit going on. Breakfast at Buddy's is damned as non existent and praised as comprehensive. The staff "all speak English" or "don't speak much English". Wine is the only thing worth getting. And it was the best meal someone ever had. They are so friendly. A jazz quartet plays. No one comes to your table. It is great for vegans and there is almost nothing for a vegan to eat. It is mainly for tourists and is a great place for true Romans.
It made my head spin. I couldn't begin to understand these reviews if I were going in cold and yet, knowing the restaurant Buddy a little, I am compelled to say, these ridiculous reviews are all pretty much correct.
Well, beware reviews, and reviewers. Your eyes shall become fly eyes.
I am no god here. I cannot set it all straight. But I can speak to some of it.
One time we went to Buddy and outside of a small bit of help in getting situated at a table no one ever came to wait on us. Ever. No one. After a while we just left. We liked the look of the place though and came another time. They were very nice and helpful! I had an insanely delicious juice there once, with passion fruit. If that were my review I couldn't give it enough stars. It was one of the most delicious juices I've ever had. Three other juices I had varied widely. Fruit, man, it's like each piece is unique! I had some food. It was pretty good. Some of the food around the place looked really good, but that might have been because I didn't eat it. I didn't know there was a jazz quartet at night! That would have been nice to see. We tended to land there in the day. Once flies were annoying. Once it was too sunny. Once our table neighbors were noisy. Once there was a breeze. Once it was just right. Will the bathroom ever open up? No. Yes, absolutely. It was very expensive and quite a bargain.
Was it for tourists? Uh, in central Rome? Ha ha ha ha ha ha! There are two kinds of places to eat or drink in central Rome. The kind where they accost you as you walk by and try to get you to go there, and the kind where they don't. Buddy's is the kind where they don't.
And so Buddy's was too warm and too cold, too hard and too soft, and Buddy's was just right. I say give it a shot there Goldilocks. Baseball rules apply in tourism. One out of three will do you fine.