I was in Burlington for business back in mid-January, and noticed Bove's was in the area and one of the Throw Down contestends from the Food Network. I thought it must be worthy of a visit, so I trecked out one snowy Wednesday night when it seemed like most of Burlington was shut down.
I walked in and it was just myself and one other couple at a booth, the rest of the place was empty. The interior decore was interesting and did spark a the feeling that it was a local place that has been there forever so I thought I was in for a treat. I also didn't mind going in on a dead night to help out a local family owned business. The employees were taking bets about when they would close for the night (couldn't blame them!) and chit chatting up at the bar. The waitress was friendly and I have no complaints from the service aspect.
I ordered a Tom Collins and it was dreadful. Needless to say I only ordered the one and then stuck to water. I think they waived the liquor around the glass and it never actually got poured in and the lemon juice also seemed weak.
I got the lasagna since it was "the" advertised item for a Wednesday night and the Throw Down focus. I asked for the garlic sauce instead of the normal red sauce they'd use. While I did really like the garlic sauce, the lasagna itself was treacherous. I've had better lasagna at a school cafeteria before. The noodles were pasty, the meatballs were bland, and I couldn't even tell you what kind of cheese was in it. They served a piece that had to be over a pound and a half, but it didn't make up for the mediocracy and feeling of lost hope. It also didn't help that they had a small TV with a DVD player running through the Throw Down episode over and over and over and over and over while you were eating like some kind of personalized Chinese water torture.
I can't help but wonder how this place even got on the Food Network in the first place. A night later at the Vermont Pub & Brewery I shared my story with the bar tender and local sitting next to me and they both told me they'd never go into the place themselves unless they were ordering lunch for work and needed cheap eats. They said not to worry I wasn't the first victim and the place hasn't changed in years. They gave me he name of 2 other italian places in town try out next time I was in the area.
I guess you don't know unless you try something, so I'm still glad I tried it.... but yikes.
68 Pearl St, Burlington, VT 05401
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