Tuesday, January 8, 2008


It may not look like much and believe me when I tell you that the inside is pure Italian American circa 1941, but this is probably the most famous restaurant in Burlington Vermont which has well over 100 restaurants for a population of just over 40,000 people. If you have ever spent more than a few days in Burlington you have probably heard of the restaurant or have eaten there. It has been run by the same family since Victoria Bove opened it in December 1941. It is an institution. The menu is limited and they have daily specials that have not changed since I started eating there in 1967 when I got my first summer job working downtown at the brand, spankin' new JC Penneys. The only store in Vermont to have an escalator at that time. I don't remember the specials except that Wednesday is Lasagna Day and they usually sell out rather quickly.

Today I got my alumni magazine from the University of Vermont (UVM) and there was an article about this guy:

It seems that Bobby arrived at UVM where the Bove brothers were making lasagna for a TV show supposedly about where students eat in college towns. But...tada...they and their lasagna were the subjects of a Throwdown. Seems from the article that Flay won the throwdown, but it was a great marketing coup for Boves and their mail order empire as well as the restaurant itself.

Just thought you would want to know! I don't know when it will air, but it doesn't matter now because we know Bobby won. Tell me, do you have an "institution" like Boves where you grew up?



  1. I've never been to Vermont. Thanks for sharing about the restaurant. So you started working at JC Penney's when you were about 2 yrs old?
    I love watching Bobby.

  2. Nan,

    Yes, I had just turned 2 and was put to work measuring ladies for bras and "foundation garments". Such fun, but I got to go "downtown" every day and eat my lunch "out" and shop at the fun stores on my lunch hour. Such sophistication, to say nothing of the escalator and elevators in the store, LOL.

  3. Oh now that is cool.

  4. Thank you for the lovely comment for my birthday! Your very sweet!!! :)

    Auberne' Ancalimon


  5. I just love places like that!!! The food and atmosphere are always wonderful :o) I hope to make it to Vermont someday.........

    PS. My first real job
    was at JCP too!

  6. It sounds really neat and Such a great way to be noticed....Bobby Flay.
    The only place remotely similar to that where I'm from is a hamburger joint called the Pirate. It has been around for about 40 years and owned by the same family. It was always a neat place for the high school kids to hang out after football games (mainly because there was no where else to go)as the owners were and still are huge supporters of the little school there. Now just the "old" alumni hang out and the "young" kids think it's a joke. Me, I still love their greasy hamburgers once a year when I go home for homecoming!
    Have a wonderful Wednesday,

  7. i worked at the med. ctr. hosp. of vt. in burlington and whenever anyone had eaten at bove's, before the person rounded the corner to come into the nurses station, the aroma of garlic preceeded that person. if a group of dr.s had been out together the night before, well, you can imagine ... every town needs a bove's! jkj

  8. For us it was Ye Old College Diner in State College, PA near the Penn State Campus. That was the place everyone knew and went for their famous Grilled Stickies.
    Now that we are in Lancaster County, I am not sure what would compare...for something that the locals are crazy about.
    Becky K.

  9. Oh how I love Vermont and BF!
    You were quite the two year old weren't you? : )
    The best Italian places I have ever eaten were in Rome, NY. We were newly stationed there and our kitty's new vet told us about them. He said they had no curb appeal, no ambiance at all but classicaly trained chefs and the best Italian we had ever tasted. He was SO right.
    Here there are a few *local* institutions. Hickory Bar B Que is one...

    Fun post today dear Janet!


  10. Hi Janet!

    I just love "local color" restaurants and diners...they are definitely the best places to eat. Lately I've been craving food from Dominic's in Dayton, Ohio. Great Italian food and a house salad dressing that will absolutely curl your hair...very garlicky and delicious. Of course, everyone has to order the salad, or it's unbearable for the group!
    Stop by my blog...I have something for you.

  11. How interesting. We had a place called Bobby's on the court square where old men wore truckers hats and smoked all the time. Not quite as classy, but they had great scrambled eggs and coffee! :)

  12. I've always wanted to go to your part of the country and some day after retirement I'm bound and determined that we will.
    Restaurants that have that kind of history are amazing to me. I love to learn history about certain buildings and companies.

  13. Love Bobby Flay ! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Oh, I love Vermont! I've been mostly more in the south, though, Manchester, Weston, Grafton, Woodstock, Quechee Gorge. Would love to have a vacation home up there -- 20 acres, old farmhouse, no people! :)

  15. I miss the old Penny's and its escalator! Of course, I also miss Woolworth, Cassler's Toys, and the Oasis Diner. We still Got Henry's and Bove's though!


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