6619 Courthouse Road
Prince George, VA 23875-2524
Prince George does not have many restaurants and the one’s it does have suffer from a lack of competition. Since there are so few in county many of them feel that they can serve just about anything and ultimately people will still come back since there are so few convenient places to choose from. Luca’s used to be different; when it was owned by a local family the food was very good and the service and atmosphere was excellent because they were literally serving their neighbors. But a few years back they sold the restaurant and it has gradually slid downhill ever since.
A couple of weeks ago it was Amanda’s grandfather’s 81st birthday so we all went out to Luca’s. We had a great time celebrating Mr. Vtipil’s 81st birthday. The only thing that put a damper on the festivities was the food. The cake Amanda’s sister, Andrea, made for her grandfather was delicious but my meal was lackluster. A long time ago I stopped ordering pasta at Luca’s and many other dinky Italian restaurants like it because the pasta was always over cooked and the sauces tasted like they were scooped straight out of a can with very little pride or culinary skill put into them. There are a few exceptions to this rule but most places suffer from this laziness and cheapness. Whenever I frequent these establishments I skip the pasta and stick with the things that are very hard to mess up like pizza, calzones, sandwiches, and subs.
This time at Luca’s I decided to order a calzone; with just ricotta, mozzarella, and pepperoni (which I replaced the ham with) it can only be but so bad, right? What I received was a thin crescent shaped pastry that resembled a true calzone in shape only. Luckily, it tasted a bit better than it looked although it was rather skimpy. The outside was a thin crisp and crunchy shell holding in a minuscule amount of chesses and pepperoni. The flavors were not terrible but it was a far cry from the best calzone I’ve ever had or even from a really good one. The watery marinara sauce that accompanied it, which usually is used to enhance the flavor, added nothing but a metallic flavor and made it soggy. Needless to say I was not impressed by my meal.
What may be worse than the food is the fact that while it is a hometown diner the staff and the owners really do not act like it. They are all as impersonal as any other chain restaurant. The only thing that makes it feel like a hometown place is that you often see your friends and neighbors eating there.
As much as I would love for people to eat in Prince George and keep your money and taxes in the county I cannot recommend eating at Luca’s. There are far better Italian restaurants within driving distance and they are worth the extra drive.