It was Saturday night in the North End, around 2:30 a.m. Per usual, Jamie and I were finished with our beverages, and craved some sort of bad-for-you nourishment to finish the night off. Someone mentioned Cafe Pompei on Hanover St for pizza. Pizza? Done and done!
We didn't know exactly where it was located, but it was easy to find, since most of Hanover was quiet and dark, and light and noise poured out of Cafe Pompei. I had expected a pizza place with a counter, packed with rowdy frat boys who had wandered over from Faneuil Hall. However, it was a full-fledged restaurant, and when someone (memory a bit hazy) asked us, "for here or to go?" we both kind of shrugged and said, "I guess for here!" Our adventure was just beginning.
We sat down at the table and menus were plopped down in front of us. So far, everything seemed pretty normal (besides the hour of dining, of course). However, upon looking around the restaurant, things seemed a bit strange, as if we had stepped into an episode of the twilight zone. Large, overweight Italian guys sat at tables with gorgeous, skinny blondes. A tall, thin, Naomi Campbell look-a-like sat at the table to our right. She looked unamused as her two large male companions wolfed down calzones. Where were we?! What was going on, and how was this restaurant still open?
A waiter ran around the restaurant like he was majorly in the weeds-- but I couldn't help but feel terribly sorry for him. Working the late night shift at a place filled with drunk people? Not so fun. Finally we got his attention and ordered two slices of cheese pizza. When they arrived not too long after, I furiously sprinkled red pepper flakes over it and devoured it. It was delicious.
Soon, a table of four young, European-looking guys sat down next to us. They immediately struck up a conversation with us. One guy said that Jamie looked like "all the girls from Top Model combined." We introduced ourselves as Kelly and Sarah. All of this reminded us SO much of our time abroad-- fake names, Europeans, late night drunk food. Sigh.
SUCH a funny and bizarre night. I wouldn't be surprised if I try to bring someone there next time and it's closed, and I'll wonder, "Was Cafe Pompei just a figment of my imagination?!"