Even under the best circumstances, the work days leading up to vacation are always hectic. B and I have both worked furiously for the last week or so trying to wrap up everything we can before leaving on Wednesday morning. I had dinner on the calendar for tonight since we’ll obviously be gone on Thursday, but I wasn’t excited about the location. Before I could email B to tell him I wasn’t really up to it, he sent me an email to the same effect. We changed the location to somewhere a little closer. Then, for reasons unimportant, one of our days went woefully south. Dinner was in jeopardy… plus I had a killer headache from hardly eating all day. One last vacation errandand we arrived home a little later than usual and exhausted. Dinner location #2 went out the window. Onto our third plan – Bambino’s Pizzeria. We walked by Bambino’s a hundred times over the last few years and never stopped in. Well, that’s not entirely true. Once a couple years ago we tried to stop in for dinner, but there was an absurdly long wait. We never went back. Not because of the long wait. We just never got around to it. Then one rainy evening a few weeks ago, we decided to try again and succeeded. We really enjoyed it and tonight it seemed like a great choice.
Of course, one of the biggest draws of Bambino’s tonight was the proximity. The weather forecast promised us temperatures in the forties this week, but it’s much, much colder than that. Frigid, in fact. Bambino’s is only a couple blocks away and we walk fast. Walking up to the restaurant, they looked closed. The lights were on, but all the visible tables were empty. It seemed a little dark. I was mentally adding Bambino’s to the list of Monday closures. It turns out, though, that apparently the cold just kept people home.
I remembered something about Bambino’s from our first visit. Their single serving salads are huge. Ordering too much food on purpose usually seems silly, but for some reason in a pizza joint, it feels like the right thing to do. Two beers, one “small” Insalata di Palermo (Baby Greens, Sopressata Salami, Caciocavallo Cheese, Dry Fig, Vinaigrette), one 15″ Pizza Calarosa (Tomato Sauce, Smoked Mozzarella, Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Bacon) and an order of Cannoli later, we were full and had leftovers to spare.
I love the salad, but the hard cheese is salami chunks (while delicious) are a little hard to eat. I had two slices of pizza (one more than I intended to) and had no trouble polishing off my Cannoli. There isn’t anything about Bambino’s that particularly stands out, but the food is good and sometimes that’s all that really matters.
So maybe all the bad parts of today weren’t wiped away by this simple meal, but it’s impossible to deny that these basic staples of comfort food dulled the impact. The most basic hope in the world is that each day is better than the last. Some tomorrows are up against stiffer competition than others. March 1st stands a pretty good chance against today, but tonight’s meal at least gave February 28th a bit of a leg up.