Since this viral headache began, my wife and I have been consistent cookers from home, slow-cooking and roasting and fricasseeing whatever the hell we can get our hands on to avoid getting out there and looking people straight in the eye and giving them the honest truth, which I am told is a risk-factor for getting the newest and hottest and sexiest coronavirus.
This, even though we love to get our food prepared.
We turned the page last Friday, as our meal plan consisted of takeout, which we expected to be sourced from Bernard’s, our favorite Chinese restaurant in Boston, or, failing that, from either Frank Pepe's and Bertucci’s pizzerias.
Bernard’s is situated in the gritty “Street” section of what used to be called the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center. I’m no stranger to tough ‘hoods and was willing to brave the toughest street gangs Chestnut Hill could muster for a little taste of Bernard’s awesome dumplings. But Bernard’s website indicated that the restaurant is currently on hiatus. Probably forced to close by Chestnut Hill gangs, or maybe that godforsaken virus I keep hearing about. (To be honest, I fear I’ll never taste those Bernard’s dumplings again).
So we ordered instead from Frank Pepe's. This was a no-brainer. How long had it been since I had had a Pepe’s spinach and gorgonzola or white clam pizza? Literally months! The online ordering was a breeze, and I would be picking up my pizza curbside.
Of course, it didn’t happen quite that way. I arrived to find a line of 25 cars, and another 25 people hovering outside the pizza shop, announcing their names to the friendly man whose job was to sort through orders and bring them out to hungry patrons hoping to eat clams and parmesan cheese on a pizza.
We were an understanding bunch, until a couple people arrived who seemed unaware of the gloabal crisis we were all dealing with. Where’s my pizza? What’s the system? Why aren’t you doing it this way, which I think is better than the way you are doing it? Somehow, getting into the pizza organizer’s face was deemed to be the best way forward.
Ultimately, I left, snagging pizza for the kids from Bertucci’s, and returning to Pepe’s an hour or two later to get my adult pizzas (“Oh, you’re here, finally"). I gave a big thanks to the young people working through the mess of the a-holes demanding the kind of service we expected back in 2019.