The North End is known for its Italian Restaurants, its tourists and its cheese shops. It’s known for pizza and espresso, pastry places like Mike’s and Modern, and old ladies with shopping bags and swollen feet. It’s not really known for having great breakfast. But when I woke up this morning, I had sore legs and a crabby-mood headache, and I made the executive-decision that only one thing was going to cut it: fresh coffee, and someone else making me eggs. (Okay, that’s two things. Math is over-rated.)
I’ll rewind a bit. Yesterday I had a very long (aka fourteen hour) day at my unpaid internship, followed by work tonight at the restaurant, straight through Monday. Wah, wah, wah, someone call the WHAMBULENCE, I know, but I really just needed to get out of my apartment and relax a bit before my shift today. And I guess I feel slightly guilty going out to eat by myself. It seems very Sofia Coppola to me. Like I needed new gladiator sandals and a pale blue mole-skin—and maybe also a directing career and a fortune—just to do it. Shockingly, I still somehow managed to get out the door.
And thankfully there was somewhere to go, since Salem Street now has Cafe Nuovo, a restaurant that as of now still serves only breakfast and brunch food. Which is fine, because they’re very good at it. I’ve been there three times since I moved here in December, and I have to say, me likey a lot. Big fan. It’s incredibly reasonable (5.99 (!) for two eggs any style, with delicious scali toast and very good home fries), they have good coffee, and the waitresses are nice. Hmm, what else…it gets great light in the morning. Good banana bread and orange juice, too. And it’s nice to eat alone at.
Of course, going out to eat today was really stupid of me, after the debacle of what happened last night. I was working an event that had a lot of food, which meant a lot of left-overs and harried face-stuffing while running dishes, and I got an up-close-and-personal reminder of why I was fifteen pounds heavier in college. (Let’s just say a buffet dining hall + stress isn’t good for anyone’s arm tone.) It was a night where it seemed completely normal to me that I was mixing shrimp cocktail with Popeyes fried chicken, followed by mini chocolate eclairs and roasted red pepper crostini, topped off with coffee-oreo JP Licks, and then a nice glugging of ginger-ale, with a side of macaroni and cheese and tiramisu to finish things off. (This all occurred in the span of twenty minutes.) I should probably be juice-fasting for the next 48 hours, or cayenne peppering, or whatever it is that Beyonce does to get “healthy” fast, but sometimes you just need to order an omlette with peppers and cheese and watch SportsCenter on mute, even if you’re still full from the night before. (And probably will be for the next month.)
But the North End really is lucky to have this spot. I sat there peacefully, drinking my fresh-squeezed orange juice, texting my boyfriend, and attempting to read an article on Libya, which is always fun first thing in the morning. (Whenever I come home to a new New Yorker at night, I always crawl into bed, read the celebrity profile (this week Jane Fonda—why is Klute SO GOOD?), read the movie reviews and other pop-culture-ey things (great article on the Pioneer woman blog), browse the comics and snort a little bit, and then throw the thing on the floor in exhaustion, feeling incredibly guilty that I have by-passed all the poems and in-depth articles on the numerous wars going on in this world, and chosen, instead, to sleep. (Does anyone else read those things last….or never?)) But it is what is. And I don’t like how little I comprehend of that stuff. (That stuff? Uh….) The question is, of course, what comprehending any of it does, anyhow. It’s strange to read about rebel armies, and the deaths, and the desert, while looking out a window at laughing old men and food trucks slowly lumbering by and feeling like you live in a very peaceful part of a very peaceful city in a very peaceful nation. But I’m going to finish the article now, most likely with a window on Wikipedia open, so I can understand what the hell the reporter’s talking about. And hopefully I don’t fall asleep from my idiocy, or from being too full.