Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pompei

Location: 1531 W Taylor and 212 E Ohio
Cost: About $8 per person

Certain restaurants that may not be great enough on their own to draw in substantial business often have to benefit from their location. It has become clear to me that restaurants near hospitals are no exception to this rule. For instance, Nesh, this Mediterranean place near Children's Memorial Hospital, may be moving to Streeterville when the hospital relocates there because this is such a huge chunk of their business. Well if you do any work at NMH and/or Stroger, you're probably no stranger to Pompei. One day after a busy morning clinic, the generous Dr. Marasigan took a few of us there to lunch while we went over lecture material.

Note: I've had Pompei in Streeterville a bunch of times too and can safely say that the places are similar. Please consider this post a compilation of my opinions even though the food this time is specific to the Taylor St. location.

Logistics
Pompei looks like a cafeteria. They have a ton of seating and a super long counter where you an point at food that strikes your fancy while you walk by. It's really efficient for lunch even when the lines are long. They also deliver with pretty good service. There's not really much else to comment on the dine-in service since you're not waited on.

The cost is what I'd expect to pay for lunch with a variety of options between $5-10. For instance, the pizza strudel costs $5, while the specialty pasta of the day is usually around $9. Either way you get a whole lot of food (definitely enough to ruin your afternoon with a food coma).

The Food
Dr. Marasigan ordered the Heart Healthy Pizza Strudel, Marc got the BBQ Chicken Pizza Strudel, Nitasha had the Chicken Wrap, and I got the Chicken Roll on Fettuccine. I can't really speak to the other dishes because there wasn't too much sharing, but I can tell you Dr. Marasigan was happy because she proceeded to get three more of her lunch to go for later meals. I got a bite of the bbq chicken strudel which was just alright. The dough was nice and crispy outside while soft inside. The chicken was a little bland and dry for me though. My chicken roll was gigantic, breaded, and filled with cheese. The chicken itself was again too dry, and the amount of cheese was a little much for me. The tomato sauce it came with was the real issue. It tasted almost exactly like spaghetti-o's sauce, which I think is delicious normally but really didn't go with this dish.

The Heart Healthy Pizza

The BBQ Chicken Pizza Strudel

The Chicken Wrap

 The Chicken Roll with Fettuccine

Overall
Pompei serves a nice purpose in providing large meals in a quick way at a low cost. It's nothing you can't get elsewhere, but when you're hungry and it's close by, it's not too bad a choice. If you're in Streeterville, I'd suggest Volare instead, and if you're in Little Italy then there are a lot of options. If you've only got an hour for lunch though, this might be your place. I'm giving them 2 out of 5 Pearls.


Pompei Bakery on Urbanspoon Pompei Little Italy on Urbanspoon

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