The restaurant I originally planned on going to for this review happened to be closed right before my arrival, so I had to come up with a plan B on the spot. Normally (as any good reviewer should), I try to visit restaurants that I have never been to before, so my review will include the whole experience without being clouded by past visits.
It is with this thought, that before I begin, I must confess: I have had Pompeii Pizza before. However, I had never made the trek out to the semi-permanent “home” (parking space) of the truck before, so I figured I could still accurately portray the whole experience.
I drove from my apartment in Orono all the way to a parking lot on Front Street — right next to Sea Dog Brewing Company — in Bangor. The weather outside was beautiful, which was great, because a lack of an actual restaurant means eating outside is not only encouraged, it’s the only option. The Bangor waterfront provided beautiful scenery.
I caught the boxy, black Pompeii Pizza truck just in time, which I’ll explain in a second
Immediately, I noticed that my favorite thing about Pompeii is their simplicity. Pompeii is simple in the sense that their employees are working in a food truck with fewer supplies than an average restaurant, but it doesn’t stop there. Pompeii Pizza only has five things on their menu (all pizzas) and the ingredients are as simple. I didn’t have to wonder about what was on my pizza, because all of the ingredients are listed on the menu (bonus points: the menu doubles as a bookmark). Also, I can pronounce every ingredient, which is definitely a plus.
I ordered “The Pompeii,” which came in a personalized form as they all do at Pompeii. For this particular pizza, the menu boasted “olive oil, mozzarella & provolone cheese, arugula, carmalized [sic] sweet onions, roma tomatoes, red & yellow sweet peppers, asiago & parmesan cheese, [and] balsamic reduction.” The description itself prompted my mouth to water.
All of the pizzas from Pompeii are cooked in an actual wood-fired oven that patrons can see. The entire right side of the truck opens up to make proficient ventilation for the colossal oven. If you want to, you can watch them cook your pizza, which is always fun.
And no surprise here: “The Pompeii” was phenomenal. The tangy balsamic reduction paired well with the sweetness of the onions and peppers, but it also balanced out the smoky flavor from the wood-fired oven.
I began to devour the pizza shortly after it was finished, so I burned my mouth (ouch) and the contents were slippery, as I didn’t leave them enough time to cool and rest. However, my mistakes did not hamper “The Pompeii” experience.
The only downside to this review is this — by the time this goes to print, Pompeii Pizza will have packed up for the season. Because of the nature of their business, they are only able to remain open during the nicer half of the year. I caught Pompeii Pizza two days before their seasonal closing.
Have no fear! Pompeii Pizza will open again sometime in mid-April, so you will definitely have time to enjoy “The Pompeii,” or even “The Perfect Pepperoni” soon enough.
For more information about Pompeii Pizza food truck and their return in April, visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pompeiipizzamaine/.