Food writers are a strange breed. They write a 1000-word review but give the food about 100 words. We don’t have many of them on the island, but out of respect to the one who contributed to the Vida for two years (Ed, of Ed Eats – sorry but he’s stuck in the past, he only tweets), I generally tend to stay away from the subject.
I pretend to do it out of respect for him, but really I just avoid the subject because I know he can do the job much more effectively than I can. Ed knows the perfect age of every red wine in the world. In minutes. Ed can recite the cuts of meat in a calf moving in any direction (front, back, up or down) and will tell you where the best restaurant for each particular cut can be found. Ed can smell truffles from a restaurant’s kitchen, and will then proclaim that they are actually spring truffles (this, my friends, is not a hyperbole – I’ve seen him do it). Ed is basically what Chuck Norris would be hope to be if he applied himself to culinary delights.
I on the other hand, am a relatively crass eater. I like sushi as much as the next middle-class guy but you won’t find me travelling for food. I love eating well when I’m abroad, but I prefer to choose destinations for other reasons (music is usually the main one). When I eat I can appreciate the finer things in life, but don’t expect me to tell you for how long a steak was aged before it was grilled.
It was therefore quite fitting that my second restaurant review is not about a restaurant at all (you can find my first here: Badass Burgers). It is about a little take-out in Paceville – one of Malta’s seediest locations. If you want a quick, cheap and cheerful meal for lunch in Malta you usually have two options – the village bar for a ftira or a plate of pasta; or pastizzi, a pizza or a pie from a pastizzi place. Both are incredibly tempting options but none of them offers any brownie points for class or health.
Good food, in my books, needs two basic elements: good ingredients and some loving attention at the preparation stage. It might sound obvious to you and to me, but to so many people providing food for a living it seems to be a thoroughly elusive concept. Finding a decent roll was much easier when I worked on the other side of the Island. Stuzzico, for example, offers great baguettes made with some of the finest ingredients this side of the Straits of Messina – and all at reasonable prices.
Now that I’m working in San Gwann and have a half-hour lunch break, my options are severely limited. Enter Baker’s Crust. Having opened its doors only three months ago, one would expect it to be struggling to find its feet, however I’ve been going regularly for the past two months and have never been disappointed.
The variety of food on display is decent – among other things you have pizzas (which I have never tried); very fresh salads with generous portions of chicken, tuna, feta cheese or fruit – depending on the variety you choose; wraps; sandwiches; ultra-crunchy baguettes with fine ingredients (my favourite comes with brie and cranberry sauce); and delicious foccaccias (my favourite is a Sicilian foccaccia with aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes and basil and a healthy drizzle of tasty olive oil).
In addition to being very good, the food is well-priced and is usually ready in a matter of minutes. Does it have drawbacks? Yes, everything does. Parking is always a pain – but we usually car-pool, park in a, erm, compromising place and leave someone on watch with the car.
And that, my dear readers, is that. If I ever want to be a proper food writer I must now close the review off with a reference to the gag in my first paragraph. I dedicated 10% of my article to the food at the place I was reviewing. On second thoughts I think I have the credentials to become a food writer after all.
P.S. If you work in the area you’re in for another bonus – all their food is at half price this week – gosh. You might even meet me there if you head over at around 1.
P.P.S. Just in case you’re wondering, Baker’s Crust is next to Champs in Paceville, opposite Melita Pharmacy.
(#24 of 366 X 2012 project)