from drafts limbo: university student nutrition

this will be a small series of posts
that got stuck in the drafts limbo of the blog
and i never got round to finishing them off
i will leave them mostly intact without much change since they are dated
the following one is from a bit more than two years back when i was finishing my university degree

the next couple of months will be the last of those spent at the university of malta
its been five years that i have been in the company of well fed stray cats, unnecessarily confusing bureaucracy and shit-ugly architecture

and on my last year in this would be nurturing environment
a sort of humble food revolution has occurred

University Canteen - Brought to you by papillon caterers
the name papillon (pronounced pap-iyy-oghg) comes from the french term also used in english "pap"
most of the food they serve is based on the culinary philosophy of pap

a few years ago the only food you could get in and around the university of malta was whatever was supplied by the nasty papillon caterers at the university canteen
here the only thing i could ever classify as above edible were a few food items
the pastizzi have never been any good
both the traditional diamond shaped ones and the flat party types
the round thin pizzas are somewhat semi-decent but are small and over priced
the squarish ones as stated somewhere else in this blog as "suck ass"
the ok food items for me have so far been some of the arancini when they look fresh, the mexican pie which two years ago was the second best thing you could eat on campus and then they have semi-decent cordon bleus
they also have a chicken wrap thing in the fridge section which is sometimes passable

about two years ago aswell the insiter
a university magazine
published a front page article claiming that university table-tops were cleaner than toilet seats
apparently some chemistry students carried out some tests on this comparison the previous year and the insiter published their findings as front page material
the pap people went ape-shit
and tried to sue the editor and journalist etc etc

i personally never understood what the fuss was about
since it does make sense that a place where all sorts of crumbs and spills gather would be more bacteria infested than a place where
a) urine gets miss-aimed, in the case of the guys' toilets, and urine being antiseptic as far as i know would get to kill bacteria (not too sure about this)
and b) in the case of the ladies' toilets the seats get wiped clean continuously by the patrons (not because chicks are cleaner, but because they need to sit down and make physical contact to pee)

anyway this resulted in a directive from the managers of pap who had the poor guy who cleaned the tables and canteen to wipe those tables clean every fucking minute
it is quite bothersome when you re eating and someone comes to clean your table
what the fuck!
leaving a thin line of dampness from an overused piece of damp cloth

anyway the university canteen really sucks on many accounts, freshmen/women/persons might think that they have quite a variety but after a while you truly learn to despise their food and disservice

Sandro tal-hotdogs:
two years ago this guy provided the best food on campus
really ace hot dogs and burgers
this year it seems that he has left the premises and he is never there when i look
that corner is now empty truly empty
i think that maybe the other recent eateries and restaurants which have opened have forced him out
either that or i m always around when he takes a day off or something
a moment of weblog silence is in order for his absence

that was all i wrote as a draft
there was more to write of course:

spuntino's pizzas are definitely in the top ten for pizzas on the maltese islands
the owner and chef is an italian guy who knows what he is doing
the design of the place is cool and fresh unlike many run of the mill diners or eateries in malta it contains interior design with a plan
the rest of his menu also reflects this

meet and eat had some good aspects like the custard pie which i thing was on my first post for this blog
i think this was the first place that offered close to campus competition to pap-illon
they also had toasted baguettes and wraps which were very decent
the design and space of the place had flaws but i think they now moved to a different place on the same street
hopefully bigger and with better interiors

hugo's was a breath of fresh air for those who had money to spend and wanted fancy risottos and baguettes
they offered and probably still offer a wide selection of high priced but decent food
of course all the good looking people in their branded clothes huddled here
as a homogeneous eyesore
i loved going there though for calpico (this japanese weird drink) and sushi
which although nothing too special as sushi
at least it tasted like the cheap stuff in japan
except yeah this was expensive
they had great milkshakes too
i think my favorite was the gingernut biscuit milkshake

white arrow
i loved hanging out here in my last year
mostly for the silence and cutting off from the rest of university
save for the usual gang of teenage skaters that never bothered me as much as the crowds at the canteen, hugo's
toni the guy who handled junior college's notorious white arrow
moved here
he had some good pastries and a hot meal that was different everyday
the bill was always very cheap
and his hot meals always felt like eating directly from someone's kitchen
having a chat with him was always fun
he had a secret policy of being open to customers he liked
but closed to everyone else (put in effect by the strategic 'sorry we re closed' sign on the locked door)
white arrow at university is his retirement plan apparently
he is open for business
but only if he feels like it
white arrow was the only place that served te bil halib tal bott u wahda zokkor
that's why i started going there in the first place
his tortellini had a standard overcookedness
but for less than one lira who's going to complain

how could i have forgotten matilda's
i ate a good Caesar salad there once
but i don't know what else to say for the place
it was also in the off campus section before meet and eat
dunno if it still there

there is a new pizzeria which is amazing apparently
pizza by luca i think its called
which replaced the old snackline with clement
yes that was another place off campus pre meet and eat

also in the meantime there was also that incident with the same people of papillon serving half a rodent or something like that to a patron at the newly opened mater dei hospital canteen last year
hehehe you crack me up papillon

over and out


bobblog said...

In my time we had snackline - great sandwiches, doughnuts and fried pizzas. There was quite an atmosphere as well.

Some Canteen pre-history:

Before Pappillion started to cater for the uni canteen we had the Corinthia group and trust me the food wasn't great.

Stones in the pizza
Pasta with white sauce that tasted and smelt like book glue
Sometimes flies would be found nestling in the ftajjar
and a cook who would cough all over your food.

Saying that the lasagne and the veggie burgers were great.

Now the food was quite cheap so I ate there regularly.

In 2000 a group of students as a protest bought a load of chocolate bars and started to distribute them freely among campus

then within a week Corinthia was out and Papillion in.

james said...

Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it.

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