I walked down the Marsaskala waterfront, looking for a bite to eat.
Crazy Chef Kebabs!
“A chicken kebab, please.”
The Crazy Chef got out a pita bread.
Ok, the kebab comes with bread? Nice!
“What kind of salad would you like with that?”
Oh! It comes with a salad, too? And only 4 euros? Nice again!
“What kind of salad do you have?”, I asked.
He pointed to a case with a variety of items in trays.
“Some lettuce, please”, I said.
Crazy Chef scooped up some lettuce and put it in the pita.
Now it’s all coming together.
This is a gyro!
Aka, “kebab” in Malta.
Glad we got that straight.
I ended up with a huge grilled pita stuffed full of chicken and all kinds of “salad”–couscous, rice, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, beans, jalapenos, and more that I can’t remember.
It must have weighed close to a kilo.
I’ve been back to visit the Crazy Chef a number of times since.
He’s always there, by himself, and he’s always open.
“Do you ever sleep?”, I asked.
“I get here in the morning and stay open until 11 at night, maybe 1am if it’s busy”, he said.
“And then I go to my second job.”
“I drive home, sleep for 4-5 hours, and then I come back.”
He’s been doing this for more than a year now.
This is the kind of work ethic the business owners have here.
The crazy hours they work selling food for miniscule margins.
And let’s not even talk about 20 cents for the delicious and filling pastizzi here.
This is the competitive landscape for the Happy Hive.
The culture that four Americans find themselves in, trying to make a café financially viable.
Can you see where this is headed?