Sunday, 24 June 2012

Eat a Pitta

I think St. Nicholas Markets in Bristol is seeing the birth of a new food success story - Eat a Pitta.

The Glass Arcade at St. Nicholas Markets is a consistently popular place for Bristolians to eat, with good reason. Caribbean, Italian, Portuguese, Moroccan and English food is on offer.

And now the latest addition, Eat a Pitta. Who's success seems to rest on a 75 year old Algerian recipe for falafel. Dan Levy, owner of Eat a Pitta explains,

"The falafels are my grandmas recipe which she has held for 75 years. She is originally from Algeria but now resides in France. The recipe has always been in the family so it was natural for me as a chef, to go back to my roots as this is the kind of food I grew up eating. I do think this kind of food is street food so when the stall became free in St nicks I jumped at the chance."

Taking a chance like that is a big step, and one that Dan receives help with from The Princes Trust. I asked Dan how they support him,

"The Princes Trust were able to help me get my business off the ground early in 2011. I was unemployed at the time. They gave me advice and a lot of help with my business plan, although their help is not financial. I have a business mentor through the trust with whom I meet every couple of months for advice and support."

It is definitely a successful combination. Eat a Pitta seems to have the longest queue in the food court on any day of the week and Dan is pretty pleased with that,

"The business has got of to a great start. A lot better than I foresaw in fact. I would like to grow the business, perhaps even into a franchise, I feel it has the potential to achieve that."

It is hard to argue with that. Eat a Pitta seems to be the right thing at the right time. Although if you're Dan the right time would seem to be being at Grandma's for tea,

"As good as mine are, she somehow seems to always make them that little bit better than me. That's grandma's touch I guess."

And so, to the falafels themselves. They're constantly frying them so they're perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside and moist and light in the middle. To make sure that the falafels are as fresh as possible, Dan and his team give away free samples to anyone who wants one. 

To go with the falafels there's a choice of freshly prepared salads. Huge platters of colourful carrots, red and white cabbage and onions. Dishes of hummus and tabbouleh, and a selection of pickles and chillies. And on top of that a choice of tahini, chilli and olive oil and lemon dressings. There's also the extra chilli jam for the brave.

It's a delicious and satisfying meal that is completely guilt free.

When you listen to the news or read a newspaper it seems like there's nothing but bad news at the minute, so it's great to see a new business start so successfully. I hope the success continues. 

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