January 8, 2024 – Published in Design & Decor Autumn-Winter 2023 issue
Good To Go Cafeteria: Catering for your daily culinary satisfaction
Photography Matthew Mirabelli
If you are ever driving through the road between Salini and Burmarrad, make sure to visit Good To Go, an unassuming but convenient café in the Midland industrial park.
While it was primarily set up to service the workforce in the area, such as industry workers and truck drivers, it offers a number of freshly cooked dishes every day that will surely tantalise anyone’s taste buds.
Owner Matthew Degiorgio is no stranger to the catering industry. He started out with a sole venture in 1984, and after 20 years, he bought a fledgling catering company and expanded his operations. Today, he owns two cafeterias in Burmarrad located within metres of each other.
“Before it was developed into an industrial zone, this area was known as Wied il-Għasel,” Matthew began. “Good To Go is the flagship enterprise. It has a larger footprint and parking is easier next to it, but the idea is to streamline the two establishments while retaining the same price structure and menu categories. My plan is to offer an online service – hopefully, by the beginning of next year – so that customers can order in through a food courier at reasonable pricing.”
At present, Good To Go is designed to keep clients fuelled up during their workday in a simple but pleasant setting.
“We provide several types of food items at an affordable daily budget for the average working person, from Monday to Friday between 06.30 to 16.30. It’s practical and down-to-earth, offering two dining preferences. You can start your day with a quick pit stop to pick up a coffee and croissant or grab a healthy breakfast option, such as a granola bar, muesli, or yoghurt cup. Alternatively, if you have a bit more time, you can sit down at one of our tables for a leisurely meal – although we can still get you wined and dined in just 20 minutes if that’s all the time you have. Either way, we always provide food on the go; hence, the name,” Matthew smiled.
The design concept is that of an American diner out on Route 66, with bar stools and cushioned wooden booths along the walls sporting touches of blue, and smaller tables spread out in the central area. Large windows offer countryside views, while the interior is enhanced by pendant lighting.
“I wanted to raise the bar with regards to the interior décor and the quality of food we serve,” Matthew explained. “We are far from finished with the design of the place, but we do offer more than the usual ftira or ham and cheese sandwich – always with great value for money. Eating here is much cheaper than buying food at a supermarket or eating out at prime locations such as St Julian’s or Qawra, and you can still enjoy a satisfactory portion of delicious cuisine.”
Every day, the chef at Good To Go prepares a selection of fresh, home-cooked meals that will never cost you more than €10.
There is no fixed menu, but the options are varied and appetising. The café has three counters. The cold buffet selection presents various types of whole grain rice or quinoa, with add-ons such as feta cheese, goat’s cheese, raisins or sultanas, oven-grilled vegetables, or different types of caponata.
The hot counter provides three hot dishes per day, which may include meat dishes, rice, curries, and pasta. There is a different potato dish every day as a side accompaniment. The third counter offers savoury baked dishes, namely pies, quiches, baked rice, or homemade timpana.
A chiller next to the bar displays convenient fast-food options such as bread rolls with different fillings, tuna or breakfast ftiras, and fresh salads. For that sweet tooth craving, you can choose from a variety of flavoured muffins, waffles, cookies, chocolates, and local honey rings.
The team at Good To Go is already planning ahead for the future.
Matthew’s wish is to get the cafeteria on the map and expand the range of daytime customers over a wider radius by reaching out to a second audience, who could include residents in the nearby villages or anyone heading north or on their way to Gozo. Moreover, Friday evenings can be dedicated to private functions for casual get-togethers of around 20-30 people.
“We began by getting an understanding of what the local workforce over here is happy with and can afford,” Matthew mused with a hopeful smile. “But we are ready to take it to the next stage and establish a wider spectrum of clients who may not even know about us yet. Either way, the concept will remain: come here for a high-value selection of interesting food which is always Good To Go!”
Good To Go Cafeteria, Plot 1, Block D, Midland Complex, Burmarrad (l/o Naxxar)
+356 7955 5211