The culture of food is changing, especially when it comes to dining out on a budget. The link between spending less money and receiving low quality food is being broken by higher expectations of inexpensive restaurants and takeaways. The origins of a meal are becoming more important as an increasing number of people want to know where their food is actually coming from, instead of having it handed to them on a plate without a second thought.
The likes of Domino’s and Pizza Hut are being pushed aside and replaced by the artisanal restaurants that are cropping up quickly around Glasgow, such as Paesano and Pizza West, rejecting pizza’s junk-food reputation and legitimising the much loved Italian dish. It’s obvious that the trend of pizza has never really dimmed but now it seems to be evolving in order to suit the needs of today’s more conscious eaters.
Priding themselves on only using fresh produce, Paesano is set up in a vast industrial-style space in the city centre, and the dining experience involves being surrounded by all of the ingredients that are used to cook the pizza. Stacked up high are bags of Italian flour; tins of olive oil line the walls and an array of wines decorate the bar. Also on show are the bakers kneading and shaping endless balls of dough and firing them in giant wood-burning ovens that are in view while you eat, emphasising the connection between the behind-the-scene work and what’s put in front of the restaurant-goers. And if this wasn’t enough, the prices are low and the service is fast; all of this makes having to wait around fifteen minutes for a table worth every bite. The daily queues to be seated is a definite sign of its growing popularity.
With the recent closure of Ketchup’s front of house, is this the beginning of the end of the greasy burger craze that once wafted through the streets of Glasgow, replaced by the developing pizza scene? Paesano’s soon-to-open West End restaurant may be evidence of this as it creeps up behind Bread Meats Bread and their newest restaurant which opened late last year.
Perhaps oversized burgers are losing their touch and cheap, frozen pizzas just don’t cut it anymore. There’s a need for more than just overpriced fast food with a free salad bar thrown in– today’s ingredient-conscious diners want authentic food and a real eating experience.