Thursday, June 21, 2018

8 Breakfasts in and around Varca

This is our third Goa monsoon trip. Each year we've reached Goa with the rain. The first day, the 5th of June, though the traditional date for the onset of the monsoon here, is generally fairly hot. And then come the rains!

Monsoon beauty, Goan Imperial Holidays, Varca
We arrived early in the morning by the Goa Express. Even though it was a wee bit late it was still an early check-in and it began to rain and pour the moment we reached The Goan Imperial Holidays.

Now, Varca and its environs are not as touristy as the rest of Goa . Most of Goa boasts all kinds of eateries, and most of those cater to the tourist hordes. Also, come the monsoon, most such places close shop for the season. 


Generally, hotels offer breakfast as part of the deal. However, looking at reviews on the Net, one finds a lot of complaints about the food. Indeed, it has been explained that these are not actually free since a somewhat lower rate is one that is minus the meal. On this trip we had an excellent deal for the stay but sans breakfast. 

I'm all for the 'free' breakfast. There have been those about which one ends up daydreaming. Ones in Bali, in Kota Kinabalu... And I'm sure the costlier hotels here also do something of the sort. As for Goa, I've had the free breakfasts at Ocean Suite and it suited us well and more. Fatima makes rather nice aloo parathas and you enjoy a fairly comprehensive spread, including bread, butter, jam, tea and coffee and she also makes a couple of other Indian items - upma, for instance. 

The next stay was at Amigo Plaza and breakfast was not included in the deal. However, I'd gladly have paid and had some as everything smelled divine and their tea was excellent. It was November 8, 2017 and we discovered that we had a budget of zero. 

Lazy Frog has a decent breakfast service with dear Barnard dishing up some heart melting club sandwiches and poori bhajis. The winner here, given the cafeteria setting.  

Given the time and the place and our deal, we knew that breakfast might be a problem until we got a vehicle and so we hired one with the help of Corine, your go-to-person for everything at the GIH - the rooms have the phone numbers to call for this and that stuck to the back of the door which is very convenient. 

Then we enjoyed a long hot wash - the 1 BHK has a good geyser and both shower and taps worked fine. There is also a bucket and mug which makes everything so much the easier.

We had leftovers from the dinner we'd packed for the overnight train journey -lemon rice, potato fry, tomato sabzi. We nuked those in the microwave in the adequately furnished kitchenette and it made a fabulous brunch.

All cleaned up we explored our hideaway for the next 8 days. The kitchenette is in the living space, with microwave, toaster, induction plate and kettle. There are pots and pans and plates and microwave dishes as well as cutlery and cups and such.



From the next day on, we would enjoy the seashore in the morning, and return to have a bath before exploring the area for breakfast options. Both of us were eager to find places that the locals favoured. Having already visited Laxmi Cafe, Janot Bazar, Carmona, where we'd had a wonderful shrimp dish for breakfast on a previous visit, we hit that one first. The place is next to a Cedric Bakery.  


Alas, we were too early for the shrimps but their bhaji and pav was great. This appears to be the regular breakfast around here. 


The next day it was raining as we set out towards Benaulim and a kind person directed us to Hotel Satkar.


We had a puri breakfast which was quite appropriate for the weather. 


The day after, we had bhaji pav at a small eatery near the Cavelossim Church. Now, this same dish varies ever so subtly at each place. There is a peppery tang that is divine. Omkar served theirs with a garnish of chopped onions. 


The next breakfast was at Mother Recipes and this was indeed a marvelous experience. It's a family run place - as with most of the places we ate at on this trip. The proprietor and his family offer rare and pleasant hospitality. The bhaji pav was yum!


Make Goan Bhaji

Every morning after a serene time on the beach we'd scout for a different local breakfast place and we thus found SG Cafe! We had the most melt-in-your-mouth club sandwich here. A young couple run it and it's a handy place set on the Carmona Road. 


Our last morning meal this trip was at a little nameless place, in Fatrade, much like Perpetual Place (near Varca Church), where we'd had some wonderful meat samosas. In fact, there are quite a few such places dotting the landscape and you can enjoy fresh snacks, assured that they are not going to do your tummy any harm.  


A gentleman from Varca, who had given us a good recommendation for a lunch place, told us, alas too late, that the place serves some fantastic sausage rolls. Since we met him on our way out we'd already had our bhaji with some of the below fresh pavs.


All these places are family run, clean and serve honest food that will keep you healthy on your trip whereas the tourist traps foster germs of all kinds.

Still, if all this is too rustic for you, there's always Kinara whose hospitable and helpful boys will welcome a visit, in and out of season. However, they only open at 11 AM.

I look forwards to my next trip to the area, now that I've discovered all these places, to try all the suggestions from the wonderful people I met there. Varca is Paradise! 

I leave you with two lists of breakfast places in the area from Tripadvisor:


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