Monday, July 23, 2018

8 Lunches in and around Varca

When I surf for places to eat I mostly find overpriced joints targeting tourists or catering to local tastes for the exotic. These experiences are not so bad in themselves: you can get a fancy dish that is, probably, worth paying the extra for and local tastes do amazing things to tired repeats of popular cuisine from around the world.

However, for the cost, the risk of getting an indifferent tasting mess is overwhelming for me. And experience confirmed the worst over the years.

I'm sure there are many like me, in this respect, all over the world and so, you will find in the next post on this blog, I discovered a couple of places thanks in part to the marvellous Google where folks are prone to mark favourite eateries.

I chose
, especially during this visit, to eat at places favoured by locals. To avoid the category that includes the genre local-exotic, I had to make bold and greet and ask locals for recommendations. 

Mainly, this occured at the divine moments spent in Spicy Bar, as you will discover in an upcoming post here.

With 8 Breakfasts in and around Varca under the belt, we now explore eight lunches there.

The last time we were in Varca, we'd been told to try Ayis Place, near Cavelossim Church, facing the Cavelossim Sports Club Hall, but we somehow were always too early. As we were the first time on this trip too and so we circled back and discovered Khushi, a little place right next to the Varca Church.

It's small and unassuming but cheerful thanks to Sudha who smilingly serves you hearty, wholesome homemade food. 

We had a fish thali - a fried fish, a fish in a curry, some veggies and a kokum drink. This is the usual pattern of the Goan fish thali in the area. It's not terribly fancy but the fish is always very fresh. 

Good food gets polished off before there's time to take a snap!

The next day we made sure to reach Ayis in time and it was a splendid experience. 

Hopefully this will help locate it - the eatery is just behind
The family-run place soon got full of locals and the food was hearty and tasty.

On the third day we finally ate at another place, recommended by locals on our previous trip: Diksha. 

The food was so very good. This is also a family run place. And it's really clean and comfy inside. 

A helping of mussels as side dish

The day after, we decided to try Mother Recipes which we'd noted on an afternoon drive. It's a little after the petrol bunk, to the right.

 This is also a family run place, and, indeed, feels more so than the others. It is cosy and can get crowded at lunch time as it is popular with the people in the area.

The next day we decided to lunch at our old favourite in the area: Kinara. Kinara is a safe bet for the tourist and the little place has a big heart. The food is always good and it's a relaxing place to sit at - you can watch the lazy road, or catch some TV or just browse the rest of the clientele - a mix of locals, and tourists, national and international. 

Riha's is new and it was a fellow tippler at Spicy Bar who tipped us off about it. 

I look forwards to more visits to all these places on future visits. Riha's is also run by a local family and will appeal to all, nicely situated on the main road.

Here, you can also buy various homemade pastes and pickles. A packet or two would be a fine souvenir to carry home and make a wonderful gift too

On one day, we used the leftovers from dinner as lunch - we've not gone so far as to cook for ourselves but I do plan that for a future trip: Cooking up a storm in a teapot - Goa on a Budget.

Not so far fetched when I recall being told, at one hotel an year back, not to boil milk in the electric kettle.  

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