On January 1st of this year, I promised myself that I would travel someplace every month of the year no matter how broke I was or how hectic my schedule was….but like most resolutions, it did not happen. This thought was always at the back of my mind, just constantly nagging me when I saw Instagram posts of my friends and frenemies having the time of their lives at some exotic location. So, in September when a friend suggested that we go to Goa, I jumped at the chance. Yes. Yes. It’s Goa but I had never been there. Yes. Yes. I am lame like that. The planning consumed me for weeks. I would have looked at pages and pages of ‘Things to do in Goa’. Yes. Yes. I acted like a tourist. Finally everything was in order and we found ourselves boarding a bus to Panjim. Two more buses later, We found ourselves in Vagator. We stayed in this place called the Jungle hostel which was bloody brilliant. After a small Goa dance which was more of a wiggle really, we took a bike and went to the closest beach. The whole journey was about beach hopping, getting drunk, a little bit of the club scene, getting drenched in the rain, almost dying and since this is a food blog, hogging.
On this first day, We went to this place called Vinayak for some good seafood. The place was extremely popular and pretty crowded when we got there. After some good old Port wine, we muched on some good old golden fried prawns. Ah man. The prawns in the city doesn’t even compare to the ones we get by the ocean. You could tell that they were fresh and made just for you. Well, maybe not made just for us but it felt that way. Since the waiter shook his head in dismay, almost apalled by our combinations, we decided to let him help us and ended up with some simple rice and fish curry. I never much liked fish until I ate that meal. It was everything I wanted it to be. I could eat that meal for lunch every single day.
Our nights were spent at Mango Tree which is also closest to our hotel. The proximity is merely a fact and but the prime reason for the frequent visits were their coconut fenny. It’s the best thing I have ever drank in my life. I am sure my friend would vouch for this. We searched all of North Goa for a bottle but apparently it’s sold only in Maharashtra. Call it the fault in our Stars. Coming to the food, I was munching on the Kalamari like it was popcorn and the pizza was pretty decent too. I am just restricting the food to a single sentence but this place was all about the fenny.
After some extensive beach hopping and Zomato searching, we went to Tintin for a late lunch. The place was cute but the dogs were cuter. We ordered a nice Cajun pizza and beer battered prawns. The prawns were nice but it did not come close to the golden friend prawns we had earlier. Maybe it’s like comparing peaches to oranges but I am loyal to my golden fried prawns. The pizza on the other hand, whole other story. Bangalore needs pizza like that. It was quite massive for two people and HOT. Yummm. I should have parcelled some. Dammit. We also fed their dogs who were looking at us with their puppy dog eyes. I know. I know. Shame on me.
Rocket Burgers and Burger Factory were two highly recommended places but eluded us. Finally, we got to Burger factory. The owner/manager was super friendly and helped us with our orders. We had a shake which was essentially just cookies and virgin olive oil. Confused? It really does taste good. Who knew? I ordered a regular BBQ burger while my friend ordered something with mangoes in it. Ugh. Hippies. Both burgers had a layer of green chillies which made it taste so much better. The mango one did taste better though. Sigh.
Goa was nothing like I imagined. I expected it to be a blur but it took my heart away. I fell in love with the friendly locals, finger licking food, beautiful beaches, narrow roads and the peaceful feeling it gave me. Those 4 days definitely made me fatter but also quietened the chaos in my mind.