Tag Archives: drinks

Food Trucks in Pune

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One of my favorite shows on Food Network is Eat Street; and I just sit there and drool over all the greasy, juicy and creative food served. The show always leaves me hungry and raiding my kitchen fridge. Over the past few years, food trucks have been popping up all across the globe. The food truck trend was just catching up in Cleveland before I made the move to India. But, one might say that India was probably one of the first countries to have food trucks because we have many vendors serving delicious food through their mini stalls or thellas (as we call them in Hindi). I think what makes the current scenario of food trucks stand apart is that most of them are run by budding entrepreneurs and culinary artists who set out to serve new, inventive and delicious dishes to the more food conscious and aware customer.

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Cajun Chicken Pita Wrap


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The awesome guys at Street Meat

So, again thanks to social media and how its become the new way to hear about new and upcoming places, I heard about “Street Meat.” I stalked their Instagram page and realised that they were officially launching their food truck this weekend with a simple menu and pay what you think the food is worth offer. Hello! What is not to like about this? I couldn’t contain my excitement and texted my husband at work about this. I told him that we “have to” try this place and he, being he, simply agreed.

So come Sunday, we strapped the baby in the car seat, hopped into the car, braved the mini downpour and crazy traffic and found ourselves at this neat little food truck. Street Meat’s menu was of the following 1) Thai Stuffed Gol Guppas (pani puris) 2) Goan Chorizo Bra Pao 3) Cajun Chicken Pita Wraps and 4) Korean Pulled Pork Burger. The Indian twist on these international cuisines was refreshing and mouth watering. We ordered one of each and couldn’t stop raving from the first bite. Yum, yum, yum!  The two partners running the place were friendly and nice to chit chat with and that made the entire experience more fun. For my first official food truck experience in Pune, I couldn’t have been more satisfied.

This weekend was a foodilicous (yes, I made this word up) weekend for me. From stuffing face at a family friend’s wedding to trying out a brand new food truck joint in Pune, the weekend left me feeling happy, satiated, adventurous, and a bit more snug is usually good fitting jeans.

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Food Destinations: Pune

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Food Destinations: Pune

I love food, it might not seem like it but I do. It sometimes is the one and only thing that makes me wake up at 5:30 and go for a run; the thought that I will be able to devour my favorite food later. Having been in the city also known as Oxford of the East for almost two years now-I have a list of places that are my go-to favorites. This might help those who are traveling to the city or might even open up options for those who have been in the city for a while but are looking for some new places to try.

1) Little Italy La Pizzeria.

It was the first restaurant I visited with my husband, back in the days of long distance relationship. May be that’s why it holds a special place in my heart. But the food is to die for as well. One has to try the Pasta Barbeseca in pink sauce (which is a mixture of white and red) and the Mexican Pizza. I love their nachos as well. The restaurant only serves vegetarian food, but never have I even once missed my meat during my meals here.

Interior of La Pizzeria on Bund Garden Road

Interior of La Pizzeria on Bund Garden Road

2) Kareem’s Chicken Kati Roll

Well, isn’t a sit-down dinner type of place; it’s more like you have finish your dish just standing outside. But nonetheless, Kareem’s has the best chicken egg wrap in the whole world. I have tried chicken kati rolls (wraps) at other places but nothing ever comes close. Some visitors might we weary of eating at this street joint, but sometimes you just have to risk the chance of a bad stomach for an amazing meal. (The one in Camp is the best branch)

3) Independence Brewing Company

This is probably the newest addition to my list and it made its way to my list because of the beer and not food. Micro breweries are just starting in India, and fortunately Pune is becoming host to several of them. Independence Brewing Company has a rustic interior, which I love, along with amazing beer. I have only been here twice (not bad considering it only opened back in January) but have loved, loved, loved the beer. I would highly recommend this for a girls night out or a place to catch up with friends.

The rustic interior at Independence Brewing

The rustic interior at Independence Brewing

4) 1000 Oaks

Another nice hangout spot in Pune is 1000 Oaks or TOaks. My husband tells me that is one of oldest lounges in Pune, where infamous musicians used to visit. All the times I have been there, they have the same playlist, but it doesn’t take away from the charm of this hidden gem. The Bar Men’s Pitcher is one to definitely try-go for the original and not the other flavours. In terms of food, the butter chicken and garlic mushrooms are always on my to-order list.

TOaks

TOaks

I am sure this list will grow and change as I continue to explore more around this city that I am starting to call home 🙂

Summer in U.S.

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Last week I made a super quick trip back to the States! Looking back I can’t believe that I have been living in India for close to two years. How has it been? Well, somedays have been excruciatingly difficult-I was constantly questioning will I  ever adjust to India. Somedays, the smallest task would emotionally drain me. On other days, living in India was no different (I mean sure it is different – but I felt content on an emotional level); I felt like I actually fit in.

A lot of my friends asked me how it felt to be back in the States. My answer is that it felt very comforting. Having called the States my home for 10 years made me super familiar with things. I mean I knew where to go for things, how to get things done, the directions, what questions will be asked while ordering my favourite sushi or meal, etc., and it felt really good. In India, I am still figuring a lot of this out. In all honesty, going to a new place in India on my own freaks me out because I feel I never know what to expect or more importantly how people will react. In States, I feel, there is a certain decorum and I probably feel that way because I am so familiar with everything. In one way, I felt me and free. I think a lot of this stems from the fact that I did my “growing up” in the States-meaning I spent probably the most crucial years of me being who I am now there.

What I enjoyed the most during my one week stay was meeting up with people and talking as if nothing has changed. While in India, I am still getting to know most people; in the States, I have a group of friends, who are practically family, that have known me for years. We bonded over some amazing food and made new memories to hold on to.

Catching up with co-workers!

Catching up with co-workers!

Now no trip of mine is without food and oh boy did I try to fit as much as I could in my stomach. Now some might say, that I am all talk with food and usually just eat a bit or two and then I am done; I beg to differ in my thought. I stuffed my face with sushi from Pacific East, Chipotle, Melt sandwiches, Oreo Cheesecake, and Dave’s Cosmic Sub’s “The Grateful Dave”! Never did I think I would miss food so much-but I guess it’s the small things that you miss the most.

A beautiful morning run along Lakewood Park.

A beautiful morning run along Lakewood Park.

School is starting next week, so I am grateful that I had a chance to make this trip. The summer was a good one-nice balance of travel and rest. On my flight back to India, I also realised that it took me almost 3-4 years to completely adjust to the States, may be it will take me as long to start feeling 100% comfortable in India (I hope it’s sooner). So cheers to India! Let’s get start a new phase now!

A chicken burrito bowl from Chipotle- I dreamt about this in India!

A chicken burrito bowl from Chipotle- I dreamt about this in India!

Starbucks in India

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We have Starbucks!!! Yay!!! I so missed the lattes, frappacinos, and ability to order drinks by saying “tall” or “venti.” Starbucks was an essential part of my life in the U.S. and Thailand. Starbucks made it’s grand debut at the historic Elphinstone Building in Fort, Mumbai mid October. Since then, two more branches have opened, one at the Oberoi Hotel and another one at the majestic Taj Hotel.

Starbucks Entrance Sign

Starbucks Entrance Sign

It was my first visit to the Starbucks here, and it was awesome! I was absolutely delighted to be able to order my tall non-fat vanilla latte. The excitement to taste my drink was indescribable. I had the first sip and it was PERFECT!

Tall Non-Fat Vanilla Latte

Tall Non-Fat Vanilla Latte

What I loved even more about the Starbucks here was the interior. The grand and regal architecture of the Elphinstone building was combined with the minimalistic design the Starbucks usually sport. All the tables in the two story store were packed; you could witness meetings, friends chit-chatting, and some even browsing the internet using the free Wi-Fi that Starbuck offered.

I had a chance to engage in a fun and quick conversation with one of the baristas. He kindly offered me a dark roast coffee tasting. When I asked if he had any light roast coffee available, he very sweetly replied that he has been with Starbucks only for a month and is learning all about coffee. He said please come again next time and I will be sure to provide you with a coffee of your liking. He also mentioned that working at Starbucks, he felt like he was part of the Starbuck family.

The barista that gave me the coffee tasting

The barista that gave me the coffee tasting

I spent a good 30 minutes at Starbucks just soaking the atmosphere in. I didn’t try any of the food, but they seemed offer a good spread from cookies and muffins to grilled paninis and sandwiches.

Oh Starbucks (and Tata-Starbucks got entry into India via an alliance with Tata Enterprises)-how I missed you, and am glad you are somewhere nearby:)

Interior of Starbucks @ Fort, Mumbai

Interior of Starbucks @ Fort, Mumbai

Interior of Starbucks @ Fort, Mumbai

Interior of Starbucks @ Fort, Mumbai