So, from where do I actually begin? The first meal I had when i joined IMDR? Or when I started staying in FC Hostel? or with the most frequented one ? Ahhh..its all so confusing.. so let me start geographically. I can literally find myself mentally walking down the lane, the proverbial memory lane.
Starting from Paduka Chowk, now there was no traffic restriction at that point of time. Life was simpler, but you had to be careful while crossing the road since, most joints were on the other side of road (and no dividers, remember!) and no traffic signal from Good Luck Chowk till Paduka Chock. and pune bikers..well, we all know. Now, as a student and a guy recently freed to eat at Hotels as many times as he wanted, I had to watch my pocket as well.
So, just near the Chowk, there is a joint called Salokha where I had my first dinner after moving into the hostel.Always teeming with college students, they had monthly coupons system, with 4 Sunday specials lunches, and 1 egg dinner, 1 chicken dinner per week..all for a princely sum of Rs. 400. It was SPICY..period, so when initial eupheria died of "eating at hotel", the tummy started revolting. Maida rotis and oily and spicy food started taking its toll and finally, had to give up. I don't remember if I ever went back again.
Umed Sweet Mart, next to Salokha, was a snacks joint for kachoris, samosas, patties and dhokhlas. i remember to be careful while eating the kachoris becoz it was stuffed with imli chutney and sev, and it will drip and spoil your clothes. But, very enjoyable and packed during evening.
Niranjan : how can I ever forget my breakfast provider? Now, if I do an off hand calculations, I would have had Kanda Poha breakfast for apx 400 times at Niranjan's in 2 years, standing in their courtyard. That's more than what I would have had during my earlier 22 years..!!! I remeber starting with Rs. 5 for Poha and 2 Rs for tea. By the end of it, it was 7 and 3 repectively. But, Niranjan was a much visited joint not only for their breakfast, but also their Thalis for lunch. Rs. 35, if I remember correctly.
Moving more towards FC, I remember Manmeet opening during my last days as student, but never had an opportunity to visit them at that time. I do not remember if Chaitnya was open at that time, as well.
Next in line was Savera, opp FC main Gate. Now, this is a very interesting veg restuarant. Those who knew, they ordered "Fish Pickle", which is not there on their Menu. Fish pickle, in a veg restaurant ? But, it actually turns out to be paneer strips, in tangy and achari sauce. Absolutely fabulous. Over all, a very satisfying and comfortable place, though be prepared to find someone standing next to you to take your place as you finish..!!
Somewhere between JM Road and FC Road is Kamath. A pretty nice place, used to have Thalis on weekends, though not very regularly. so, even today, I wont be able to find the place on my own. But, it’s not the one bang on JM road but a bit on inside lanes.
I am intentionally leaving out Vaishali and Roopali. There is so much said about them all over the net, I cannot add anything to that. if you need to find out more, go and visit the place. The place cannot be explained in words, it has to be experienced.
There was a chinese joint between Vaishali and Roopali. China Dragon, if remember correctly. I think it has closed down now. Smallish place, But, it served amazing crispy fried noodles. it was served with red sauce, somewhat like your american choupsey, but it tasted way different since the noodles were spicy and with dtir fried vegetables. One of the places, to have dinner with your male hostelites friends.
Now, there were no Wadeshwar, Horn OK please or any of these joints at that time. There is Good Luck restaurant, which, you may believe it or not, I had meal only once during my entire 2 years as student. Why ? because, on my first day as student, when i went there for lunch, I could find only, bun and tea. So, never thought, they had a full indian eating joint by their side. So never went there again. but, lately I visited them and found the non-veg economical as well as filling.
The saddest part of this foodie memory is when i found out that Lucky Restaurant has been shut down. The place was an institute in itself. Probably been there for so long, probably since 1930s. The chicken was worth every penny and the custard and jelly was amazing. and of course, student friendly, price wise. The best part, after a late night beer party, or a late night movie show from Alaka/Vijay, you could always go there, even at 2 AM to grab a meal. They used to shut down the front shutters, but back door was always open. You just had to know the way. So many times, along with friends, so much fun.. Really felt a part of my memory has been torn apart ruthlessly.
Another joint near deccan corner was Purab. a decent veg restuarant. On the inside, so you have to know where to find it. I don’t know why, but I seem remember Green Peas Masala from this place !!. Probably coz this was the first place i had seen anything like this. Only peas, peas and more peas.
There were many more joints, some which i never visited, some once, and some, never at all, on FC road. There was one in Hong Kong lane, another one opposite Roopali, another street side joint near current Millenia plaza( I think, it has converted into a decent sitting place, initially it was just a stall !!) Rainbow, Apache, Shabari, places I never got opportunity to visist. I have just tried mentioning my experiences. You are most welcome to add to this list, but remember, it needs to be 10 years old !!!
The list seems soo small for a foodie, right ? But, hold on, there is more to come. With this, I have tried covering the area which we hostelites, could cover on foot, on or near FC Road. More still to come, some of which was partially covered on foot, and sometimes on bikes. Having a vehicle, increases you chances manifolds of savoring new places, right ? Keep watching this place for more...