Good Highways Bad food

Theloststory

Well-Known Member
I don't want you guys to beat me up on this but its common with highways in any part of India, you simply won't get the food which is worth drooling. You might get good food but that's just about it. Its even more serious in case of non-veg food. Obviously there are exceptions to this but on an average, lipsmacking food is available with in the confines of city. Whenever you are in Delhi, buzz me or send me a PM and either I'll take you to places serving good food or at least I can guide you to those places.

I have had fantastic food, but mostly on smaller shops, off the main highways. the typical large highway 'food courts' and larger dhabas have typically terrible food.
 

akshay4384

THE LONE RIDER
Highway is not the place to look out for butter chicken.
If out on a highway,i stick to restaurant chains,or if i am at a dhaba,i would prefer to eat usual simple stuff like Dal Makhani\Paneer etc,even the worst cooks hardly go wrong with these,but then there are exceptions.
 

ashwinb

Member
I agree with Theloststory , good food is hard to find in Maharashtra on the highways. Though towns on the highway would have good food, the actual places on the highway serve very average quality food. Although places on the konkan coast are an exception, look for places offering "malvani food", it's more likely to be good.
 

Theloststory

Well-Known Member
I don't want you guys to beat me up on this but its common with highways in any part of India, you simply won't get the food which is worth drooling

The problem with eating in India is that you no longer get good food. Like Vikas said, dont beat me up on this.

I have driven over 50,000 km on Indian roads, mostly in Maharashtra and the Punjab-Delhi side, and a little towards Bangalore-Goa as well.

On an average, the food is terrible.

For that, allow me to define what makes good food for me:
For me, the joy of driving is experiencing different landscapes and cultures. Food is an essential part of that culture. Unfortunately, the food generally available is homogenous, and that too, tasteless.

Its damn next to impossible to find good maharashtrian food on maharashtrian highways. You only get vada pao, bhajji, and sometimes, bhurji pao (which is over oily and the pao are generally damp). What about staple local food? Nothing. If you are lucky, you will find some place selling bhakri with some kind of a homogenous chicken or fish or vegetarian curry, but nothing specific to the region. I have eaten at maharashtrian homes and the food is yummy. NO ONE SERVES IT.

Most restaurants serve a pidgin version of what is considered 'indian' or 'punjabi' food. Butter chicken, dal makhni, tandoori rotis, mutter paneer. All terrible. I am punju and i know its terrible. Cant eat it. Thats not the way these dishes are cooked.

I drive towards bangalore and coorg, and stop by at Belgaum. Asked the local guys for a good local eatery and go there to be disappointed. They are offering butter chicken and tandoori roti. The local dishes, though sparse, are tasteless. Some of the curries are like residue from a boiler wash.

We go to Udupi. I thought, at last some nice authentic udupi food. Call up a friend who is a local and he suggests a place that he vouches for as being the best eatery in udupi. Terrible food. Butter chicken and tandoori roti. And the odd chicken kolhapuri (boiler residue variety).

The are very very rare places where you get decent food. We stopped at a joint just before the drive upto madikeri. It had nice food, but cold. One roadside tapri served nice neer dosa and fish curry. With nice south india coffee. Yummy. (Wonder why Indian coffee chains don't serve south indian coffee, except Bru Cafe).

But these experiences a so rare that one remembers them. In a country like India, which has an abundant food heritage, we should have been having more number of nice eateries.

Perhaps we need to build a map of good eating places.

Like the amazing vegetarian food of the Naoroji Nagar Dhaba in Delhi (the name escapes me). Or the yummy jhunka bhakri at Amruteshwar Mandir near Bhandardhara. Or the excellent Himachali Thali near a waterfall in a dhaba in the forest near Naggar in Himachal Pradesh. Or the wonderful dal vadas of a tiny eatery in the bylanes of Pune.

But on an average, terrible food. We drive hard. We deserve better.
 

anupmathur

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hmm, while I quite agree that food at the eating places on our highways is typically bad, I would suggest that you stick to the most basic dishes like Daal/Rajma, subzi and roti/rice. That seems to be the best they can manage.
Even if generic, it is hard to go wrong with these.
Of course we deserve better, but who is going to serve it to us?
 

Prasham

Armchair Traveller :(
During the days when I used to handle some marketing I used to travel to interior areas of Maharashtra and man I had terrible time finding decent food (not good, just decent). I've travelled North as well as South India but you'll find decent food almost anywhere but Maharashtra is definitely odd.

BTW just to inform you, I like simple food. I can survive on Simple Dal Roti or Dhosa for many days at a stretch. I've stayed about 15 days in coimbatore eating in same restaurant morning, noon and evening and mostly it used to be the same stuff but I never complained. Similarly I've stayed for long stretches in Bangalore, Panipat, Ludhiana, Bikaner, Bhilwara etc but I never had trouble finding decent food.
 

kprixie

Active Member
i have been fortunate enough to sample some local food, local chutneys with my meals...and they were lip smacking ..delicious. they did not have a fancy shop, or dhaba. most of them were a very modest shop selling tea , snacks, biscuits and had 2 pressure cookers with just a limited menu. but simple, homey, delicious food. how to spot them?.............avoid the fancy dhabas, avoid the ones with crowded tourists, try a few small simple ones. go with your instincts. thats what I do. fancy dhabas are just fancy and they put so much of cream and make daal and paneer and chicken. thats not how its made at home.so best to stick to Tandoori paranthas, dahi, egg bhurji etc and avoid the makhnis..:p
 

anupmathur

Super Moderator
Staff member
Daal with a generous splash of ghee tadka, paratha with a dollop of white butter!
Gimme gimme more! :cool:
 

ashwinb

Member
Its damn next to impossible to find good maharashtrian food on maharashtrian highways. You only get vada pao, bhajji, and sometimes, bhurji pao (which is over oily and the pao are generally damp). What about staple local food? Nothing. If you are lucky, you will find some place selling bhakri with some kind of a homogenous chicken or fish or vegetarian curry, but nothing specific to the region. I have eaten at maharashtrian homes and the food is yummy. NO ONE SERVES IT.
Infact it's even hard to get good maharashtrian food outside homes, even in Pune there aren't too many good maharashtrian thali places,just enough to count on your fingers. In mumbai,there are a few. Can't find a reason for that,but it's quite true. But every town will have it's special place, you'll have to look for them. For example,while going to Mahabaleshwar,there's this place called Wai,where tucked deep inside the town is Bandu Gore bhojanalaya. So you should be prepared to go inside towns and looks for places.

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The entire Pune-mumbai expressway has just 1 good place, Datta snacks, which is between lonavala and mumbai while going from Pune to mumbai.Look for kothmir vadi,kharvas,they are pretty decent. Rest all palces on the expressway are so so. On the mumbai-Goa highway too,look for Datta snacks near Panvel,it's the single most popular outlet in the area,the food is noteworthy.
On the Delhi-karnal stretch I was quite happy with the dhabas in murthal,the sabzis were great, the tandoori rotis were disappointing however.
Even on the jogindernaga- mandi stretch,there weren't too many palces, but the one we went to was fabulous, it didnt have a signboard,but was a big place. On the right while going away from Mandi,about 30 mins away, the owner's name was Subhash Sharma,such a shame that I can't recall the name of the village.
 

Theloststory

Well-Known Member
I can't think of a place on the Mumbai Pune highway or on the Mumbai Goa highway.
But on the way to Jawhar via Bhiwndi, amidst the bleak industrial landscape, there was something decent, don't remember the name. Let me see of I can dig out some names.
 
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