The Miracles of Pub Food

25 Mar

I doubt I need to say any more about what this blog post is going to be about. :)

For one, I’m here again, drinking tea on a weekday evening because life this month can safely be categorised in the FML section, without a doubt. I’m not going to bitch about it because I hear it’s going to get worse, so maybe you’ll be witness to my rants and hair-tearing sessions in sometime, worry not. It’s uncanny whoever came up with these random sayings and thoughts, the one of their’s I choose to use right now is “when it rains, it pours.” However, Bangalore’s pouring in that summer heat on her denizens, alright. I never thought the city would see this day and that even if she did, it would be in some God-forsaken era when I’d be long dead. But here are those rather brutal 38 centigrades beaming down on us strong and steady, and here are you and I. Peachy.

Since the weekend seems so far away, I figured I’d talk about the one that went past us most recently because I really have to. And before I begin, I must remind you that I (still) am on Lent.

If you’re a resident of Bangalore, have you visited the good ol’ Windsor Pub? If you haven’t, I’d recommend a visit. We started going there quite young because back in the day when parents and their friends liked their pints of beer, you’d tag along as well, because times back in those days were amazing. It certainly wasn’t as messed up, complicated or difficult enough to warrant IDs. (Not that I think IDs are bad at all. In fact, I’m glad there’s some semblance of checking, if there is any.) So we’d tag along and get to eat all the good food because when parents drink, they’re happy. And when parents drink their chilled draught, they can be the best parents ever. Right? :D

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Pub food has always fascinated me because it’s so unapologetic about the way it is. And by this I mean that it never really has to meet any particular gourmet standard. Therefore I like using the adjective unapologetic because it’s there, and you enjoy it. There’s no pretence, there’s no fakeness, there’s just some God-awesome food. And each and every pub has such a characteristic array of foods signature to it, even if all of them serve you that plate of french fries.

I’m not a pub-hopper because most of them are either too loud or too garish (music/ambience/crowd-wise) for me. But I’ve had some of the best foods at these places and I’d go back for seconds without a doubt. Heck, I’d take in that extra loud music and kids acting crazy just so I can eat. But I cannot imagine a pub without that loud music and loudness in general. I don’t think it’d be a pub if it were sombre and played piano classics in the background. That’d make it a lounge bar, I guess. So yes, it’s crazy, but I’d take all that a pub has to offer so I can eat and eat and eat.

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It’s obvious that Murphy’s still alive and kicking because I happened to visit Windsor Pub over the weekend. The mother quite likes the place and so we decided to give it a visit. My only grouse with that place is that it’s so hard to find a table. But that apart, I think it’s pretty much up our alley of pubs we’d return to any day. So I was at a pub and I was (still am) a vegetarian and a non-drinkard. Fancy situation to be in. But then I decided I was being too harsh on myself and decided to order what can only ever be one of the best things I’ve had at any given pub, anywhere. You may laugh all you want, but the magic I ordered that night was this.

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Crab Rasam.

Rasam is and always has been such a Tamilian thing. I have no memories of rasam being any other way, forget being non-vegetarian. But given all the amazing food that was doing the rounds, I may have broken Lent by ordering myself crab rasam. And it was absolutely worth it all. For those of you who can digest the thought of a non-vegetarian rasam, do please have it. Don’t have the chicken rasam. Have the crab one. It also gives me a reason to go to a pub when sick. How beautiful is that?

This is one of the most mind-blowing rasams I have ever, ever, ever had. It’s tangy, spicy, peppery, light, warm, crazy, explosive and of course, magical. It’s everything you want a rasam to have, and with crab! It can not get better than that. It just cannot. Like I said, if you’re willing to go past the boundary lines of rasam, give this a shot. But I wonder how it’d go with beer. If you’re a non-vegetarian teetotaller at this pub, this should be on your list. Crab makes everything magical. I don’t think I fared bad for being in a pub during Lent. The mother and brother had this and they thought it could do better. The other dish of theirs I look forward to snarfing right down is the Andhra Curry Leaf Chicken. Delish!

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Vegetable and Chicken Stews with Appams.

The one thing I love about pubs here is that they serve some of the most magnificent curries with dosas. I’ve gorged on the dosa+chicken curry combo at Pecos and the absolute bomb of dosa+crab curry/masala combo at Stones. Mind-blowing.

The other not so regular stuff I usually wouldn’t order when at a pub, but have had and thoroughly enjoyed is the Mushroom Manchurian at Purple Haze and the Chicken Tacos at Mojos. Of course, it’s needless to say that french fries are my weakness and that I’d wage a battle with you even in my sleep if you presented me with a plate of them.

I, unfortunately or fortunately do not have pictures of the beauties I’ve talked about. This only means many visits are impending. While Mojos looks like a new-age Pecos which I find rather chimney-like and therefore claustrophobic, let’s see what can be done to get my hands on the brilliance that is pub food. Some day, I’ll write about the magic of London’s pubs as well.

Are there dishes you’d recommend me to try? I’d love to. :)

Ending on a rather random but apt thought for the time-being, here’s what I found and thought.

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Even the yuckiest things have a sense of beauty to them.

Here’s wishing you a lovely Tuesday. And if you’re going to drink, cheers to you!

PS, this post is not an advertisement or a paid article.

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