The vada pav was born in the 1960s in the textile mill areas of Mumbai. It is a quick grab and bite snack, easy on the pocket, fulfilling on the stomach. Vada Pavs are sold in the millions every day. During recession times, we used to joke that if we ever become jobless, we will start our own vada pav stall.
But someone, really followed it. A few years ago, a Vada pav shop opened in my neighborhood. It is no roadside eatery. It is a proper shop which sold only vada pavs. It is managed by a homely middle aged lady and two middle aged men. One is the husband and the other is a relative. My inquisitive friend informed me that the husband lost his job due to his factory shutting down and so they have started this shop. The shop owners would come in the mornings and evenings and sell vada pavs. Over the years, they have made up their own brand due to the distinct taste of their vadas, chutneys and softer pav. The taste is the only identifier. There is no fancy packaging, tissues and all that snazz. Just unadulterated vada pav packed in newspaper or a paper plate or sometimes hand. Hygiene is high priority. We have to queue up outside the shop to get our share of vada pavs. The queues are long and monsoon queues are longer, but we do not want to miss out on our favorite local vada pav. They further expanded the menu to include samosas and bhajjis, too. Everything is managed by these three people.
They are just one of the few nameless souls who add flavor to my small locality. Wouldn’t it be fun to discover such quaint places which only cater a niche food?
I can think of the ice cream shop at Churchgate at Wankhede stadium who serve handmade ice-cream sandwiched between two wafers. The place is packed (maybe they should do the queue thing) with families waiting for their orders. They insist they have no branches. They use only natural ingredients and the ice-cream is out of the world. Try it out. Any more can you think of.
I can now look them up on the Nouns App available on Google Playstore. It is an app for foodies, by foodies where people share their food experiences. Spread the word of your favorite food eateries and find new ones through the app.
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Images source : Vada Pav – Wikipedia.com, Ice Cream – Zomato.com