STOP! Don’t eat…until I take a picture

Trending these days is clicking pictures of elegantly garnished dishes before taking a bite. Almost everyday, I see pictures of delectable food uploaded by people connected to me on social networking sites like twitter, facebook, and linkedin. In fact, one of my friends has a photo album on Flickr dedicated to exotic dishes he has had over years.

Clicking food pictures, keeping photo albums or having a food blog is a growing phenomenon.  Aware of the trend camera manufacturers like Sony, Nikon, Panasonic have already released cameras with special macro focusing, close-up mode or simply ‘food mode’ features.

These pictures or photo albums are also a quick source of information. Pictures are usually accompanied by a status message and follow-up comments that give information on the food item along with the name and location of the restaurant. So if you like what you see and the restaurant happens to be in your neighborhood, you don’t need to do a Google search for the restaurant or read the reviews.

Lastly, if you are maintaining an online food diary, they will help you calculate the amount you spent on eating out and also keep a tab on your calorie intake. Later, you can point out to your son or daughter how you gained those extra lbs.

Kenneth Peter — kennethpeter.com

Punjabi Curries @Papa Pancho Da Dhaba — Mumbai, India

“Let’s go out for lunch.”

I was busy working on a document, but the moment my Boss said that – Ctrl>>Alt>>Delete, picked up my jacket and was ready to leave.

I was in Mumbai for some event. As I was new to the place, I let my colleagues decide the restaurant. We stopped at an average roadside restaurant in Bandra West, Mumbai called ‘Papa Pancho,’ now what kind-of-a-name is that? Papa Pancho!

While still thinking about the name, I saw a person driving away the car that drove us to the restaurant and was shocked to learn that the restaurant offered Valet Parking. Golden lights and parrots made from cloth and wool were hanging from the ceiling; a tandoor (clay oven) was kept at the entrance that sent out alluring aroma of tandoori chicken, teasing the guests greedily waiting for their order.

The ambience was like a typical Indian highway ‘Dhaba’ (highway restaurants in India that serve local cuisine, generally found next to fuel stations and are open 24×7), with traditional Indian furniture like jute beds, copper utensils etc. Punjabi numbers are played in the background to create the ‘Dhaba’ atmosphere

The menu was very limited and was written on a blackboard that hung from the ceiling and mentioned about 4-5 Thalis (a thali is a huge platter that has a selection of different dishes) + some Tandoori offerings

Non Veg Thali: Tawa Chicken, Handi Chicken and Bhuna Ghosht

Veg Thali: Paneer, Dum Aloo and Koftas +  Sarson Ka Saag with Makai Ki Roti

Both Non Veg and Veg Thalis are served with a fairly good helping of Black dal (lentils), a Paratha (Thicker than Chapatti kind of a bread, prepared with butter and salt… but don’t confuse it with a Naan) or Rice and a small cup of curd. In salads you get generous serving of onions, lemons + you also get chuttni (green spicy sauce)

One Thali is more than enough, its a complete meal and it comes for just $3.00/-

Papa Pancho tandoori chicken is not something unique, but the sliced lemon garnishing makes it look very tempting. Beverages include the traditional ‘Lassi’ (yogurt-based drink), ‘Jeera paani’ (Indian drink made from toasted cumin seeds and tamarind water) etc

Overall, Papa Pancho is a great place for people who want to discover the taste of real Indian homemade curries. Fine place to come with family or friends and a must visit for tourists – infact the restaurant had only the tourists seated during my visit). I ate like a hog and felt so sleepy afterwards that I didn’t feel like returning back to work.

I would rate it 3/5…

mmmmmmmm!!! Cinnabon…

When I saw these rolls for the first time, I told myself that it would be a sin NOT to blissfully indulge myself with these delectable, sinful rolls.

These rolls are made fresh, right in front your eyes and I got the opportunity to see every step of the baking procedure – from rolling the dough, to bakers ringing the bell indicating that hot rolls are coming out of the oven.

I have tried almost everything that the Cinnabon Bakery offers – CinnaBon Classic Rolls, PeacanBon, ChocóBon, CinnaBon Bites, CinnaBon Stix. My favorite of the lot remains the Cinnabon Classic, made with the special Makara ingredient and topped with cream cheese and margarine frosting. ChocóBon and PeacanBon both come second, one is smeared with chocolate syrup and the other topped with peacan nuts. CinnaBon Stix may look like fish fingers but they taste like heaven and are accompanied with frosting dip. The dip is too sweet, but that didn’t stop me from licking it, the moment all eyes were off me.

Cinnabon outlet also serves hot beverages along with some specialty drinks like the Strawberry/Mango Chillata and Mochalatta Chill, a chocolate based shake. Mochalatta Chill, my favorite, goes great with the yummy rolls.

These rolls are simply a great invention for all food-o-holics. For me it’s only in winters, the festive season, that I indulge myself with all the mouth-watering, sinful confectioneries, it’s the only time I forget all about my workout regimen.