Dadus unveils first outlet of Masala Republic restaurant in Himayatnagar
Dadus unveils first outlet of Masala Republic restaurant in Himayatnagar
Dadus unveils first outlet of Masala Republic restaurant in Himayatnagar 16 : 00 PM [IST] Our Bureau, Mumbai Dadus, a pioneer in hand-crafted, traditional Indian sweets and snacks, has inaugurated the maiden outlet of its new chain of restaurant Masala Republic at Himayatnagar. Spread over two levels, the restaurant has a seating capacity of 125 pax. It inspires Hyderabadis to embark on a journey into the world of vegetarian fine dining, with the choicest of dishes, masterfully prepared by their chefs.Masala Republic will have various cuisines for people to satiate their taste-buds with gastronomies from all across the world. The menu includes a selection of Asian, Thai, Chinese, Arabic and Egyptian.Masala Republic is the unification of global experiences with surprise elements of local cultures. The restaurant’s promise is reflected in the tagline, #thevegetarian. The restaurant has separate sub-brands for ice cream and pastries, named Creme and Panco. The restaurant has a separate section for ice cream, where they serve their signature flavours of ice cream.Speaking on the occasion, Rajesh Dadu, owner, Dadus, said, “We are proud to foray into the vegetarian fine space by introducing our modern contemporary brand Masala Republic. With its beautiful ambience and eloquent service, we will give more room for our guests to chill, enjoy, unwind and have a relaxed time. Masala Republic will enhance the overall offering of the Dadus Group and provide the best vegetarian fine dining experience in Hyderabad.”Speaking on the occasion, Muskaan Dadu, said, “We are very excited to launch the Masala Republic restaurant. This is a fun-filled restaurant where guests will experience the finest modern Indian food, prepared by using strong elements and flavours . Keeping in mind the various culinary interests of people, we have brought in all special cuisines across the world, making Masala Republic the centre for food lovers.”
Juicer And Dehydrator Masticating Bed Beyond Bath
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Best places to visit in Goa, India
Surrendering to the Goa Vibe Best places to visit in Goa, India
Goa is one of the most well-known tourist places in India. It has some of the most famous beaches and has been beloved by both foreign and Indian tourists for a very long time. I actually avoided Goa on my first few trips, but eventually learned to appreciate it, and even find a few places to love, too. In this post, I am rounding up all Goa that I’ve discovered. Here you will find information on things to do in Goa, best beaches in Goa, best times to visit Goa, recommendations on beach resorts, and 10 top offbeat things to do. Best times to visit Goa
Goa is a tropical state, warm all year ’round. There really are only three seasons — which could be described as winter, hot, and monsoon — and all of them are enjoyable in their own way. Winter is probably the ideal time to go as the weather stays warm while North India gets cold. From October to March, it’s a great tropical beach destination. December to March is high season, however. And Christmas to New Year’s is crazy busy, with rates soaring up to match peak demand. April to June is very hot, and monsoon is usually mid-June to September. Some people love Goa in the monsoon, when the rains make everything even more lush. But a lot of beach shacks close down, and it can seem deserted in some places. One Goa is Fontainhas in Panjim Top 10 offbeat places to visit in Goa
Tiny, tropical Goa on the south west coast of India, was an obligatory stop on the hippie trail of the 1960s and became known internationally for wild, full-moon parties on the beach. Though there is much more to Goa than hippies on the beach, it’s a reputation the state has never been able to shake. But the truth is, there’s a lot of great places to visit in Goa!
I spent two weeks touring the state and looking for places to visit in Goa and experiences that show the more interesting, sophisticated and discerning side of Goa. What I discovered is that Goa is a historical, cultural, wellness and leisure treasure house.
For starters, Goa has a completely unique flavour in India due to colonization by the Portuguese. In fact, the Portuguese have influenced Goan culture for hundreds years, and as a consequence the state has a large population of Catholics and a profusion of Portuguese designed churches and gracious old homes. I love these charming homes, painted in bright colours, and dream of someday owning one with a wide white verandah on a hill overlooking the Arabian Sea. A thali of Goan style fish at Ritz Classic in Panjim
Goa is also a cultural hub, with writers and artists from all over living there, or wintering there. There’s a palpable sense of multiculturalism and being at a crossroads of the world. “Everyone comes here,” my friend writer Anuradha Goyal told me. She moved to Goa after living in some of India’s biggest cities. Even the food in Goa is good !
So here are some of the highlights of my tour. I hope they give you an idea of all the things you can see and do in Goa that don’t require shaking your groove thang on the beach. Though you can still do that if you want, at beaches like Calangute, Baga, Anjuna and the hippie stronghold, Arambol. (The all-night-long full-moon raves of yesteryear have been outlawed, however.) One of the many colourful Portuguese houses in Fontainhas, Panjim, Goa 1. Places to visit in Goa: Panjim and Fontainhas
Panjim (also known as Paniji or Panji) is the capital of Goa, a small city of only 100,000 people. It strategically and picturesquely occupies the spot where the mighty Mandovi River meets the Arabian Sea. I started my tour with three days in Panjim, which most tourists bypass. I fell in love with this small city, with the colours of the houses, the expanses of water, the colonial character and the thriving arts scene.
Directly behind my hotel, the Panjim Residency (which faces the Mandovi River), is Fontainhas, Asia’s only Latin Quarter. The Portuguese moved here, and settled around a spring-fed tank, fountain, in the 18th and 19th centuries and many of the houses remain in good condition. The epicentre of Fontainhas is the beautifully restored Panjim Inn and Art Gallery.
Even after dark, I felt completely safe wandering alone around Fontainhas. I ate on the balcony of the Panjim Inn, and stopped by the quirky Venite Bar. The area reminded me a little of both Havana and New Orleans, especially by the way light spilled into the streets from small, lively restaurants, and the by the way everything was enveloped in the warm tropical night air. Romantic outdoor dining at Mustard, Goa, India. 2. Mustard Cafe
There’s much more to Goan cuisine than beach shacks that serve up Goan fish curry and western favourites like pizzas and fries. In fact, there’s a growing foodie scene and a range of fine dining restaurants. One beautiful evening my friend Anuradha Goyal of the travel blog Inditales and I went to Mustard Cafe, in the Calangute area.
Seated in a candle-lit outdoor courtyard, we sampled a rich, spicy and delicious combination of Bengali and French cuisine, spiced with Goan flavours. Owner Poonam Singh told us she wanted to please both the people who like continental food and those who are happiest with a traditional Indian cuisine. The alchemy works, and I enjoyed every rich, flavourful dish I savoured.
Mustard was my favourite restaurant in Goa, for the romantic ambience and really flavourful, satisfying food. It’s obvious a lot of care, research and attention to detail has gone into every dish. I also liked the live music, a soulful singer named Vamsee Krishna who covered Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (making me, a Canadian, feel very at home!). 3. Goa Arts and Literature Festival (GALF)
One of the most surprising things I learned about Goa is how artsy it is. Numerous artists, writers, photographers, designers — and bloggers — make their home in Goa. As a consequence, there’s also a lot of arts events and festivals. I happened to be in Panjim for the Inaugural Function of GALF, which was held at charming and historic Maquinez Palace.
The speakers referred to Goa as a peaceful cultural centre of India. They talked about how writers interact warmly at GALF, and how the festival provides a stress-free place to relax. They also referred to the multicultural aspect of Goa: “From a sand and surf destination to a place where east and west meet.”
After listening to the opening night speakers — poets, artists, authors and journalists — I only wish I had time to attend the entire festival.
GALF highlights a couple of countries each year, and in 2015 it was Singapore and Bangladesh. (I hope they put the spotlight on Canada one of these days as we have many fine homegrown and immigrant writers from Michael Ondaatje to Rohinton Mistry.) The bar at Koi in Calangute, Goa 4. Koi Asian Dining & Bar
The most sophisticated of the fine dining restaurants I experienced in Goa, Koi is a journey through Southeast Asia. Owner Shefali and her team lavished careful attention to detail on Koi to create a chic restaurant right in the heart of bustling Calangute. From specially designed crockery to stunning murals to an inspired and comprehensive menu, Koi takes a bespoke approach to fine dining.
Though not on the beach, Koi is a destination restaurant with a stunning interior space and garden seating. My lunch date Anuradha Goyal of Inditales and I sampled an array of their dishes, focusing on vegetarian and fish. I was particularly delighted to find Japanese favourites like sushi on the menu — though we both agreed that the Thai curry was the most outstanding dish. But I also loved deep fried sushi, crackling spinach and sticky rice.
Kudos to Koi for creating a sophisticated space that serves inspired Southeast Asian cuisine that’s both beautifully presented and full of authentic flavour. A visit to Koi is a journey through the Spice Route of Asia. The casket of St Francis Xavier at Bom Jesus in Old Goa, India 5. Places to visit in Old Goa
The 15th century Church of Bom Jesus is the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage Site called Old Goa. Several churches and a cathedral range around a wide expanse of lawns and gardens. This was the power base of the Catholic Church during the Portuguese colonial era.
Bom Jesus is known for being the final resting place of St Francis Xavier, who died in China in 1552 and wanted to be buried in Goa. After his remains were shipped to India, it was discovered his body miraculously showed no signs of decomposition. The body apparently has remained intact and is now on display in a glass casket that sits above eye level in an alcove to the left of the altar. I was actually quite reticent to visit this church, as I find this quite ghoulish, but the casket is tastefully removed from close inspection. Thank goodness.
The other churches, and the general area, are quite lovely and of course historically significant. I enjoyed walking leisurely among them and stopping for a cold drink at a simple stand under a huge tree with a massive canopy. Goa is lush! Feet-in-the-sand fine dining at La Plage, Goa, India 6. Things to do in North Goa: La Plage and the boutiques of Ashvem Beach
According to the Love Guide to Goa, La Plage is the epicentre of chic in this small state. Imagine a French restaurant on the beach with cuisine inspired by it’s tropical location. You sit under a beach umbrella with your feet in the sand, admiring the view of the shimmering ocean as you nibble on beetroot and mango carpaccio.
The thing I liked most about La Plage was that they have fun, and they don’t try too hard. In fact, they make chic look easy.
I sat down with one of the owners, Serge, who’s originally from France but has spent 18 years in Goa. He told me they redo the look of La Plage every year. When I was there, the theme was bordello and the colour was black.
They also change about 60% of the menu. “It’s good,” Serge said. “Every year when you walk in, it’s a new place.”
La Plage started out with just six tables, and it’s grown in size and sophistication over the years. The menu is a unique blend of both local ingredients and classic French cooking techniques. I tried beetroot and mango carpaccio, filet of tuna in soy sauce, and seared mackerel filets in a tomato / caper sauce. The fish of course is straight from the sea, bought fresh every day. Every dish was note perfect and so was the setting.
It’s also fun to walk down Ashvem Beach and see beach boutiques selling designer beach wear — including one owned by Jade Jagger. Ashvem Beach is the epicentre of chic in Goa indeed. The yoga shala at Ashiyana Yoga retreat in Goa, India 7. Ashiyana Yoga
Ashiyana Yoga was perhaps the biggest surprise of my Goa odyssey. It’s a lush, serene and gorgeous yoga retreat just back from Mandrem Beach, across a quaint bridge over a slow river. I have almost always headed to the Himalayas for yoga, and had no idea that Goa could be so yogic. Three short days at Ashiyana Yoga was long enough to be truly a transformative experience.
What makes Ashiyana so special? I had the wonderful opportunity to ask the founder himself, Chris, who was there during my stay. He told me his heart spoke loudly to him when he found the property — even though it was not exactly what he was looking for — and that he started small to create a “home away from home for stressed-out westerners.”
Over time, the retreat grew to encompass numerous styles of rooms that range from simple beach huts to truly fantastic suites. I was given the fantasy-like Jaisalmer Suite, and it was my first hint of the magic to be found here. How did they know about my deep connection to the Golden City? My second clue was a treatment I received shortly after arriving from the healing hands of Renita. She used craniosacral therapy to release a tight neck muscle that was paining me for months. My room, the Jaisalmer Suite, at Ashiyana Yoga Retreat in Goa, India
I truly loved just about everything about Ashiyana. The hearty, vegetarian buffet meals, the lush location, the community feeling that imbues the entire compound and of course the yoga. There are several yoga shalas throughout the property. The biggest, enclosed in mosquito netting and surrounded by rain forest, is where the drop-in classes take place. Most people go to the morning class at 8 am, before breakfast, and the afternoon class at 4 pm.
Ashiyana also holds well-regarded yoga teacher training modules; and an on-site spa offers a wide range of treatments, including Ayurvedic treatments. You could easily book in here and not need to leave. Nor want to. Highly recommended. 8. Devaaya Ayurvedic Retreat
Ayurveda is usually connected with Kerala, but Goa has at least one serious Ayurvedic treatment centre: Devaaya Ayurvedic Retreat.
I dropped in to Devaaya just for one day and night while driving from North to South Goa. Devaaya is picturesquely set on Divar Island, which is just about in the middle of the country, east of the capital city, Panjim (Panji). It’s a pleasant drive as you pass Old Goa and have to take a ferry over to the island. Divar Island has a rustic charm that reminded me a bit of rural France. You can feel the pace slow down as soon as you set foot on the island. The ferry crossing to Divar Island in Goa, India
We drove along some country roads, past tiny settlements, until we came to the Devaaya. Enclosed by a wall, Devaaya is made to look like a Portuguese village, surrounded by fields and rivers. Guests stay in brightly coloured small houses dotted throughout the property, which features many amenities such as a large swimming pool, tennis courts, a gym and much more.
In the centre is a large and gracious building, which is where the Ayurvedic treatments are given. It’s one of the nicest Ayruvedic treatment centres I’ve ever seen, and the treatments were excellent.
While I found the accommodation a bit tired and the decor dated (the rooms need a make-over), and I was disappointed with the food (some of which didn’t seem healthy, nutritious nor Ayurvedic to me), I loved the outdoor sunrise yoga and the Ayurvedic treatments.
Devaaya offers a very high standard of Ayurvedic treatment, at least equal (or in some cases, better) than anything I have experienced in Kerala. 9. The Beach House
The Beach House is, yes, on the beach. But it is not in any way a typical beach resort or even yoga retreat, especially for Goa. From the 1970s architecture to the serious approach to holistic health, to the emphasis on juicing and detoxifying, The Beach House has more of a California vibe. And it’s definitely for people who are serious about their health and want to undertake a rigorous program.
The home of a former pharmaceuticals executive who built it for his retirement, The Beach House has a nice location, but the steel-and-glass architecture might put some people off. The rooms are in a similar steel-and-glass building, with dark tinted windows and an airtight design. You literally have to sleep with the air conditioning on, as you can’t open the door due to the mosquitoes. This was by far my least favourite aspect of The Beach House. The beach in front of The Beach House is clean, not busy, great swimming
But this place is not for people who want a beach or resort experience. It’s for people who are managing a condition like diabetes, or who want to lose weight, or who need help balancing their hormones or who are serious about detoxifying.
When you arrive, you are required to fill in a lengthy intake form and undergo a medical assessment before starting any of the programs. Your days are spent in a white robe, shuttling between yoga classes, treatments, doctor appointments and customized meals — or just juice if you’re doing the juice fast — garnished with a handful of supplements. You have to be very dedicated.
The Beach House is unique by any standard, and not for everyone. But for those who need or want a complete cleanse in a sunny location on the beach, this is the place. The Beach House has many loyal fans, many of which come back again and again for tuneups. The Secret Garden, Agonda Beach, is heaven on a beach 10. Things to do in peaceful South Goa
A South Goa, you have long occupied a special place in my heart. While the party hungry hordes head north, a much smaller trickle of people with peace and community on their minds head south. I have spent time on Palolem, Patnem and Benaulim beaches before, but on this trip I discovered Agonda.
The beaches of South Goa attract people with an interest in spiritual consciousness. They love the quiet — even on Friday night there is only soft music emanating from the beach front restaurants — and the immersion in nature. South Goa is less developed and still has a village feeling, and lots of forests. The Arabian Sea is warm and was calm and inviting when I was there. Swimming was like being embraced by the goddess.
On a very small scale, there are lots of simple yoga shalas, Ayurvedic massage shacks, and healing workshops. You often see people doing yoga on the beach, or joining together in meditation circles. At Agonda, you don’t just get paradise, you get community, and a chance to continue your trans
I dreamed myself into the perfect beach hut — on stilts, facing the beach, surrounded by a garden and run by the warmest people imaginable — and met three like-minded women about my age, from Canada, UK and USA. I will always remember my five days at The Secret Garden as some of the happiest of my life. Ocean sunset on beach in Goa with a fisherman throwing a net Finding the perfect beach in Goa
I avoided Goa for a long time, travelling the length and breadth of India on several trips, but never making it to the vacation hot-spot known for beaches, sunsets and parties. But eventually I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about. This is what happened.
On my fourth trip to India, when I decided it was time to experience Goa, I carefully chose the Bhakti Kutir, an eco-resort that seems to grow organically out of a banana grove. Sanskrit for “a home for devotional meditation,” the Bhakti Kutir is ideally situated on a small hill between two beaches in south Goa. Because it isn’t on the beach, it’s quiet, and because of the lush vegetation, it’s semi-hidden. Clouds of mosquitoes at dusk are the only damper on this small piece of tropical eco-paradise. (You can read more about Bhakti Kutir below.)
On arrival, I fell immediately in love with my “nature cabana,” and especially the outdoor bathroom. After exploring the charmingly eccentric grounds of the Bhakti Kutir, I lit out for the beach. Or, I should say, beaches. Palolem Beach and Patnem Beach
Palolem Beach was a short walk down a gentle slope to the north; and Patnem Beach was a 10-minute walk down a back country road and through a tiny fishing village to the south. They were both close by, they were both fabulous Goan beaches with names beginning with “p,” but there the similarities ended. Patnem and Palolem beaches were only minutes away from each other — but world’s away in terms of atmosphere and facilities.
According to my trusty guidebook, Palolem was described as a recently discovered gem, “one of Goa’s most beautiful spots with a friendly, laid-back vibe.” And it is a stunning crescent-shaped beach with rocky outcroppings at each end, perfect for watching the sun sink into the Arabian Sea, and a wide expanse of sand with plenty of room.
But it’s also lined with small beach hut resorts, outdoor restaurants, souvenir shops and all the other paraphernalia of a tourist trap for beach bums. Most of the people on the beach were deeply tanned foreigners, swimming, playing volleyball, walking along at the edge of the surf or relaxing with beers in the outdoor restaurants. There was a distinct party vibe in the air. I could easily imagine this beach as a setting for moonlit raves. Agonda Beach in Goa at sunrise The beach that tells you who you are
After walking the length of the three kilometre beach and back it was late and I had to wait for the following day to check out Patnem Beach. Right after breakfast I made my way along the sunny back road, stopping to chat with some local girls selling beach fashions. One girl said, about my fair complexion, that I looked like a milk bottle.
Then, to cool down, I bought a tender coconut from an elderly toothless man, who never stopped smiling at me. Passing through the small village, I stopped at a booth selling spices and handicrafts and talked to some local women about how to use the spices to make teas and sauces.
Then I got to the beach. Delight dawned. For almost as far as I could see, a billowy white sand beach spread out before me, lapped by the gentle waves of a calm, protected bay. There was about one person for each of my fingers on the beach, plus a few stray dogs. Mostly, it was sea, sand and birds flying, darting and playing in the surf.
The sea was bathwater warm and the very few, very modest establishments serving drinks and snacks were astonishingly relaxed. You were welcome to lay down your towel and beach bag on a lounge chair; no one would harass you to buy; no one was on this beach to make money.
Here was a place I could just be; a place where my thoughts could float and bob along with the incoming waves. I lolled in the tepid waters, drank coconut water under an umbrella and meditated beside a big rock at the remote far end of the beach.
There are things in life that are like a litmus test; they tell you who you are. Palolem and Patnem beaches are like that. You can only be on one at a time, you have to walk north or south, you have to choose. And every day after breakfast for seven days, I picked up my bag and towel and walked south. Bhakti Kutir Eco-Resort, Palolem Beach, Goa Bhakti Kutir: Eco resort in Goa
The first time I went to Goa, I carefully researched my destination and settled on Palolem Beach in South Goa as it sounded quiet, less touristy and more wellness-oriented. Also, I wanted to stay at Bhakti Kutir, an eco-resort with its own resident yoga teacher and health-conscious restaurant.
After a very short one-hour flight from Bangalore, and a longer cab ride from the airport, I arrived. I really did not know what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised by Bhakti Kutir’s verdant and natural environment. The 22 huts, restaurant, reception, yoga space and Ayurveda centre are situated in a palm grove, surrounded by tropical trees, flowers, shrubs and stone, wood and terracotta art objects. It all looked well-settled and organic, as if it had slowly, creatively and carefully grown from the earth. I liked Bhakti Kutir immediately, and my first impressions were largely reinforced by the six days I spent there. Outdoor bath in Goa, India
The deciding moment was when the young woman showing me my hut opened the door to my bathroom. I felt I had stepped into a kind of garden-of-eden: the bathroom had walls made of bamboo matting, a tile floor, two trees growing through the floor and no roof whatsoever. The toilet was simply a raised terracotta platform, with footrests and an oblong hole, Indian style, and the shower was cold water only. There was no sink – just a gorgeous huge dark-grey stone vessel filled with water. Small toads jumped around, I showered under the stars and felt it was the most luxurious bathroom I had ever experienced. Otherwise, the hut was very simple, and a bit dark inside, but I had my own private outdoor area bordered by a water fountain made of wood and stone jugs. My only complaint was that my hut was near the entrance to the resort and a bit noisy with the sound of motorbikes, people going in and out and drivers chatting as they waited for fares.
However, I later learned that each hut had its own challenges – some were too near each other, or the kitchen or the yoga centre. Like most of India, Bhakti Kutir is not a quiet place, but it is really lovely, the staff is friendly and helpful and the food is delicious and safe. I ate salads, fruit, juices – all kinds of things I am normally reticent about in India with absolutely no problems. Many of the people I met at the resort were complaining of gastro-intestinal problems, but they had all eaten outside. I ate nothing outside except the milk of one tender coconut the entire time I was there. I just intuitively felt that I should be careful and safe. Goa is so commercial, and so over-run with backpackers and hard-living foreigners, I just didn’t trust the other restaurants. I’m sure some of them are fine, and run with integrity, but I didn’t want to find out the hard way.
I do feel Bhakti Kutir is a special place, unlike most of the beach huts and restaurants I saw, which seem to be simple places catering to backpackers. It was started about 14 years ago by owner Panta, a north Goan man, and his German wife. They found an idyllic, peaceful environment in south Goa – away from the action in north Goa – and created Bhakti Kutir to preserve and celebrate nature. Panta experimented with ecological ideas and techniques, they learned as they went, and built the place hut by hut – no two are alike. Another beautiful sunset in Goa, India
I especially liked and appreciated the fusion of the man-made and the natural. The restaurant and yoga centre are open-air, there is no plastic or metal to be seen anywhere, all the furniture is wood, a lot of the food is organic (rare in India) – everything is built and run with minimal impact on the environment. The Ayurveda centre is very professional and well-run. I received a lot of help and advice from the on-site Ayurvedic doctor, Vijay, throughout my stay; and I had an excellent oil massage and a bliss-inducing shirodhara treatment (where a stream of warm oil is continuously poured over the forehead).
My first morning, I attended a yoga class with resident teacher Swami Yogananda, but I found his style too dictatorial for me: I prefer to take guidance from my own body, sensations, and intuition (one of his adjustments actually caused pain in my hip, and I blurted out a loud “ouch,” which I think created a mini-scandal). Otherwise, doing yoga in the morning outdoors under the palm trees was a lovely experience.
I enjoyed staying at Bhakti Kutir, loved walking through a small village to get to Patnem Beach, which is relatively quiet, and loved even more when I crossed an outcrop of black rocks to get to the almost completely deserted beach in front of the Intercontinental hotel (which is back so far from the beach that I didn’t even know it was there). Swimming in the warm gentle waters of the Arabian Sea was divine. Also liked going out on a fishing boat at sunset (we stopped near a deserted beach and jumped into the water, swam to the beach and warmed ourselves against heat-soaked rocks) and driving inland to see several old Hindu temples; and walking along the beach to see the sunset.
I made a good friend, Manuela, a writer from Germany who was also traveling by herself, and we did some of these things together. I didn’t like Palolem Beach, it was too busy and too commercial for me, bu thank goodness Bhakti Kutir is situated between two beaches and I was able to easily get to quiet Patnem beach. Manuela’s porch, Bhakti Kutir
Bhakti Kutir owner Panta took me to an eco farm he is developing to grow a variety of organic fruits and vegetables and to be a place for meditation groups and other exercises in conscious living. It was a quiet, green place and I enjoyed my time there with his family eating fresh raw young corn. All in all, a lovely introduction to Goa. Hey, Goa, we can hang out all day! Surrendering to the Goa Vibe
I walked out of the small, crowded airport in Goa to find my pre-paid taxi, pushing past the usual throng of sharks looking for a fare. On the 30-minute drive south to Benaulim, where I was to stay in the home of a friend from Bangalore, I caught sight of a billboard with this declaration, hand-painted in glaring tropical colours:
Goa is like a refrigerator. There is nothing to do here but chill.
Oh man, I was already in trouble. I had all but lost the ability to chill. And I wasn’t sure I was in the mood. Years of hard work building my freelance writing and blogging career was wearing me down. Plus, I was recovering from a nasty sinus cold I picked up in Odisha . And I felt sluggish and heavy from spending way to much time sitting at a computer. How the hell was I going to catch the famous Goa vibe, hit the beach and just chill?!
I resisted Goa for a long time. Images of hard-scrabble foreigners getting drunk together on the beach crowded out any allure the tiny state, squeezed up against the Arabian Sea coast in Southern India, might have held. Even though I know this is one of the best places to go for some winter sun. My Goa look.
However, after three trips to the subcontinent, I decided to dip my toe in the water in 2010 and stay at unique eco-lodge called Bhakti Kutir, which is Sanskrit for “sacred place.” They had me at Sanskrit. I enjoyed my stay, and think fondly back on my al fresco bathroom at the Bhakti Kutir, and of the beauty of all-but-deserted Palolem Beach, but I did not fall in love with Goa, and had no plans to return.
But last winter when I needed it most, some friends offered their house in Benaulim, Goa to me for a week, and I jumped. The house turned out to be a disappointment — too isolated, and surrounded by a construction site — so on my first morning in Goa I hired a taxi to take me around until I found a little slice of paradise for a very reasonable rate: a small flat with a kitchenette, balcony and winding staircase to a rooftop patio, in a luxe residential community on the beach. Most of the flats at Costa Montage in Benaulim are privately owned; I managed to grab one of the only places available for rent. And as I was a walk-in, I was able to negotiate a very good rate (about 60% off). The sublime pool at the Costa Montage, Goa
Feeling happily ensconced among the Portuguese inspired architecture of the buildings, each painted in a different Hollywood colour, I found myself relaxing. The pool glistened impossibly turquoise, the walk to the beach was past gracious homes and through a private stretch of sand, the food at the chic beach-side cafe was impeccable, and the sunny weather was perfect — and it all made me feel like I was on a movie set. Main street in Benaulim, Goa, India
So, for a week I forgot about debts and deadlines, haste and waistlines … and caught the Goa vibe. Finally. What did I do? I walked into town and bought groceries, and made scrambled eggs, rice and curried vegetables at home. I walked along the beach. I met up with several other foreign women, all under the social command of Cynthia, an athletic and outgoing woman from Edmonton, and ate long, leisurely lunches on the beach or in town. I swam and played in the surf. I sampled spicy Goan seafood.
One day, I spent an afternoon walking to the far side of Benaulim, which is a small tourist town with a very relaxed vibe that caters to older foreign visitors who like to do as little as possible on as little money as possible. I met a very respectable retired European people who were living on about $25 per day, and that included their guesthouse. Beach bar mural at Art Escape in Benaluim, Goa
My goal was Art Escape, a resort-and-art-bar near the south end of Benaulim. I was met by Sandra, one of the team who runs this funky place, and treated to lunch. A Swiss DJ was spinning tunes that ranged from Louis Armstrong to Roxy Music to funk-fusion. The chef came and sat with us and talked excitedly about creating inspired dishes that melded Indian and European influences. Two young women performed a kind of poetry slam about garbage culture and the evils of TV.
It was a fun way to spend an afternoon, and I appreciate their enthusiasm for all things artistic, but the accommodations were a bit too basic and ramshackle for me to want to stay there; just a notch up from camping on the beach, but without the romance and privacy. However, if you are in the area, they hold music nights on a regular basis, from concerts to jams, and from rock to Indian classical, which I would highly recommend; along with dinner. On the beach in Goa, India On another day I visited the Taj Exotica, at the extreme south end of Benaulim. Like all Taj hotels, it’s a special place — in this case, largely due to the spaciousness of the property, about 50 beachfront acres dotted with pools, villas and wide expanses of lawns where families were playing tennis and croquet. Even the lobby is immense. I was taken on a tour of the hotel and left, very happily, at the beach-front Lobster Shack, where I delighted in eating crab cakes as I watched people balloon riding as the sun set, gloriously, into the Arabian Sea.
On my last evening in Goa, I walked along the beach in my bathing suit and sarong skirt, as usual, just before sunset. The sound of ambient-techno music drifted along from one of the beach shacks and I decided to sit down and have a drink. A gin and tonic. Then I decided to have another, which is not like me (I’m usually a non-drinker). I struck up a conversation with two young men from Germany, and I asked them to watch my things as I dove, tipsy, into the surf exactly as the sun was setting. I threw myself into the gentle warm water, and swam along the pink ribbon of the sun’s reflection, and time stood still, and my sense of self expanded and was fully truly in that glorious moment. As I emerged wet and happy from the surf I realized that I had caught the Goa vibe. I was chill. Pin it on Pinterest
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[ Ethnic Cuisine ] Open Question : Do you prefer Indian food or Chinese food? What is your favorite dish? Dishes?
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Mumbai- Make the most of your Sunday with these delightful brunch menus
From regional Indian cuisine to classic dishes and international delicacies, we tell you about the best Sunday brunches in Mumbai Pallavi Mehra Published: Jul 07, 2019 | 08:00:21 IST Enjoy sumptuous meals on Sunday with our list of recommendations. (Left) Coconut Mango French Toast at Miss T; (Right) Paprika Deshelled Lobster at Bastian
Sunday is a day to laze around and eat to your heart’s content. Brunches help you unwind with good food, a cocktail of choice in the company of loved ones. Make your way to these 5 restaurants in Mumbai for the best Sunday brunch in the city. Sunday Brunch, Mumbai: The Bombay Canteen
The Big Canteen brunch offers some of India’s favourite breakfast dishes with scrumptious cocktails. Chef Thomas Zacharias offers up a refreshing take on regional Indian dishes. Jumbo Crab Mappas Curry, Sunday Dal Pakwan, Bombay Pao Bhaji Porterhouse Rolls, Red Snapper Ceviche, Kundapur Ghee Roast Chicken Benedict and Dosa Waffles are highly recommended. 1 /9 Sunday Brunch, Mumbai: Bastian
Bastian’s Sunday brunch menu is divided into three sections—‘Salt’, ‘Salt+Sugar’ and ‘ Sugar.’ Chef Kelvin Cheung serves the ideal indulgent meal. His Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Stuffed French Toast, Lobster Mac, Truffle Fries, Burnt Garlic Chili Crab, Vegan Nachos and Spicy Dan Dan Noodles are hugely popular. The menu has numerous vegan and gluten-free options. In fact, often Bastian’s Sunday brunch becomes a wild ‘drunch’ party with flowing champagne and Bollywood celebrities galore. 1 /6 Sunday Brunch, Mumbai: Miss T
This chic eatery and cocktail lounge is located in the leafy by-lanes of Colaba. Miss T serves Asian (Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand) delights and funky cocktails inside a two-storeyed property. The restaurant has recently launched a Sunday brunch menu with bottomless cocktails, spirits and wine. At Miss T, get the Coconut and Mango French Toast, Peanut Butter Pancakes, Tofu and Avocado Benedicts, Banh Mi Sliders, Chicken and Pork Gyoza, Breakfast Noodle Soup and Bomras Tender Coconut Pannacotta and you will be happy and satisfied. 1 /11 Sunday Brunch, Mumbai: Sorrentina by Foodhall
Foodhall’s first Italian restaurant, Sorrentina, is located at Linking Road, Bandra. Sorrentina’s weekend brunch menu comprises traditional Italian dishes. Sip a fresh fruit mimosa from the restaurant’s weekend mimosa bar. Grab a plate of Burrata Caponata (burrata, bell peppers), Tajarin Alla Tartufo (pasta in butter and parmesan emulsion with black truffle), Pizza Ortolana Bianca (provolone cheese, buffalo mozzarella, asparagus caponata), Chicken Parmigiani and Burrata Cheesecake. 1 /3 Sunday Brunch, Mumbai: Olive Bar & Kitchen
Enjoy a relaxed Sunday brunch at Olive Bar & Kitchen, Bandra. This bistro’s ambiance is electric and quintessentially Bandra. It has funky, Mediterranean themed interiors, a quirky outdoor garden and serves a delightful Sunday brunch. Our favourites are the Shish Taouk (grilled chicken skewers), Mediterranean Crock Pot, Reef Cod and wood-fire oven pizzas. 1 /3
Re: Charlotte’s First Vegan Mexican Food Truck Gets It Just Right
Charlotte’s First Vegan Mexican Food Truck Gets It Just Right It’s a Go-Go By Ryan Pitkin @pitkin_ryan
It was a Friday night at Camp North End when another unsuspecting customer fell into Lady Go-Go’s trap.
Josh Padgett ordered the Macho Nachos from Yvette Gomez’s food truck, which she runs with the help of her husband, Eric Garcia. He was reluctant to choose Lady Go-Go’s, which prides itself as Charlotte’s only vegan Mexican cuisine food truck. After all, there was a more traditional BBQ food truck just feet away, and Padgett’s not a huge fan of vegan food — usually.
In the end, he ordered the Macho Nachos with asada — or a soy protein substitute — and a jackfruit quesadilla. He did not come away disappointed. When I spoke to him after he finished, he couldn’t believe how big the order of nachos was, but more importantly, he couldn’t believe it was vegan.
“I’m not the biggest on trying vegan stuff, I need cheese, but had they not told me I would have totally thought it was meat and cheese,” said Padgett. “It was really, really good. I really, really liked it and I would definitely go to wherever they are to try it again.” click to enlarge Josh Padgett looks to order from the Lady Go-Go’s truck on a recent Friday night. (Photos from Ryan Pitkin)
Padgett’s reaction speaks to the patient work put in by Gomez, who spent nearly two years perfecting the Mexican recipes of her late grandmother. She went through countless different variations until she found the perfect substitutes for each meat and cheese included in the foods she had been cooking her entire life until she went vegan in 2013.
Now, the couple serves zesty tacos, packed burritos and filling quesadillas to customers who — though they might approach the truck skeptically — rarely ever leave unhappy.
“We’ve had plenty of people who bring their friends or even their husbands to try it without telling them that it’s vegan,” Garcia said. “Having complimented and loved it, and then told that it was vegan, they’re like ‘There’s no way that was vegan.’ It was vegan, I promise you.”
Garcia and Gomez, middle school sweethearts who moved to Charlotte from Houston, Texas, in 2012, began cooking up the popular recipes as a way to connect back to home. Gomez had grown up in Los Angeles before moving to Texas and meeting Garcia.
Both first-generation Mexican-Americans, the two couldn’t find the strong Mexican food scene they knew in California and Mexico.
“We weren’t impressed,” Garcia said, laughing. “We even went to a restaurant and tried to find tamales before we were vegan. They told us, ‘We serve them but we open them and cover them in queso and nacho cheese,’ I’m like, ‘No, that’s not the way you’re supposed to do it.'”
And so they tried making their own tamales. Gomez, whose maternal grandmother was a cook and paternal grandmother was a baker, decided to try out some recipes passed down from the former, who had passed nine years ago.
She cooked up some tamales, and Garcia was blown away.
The two then started handing the tamales out to neighbors in the Indian Trail community where they both still live. Then Gomez started selling them out of her car.
That venture eventually turned into Lady Go-Go’s Eats & Treats, a small catering company that was named after a mix of two nicknames that Garcia has for Gomez.
The two didn’t yet have a truck, but would work at events in Union County. Veganism was still new to most folks in Union County at the time, so they started driving up to Charlotte more often for events like VegFest.
In February 2016, Gomez filed for an LLC and later bought the truck. She is the sole owner of the business, but gets plenty of help from Garcia — and sometimes from the oldest of their five kids, who range in age from 15 to 2 years old. click to enlarge Eric Garcia (left) and Yvette Gomez in the truck.
Now, the couple are not only able to get a small taste of home, but to share it with their new community.
“We wanted to get the perfect taste and that texture, kind of like I remember growing up, and what [Garcia] remembers growing up,” said Gomez. “And now we’re here, and when you taste everything it tastes just like it would back then.”
Garcia picked up where Gomez left off.
“For me, what they always say is that taste is associated with memory,” he said. “And there’s a lot of flavors that we’ve been creating that just send me back 20-some years, spending summers in Mexico or growing up in Houston. It’s nostalgia.”
It’s clear from the menu that the two are having fun with the rebranding of their traditional Mexican fare. The homemade hot sauce — and we mean hot — is called Y.O.L.O, while the more mild verde version is called Guacaflaka.
But before the two can make new memories, they still have to convince other folks that their food is worth a try.
The two, who prep most of their food in a kitchen before bringing it out in the truck, said they spend much of their time on sites trying to convince people that it’s not just plates of tofu that they’re serving. click to enlarge Garcia takes an order.
The two recalled one especially reluctant man on a recent evening outside of a brewery in Waxhaw. He finally budged, and when Garcia was walking through the bar later, the man stopped him to tell him how amazed he was by the food.
After dealing with such skeptics, the couple said it’s a relief to attend more vegan-friendly spots, like their upcoming afternoon outside of Comic Girl Coffee on Oct. 21.
While it wasn’t their goal to begin with, the health kick that comes with serving vegan meals doesn’t hurt for the community. Garcia pointed out that, while the food tastes like comfort food, it’s comforting in its implications for customers’ wellbeing too.
“In our culture, it’s very heavy in fats and cholesterol and diabetes and heart problems, and etc., so that’s also our goal is to be able to bring our flavors back to our traditional space, offering a healthy alternative,” Garcia said. “Even though we’re not trying to be healthy, we want people to know that ours is a healthier alternative without sacrificing flavor.”
And if the tacos they were serving up at Camp North End on that recent Friday were any implication, that shouldn’t be very hard to do.
“There’s even people that sometimes stand off, and they say, ‘Ehhh, not so much,’ Gomez said. “But all you gotta do is try it. You’ll be impressed. You gotta convince them to try it, but in the end, it’s awesome.”
Mango Tree Brings Sizzling Thai Street Food to India With The Debut Of Mango Chili In Bangalore
Leading Asian restaurant operator, Mango Tree Worldwide, has introduced its newest and hottest culinary concept to India, with the launch of a lively Mango Chili restaurant in Bangalore, the major southern metropolis also known as Bengaluru.
Located in the Forum Shantiniketan Mall, in the upmarket Whitefield area of the city, Mango Chili Bangalore celebrated its grand opening on 5 th July 2019 with a glittering launch party attended by approximately 180 guests, including prominent food critics and bloggers.
This vibrant new restaurant concept will focus on serving authentic Thai street food in a stylish and social setting. Indian diners will be transported back to the bustling streets of Bangkok, with bright and bold interiors featuring modern artworks and fun décor, including a Thai tuk-tuk. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, including hanging rattan cocoon chairs, and guests can order dishes to take away. The store will be operated by HMSHost International, leading provider of food & beverage locations at high traffic locations worldwide.
“We are very excited to introduce our Mango Chili concept to India. Bangalore is a dynamic metropolis with a youthful population, and our new Thai street food concept will satisfy the growing Indian appetite for contemporary and convenient cuisine, especially among millennial diners. With its prime position on Whitefield Main Road and high footfall, the Forum Shantiniketan Mall is the perfect setting for Mango Chili Bangalore, and we look forward to becoming the destination of choice for Bangalore’s new generation of diners,” said Trevor MacKenzie, Mango Tree’s Global Managing Director.
Walter Seib, CEO of HMSHost International: “We are delighted to open the first Mango Chili Thai Café in Bengaluru. HMSHost International is creating new food destinations by working with inspiring global brands and introducing new food concepts around the world. The partnership with Mango Tree enables us to grant our guests in Bengaluru the experience of an authentic Thai restaurant concept.”
The Mango Chili menu combines classic Thai flavours with playful presentation. Guests can choose from a series signature Thai grilled meats, such as marinated chicken, satay sticks and sai oua sausage with signature sauces, plus stir-fried dishes like phad ga-phraow (minced chicken with basil and chili) and phad Thai (noodles with tofu and beansprouts), and Thailand’s famously spicy salads, soups and curries, including som tam (papaya salad), tom yum goong (spicy and sour shrimp soup) and gaeng khiew wahn gai (green curry with chicken). A wide range of appetizers, side dishes and vegetarian options are also available.
Then for dessert, guests can cool off with the traditional taste of Thai ice cream, just like they serve at Bangkok’s bustling Chatuchak Market, or discover the fresh flavour of sweet ripe mango with Thai-style sticky rice.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), 1.5 million Indian travellers visited the “Land of Smiles” last year, and that figure is expected to continue rising in 2019. This means that huge numbers of Indians – including many millennial travellers and young families – are now experiencing authentic Thai cuisine while on holiday and want to enjoy the same flavours when they return home. Mango Chili Bangalore will allow Indian customers to savour the true taste of Thai street food, both at home and abroad.
Mango Chili Bangalore becomes the company’s second outlet in India, following the award-winning Mango Tree Mumbai. It also marks the official introduction of the Mango Chili brand to India, which comes shortly after the brand’s launch in China. This reflects Mango Tree Worldwide’s commitment on catering to affluent and adventurous diners in the world’s two most populous nations.
Mango Tree Worldwide now operates approximately 70 restaurant outlets around the globe and is aiming to expand its global portfolio to 100 restaurants worldwide by 2025.
28 Things Not to Miss in San Francisco
One of the nicest things about visiting San Francisco is that, although the city is “big” in terms of attractions and amenities, it is geographically small – only 49 square miles. That make it very easy to see and do a great many things in a short period of time.
You could also spend weeks in San Francisco and still not experience everything the city has to offer. Here is a suggested list of the top 28 things not to miss in San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Travel Association: SAVE ON TICKETS TO POPULAR SAN FRANCISCO ATTRACTIONS Walk Over the Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge , the most famous bridge in the world, manages to impress even the most experienced travelers with its stunning 1.7-mile span. Approximately 120,000 automobiles drive across it every day. A pedestrian walkway also allows crossing on foot, and bikes are allowed on the western side. The Golden Gate Bridge is said to be one of the most photographed things on Earth, so ready your camera of choice and be sure to share with #AlwaysSF. Ride a Cable Car
Cable cars have been transporting people around San Francisco since the late 19th century. The cars run on tracks and are moved by an underground cable along three routes. Their familiar bells can be heard ringing from blocks away. Tickets ($7) may be purchased at the cable car turnarounds at the ends of each route. Each one-way ride will provide spectacular views of the city’s celebrated hills, as well as an exhilarating ride. RIDE THE CABLE CAR WITH SAN FRANCISCO CITYPASS Visit the Rock
Alcatraz , the notorious former prison, is located on an island of the same name in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Some of the United States’ most notorious criminals were incarcerated there. Though several tried, no inmate ever made a successful escape from “The Rock.” The prison was closed in the 1960s and stories about Alcatraz are legendary. A visit to Alcatraz today is fascinating. Recorded cell-house tours are available, allowing visitors to learn about the prison as they explore the buildings and grounds. To reach the island, take an Alcatraz Cruises ferry from Pier 33. Advance reservations are recommended, 415-981-ROCK (7625). www.alcatrazcruises.com VISIT ALCATRAZ WITH CITY SIGHTSEEING TOURS See the Sea Lions
Fisherman’s Wharf is also home to PIER 39 , a festive waterfront marketplace that is one of the city’s most popular attractions. A community of California sea lions has taken up residence on the docks in the PIER 39 Marina and visitors line the nearby railing to watch their antics. From there, it’s a short walk to favorite area attractions such as the San Francisco Dungeon and Madame Tussauds , the Museum of 3D Illusions , the Cartoon Art Museum , Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum , historic Boudin Bakery , and multiple favorite food options , including crab vendors selling walk-away crab and shrimp cocktails. SAVE UP TO $30 WITH A PIER 39 ATTRACTION PASS SAVE UP TO $38 WITH A WHARF PASS Have a Picnic in a Park
It’s always a great idea to picnic in the park before Karl the Fog rolls in. Dolores Park is the perfect place to enjoy sunny afternoons. With nearly 16 acres of grassy areas, you can play, lounge, and people watch, all with a gorgeous view of the city. The Presidio is another San Francisco favorite. There are so many places within its more than 2 square miles to lay down a blanket and enjoy a meal. You can also picnic in the iconic Golden Gate Park, where you’ll find scenic spots at the Conservatory of Flowers and outside the California Academy of Sciences . Here are some other best places to have a picnic in San Francisco . Go to an Outdoor Festival
Outdoor festivals have been a popular San Francisco activity for people of all ages. The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival takes place during the summer months of May-October, hosting dining, shopping and cultural activities for the whole family. The Stern Grove Festival , a San Francisco tradition since 1938, is a free outdoor music festival that has welcomed performers like The Doobie Brothers, Talib Kweli, and others. Visit Golden Gate Park for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival, which happens every October. MORE OUTDOOR EVENTS IN SF Go on a Walking Tour
The best way to see and experience San Francisco is on foot. Wild SF Walking Tours offers a food crawl, a tour of the Castro & Mission District, and a Haunted San Francisco Ghost Tour. Go Behind the Scenes at Oracle Park , the home of the San Francisco Giants. You’ll have access to the player’s dugout, luxury suites, and more. There are walking tours for foodies, too! Local Tastes of the City Tours lets you learn about the food history and culture in neighborhoods such as North Beach , Chinatown , and others. You’ll make stops along the way to taste all of the unique foods originating from different cultures. MORE WALKING TOURS See a Show
From rock and pop to hip hop and jazz, San Francisco is a hub for every music genre. Venues like The Fillmore , The Warfield Theater , and The Masonic are some of San Francisco’s most legendary music halls, welcoming musicians from all over the world. Past musical acts at these historic venues include MGMT, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, and many more. SFJAZZ Center hosts concerts as well as classes and workshops designed for aspiring musicians. MORE PLACES TO SEE CONCERTS Experience Illuminate SF
Want to know what’s glowing on in San Francisco? Illuminate SF is an ongoing festival of light art that showcases over 30 installations scattered throughout 17 neighborhoods of San Francisco. Admire light art on buildings, sidewalks, restaurants, cars, and more. Visit the historic Presidio What was a former military base is now a national park and a National Historic Landmark District, widely known for its natural beauty, art and culture, and much more . If you’re visiting with kids, don’t pass on a visit to The Walt Disney Family Museum , which is full of interactive exhibits and Disney artifacts. SAVE $2 ON THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM TICKETS Explore Haight-Ashbury
Known as the center of San Francisco’s hippie counterculture, the Haight-Ashbury district is a haven for vintage finds and 1960s nostalgia. You can walk in the footsteps of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead on a Flower Power Walking Tour, while learning about how music shaped the vibrant history of the Haight. Explore the Mission
Founded in 1776, the Mission is San Francisco’s oldest neighborhood, with some of its newest restaurants and art galleries. Popular food joints and Dolores Park are among the most popular attractions. However, many visitors come to the Mission to admire the murals that adorn the walls of buildings. See Sights on a Bike Although driving around San Francisco is not encouraged, biking surely is! It’s an easy way to get to different attractions that are close to one another. The best part is, you won’t need to worry about parking . You can also bundle bike tours with attraction passes to make exploring San Francisco even easier. FIND THE PERFECT SF BIKE TOUR Locally Made Gifts
If you’re looking for goodies that are exclusively made in San Francisco, there are many local places to shop from. SFMade proudly works with other manufacturers that produce locally-made products, from clothing to coffee blends. At the Ferry Building Marketplace , you’ll find goodies from local merchants, sourcing from our neighboring cities like Sausalito and Guerneville. Take home unique finds while supporting San Francisco small businesses. MORE LOCALLY MADE GOODS Meet the LGBTQ Community
Since San Francisco is widely known for its diversity, it is no surprise that the Castro is a popular spot to explore . Its vibrant and lively atmosphere make it a great destination to visit day and night. If you’re in San Francisco in October, be sure to check out the annual Castro Street Fair . MORE LGBTQ ANNUAL EVENTS Sip at a local brewery or winery
You’ll want to be in town for annual events like SF Beer Week . You also won’t need to go to the wine country to enjoy a glass of wine. San Francisco has a handful of local wineries, including TANK18 , The Press Club , and many others. Have Brunch
San Francisco is widely known for its popular brunch spots. Places like Mama’s on Washington Square (1701 Stockton St.) has been serving their famous fluffy omelettes and homemade jams for over 50 years. The Cliff House (1090 Point Lobos Ave.) has a Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet, a San Francisco tradition that is not to be missed. RESERVE A TABLE AT THE CLIFF HOUSE LOCAL’S FAVORITE BRUNCH SPOTS See Wildlife
Take a nice boat ride around Stow Lake, where you’ll be able to spot birds of different species and turtles along the way. Attractions like the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens and Aquarium of the Bay are perfect for families with kids who are eager to see and interact with wildlife. Marvel at San Francisco’s Scenic Beauty
Discover San Francisco’s beauty on the 49-mile scenic drive , which begins at City Hall and guides you to a number of popular historic and iconic landmarks. If you’re up for a hike, the Presidio has a number of art trails that are worth the stunning views. Urban Hiker SF offers itineraries for group hikes through popular urban destinations like the Castro, Twin Peaks , Coit Tower , and many more. Learn About the History of San Francisco
There are a number of museums dedicated to the rich history of San Francisco. The Wells Fargo History Museum invites visitors to use vintage bank machines, send telegraphs, and even ride in a replica stagecoach! If you want to learn about San Francisco’s transit history, the San Francisco Railway Museum and the Cable Car Museum gives visitors a chance to see and learn about the first streetcars in San Francisco. Learn about California’s richly diverse past at the California Historical Society . MORE HISTORIC SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUMS Get Out on the Water
Want a different perspective of San Francisco? Kayak in the bay to get amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city skyline, have a romantic dinner on a Hornblower cruise, or take a ferry to visit Alcatraz . BUY TICKETS FOR ALCATRAZ MORE WATER ACTIVITIES Visit Famous Film and TV Locations
If you’re a movie buff, these San Francisco locations are a must for your itinerary. The Rock (1996), starring Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage, featured shots of Alcatraz , The Fairmont , and the Palace of Fine Arts . Vertigo (1958), by Alfred Hitchcock, shot scenes at the Presidio and Fort Point , where Madeleine famously jumps into the bay. The Painted Ladies at Alamo Square is also a very familiar location for Full House fans! MORE FAMOUS FILM LOCATIONS Shop in Union Square
Union Square is the place for serious shoppers. Major department stores and the most exclusive designer boutiques line the streets. The Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre houses the largest Bloomingdale’s outside of New York and the second largest Nordstrom in the U.S. Explore North Beach
North Beach , the city’s Italian quarter, isn’t a beach at all. It’s a neighborhood of romantic European-style sidewalk cafes, restaurants and shops centered near Washington Square along Columbus and Grant avenues. The beautiful Church of Saints Peter and Paul is a beloved landmark. Coit Tower, atop Telegraph Hill , offers a splendid vantage point for photos of the bridges and the Bay. Inside the tower, floor-to-ceiling murals painted in the 1930s depict scenes of early San Francisco. BUY TICKETS TO COIT TOWER Explore Chinatown
The entrance to Chinatown at Grant Avenue and Bush Street is called the “Dragon’s Gate.” Inside are 24 blocks of hustle and bustle, most of it taking place along Grant Avenue, the oldest street in San Francisco. This city within a city is best explored on foot; exotic shops, renowned restaurants, food markets, temples and small museums are all found within its boundaries. Visitors can buy ancient potions from herb shops, relax and enjoy a dim sum lunch or witness the making of fortune cookies. SAVE $5 ON A WALKING TOUR OF CHINATOWN Dine at World-Class Restaurants
Dining in San Francisco is an attraction in itself. Known as one of America’s best restaurant cities , San Francisco chefs excel at combining the freshest local ingredients, authentic international flavors and a touch of creative genius. Choose your cuisine: Chinese , Japanese , French, Italian, Spanish, Moroccan, Indian, Malaysian, Mexican , Greek, Russian or “fusion,” a combination of any or all of these influences. Celebrate In San Francisco’s Nightlife
Nightlife in San Francisco is a constantly changing scene. From cocktails in Union Square, to the ultimate club scene in SoMa, there are neighborhoods to experience all types of nightlife. For a different spin on nightlife, a number of museums host 21 and up events that invite visitors to sip and see special exhibits. Get Cultured
A visit to San Francisco would not be complete without a cultural experience. The city is home to internationally recognized symphony, opera and ballet companies. Many playwrights introduce their works in San Francisco and avant-garde theatre and dance companies dot the city. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art , the Asian Art Museum , the de Young Museum, the Legion of Honor and other museums and galleries are devoted to the finest of classical and contemporary arts. San Francisco is also home to the California Academy of Sciences , the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a four-story rainforest all under one roof. For a complete museum guide, visit our museums listings .
time she flies
It has been ages since I posted. The landlady moved out next door in the rear house and a younger couple and a large dog moved in. Not sure how long they will last and if the landlady will move back in after they go. Happy to be rid of the landlord’s little yippy dog. It was quite the sight when the landlady departed with her stuff. I think she was likely not moving far as it was a rag tag of cars, trucks and ultility trailers with many things just thrown in sacks and the balancing of items were precarious to say the least. In many respects it is at least not going to be an AirBnB for the summer which is what happened when she bought the property years ago. We were in a big city last Tuesday to do a butcher shop run and were going to go for lunch at a favourite place but it turned out to be closed for holidays. Fine…now what? We decided we could go to a nearby mall for super good Indian food in the mall food court. When we arrived imagine our surprise to see the Indian food stall had a new neighbour…a Thai stall. I have to say the food I had from the Thai stall blew my mind. I was exclaiming about fantastic complex flavours for hours after. It was outstanding…no it was OUTSTANDING!!!! We hit up the best Middle Eastern deli (always fantastic), the butcher shop (great selection) and a few other stores. Strangely we found ourselves making another trek to the same city on this past Saturday. It was Sweetie’s birthday and the place he wanted to go to which closer to home for his birthday dinner was closed (sign said for a long holiday). Earlier that day we went to the farmers market ( I learned that some blueberries are suppose to be sour) and the bookstore (to get a newspaper) and the sign in the window now said the place was for lease. We were devastated. We would miss the great food they served but the worst part was not being able to know what happened to them and not being able to say goodbye. Anyway we settled upon a place serving the same ethnic cuisine as his first choice. Our meal was very good. We decided we would just have to make more frequent trips to the big city for that type of food.A couple of days later we learned that the nearby ethnic place was not totally gone. They are moving to a new location. Hooray. Such great news.Having a ball with my Cricut Explore Air 2. It has come in handy as I was able to make small boxes for Sweetie to store each bundle of slides he is finished with so they don’t all get into a jumble in a shoe box.Speaking of Sweetie he is totally loving his birthday present. An iPad Pro (12.9 in. screen). For the first time he has the latest and greatest iPad as in the past he always go my old one when I replaced mine. I have some iPad envy but to be fair I don’t want one that big.We have finally getting some rain and hope there is more on the way. It has also been cooler. The A/C has not been on much this month. The overall high temps between now and the 21st are no greater than 22C. Our usual source for local strawberries is also now growing raspberries. How awesome!
Jul 5, Malls in Bangalore
SouthIndia Guide Top 10 Shopping Malls in Bangalore
There are several shopping malls in Bangalore. India’s first shopping mall was built in this city and it is considered one of the best cities for shopping.
1. Orion Mall – Located at Rajaji Nagar, Orion is one of the best planned and well designed malls in Bangalore, spreading over 850,000 sq ft, and having more than 100 brands caters to everyone’s needs, which includes shopaholics and window-shoppers. Also there are many restaurants, PVR Cinema, and BluO the biggest cosmic bowling alley in with 27 lanes. Besides, many live performance by different artists are conducted during festive season.
Timings – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. website – www. orionmalls.com
2. Phonics City – Located at Mahadevapura, Whitefield Road, Phonic City mall offers a wide range of shopping with all top brands. It is one of the popular malls in Bangalore. Indian and Italian cuisine are available in the restaurants. The speciality of the mall is the open courtyard in the front that hosts multiple events like musical concerts, live shows, painting competitions etc.
Timing: Mon – Friday: 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM, Saturday/Sunday: 10:30 AM to 11:00 PM website – www.phoenixmarketcity.com/bangalore
3. Mantri Square Malls – Located at Sampige Road, Malleswarm, it is one of the biggest shopping malls in Bangalore spreading over 1.3 million square feet and offering more than 200 shopping brands, more than 2000 delicacies to satisfy every palate. Besides, It has scary house, Inox, Planet M and many more for entertainment. The mall is well equipped for kids, elders, handicapped etc.
The only problem is parking space since it is in the heart of the city.
Timings : 10.30 a.m. to 11 p.m. website – www. matrisquare.com
4. Forum Mall – Located at Koramangala, on Hosur Road, the mall is housed at 5 floors, s preading across 780,000 sq ft. Opened in 2002, it is a shopaholic’s paradise and a famous landmark of Bangalore. It has the distinction of being the first full-fledged mall of Bangalore. The mall houses retail giants like Westside, Metro, United Colors of Benetton, Mochi, Planet Fashion, Weekender, Provogue, Isis and many other renowned brands. It is a full fledged entertainment centre housing a multiplex, PVR, with 11 screens (including IMAX) that feature the latest movies from Hollywood, Bollywood and the South Indian film industry. It has also a multi storey bookstore, the Landmark with the latest books. The Food Court has got s everal top line food chains like KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, etc. Parking facility is available. For women, there is separate parking place also.
Time: 10 a.m. to 10 a.m. Website – www.theforumexpereince.com More Shopping Malls in Bangalore
5. UB City – Located at Vittal Mallya Road, UB City is India’s first luxury shopping destination, and houses many branded shops like Burberry, Rolex, Canali etc. UB City can accommodate a 1600 cars in the Triple Level puzzle parking in the mall. The UB tower is the highest one in Karnataka towering a height of 124 meters and the icon of Bangalore city.
Timing – 10.30 AM to 10 PM. website – www.ubcitybangalore.in
6. Inorbit Mall : Located at Whitefield, spread across 4,21,000 sq ft, Inorbit Mall is an excellent walk through experience of shopping for national and international brands.
Time — 11.00 AM to 9.30 PM website – www.inorbit.in/mall/
7. Royal Meenakshi Mall: Located at South West of Bangalore at Bannerghatta Main Road on Hulimavu, Opp: Meenakshi Temple, this mall has hypermarts, accessories shops, branded collections of clothing, Adventure Land 6D dark house for fun and excitement etc. Besides, for food, it offers many delicacies to savour starting from Italian pizzas to Rajdhani thali.
Timing: 10 Am to 11 PM Website: www.royalmeenakashimall.com
8. Ascendas Park Square Mall : Located in Whitefield at International Tech Park Bangalore, the mall offers a wide range of entertainment and shopping experience, Fun, Entertainment and the Food services. Multi-level parking facilities are available.
Timing: 9:30 AM to 11:00 PM Website: www.parksquaremall.com
9. Bangalore Central Mall : Located at different places, Bangalore Central Mall at MG Road is the best, spread across 2,75,00 sq. feet with retailers and food courts, with reasonable prices and affordable.
Timing: 10 Am to 9.30 PM https://centralandme.com/store-locator/
10. Garuda Mall: Located at Magrath Road, Craig Park Layout, Ashok Nagar, the 6-floor Garuda Mall is a multi-level shopping mall accommodating many shops spreading across 75,000 sq. meters filled with entertainment, shops and food courts.
Timing: 10 Am to 10 PM Website: www.garudamall.in
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