Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Fontainhas, Panjim, is one of my favourite spaces in Goa. Small roads go through a sleepy collection of houses, painted in deep bright colours. As you walk around the lanes and admire the Portuguese architecture, you can enjoy the breeze and even the sounds of violin and piano from the windows of diligent children doing their afternoon practice. You can stroll around for hours, enjoying the heritage and stopping at the church, and going up the hill to the Maruti temple.
On your way, near the Mary Immaculate School, you can have a choriz pao as a small snack. Chorizo, or the Goan sausage, is pork spiced with chilli, vinegar and garlic, and served with Goan crusty bread. As you walk around Goa, you might just have to make way for the Poder, or bread vendor, who rides around on a cycle and uses his horn to attract potential customers, stopping only at the sound of “hey, poder!” from the window. The Poder has three types of bread, largely – Pao, the bigger brother of the bread that’s used in Vada Paos, Unno, or the crusty buns, and Polis, which are thick Pita breads. The Choriz are fried and chopped into small pieces and the spicy tangy meat is stuffed into the Unno. The Choriz-pao guy sells his goods from what looks like a bhelpuri stall, so keep your eye out.
You can have a cup of coffee at Panjim Inn, at the balcony eatery on its first floor. The wooden floor, cane furniture and the shade provided by the surrounding trees lull you into a sense of absolute comfort. Order a pot of tea, or maybe a beer, curl up with a book and while away your time. It's also a great place for a late breakfast.