Raising the bar for partying hard @Bar Bar, Viman Nagar

Barflies rejoice, ‘coz binge drinking just got frugal ! Here with a tangibly evident model based on economies of scale is Bar Bar, a neat ol’ evening-only joint in the heart of Viman Nagar that has all the options you’ll want on that night out with your bevda buddies. Then there’s the deafening speakers and the long-enough list of bar-bites as well, so you can rest assured that your Friday nights are sorted. Oh, and Wednesday nights, too. And Monday nights. Aaaand Thursday nights. Let’s not forget Tuesday nights. And who doesn’t want to get out of the house on the weekend?

Anyway…so, cut to 15th June – our band of lukkhas are at Bar Bar. Seeing as how our group had hijacked most of the bar area, the other guests were forced out into the more ‘personal’ outdoor area which was less suited for large groups and more for the tête-à-tête kinda meets. I’m all for neon lights and loud progressive house so obviously, I was happy where I was – indoors.

Social hugs and awkward hellos all done, we got straight down to business –

Lynchburg
First came the Lynchburg – a swimmingly potent mix of Jim Beam, vodka Triple Sec and Ginger Ale. No surprise that most of us ordered (and loved) this little monster.

Spiced Guava Mocktail
I also sampled some of my friend’s Spiced Guava Mocktail which was pretty good, too. The glass was rimmed with masala and the beverage itself was well-spiced so the flavors ended up skewed towards the hotter end of the spectrum. Nothing I couldn’t handle, though.

DIY Basket of Fries –

basket of fries
Loaded Potato Skins
I’m a huge fan of everything potato so you’re going to get the usual ‘OMG this was sooo freakin’ awesome’ rant from me so let me skip the charades. But seriously, this was like sooo awesome !! The dips were killer, each with their own character and different types of fries to pair them with. Oh, the adventure of it all ! #OkEnoughMelodrama

Popcorn –

Pork Cuchifritos
Pork Cuchifritos – I had to be told, like a few others that we’d just downed pork. All the flavors and none of that very typical porky after-smell. If you’re into pork, you’ll not be disappointed.

Buttermilk Chicken Popcorn
Buttermilk Chicken Popcorn –  I had great expectations from this one but was a little let down, to be honest. The texture was a little off, which is pretty much everything for me, when I’m having buttermilk-chicken. Shame, really.

Vada Pav Popcorn
Vada Pav – Interesting little micro Vada-pavs, these. Not too far from the real deal, too. Which is the best part. I mean, your favorite cocktail, at a bargain, with Vada Pav on the side? To me, that’s awesome.

Mysore Vada Popcorn
Mysore Vada – There’s definitely a really dexterous Anna in the kitchen somewhere; I’m sure of it ! These little babies were PERFECT ! Perfect texture, mild flavors and a potent chutney to go with it – Bar sides seldom get better than this.

Shrimp Popcorn
Shrimp Popcorn – another light-bite of a snack; the subtle flavors were very well complimented by the piquant dip served alongside.

Toasties – for when you’re in the mood for a slightly more ‘real’ meal.

Ham and Chilli Cheese Toasties
Ham and Chilli Cheese – I’ll call a pass on this one, unlike the other pork preparation. It was a little too confusing for my palate and did have that very typical ‘porky after-smell’ that puts me off. But that’s just me.

Kung Pao Chicken Toastie
Kung Pao Chicken – smoky, perfect textured chicken bits with evidently oriental flavors from the spring onions and whatnot. Very much recommended.

The MexicanThe Mexican – Kidney Beans, Cheddar, Jalapenos, Nachos – is there anything stereotypically Mexican that I missed? No? This one has everything thrown in together into a delicious mix between two slices of bread. Me likey.

Pahadi Paneer Paratha
Then there was the Pahadi Paneer Paratha; basically a really nice roll – the paratha was perfectly flaky and the paneer tasted of generous amounts of mint-coriander. Made for a really delicious standalone meal option, really.
Happy Singh ka Dabba
Aaaand then there were the tiffins, which I don’t really get, to be brutally honest. I get the concept of a full meal and all, but somehow after downing half a litre of a really potent cocktail (which is their USP, by the way – the potency of their drinks, I mean) I didn’t feel anything like ‘ghar ka khana’ by a loooong shot. I mean the appetizers had done their thing already, see? So I’ll sum it up for you in as few words as I can – the Happy Ending is an ‘unusually spicy for Thai’ meal (those who don’t get the Thailand reference need to go back to pre-school where they belong), the Lovely Singh ka Dabba is a rather good Punjabi meal (Butter Paneer and Chapaati) and the Irrfan’s Dabba was a Chicken Biryani-based dabba that I just heard of but never saw.

Amigo beer
I’m not sure why but we ended our meal with a beer, but we did. It was my first time having an Amigo and I realized in one sip what I’d been missing. Pale gold with nearly no head, muted carbonation and limey aromas. Couldn’t pick up the tequila that was supposed to be in there but the beer was still awesome, nonetheless.

Oh yes, I remember why we ended with a beer. No desserts. That’s why. Tsk Tsk.

Anywho, on the ‘overall experience’ front, I left the place much happier than I was when I entered. Totally worth the experience, if you ask me !

Food – 4/5
Service – 4/5
Ambience – 4/5
Value for money – N/A (invited) But this is the whole point of it, so….

Bar Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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A Truckload of Awesomeness – @The Breaking Bread Food Truck, Aundh

Here to bring new meaning to the word, ‘Fast Food’, is the brand spanking new Breaking Bread Food Truck, licensed to park and serve on ITI Road, Aundh. If you’re in the area and looking to indulge in greasy debauchery on a budget, start looking for a parking spot ASAP, ‘coz this son-of-a-bun serves some pretty mean burgers and fries. Sure, the menu may be all of one whiteboard’s worth of fancy names but all of it still packs quite a punch.

Flambe
By the time I’d arrived (7:45 PM), they were already out of their famous Kokum Mojito which is a shame, really because I was SOOOO looking forward to have some. I convinced myself I could always come back, so no tears were shed.

Chicken in a mess
There was a pretty big serving of HOT MESS being dived into, which was basically fries with spicy beans in fresh salsa with cheese and sour cream garnished on top. Nice and tangy, but needs to be finished ASAP to avoid getting the fries all soggy. Not that its impossible, mind you. In fact our serving was literally gone in 60 seconds.

Next came the carnivore’s version of the same preparation – the CHICKEN IN A MESS. Pretty much the same piquant flavors, but soaked to the bone in the tender little chicken pieces. The flavors clearly came out more in this version and the textures were more interesting, too.

The Jerk
The Jerk came next. No, not a literal Jerk, but a JERKED CHICKEN BURGER – The Jamaican Jerk spice HAD to be accompanied with a pineapple slaw, which was classic, if you ask me; and the tart from the chipotle mayo definitely helped. Me likey.

The toasties followed
Pune Toasties
PUNE TOASTIES –  If you’re missing your college canteen’s Classic Veg (potato) Toast, this is the answer to that craving. Fair to say it was average at best. I wasn’t impressed mainly because there were so many other options that were so much better.

Chicken Toastie
CHICKEN TOASTIES – Safe to say this version was better – both, in terms of texture and the slightly stronger flavors; I’m almost beginning to sense a pattern here…are you? #MeatRocks

And then came the more serious burgers
Cajun Cottage Cheese Potato Burger
CAJUN COTTAGE CHEESE POTATO BURGER – The texture of the patty was Amazeballs –  supremely soft, melt-in-your-mouth grade minced paneer generously seasoned with a piquant Cajun spice-mix. Loved it !

Goan Chicken Bun
GOAN CHICKEN BUN – Vindaloo-style chicken generously stuffed between soft, soft buns. The punch from the vinegar was very much there, although I would’ve liked it to be just a little bit stronger. Then again, that’s a personal preference.

But wait. I’m not done yet.

There was a BANOFFE SANDWICH, too!
Banoffee Burger
I really had high hopes from this, because I’d seen a Nutella Jar somewhere inside the truck but the Peanut butter kinda blew it, for me. Again, that’s ‘coz I’m not really a peanut butter guy. It was not bad or anything, but it could’ve used a little more Nutella and a little less Peanut Butter, IMO. Proportions, that’s all.

All in all, I think we’ve got ourselves a set of wheels all set to make waves. If only the weather and the traffic scene were a little more forgiving !

Food – 4/5
Service – 4/5
Ambience – N/A? (There literally isn’t an ambience – there’s 2 stools. Period)
Value for money – N/A (invited, but the prices were absolutely reasonable for the quality of grub served)

Breaking Bread Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Burger Barrage at Double Roti, Viman Nagar

It’s a balmy Monday evening and I’m excited. I make that hour-long trip to ‘that side o’town’ and as I walk up the stairs from the basement parking, I’m welcomed by the subtle, yet unmistakable scent of comfort food. I enter this doorless, chilled-out open space and a bar greets me right at the entrance. Sweet.
bar
The place ooooozes peppy gimcrackery and zany genius; I note the cheese-grater and eggbeater lamps among other tacky odds and ends about the tables and walls.
knick knacks.jpg
I (try to) make myself comfortable on the somewhat uncomfortable barstool and proceed to pull out a fork and a knife out of the truck-shaped cutlery holder.
truck.jpg
As I go through their carefully curated Ai (Amrikka-inspired) menu I notice it obviously has nothing to do with salubrity. Muffled (excited) squeals follow. Because nothing healthy ever makes us drool, right?

I realize I’m parched so I call for a Masala Lemonade, which is not quite what I’m expecting; maybe some fizz ought to liven this beverage up, I think to myself.
lemonade.jpg
I sample some oreo shake that my friend is having and I instantly regret not having called for a whole flowerpot full of THAT. That crunchy, thick, oreo-ey shake garnished with a sprig of mint, making it look like a goddamn flowerpot; I mean, how clever is that ?!
oreo shake.jpg
Anywho, so there’s some stuff already on the table that’s waiting for my attention, so I go ahead and try –
Sour cream and salsa fries – I’m not sure what to expect from fries that are paired with salsa and sour cream, but I’m pleasantly surprised. And the presentation isn’t half bad either.
fries
Pickle Chips – crumb fried picked gherkins that I cannot stop popping. But I realize I have an entire meal ahead of me so I force myself stop after there’s all of two left for my friend who I was supposed to share this with. Lol I totally suck at sharing. I catch his expression from the corner of my eye and its priceless. <insert evil laughter here>
gherkin chips
Fish n Chips – Another deep fried delight, this. As someone who isn’t a huge fan of fish n chips, I’m unable to believe that I’m unreservedly relishing every bite of this crispy savory and the piquant dip it is going so well with. #SoRecommended
fish n chips
Next comes the kukkad shukkad –

BBQ Wings – Not the texture I’m used to, but the sauce is spot on. I have two from the plate of six wings in front of me and pass the rest to the bhukhad side of the table to finish it. And just like that, it disappears.
bbq chicken
Peri Peri Chicken Tender(s) – Not as hot as the peri peri I’m used to, but still punchy enough and real succulent, too. But I’m distracted because I’m anxiously looking forward to the Double Rotis (burgers) and there’s still Pizza to finish.
piri piri chicken tenders.jpg
The Calzone and the Pizzas follow. So I sample the Goodfellas and the La Sciciliane and both are great – flavorful, sapid toppings and generously garnished with cheese but the crust in’t evenly crisp. The calzone is pretty good, though – I can’t tell its pork till someone tells me. #Yikes! Anywho, I remind myself why I’m there – for the highlight of the evening…the Double Roti ! And finally, it arrives !
pork calzone.jpg
goodfellas
So MY burger, the Mexican Wave is a lovely medley of textures and flavors – soft ghar-ke-recipe-wala bread, housing crunchy tacos and fresh veggies on top of the juicy, mildly tangy patty…
mexican wave
and I think this has so got to be the best burger on the table…till I sample some of my friend’s creamy chicken and cheese…I find it to be the single most disgustingly delicious filling I’ve been waiting to dig my teeth into all evening. My heebie-jeebies are finally gone.
chicken n cheese
As I’m about to say thank you and dhanyavaad I hear someone announce that they’re willing to share the blueberry and chocolate waffles they’ve called for. So I loosen the belt a notch, grab a fresh fork and dig in like no tomorrow. The blueberry and chocolate is divine and the waffle is warm, crisped on the outside and 100% mush inside. Its so awesome I shudder….and then I wipe my drool off the table. #EatLikeAHomerSimpson
blueberry chocolate waffles

Long story short –
Food – 4.5/5
Service – 4.5/5
Ambience – 4.5/5 (for how clever every little thing is, here !)
Value for money – N/A (invited); but I’ll still say the grub’s well worth your buck 🙂

Double Roti Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

And as usual, here’s some more stuff that I didn’t have –
other burger1other burger2beep burger