Published on January 23, 2020
By Darshan Dhirai Senior Research Manager at Drshti Strategic Research Services Pvt. Ltd.
Why is research the best job for a foodie you ask? One reason is that research is a more steady job than being a food blogger (which I had aspirations of becoming before life slapped me with a thing called reality), and the second is that you literally have the entire country presented to you in a plate (I just ate a flaming kebab in pune)!! The travel, though hectic, opens you up to so many methods and cultures of food that you realize just how diverse your country and your tongue is.. Interestingly, it also gives you an insight into the ways, means and profiles of the people living there.
I recently had one such experience in Pune where we were to meet a respondent in an industrial area. The curious foodie in me always looks for a local taste the place has to provide. This usually leads me to a famous local restaurants of the area. However, an industrial area is not the place to scout for such food.. It just has those ‘steel plate’ restaurants with basic food options that are light on your pocket and heavy in your tummy. This place we went to, fell in a category where they had to put up a sign prohibiting people from eating outside food during lunch timings (funnily, they were allowed to do so outside of these hours). Without any hope of having a taste experience, we entered.
The ordering was quite easy as there was nothing much to offer anyway. “Ek mini lunch!”. The beautiful thing about such places is the infinitesimal time difference between placing and getting the order. Both, the restaurant and the customers are there with a single purpose of getting the job done quickly.
As I took the first bite of my roti and amti, my taste buds took a sudden jolt of surprise! Much like a one you experience when a bla day comes up with unexpected experiences.. The flavors were basic and they didn’t try to do much. They were honest and modest, much like the people eating there.. It was nutritious and the combination was such that you get the right amount of full before getting back to work. The plate? steel of course.. Just like home. The people, make you feel like home. No one is interested in what you say and the volume control button is broken beyond repair. I felt this happiness while eating there, the happiness of being me with a hash tag #nofilter! The steel plate depicted the place perfectly. Functional, accommodating and low cost. A place where you can lick the plate clean and no one would flinch an eye!
That day I realized 1 thing.. These steel plate restaurants might not have the glitter but they surely have gold hidden in them. They teach you to enjoy the little, different, hidden things that might pay you a surprise visit. #YouNeverKnowWhatsInStore