My appetite for gastronomic fulfillment, like many other Bangaloreans, is endless. And that is exactly what brought me to Nagarathpet Food Street. The fare you'll find here isn't fancy or exotic but it is authentic, delicious and deeply satisfying. Give me something cooked by one of the sweaty cooks here than any dish made by a white-hatted intercontinental chef. If I must pay for my indulgences with some acidity, so be it.
Of late, there has been something of a street food renaissance in namma Bengaluru. There's one in Shivajinagar, Rajajinagar and so many other areas. But the only truly fearsome rival to VV Puram Food Street, which has been in the spotlight for ages, is Nagarathpet Food Street; in fact, some say it is even older than VV Puram.
Anyone who is familiar with the Nagarathpet area knows that to get there on a car is almost impossible. It is so easy lose track and get lost in the gullies of this part of town even when you are taking a walk. After many criss-cross junctions, we finally arrive at the Nagarathpet Food Street.
The constellation of people surrounding Mani's cart is increasing every minute. As I take pictures, Mani smiles, shies away and gets busy with his chores. I take just a couple of pics before my impatience to sample his wares wins. I quickly keep the camera inside and order Ond Masale Dose as it is called. The tawa is filled with dosa batter swiftly and pure ghee poured generously from the top. With more people waiting to taste the dosas, the cycle repeats with better speed and better accuracy.
The guy next to me is worried about his brand new Hyundai Elantra being parked in one of the gullies of Avenue Road. His girlfriend reminds him of what truly matters in life: satisfying hunger pangs is more important than any expensive car. That's what the food here does. It makes you forget about your usual barriers and restrictions. Even my diet fanatic wife breaks her usual rules to tuck into the ghee-soaked dosas and idlis.
This time, I start off with a spongy soft idli and spicy chutney, repeat it and then move on to masala dosa and then idli again.
My stomach is more than full now, but the lure of the creamy badam milk on Murthy Kashi's cart is too hard to resist. Before I say anything, my wife orders for all of us and we are soon sipping the hot mixture of milk, malai, cashew and almonds. The creamy flavour of the badam asserts itself in every sip. Murthy Kashi says he has been doing this for living for the past 21 years. He also serves other preparations but my stomach protests against further fuelling.
I'm more than contented that this long-pending visit has finally worked out. I make a mental note to return soon, already with a plan in place to try the lemon rice, fafda, jalebi, Bombay sandwich, vada pav and so many other delicacies. As I take a turn to reach Avenue Road, a famous Spanish Proverb reverberates in my mind: "A full stomach makes a happy heart."