Posted by: Kappa | July 19, 2007

Foodie’s Guide to IIMK, Part Two

Sriram Karra on “Those Joints Around the Insti”

Midway

No, that’s not the place. That’s not its name either. That’s what we called it. And that is because it is approximately midway from the main Insti gate to the highway. The place is so remarkably well hidden that it has left inquiring minds wondering if the promoters of the enterprise are really interested in doing business. Sharper minds, on the other hand, have pointed out that the question to ask is what business(es) they really are in.

If you want to check it out, the best way is to go by foot the first time. As you walk out of the Institute, it will appear on your right, 25-30 metres from the gate. Keep looking for a small 2.5 feet standee saying “Meals ready” or such. You should expect to spend a few seconds looking for the door to the place even after you’ve located this standee.

Think “quick, no frills, inexpensive” alternative to the Mess, and Midway pops up like a life savior. It’s highly recommended that you go there for lunch (because, well, they are closed for dinner!) Plenty of PGP09ers (and PGP10ers – Kappa) took mess-off for lunch and adopted Midway. The food is (arguably) better, and it costs only 12 Rupees (maybe 15). Curd costs extra (Rs 3 or so). Non-veg is available at extra cost. People have had good things to say about the fish and chicken.

If you are particularly sensitive to heat or other environmental issues, you should know that Midway has an asbestos roof; further that brings a glorious new dimension to a ‘warm lunch’. Also if you mind sharing a table with the security chaps, miscellaneous staff you didn’t know existed and other sundry characters, you would do well to stick with the mess.

Options for the Early Birds

It often happens in the life of a Komrade that one is awake and hungy at 6am, there’s no food, and the beautiful sunrise and mist rising up the valley are not quite enough to quell the pangs of hunger. Your destination, then, are two places just downhill that open for business as the sun rises.

Sweekar

Sweekar is bang opposite Broast, which is to say it’s 10 metres from the IIMK arch on the highway in the direction of the City. Enlightened folks tell me that there’s nothing quite like a night of grass and Pink Floyd followed by an early morning drive downhill to Sweekar. A typical breakfast course for most would consist of Vella Appam + Idiappam + Mutta kari. Plenty of non-veg options are available at more regular business hours (the beef comes very highly recommended), but not early in the morning. Coffee and tea are both passable and taste roughly the same. The aforementioned dishes, in particular, are light on your stomach and wallet.

Brothers

Brothers is one of its kind, in more than one way – it’s the only restaurant in Kunnamangalam that has an english name (no, Broast does not count) and it’s the only pure-Veg place in town as well (no, really) .

Brothers is the very definition of a budget eatery – you can walk in and out of the place for breakfast and your pocket would be lighter by less than 10 rupees, unless you eat like Simon Jacob. You can try the usual breakfast items – idli, dosa, Uthappam, and so on. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, try the fried banana Kerala specialty.

Brothers can be found on the highway right next to the Kunnamangalam bus stand towards the REC/NIT Calicut side.

Subhojit Das on EFC/Pizza Slice

This is the latest fast food joint in town (note to the Calicut newbie: fast food has entirely different connotations in this city – Kappa). Getting down to brass tacks, the menu here has a split personality, part of it being EFC and the other (smaller) part being the Pizza section. The EFC part of the menu is relatively extensive, with plenty of combo and stand-alone options (heavily by the KFC-style, or closer home, the Chicking menus). The pizza section is pretty disappointing, with a selection of six pizzas (cheese, veggie, chicken, fish, shrimp or seafood) in standard sizes. No choice of crust or toppings. The dessert section seems to have been an afterthought, so that you can have a “complete” meal.

 One big disappointment was the abysmally low level of staff knowledge: they had no idea of what toppings go into which of the pizzas, and had not even heard of some of the common pizza toppings. So we decided to play it safe, and ordered a chicken submarine sandwich, a veggie pizza, and a sundae between 2 of us. The guy at the counter promised that the pizza (which was the obvious bottleneck in the order) would take exactly eight minutes, which made me quite happy – efficiency, anyone? Well, evidently not. After many multiples of the promised eight minutes, our order arrived. The submarine sandwich bun was a tad dry, but the chicken was tender and juicy. The pizza, however, was pretty good! Even though the counter guy seemed lost at the mention of olives and baby corn, they were all there on the pizza, nicely sunk on a bed of more than generous helping of semi-molten, stringy mozzarella cheese (Yes, yes. Yummy. I know.) Another  disappointment was the absence of oregano/chili flakes/herbs. To me, it’s like having dahi wada without the imli-ki-chutney.

About the service: they’re unusually finicky about cleanliness here. The guy with the broom sweeps non-existent dust from a spotlessly clean floor, even if it’s under your feet while you’re having your meal.

 What’s my final verdict? Those who love their pizza and don’t care too much about chili flakes et al will like it here. Those with IT work-ex, who wish to relive the days of coding into wee hours over cold pizza and coke may go there for old time’s sake.  However, all said and done, the pizzas here are a little overpriced, considering you could get Domino’s for the same price. But hey – there ain’t no Domino’s in Calicut!

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