When in Goa do as the Goans do. Eat prawn curry and rice or fish curry and rice or crab curry and rice or chicken curry and rice or pork vindaloo and rice or...anyhow you get the gist if it. I cannot get tired of Goan food as long as I make a huuuge salad from time to time. The cafes are getting a bit better in that they offer vegetables too, at least a few of them do. The management/ owners at most seaside shacks are quite happy to make up an order not on the menu. I tell them to lightly boil a mixed lot of seasonal vegetables and pour a teaspoon of chopped garlic sauteed in oil over them. Then sprinkle with a generous pinch of black pepper and bit of salt. It goes perfectly with the hot curry and you get your daily veggie intake.
There are those who tire easily of the hot stuff and want a serious change. You have little Italian pizza joints and so on but for something completely different head to Lila Cafe on the banks of the Baga river, going inland from the sea at Baga along the Arpora stretch via the tunnel bridge and past Micheala's banner. She used to be a midwife and now does piercings.
Lila Cafe is owned and run by Elisabeth Saal , who has lived in Goa for over 20 years and began the Coconut Inn at Candolim many years ago before it was sold. She is constantly around the cafe keeping an eye on everything . She does breakfasts, brunches, lunches and teas and makes delicious pumpernickel, whole wheat, and other German breads. Though the place sometimes seems to be a Lonely German Osho'ites Club, the friendly waiters serve other customers quite happily.
On the menu is simple, familiar Sour Cabbage and Mash potatoes, Roesti, Hungarian Goulash, Spaetzle, Sour Beef dumplings, Ratatouille with Rice, Brown Bean Salad, Smoked King Fish with salad, Avocado with Prawns, Aubergine Pate and other such fairly European dishes. The best was the Mango Cheesecake which I had to wait three days to taste as it was always sold out. They also have a Chocolate Mousse which is nice and several other sweet dishes.
The kitchen is spanking clean, the breads are worth buying to take home and there is a jewellery shop at the back for those who are fed up of food.
A nice place to spend an hour or two looking at the lazy river and the mad motorcyclists who cut like a knife through the perfect landscape on the road that, unfortunately, passes between the cafe and the creek.
Pumpernickel Health Food Pvt Ltd
House no 566, Baga
Calangute 403 528
Tel: 0832 2279843
Open 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.