Mr Gandhi, no relative of either family, whom you see here enjoying a vada pav, told me his favourite food haunts in Pune.You might have guessed Joshi Vadewale is one of them. He has been here on and off in the last twentyfive years since the place was established along with thousands of other Puneris, who have dropped in for a fast, hot and tasty bite.
Though he comes originally from Rajasthan, (-'Jahan nahin jata hai bailgadi, vahan jata hai Marwadi' as he put it with a delighted chuckle), having moved with his family to Poona during the famine of 1860-61, his tone and tastes were totally Maharashtrian.
He agreed that JV is a pit stop for poor and rich, tourist and resident alike. Its popularity has only grown through the years as the vada pav they serve is one of the best in Pune.
It makes a goodly meal with a large potato patty dipped in besan,( gram flour) and deep fried in hot oil, This is folded into a fresh baked bun along with a handful of chillies and served hot to the clients.
Absolutely addictive in a way that fast foods can be, people line up from 7 am and drop by right through the day till the place closes at 8 pm.
They sell about 1500- 2000 vada pavs during the day as well as hundreds of plates of pakodas . These are priced at Rs 5 and 7 respectively which is extraordinarily easy on the pocket.
I know many a Pune NRI from Norway to New Jersey who longs for the taste of a Joshi VadaPau. And some might make that long, long journey just for a JVP.