MUNCHING IN MCLEODGANJ
Who knew a quaint little place in the hills would excite a foodie an extent that she would write rave reviews about it? As a matter of fact, McLeodganj is an ideal food paradise whose smell alone could excite the senses.
In the narrow streets buzzing with activity, there would be tiny hole-in-the-wall cafés and modest looking restaurants cooking up an array of cuisines, be it Spanish, Mexican, Chinese or even Tibetan for that matter.
Something that really appealed to me about the people was their simplicity in thought; they had handmade menus, comfortable seating arrangements with their primary focus on some lip-smacking food.
Nothing energizes you like breakfast, especially if you have delicious homemade Pancakes and Paninis at Woeser’s Café. As you entered, cutely displayed pastries and tarts on the window were surely a treat to the eyes. I have to admit it was a bit cramped, with just two tables and a counter quite close by. But somehow it felt cozy and instilled the feel-good factor as I entered. With hot pancakes and that lovely homemade chocolate sauce it surely started my days there on a good, rather a very good note.
(And yes, these are my snap-chat pictures, I was a bit obsessed. Lucky on my part or we would have just descriptions and no lovely pictures)
After a long day of outdoor excursions we stepped into the ‘Tibetan Kitchen’. It was absolutely jam packed. After a great deal of waiting we managed to grab a seat. There’s nothing as delightful as indulging into Momos on a rainy day!
After a great slumber we walked down for Breakfast to ‘Krazy Crepe Pancake ‘the next day. Never in my life have I been so delighted to enter a Breakfast Café when I saw that wooden shack of joy.
As you entered, you would see shelves of books, most of them quick reads while others based on the Himalayan way of life! It was a warm Mountain Cafe with a wooden flooring, chairs, and tables; practically everything made of wood. Seated by the window it would overlook the surreal Himalayan Ranges. At the corners you could sit at low tables with cushions serving as chairs. There was quite a charm sitting in this mountain café where amidst the mountains. Waffles and Pancakes being my hot favorite were ordered for the second day in a row and yes they were delicious!
After a great deal of walking around in the hill side we were back to square one, hungry for lunch! We had heard a lot about a restaurant called ‘Common Ground’. It was on a secluded stretch of land away from the hustle-bustle of the city square. With a similar wooden seating and aromas tantalizing the air, I just knew that this place would be the ultimate winner. After ordering from the delectable variety it offered, we sat in an outdoor seating, joyfully facing the mountains. Although to our surprise the food came after long, a VERY long time. Make that 2 hours precisely for a meal that would be devoured in less than 20 minutes. After all the stomach grumbles and tantrums the food finally arrived. Just by the visual appeal I knew it was worth it. Nothing beats some fresh Tibetan bread with a juicy Pork and Chicken Curry. Words cannot explain the joyful songs my mouth sang.
In the evening we had decided to go to ‘Carpe Diem’ for dinner. It was a rooftop restaurant with an ambiance of its own. Decorated with prayer flags and handmade lanterns, it definitely lifted the spirits of its visitors. People could sit down, have coffee and play board games till whatever time they wished. Serving a wide variety from Continental to North Indian to Chinese, it was quite a popular spot in town. Cordon Bleu- my latest craving was luckily on the menu and nonetheless yes, it was absolutely splendid.
Moments like these is what makes a trip like this so fondly remembered. Goodbye McLeodganj till the next time I visit you, hoping to hog some more of your good stuff!