Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eating well in Madras: Bin Laden Burger: Pupil at Besant Nagar beach

There are times you just want to gorge without caring much for fineries or refinements. Next time this happens and you happen to be in Madras just take an auto to Besant Nagar Beach. (If you are coming from Thiruvanmiyur, just get a bus right up to Adyar bus stand. Then take another bus or auto to Besant Nagar.)

Ask someone where Pupil is. Anyone will show you. Otherwise ask where Arun's ice cream shop is. Pupil is just a couple of shops away from Arun's Ice Cream Parlour. It is round a corner where there are a lot of good food shops along with a Dhaba, a cafeteria, and a continental restaurant. They run the shop from a small kitchen with chairs and tables laid out outside. A typical restaurant by the sea with food that includes burgers, sandwiches, salads, momos, soups, french fries, etc.

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What they are famous for is the George Bin Laden Burger. It is a huge burger which comes with a choice of two meat patties cushioned between three layers of sesame laced white-bread and a choice of sauce. Here are your options:


You can take two patties of either beef or chicken. (as in both beef or both chicken or one beef one chicken, although I would very strongly recommend the beef patty. Let me rephrase that. I will shoot you if I find you ordering the chicken patty.) 


You can choose between a mayonnaise or a barbecue sauce. The mayo sauce is a personal favourite.

Plus there will be pickled vegetables and cheese between the patty and the bread and some french fry on the side. Be warned. Don't be too happy about the free french fry. It is quite meagre in quantity. But I bet you won't notice because you, dear reader/drooler will be busy finding ways to take a bite out of this HUGE burger while  making sure you don't drop the yummy mayo sauce on your shirt.

The George Bin Laden Burger costs 106 rupees (roughly 2 dollars).

I will try to put in some photos of the burger sometime. I also plan to write about one of the finest chicken roasts I have eaten from a shop a stones throw away from Pupil. I will also tell you about the Continental Restaurant by the same owner (as Pupil) that is rumoured to sell a better version of the Bin Laden burger and also very good steaks and sizzlers. Next week may be.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Madras Mail

I have been living in Madras for the past two weeks now. The city reminds me of Calcutta in more ways than one. The colonial architecture. The narrow bus routes that run through bustling bazars. The humid sloth in the air. The prolific public transport system with plenty of buses, share-autos, trains, etc.

But I am yet to find a city as forgiving as my Calcutta. Madras sees you fall and laughs. Then when he sees you are hurt he will probably help you get up. Probably. He is ruthless and retort-ful. Yes. Madras is a man. A caring man at best.

The sea is never far from you in Madras. Which is a wonderful thing. I had never imagined I would live by the sea. Now that I do I cannot believe my luck. I have seen the sea on a bright sunny day. On a rainy evening. In pitch darkness. The sea soothes. It takes away all your troubles for a while. Then returns it to you just as you are about to leave. 'Excuse me sir. I think these would be your troubles. Sorry'.

Office has been generally good. I have a good project and a small team of five people. My office is the most forgiving of the things in Madras in fact. Don't believe what people say. TCS is a good company to work for.

Madras has fantastic food. What was all the rumour I heard of food cooked in coconut oil and curry leaves in everything they make? I have had everything from stir fried rabbit to chilly beef to brilliant chicken roasts! Madras is the first place where I find beef is almost as mainstream as chicken. I was walking along a stretch of Perangudi that day and it is lined with small fast food shops that had stuff like beef chowmein, beef fried rice, chilly beef sharing the same board as chicken fried rice, chowmein.

My hunt for a 1 or 2 BHK house continues. I had almost started living in a 2 BHK but I vacated it only yesterday when I realised that there were a couple of serious flaws that could not be ignored specially considering the amount of money I was paying for it. Finding accommodation in Madras is a pain, I tell you. And brokers are very dangerous creatures to handle. I am so tired of them. And of looking for houses. Please find me a nice house :(