By: Kamal Baruah
The last Saturday evening was our food delight. It wasn’t hunger; it was just greed as we enjoyed several dishes one after another amidst numerous menus served by the side of Nehru Park. We tried from corn-masala to pani-puri, momos, boneless kabab, spicy noodles, matka biryani, cone ice cream, desi gola, nimbu paani, and much more. They were utterly desi spicy foods and beverages on the street food hubs. No matter what soaring temperature is rising, food enthusiasts are raring to try a variety of menus along the street. We were starting to wonder whether street food lovers did the right thing without considering any healthy appetite.
However, the food hubs are thriving now with the advent of the world’s leading restaurants in our cities. There has been a lot of hype around those chains of restaurants we saw recently. After American fast food joints like KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Subway run for years, now Starbucks, Taco Bell, and Burger King have entered the new market in this current year with a huge presence, but strangely there are no McDonald’s outlets in the northeast. The buckets of chicken, creative pies, thin crust pizzas, submarine sandwiches, coffee hard-shelled tacos, and hamburgers are now so affordable. Who wouldn’t go there to have a bite? Guwahati is heading off to be the next popular foodie destination.
Though the weekend rush is likely, we chose to go for a family outing to restaurants amidst the hustle and bustle of the cities. It was another evening where we tried a different taste of mouth from an overseas outlet. Although I wanted to have an Indian disc our teenage daughter had another idea of a Mexican-inspired treat, a name that is alien to me. She prefers fast food over fine dining and finally, we banged the door for her choice.
We heard something there; it was just a bell that caused a single strike to our minds. It was surely a Taco-Bell. The clapper (ball) inside the bell chimes the dinging sound on the pause at digital menus. However, I was awestruck by the electronic display flashing back to my eyes. I felt like entering Hollywood, they are an apple of my eyes. The menus kept changing before my vision focused at to read the lines with great effort. The digital innovation on the screen made us confused. We queued at the counter and observed what the other visitors did. Soon our turn came; we smartly placed the order for a customized Big Bell Box as the display guided us so.
We found the dynamic eco-friendly restaurant a bit noisy and crowded for new generations. Happily, we occupied a table in cantina format issuing with order and table number too. I keenly noticed the happening of QSR’s (Quick-Service Restaurants) experience. The waiters are serving food through the digitally-forward style screen to focus on improving the customer experience. There are a variety of sauces and add-ons over Sriracha Burritos, Crunchy Taco, Mexican Fries, Cinnamon Twists, and unlimited Pepsi.
The folded, rolled tortilla filled with mixtures such as seasoned mince, chicken and beans reinvented our dishes of the Mexican delight. We grabbed one after another but with a savoury, smoky, and meaty flavour. The tacos have a peculiar taste. Although most America loves Mexican food, its appetite didn’t satisfy my insatiable hunger until my fat belly sticking out over my trousers. Moreover, they were smaller food portions too.
So, we rushed up for local ingredients at JBs by the up-escalator on the other side of GS Road straight away. There I had popular masala dosa and my wife with chole bhature. Soon our hunger pang disappeared; we felt satisfied because desi meals are invariably big and hearty. We had Mexican as a starter at tea and by about eight o’clock we were ravenous at dinner. Nevertheless, our daughter had chosen to remain on the sidelines with ice cream. Crazed by hunger, it’s not so, city goers began to rush on the Mexican. So did we.