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We've been inviting readers to send in reviews of their local eateries. Here is what Thane resident Neelam had to say about her favourite foodie hangouts:
All of Thane's food-loving residents should be grateful that they live in such a pretty, clean city which is home to so many restaurants.
In fact, it would be quite unfair to focus on just one restaurant in Thane and sideline all the others -- there are several eateries big and small, where you can eat to your heart's content and I would like for everyone to know about them.
For that most important meal of the day, breakfast, you should visit Vijay Snacks in Thane East, in front of Mangala School -- here you can gorge on delicious hot dosas, idlis and vadas. Man, the the coconut chutney which they serve with the vadas is yummy! You can visit Vijay Snacks in the evenings as well, but it's always crowded.
If you are fond of bhajjiyas and pakodas, there is a small tapri (shed), also in Thane East, just in front of the rowhouses you come across while going towards the Thane Khadi. Take the back road, not the big one going by Sadguru Gardens -- you'll find the tapri just by following the delicious aroma along this road. The palak pakoras available here are the tastiest I've ever tried; don't leave without sampling them. The place is usually open in the evenings.
While on the subject of snacks, I think the best Punjabi samosas are available at Khandelwal, opposite Thane Station (West) -- they are just too good! A little on the pricier side and sometimes spicy, but really worth the money. Sometimes you'll find yourself chewing on a cashewnut or raisin from inside the samosas. These add a special flavour to them and you'll definitely be asking for more.
Now for main courses. Whenever I'm ravenous I always think of Alok, also in Thane West -- malai kofta, veg kadhai, butter kulchas and the cheese paneer pulao available here are all simply mouth-watering. Although the eatery is usually packed and the lack of space may cause you to look elsewhere, there is some grrreat food to be had here if you have the patience to wait for a table. The service is quick and efficient, although the staff is known to turn a deaf ear occasionally, when there are dozens of people calling out to them at once. I would suggest you seat yourself in the air-conditioned section, even if you're only there for a quick snack -- I detest both the entrance and the basement areas. In contrast, the air-conditioned section is calmer and cooler.
Just above Alok is The Experience -- if you're eating here, don't miss out on the 'Gold Coin' starter -- it's out of this world and you may actually skip out on your main course and gorge only on this appetising appetiser!
For evening snacks -- if you feel like some chaat, for instance -- go straight to Hanuman [Images], in Gaodevi Maidan's market area. I swear by the dahi batata puri available here. Taste it once and you'll find yourself visiting every second day, it's just so addictive. The panipuri and bhelpuri are also worth a mention, but I wouldn't recommend the ragda pattice. Men who visit, beware -- 80 percent of Hanuman's clientele is women, so you may find it difficult to squeeze through the throng just to place your order!
When it comes to ice-cream, the only place that comes to mind is Janaseva, also near Gaodevi Maidan; Janaseva is in the lane that lies in front of Hanuman. No place in all of Thane can compete with this little ice-cream shop. I've been visiting for 23 years now and the taste of the icecream is still the same -- deliciously creamy and pure. Truly, such consistency can't be found anyplace else. Janaseva doesn't even need to advertise much, it's maintained the quality of its ice-cream so well. The management has not allowed it to fall prey to modern styles and strategies -- they go by the simple, authentic and tasty tactic. Don't miss out on this place and make sure that you visit before 7 pm -- if you don't, most likely you'll return emptyhanded. Janaseva is sold out most evenings, as it carries only limited quantities of ice-cream each day.
So, dear Thanekars and visitors to Thane -- don't forget about these eateries when you are in the city. There are several other joints as well, which are also worth visiting -- visit them and let everyone know that our Thane is a great food hub.
Do you have a favourite restaurant or cuisine? Or have you sampled the latest haunt on the block? Be it Manali or Kanyakumari, Kashmir or Goa [Images], Jaipur or Nagpur -- we would love to know more about the eating out options in your village, town or city.
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