Mapusa, the commercial city of North Goa, is not just famous for the weekly Friday bazaar but it is also the centre of a lot of fast food gaddas which draws big crowds. With life turning hectic, more and more people partake in fast foods especially in the evenings. Some of the prominent fast food shops are based in front of the Alankar theatre.
Erwin Fonseca | B&C
ESPITE the air of uncertainty over safety of fast foods, gaddas in Mapusa offering such delicacies are quite famous. The city boasts of many fast food outlets the prominent ones include the 10 in front of Alankar theatre besides the one opposite the Sirsat building. People frequent these fast food joints from 6 p.m to 1 a.m and it is business time for these gadda owners.
Speaking about their clientele, gadda owners claim that of late people in large numbers dine at their joints not only with family members but even with friends. Relaxing under the open sky is another hit among people, add gadda owners.
Though many hotels thrive in the city, the fast food gaddas seem to be doing business as usual. Of late, the fast food shop opposite Sirsat building serves all type of food items which are cooked and served in no time. The menu mainly consists of foods made of rice and chicken.
However there are a bigger number of shops in front of the Alankar theatre serving a wide variety of items including soft drinks, shakes, juices, ice creams, cooked food etc. It is learnt that these shops have been existing for more than 50 years. These shops had originally come up on the pretext of serving movie-goers. But since very few people go to Alankar theatre these days, the gadda owners do not feel discouraged as their customers have not dropped but on the contrary increased. The list consists of high profile people including officers, ministers etc. Even the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar used to frequent these gaddas quite often until some time back.
Mr Pankaj Goltekar, a fast food gaddas owner, says that he has a set customer base who brave any weather to get their share adding that if rains are any hindrance then the customers prefer to take parcel to their homes. Rains only affect sale of shakes, soft drinks etc, he says.
Another fast food gadda owner, Mr Anand Keni, claimed that busy lifestyle is responsible for fast food craze. "It is a perfect way to relax after a hard day. The customer base is on the rise and there is no scarcity of customers. We have our fixed customers and if we give them good food then they may never even shift to another shop," he informed.
Mr Mahesh Naik dealing in shakes and soft drinks however informs that he receives maximum customers during summer but during monsoon and winter the number drops. "Sometimes we receive no customer throughout the day in the off season particularly if it rains heavily," he said.
Of late the fast food shop ‘Sudip Fast Food’ opposite the Sirsat building has become quite popular as it is located in the heart of the city and has a spacious place where a large number of people gather. However, those who want to be away from the hustle and bustle and want to dine quietly prefer the joints near the Alankar theatre. Another shop which is quite popular is Surya Chicken centre based at the Mapusa taxi stand. The shop belongs to Mr Suryakant Naik a former councillor.
"My items include mostly chicken xacuti and egg omelettes. Yet I have a big crowd always," Mr Naik claims. Though omelettes are prepared on the spot, he cooks the xacuti at home and brings everyday and by 10 p.m all his xacuti gets over. Many families also frequent this shop. Mr Naik claims that the secret of his success and his fixed clientele could be the tasty products that he serves people.
"We have never cheated anyone and neither for the last many years our meals have harmed anyone. People have faith in us and this can be witnessed from the huge crowd that turns up every evening."
All in all, fast food centres in Mapusa are quite famous and those existing for last many years have established themselves much to the satisfaction of their customers. These fast food centres or gaddas have not only become popular among people of Mapusa but among people of Bardez as well, as can be seen from the rush witnessed round-the-year.