|Where To Eat|
True, the locals cook exotic dishes made from tender green cashewnut, potato-like roots, and paapdi, a bean grown locally. They make kelphoolachi bhaji, a Konkan dish made of banana flowers. In mango season, their aamras is the ambrosial must in any thali. But when it comes to fish, they wield a magic wand. The freshest fish — bangda (mackerel), surmai, prawn, domas, karli, or whatever the boats just brought in, arrive at your table, ready to be gobbled up with a glass of sol kadi (a drink made from sour kokum berry, coconut milk and coriander, with a hint of green chilli). Every bite of the fish, which is fried golden in rava, or dunked in curry, seems like a blessing. Also ask for vade sagote, which are thick puris made with multi-grains, served with pieces of chicken in a thick gravy.
Vengurla has a few small restaurants. Bamboo Inn on the road to Sagareshwar Beach, about 1.5 km from the ST Bus Stand, serves good seafood, Chinese and vegetarian dishes. It comes with a bar and restaurant, as does Gajaalee near the jetty, which, thanks to its location, serves a popular fish thali. You can find several hole-in-the-wall places like Gomantak in the market area, which serve both vegetarian and fish dishes.
The best food I ate was at Sagareshwar Corner, the shack-like restaurant attached to the MTDC Resort. The fried prawns are out of this world, and the fish gravy is something you can slurp down even after your rice and chappatis are over. You have to place your order at least 2 hrs in advance. For breakfast, ask for ghavne, a kind of dosa served with chutney, or shirwale, a noodle-like dosa made from rice and served with a syrup made from coconut and jaggery. (Both have to be ordered the previous night.) Amba poli, or amba vadi, is a layered sweet made from mango pulp and sugar and makes for a nice dessert. Khaja, made from gram flour and sweet palm jaggery, is nice to chew on as you stroll around.