CAFE CENTRAL

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Napoleon Hill said “Patience Persistance and Perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success”. 

No Panjimite, or for that matter no Goan, will be unfamiliar with the name “CAFE CENTRAL”.

The history of Cafe Central dates back to 1933 when its original founder Shri A.S.Gaitonde ran the popular Cafe Central Restaurant situated on the ground floor of Jesuit House, opp present day Cafe Tato, near Municipal Garden Panaji.

Panjimites will vouch for the best bhojes, wadas and other mouthwatering delicacies of Cafe Central Restaurant. Needless to say, quality was never compromised …not then …and not even till date.

One of the prominent writers said about Cafe Central… “In the 50s Cafe Central had become the converging place for the cream of the society. It was a small business with a large heart”

However post liberation, the building which housed Cafe Central was razed to the ground  to give way to a new construction and Cafe Central had to move to where it is presently housed.

Alas….A plush , and busy Restaurant when bhaji pao would cost just 60 paise…and professionalism and hygiene was never compromised was just uprooted  and had to restart business at a totally new place.

In keeping with times Cafe Central got a new look.This was a welcome change.

However, now Cafe Central graduated to becoming a bakery and a confectionery.
Cafe Central perhaps must be the only outlet in Goa selling Indian sweets savouries as well as bakery products …all under one roof.

Besides having all normal items they have adapted to time and they now make products like soyarolls, manchurian rolls cheese rissois, corn puffs, mushroom samosas, batata wadas, onion bhajias…I can go on and on and on  with the list…

Sweets include jalebis, pedhas, special goan milk pedhas, milk cake, gajar ka halwa, sponge cakes and pastries of different kinds…plum cake, carrot cake, fruit cake, date and walnut cake, and their most delicious plain chocolate sponge cake…their chocolate sponge cake is one of my personal favourites. Team it up with vanilla ice cream or hot gulab jamun….taste is simply heavenly …I can vouch, you will never regret trying it….and of course not to forget their typical cream cakes which we as kids would love to cut on a “happy birthday to u” song.

And  one might think that is  all but no…

Cafe Central makes the best collections of different types of namekeens, chiwdas, chaklis biscuits and chips of different variety be it potato, ragi, banana, karela, palak …and the list is endless.

Party orders are also taken and snacks of different types are also freshly  made.

Cafe Central takes Ganesh Ghaturthi and Diwali orders of different types of faral…
Also the responsibility of making faral for “Vogen” is also taken up by Cafe Central… this includes chiwdas, shev, chaklis  shankarlalis, nevryos, fenoris and many other items.
“Vogen” is the the typical goan custom of  sending of different types of eats to the family house of a newly married daughter..

May it be the starting of the  month or the end of the month you will always find a sea of people queued up at Cafe Central just to pick up the garam garam eats of their choice, which most often than not get over before they come to the stands for being sold….

There was a time when the most famous and the hottest selling product on Cafe Central was their uncut loaf of bread and it still remains their hottest and fastest selling product…
The only welcome change that they have made is that is, in addition to the normal white uncut loaf they now also have “poi” which is meant specially for people with diabetes.

I cannot but end this write up without mentioning that Cafe Central a has become such a part and parcel of the lives of us Panjimites in particular and Goans at large that once in 3 or 4 years when Cafe Central closes down for 15 days for the purpose of renovation painting and face lift….we literally don’t know where to go in spite of there being so many snacks and carry home eatout shops spread all over the city.

Gouri Joshi
Author: Gouri Joshi

I am a Lawyer by profession. Presently a non practising advocate trying to touch base with my love for writing which I realised only after I gave up my legal profession. I have taken up writing as a second innings career and would be most happy if my writing skills can be of any help to all and anybody. I presently operate food groups on facebook called "GoanEatouts", "Eatout Series" and"India Eatouts".

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