Soul in the City
Porvorim is now become the new hub prevailing among the crowd for eating out, it seems like places just keep opening here! Pay close attention and you’ll notice this gem of a place just as you exit Porvorim and head towards Calangute on the Chogm Road, after Copperleaf restaurant/bang opposite the temple or vice versa, just as you enter from Calangute/Sangolda. The board isn’t that hard to miss, but with all the hustle and bustle you’ve probably already missed it a couple of times by now. As you push open the door and head into the very open and airy cafe you will be greeted by the very humble and friendly Marco. Mr.Marco Crisanto, originally from Peru came down to Goa a couple of years ago and spent his time as a DJ at a few parties here in the sunny state, however he decided to venture into his passion for food and turn into a business along with his wife Mona, who is a patissier (Pastry Chef) by profession, who helps out with most of the desserts that are served at On the Go.
The seating style is very open and friendly with a decent view of the streets while you munch on your treats to the background of some chill out and ambient music from Marco’s personal collection. Now getting to the food part, what struck me first were definitely the ice teas, I absolutely love ice teas, anytime and anywhere. So upon enquiring about the same I discovered that he makes fresh ice tea and by fresh, I literally mean ‘Iced-Tea’ not your usual packaged and powdered ice teas. So Marco has this two giant beverage dispensers filled with pre-made tea, one containing green tea and one containing black tea. There are two types of ice teas you can get here, the regular, plain ice tea that costs Rs.80/- (Either black or Green) or a fruit Blended Iced Tea that can cost anywhere between Rs.120-Rs.180 based on the fruit blended along with it. There’s a wide variety of options to choose from namely Guava, Apple, Pineapple, Lychee, Blueberry, Cranberry, Strawberry, Mango and more! So when it comes to a blended ice tea, all you go to do is choose a fruit and then choose whether you’d like your fruit to be blended with green tea or black tea. Fresh tea blended with fresh fruits, trust me, it tastes as good as it sounds and leaves you feeling so refreshed. The ice teas I tried over the course of the last week were Guava, Lychee, Cranberry and Blueberry. The lychee and guava ice teas costed around 120-140 rupees while the berry ice teas costed around Rs.160-180 which is understandable as they use only fresh fruits. No canned fruits and fruit syrups. The more easily available and cheaper the fruit used, the more cheaper the ice tea and vice versa. Now you may think that Rs.120-180 for an ice tea is quite expensive, but hey its fresh and they’re huge! I’ve never had such a big ice tea anywhere in Goa up till today. Glasses are half a foot tall and contain 500 ml of ice tea, so thats half a liter! I also tried a Mango Smoothie, which was again a blend of your choice of frozen fresh fruits along with yoghurt, to give you a delicious, fresh and healthy smoothie.
Fresh Green tea and Black tea
Blended Iced Tea with fresh Cranberries and black tea
I then decided to order a sandwich. I saw a good variety of sandwiches listed up on the blackboard and a couple on display too, the first thing that stood out was the attractive packaging of these sandwiches and then the different kinds of ingredients and fusion of ingredients used to make up these sandwiches. Their sandwiches are within the range of 100-200 rupees. The first sandwich I tried was the Hummus sandiwch which had hummus and a few vegetables like onion, tomatoes, moong dal and a few sprouts, a fresh and healthy cold sandwich but I’m quite picky when it comes to my hummus, growing up in the UAE where hummus was almost like a staple. I then tried the ‘Triple‘ sandwich which was a combination of egg mayo, avocado and chopped tomatoes. Again, I’m not a huge fan of dishes that have that heavy egg element in them but this sandwich was so simple, yet so great. It had that richy, creamy feel to it as the light egg mayo combined beautifully with the soft avocado to leave that smooth taste on your palette while the tomatoes cut through that creaminess and added a little zing to the sandwich. A few more recommended sandwiches to try are the Mexican Tuna, the Beef Slaw and the Mediterranean Sandwich (Veg). I also tried the Chicken kofta burger which had a real nice chicken mince patty placed in between two slices of burger bun with the usual veggies and a distinctive mint sauce/chutney.
The Triple sandwich with Egg Mayo, Avocado and Tomato
We then moved to on the slightly heavier dishes and something that appealed to me right from the start, was the Causa. The Peruvian Causa is a seasoned mashed potato terrine usually filled with anything from vegetables, to seafood to chicken. Peru is known for their corn and potatoes and hence these two vegetables are incorporated into most Peruvian dishes, the peruvian people also love their vegetables and love making fresh food in big quantities for their big families. The causa at On the Go are available in two variants, veg and chicken. The causa is made using two layers of mashed potato filled with an assortment of chopped vegetables like corn, french beans, chickpeas, beetroot, carrot, olives and more tossed with mayo and served with olives on top or a slice of boiled egg for the non veg causa, the only difference in the non veg causa is naturally, the chicken. Served cold, the causa is very filling and wholesome and priced at Rs.150, rightly so.
I also noticed two different packaged bowls at the bottom of the glass display case, one saying tandoori chicken with rice and one that said arroz com pollo, which thanks to the amateur Spanish that i learnt after watching the TV show Breaking Bad, I knew translated to simply ‘Rice with Chicken’ . Upon asking Marco I discovered that the arroz com pollo was a traditional Peruvian special and decided to go ahead and try it. The dish is a very well known and loved one in Peru, kind of how like we Goans treat sausage pulao. It usually cooked in very large quantities and mostly for occassions like family get-togethers, birthday parties.etc The aroma is unmissable and the rice and chicken gets it green color from the heavy use of coriander(Cilantro). The same dish is reciprocated and cooked in a different styles in different parts of South America and the key ingredient to a great Arroz com Pollo is a hint of the local Peruvian beer or preferably any type of dark beer, many people also use white wine as a substitute for the beer. The dish at On the Go is priced at Rs.200 for a bowl of the beautiful, green moist brown rice with succulent pieces of boneless chicken and a few vegetables like carrots and peas. It also comes with a small salad that has onions soaked in lime juice garnished with a few mint leaves. When you pour the salad on to the rice and that sour lime juice along with the pickled onions mix with the aromatic green coriander gravy and seep right through, thats when the magic begins, one spoon and you’ll feel like you’re in wonderland. Slightly reminicesnt of our Goan green curries, but a lovely dish overall!
As always, I decided to end with a couple of desserts. Now Marco’s forte isn’t exactly desserts but he’s sure good at selling them. The thing about the desserts here is they may look a bit pricey, considering their quanitity and prices but once you dig into them and taste the richness and the effort put into each dessert , it sure makes you feel like you’re eating your money’s worth! I started with a Lemon tart. The tart was great, bright yellow with pistachios sprinkled on top, as soon as I dug in and tasted that first spoon I immediately noticed that the tart was made using fresh lemons. The tart is nice and fresh with no additivies or artifical taste enhancers however it may be difficult to finish alone for some as it is quite heavy and rich. There is also an apple variant of the tart available.
There were also the usual desserts like cheesecake, chocolate mousse, cakes and other pastries and they were also some more Peruvian specials like Alfajores (Shortbread Cookies), Suspiro Limeno which consists of a sweet and soft custard base topped with meringue and cream and Tocino del Cielo, to name a few. I was stuffed so I decided to go for just one more dessert and that was the Tocino del Cielo which translates to Bacon from Heaven. Now this was a dessert and has no relation to pork or bacon, neither any ingredient relating to the same. It is also known as Heaven’s little pig, probably for its very sweet and power packed taste, yet being so small and cute in appearance. Legend says that the dessert originated in Spain and the wineries of the town of Andalusia many cecnturies ago, used to use egg whites to clarify their wine and so they always had a large number of egg yolks left over. Therefore they decided to donate the leftover egg yolks to the nuns of the Convento de Espíritu Santo de Jerez de la Frontera (Convent of the Sacred Spirit of Jerez de la Frontera) and this thanks to their divine help and the combination of syrup and a water bath, the tocinillo de cielo was created – hence the reference to the Heavens. The dessert is basically a flan/custard made using egg yolks, sugar, water and vanilla extract. The version at On the Go is a slight twist to the orignal recipe as the flan here rests on bed of coconut cake that tastes almost like the chocolate, bounty. The sweet and well defined citrus taste of the flan along with the coconut complement each other well. A great dessert with a great story to finish off my meal.
Hope you guys enjoyed my post, sorry once again for the long delay but I hope this post made up for it. On the Go is open throughout the week from 11 am to 8 pm and is closed on Mondays. Do drop by and don’t hesitate to give The Hungry Wolf a shoutout or mention to Marco. Cheers!
Tocino del Cielo (Coconut Flan)