My first memories of American fast food is pizza with melted cheese, crispy, crunchy, perfectly round onion rings, nachos with cheese sauce and a pink-colour concoction! All those who wore frocks and chaddis (read childhood phase) in the 90s will remember the mouth-watering food I mentioned. I am talking about the famous New Yorker.
Back in the 80s and 90s, New Yorker, right opposite the Chowpatty promenade in South Mumbai was THE place for exotic vegetarian cuisine. At that time American food was what Sushi, Vietnamese, Lebanese did to people’s taste buds today. This mid-sized restaurant, with mural of New York’s famous skyline and Statue of Liberty adorning one of the walls, was most visited and always had long waiting periods.
Of course, Gordon Ramsay would throw the Italian and Mexican passed off as American fare right back at the humble waiter’s face, but what the hell, we loved it!
Every time we ate at New Yorker, the order was same – no change whatsoever – strawberry ice cream soda, onion rings (no one can make this crispy, crunchy, perfectly round rings like NY), American cheese corn balls, nachos with cheese sauce, Mexican tacos and if one was still greedy, some pizza (back then this of one of the few places to serve pizza that topped with melted cheese).
New Yorker was the place to visit to celebrate a birthday or anniversary or someone’s academic results, back then dining at restaurants was a family affair! Today, eating out is routine.
Speaking of the culture of eating out, back then it was a luxury and only indulged in on special occasions. Ghar ka khana, which has now become a sort after exotic cuisine, was what we ate for every lunch and dinner without achu-cha. Restaurant food meant idli dosa, pav bhaji and naan-paneer butter masala! So, when we first tasted New Yorker’s onion rings, nachos, tacos, our taste buds had awakened to new senses of indulgences.
Recently I went there again with cousins to revisit old memories. While I still loved eating the onion rings sprinkled with chat masala, the pizza and nachos no longer had the same appeal. In fact, with age and the need to eat healthy, it’s not often one orders these yummy but junky fast foods that will directly travel from my sweet lips to my round hips!
Yet, every time I pass by Queen’s Necklace, the Amereekan joint brings back a host of memories, yummy ones for sure!