Goans know how to eat. Their love of food knows no bounds, so you’ll often see popular joints crowded with people from all walks of life, happily tucking into some good grub, whether it be a hot fish thali or a warm culet pao.
The author of this article is not Goan, but he does follow Goan foodies to their favourite holes in the wall like a starved street dog. A few years back this hungry dog sceptically accompanied a dear patrao of his to a small chapel bordering the sea in Ribandar, with the promise of a smashing meal. It was there he received a celestial gift — a goddamn revelation of a pork chop.
The side door of the quaint Remedios Chapel opens up at 6:00 pm every night (barring Sunday), and almost immediately the joint is filled with regular patrons, eager to stuff their faces before their favourite treats get sold out. This is the only issue with Texeria’s beloved pork chops, everybody wants some. In fact, even if you show up at 6:30 pm there is a good chance all the pork chops have been eaten.
A man once showed up sharp at 6:00 pm to order 10 pork chops for a dinner party and was told that even though there were over ten pork chops, the owner couldn’t let his regulars miss out on their evening favourite, refusing the bulk order without batting an eyelash. This is a telltale sign that a restaurant has graduated to the ranks of an institution, serving for the people and not for profit - a real rarity in the food business.
It’s important to mention the no-frills joint is exceptional in every quality. Upon entering you walk into a narrow room displaying a mélange of newspaper clippings pasted all over the off-white walls. Everything from oiled up bodybuilders to a photoshopped image of Modi riding an elephant makes up the eclectic ambience, along with various Popes and a framed portrait of Mother Teresa. Yes, it is a strange decor, yet it is strange in a wonderful manner, and never ceases to entertain.
And the prices? Well, a single chop goes for only INR 90, and the sausage bread is a mere INR 30.
Why these pork chops will rock your world!
These lovely loin cuts have you sucking at the bones like an emaciated model after a week-long fashion shoot. This is of course due to a family recipe as treasured as the chapel it resides in. The first step to achieve these heavenly pork chops is to beat the living hell out them, exactly the same way one would prepare beef cutlets. This way the chops get nice and tender.
Then, the chops are marinated in a paste that seals the deal. A puree of ginger, tomatoes, coriander, chillies and so much more soak into the cuts of meat for two hours, along with an old family spice mix. Next, they are pan-fried in the same skillet the owner uses for the cutlet pao. This is key, because the rava leftover in the pan from the cutlets sticks to the tender chops, adding a subtle crunch to the pork.
Since Texeria’s closes at nine (yes, they are only open for three hours a day because their turnover is so high) we suggest you get there well early for dinner. Also, even if they don’t have pork chops, everything on the menu is good, especially the culet pao and the sausage bread. Bom apetite meus amigos!
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