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Old 30th April 2012, 11:58   #16
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Default re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

Totally agree with the OP.

Absence of decent hygienic facilities along our highways is single biggest mind block while planning a road trip.

For me, if a highway has a CCD every 3 hours, I am comfortable.

The regular dhabas/eateries, may have decent food, but usually the hygiene levels are abysmal and toilets for only the desperate.

BLR-Mysore - Good. CCD - yes.
BLR-HYD - Bad. Has no half decent place to eat or relieve yourself.
BLR-Chennai - Average. Food ok, No clean toilets. (is there a CCD?)
BLR-Ooty - Average. CCD - yes.
BLR-Pondy - Bad. No clean food, no clean toilets.
BLR-Wayanad - Bad. No clean food, no clean toilets.
BLR-Coorg - _?_. I think there was a CCD, donít remember.
BLR-Yercaud - Bad. No clean food, no clean toilets.
BLR-Kodai - Bad. No clean food, no clean toilets.
BLR-Tirupati - Bad. No clean food, no clean toilets.
BLR-Kolar - Average. CCD - yes.

(my observations are from my trips over past 3-4 years. Some of above highways may have got new facilities in past year)
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Old 30th April 2012, 12:12   #17
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Default re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
For the last 40 years that we have been travelling on Indian highways as a family, the dhabas have been THE ONLY highway eateries to stop at.
I agree with you but for ladies it is very difficult to convince. When I drive alone, I can stop anywhere and have food. But with family, it is really difficult.



Quote:
Originally Posted by faustus77 View Post
Unfortunately the seating arrangement may not be suitable for a family as you sit on a steel bed with a wooden plank for your thali.
Other requirements is to find rest rooms along the highway which these dhabas do not provide. Sometimes, there are security reasons also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
I'm genuinely surprised at your rameswaram account. Its a sorry state of affairs if that is indeed the case.
Yes, this is correct and my mother was also there in car. After we crossed Madurai and came on NH -7 we did not find good place to stop and have food. That is why, I generally pack lots of snacks in car so that in emergency that can be used as food.

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post

1. Hopeless loos. They are so filthy and stinking that it is better to relieve yourself on the roadside. For ladies I open both the front and read doors on the off-side and then they have a modicum of privacy.

2. Reduced demand. Resulting in fewer of these being around.

3. Changing food habits. People do not like the heavy stuff they serve.
Agree with all points, this is major dampner for any travelling by car. I feel situation down South is more problematic that in North.

I remember when I was going to home - town from Nagpur along with my cousins back 2003. We stopped in very small dhaba and they served hot chapati and tasty bhindi (ladyfinger) and daal tadka. It was excellent food to have on highway and very very tasty.
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Old 30th April 2012, 17:02   #18
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

I have also noticed this in Chennai - Bangalore road.
Atleast people from North are lucky to be blessed with good number of Punjabi Dhaba's. But what you find in the south is some south Indian just naming it as Dhaba and not having much quality North Indian food in it.

But according to what I see, very good roads are in fact one of the reason for lesser number of restaurants.
I know of a lot of number of people who start Chennai-Banglr trip at 4 am and reach Bangalore by 9 am. This mind you with no stops for food, petrol etc. That is one of the reason for such reduced patronage too.

Others have anyway brought out the remaining reasons. But man I must mention the A2B near Krishnagiri, its crowded to the core during the weekends. Anyone been there. I always skip it.
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Old 30th April 2012, 18:03   #19
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

Well Its not about the number of eateries,but recently i noticed on Chandigarh-Delhi stretch,while going towards Delhi from chandigarh,there are hardly any good dhabas around Murthal on left side(All of them are towards right),and with construction in full swing,its a pain to find a suitable turn,the only exception here is Pind Baluchi
Result,we had to travel empty stomach
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Old 30th April 2012, 18:07   #20
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Talking Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
Well Its not about the number of eateries,but recently i noticed on Chandigarh-Delhi stretch,while going towards Delhi from chandigarh,there are hardly any good dhabas around Murthal on left side(All of them are towards right),and with construction in full swing,its a pain to find a suitable turn,the only exception here is Pind Baluchi
Result,we had to travel empty stomach
well, how can you miss the Haveli (unit of Jallandhar Haveli) on the left hand side after Sukhdev dhaba in Murthal?

Cheers!
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Old 30th April 2012, 18:12   #21
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish View Post
well, how can you miss the Haveli (unit of Jallandhar Haveli) on the left hand side after Sukhdev dhaba in Murthal?

Cheers!
Irish
Hey I meant,when travelling towards Delhi from chandigarh
All of them are on other side of the highway.
And Haveli-I was there yesterday
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Old 30th April 2012, 18:40   #22
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazy View Post
Totally agree with the OP.

Absence of decent hygienic facilities along our highways is single biggest mind block while planning a road trip.
I also attribute this to all the road widening projects that wiped out a lot of the old dhabas and nice trees with shade. It is an inevitable after effect of development.

However, even in the earlier days, the dhabas were not very hygienic in terms of restroom facilities.
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Old 30th April 2012, 19:48   #23
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

Well, generally, food is not a problem in Karnataka. It is a big issue in TN though. So, my take is that it varies by state.

Delhi-Chandigarh-Shimla/Manali has lots of options. Delhi-Haridwar has fewer (only Cheetal Grand and one or two around 10 years ago).

Its always sensible to carry some food items (sandwich, biscuits, cakes, namkeen) in the car - so you can compensate for lack of options in a particular drive. Also, sometimes, it saves a lot of time!

The Kamaat Upachars on Tumkur road serve very tasty and good food (it maybe expensive). I haven't eaten better in any other road option...
Karnataka also has a lot of CCDs and this allows for hygienic food and coffee.

Last edited by lancer_rit : 30th April 2012 at 19:49.
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Old 30th April 2012, 19:54   #24
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Smile Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazy View Post
BLR-Chennai - Average. Food ok, No clean toilets. (is there a CCD?)
Yes, if you're driving from Chennai to Bangalore, there's now a CCD just past Vellore - its attached to a quite large petrol station (HP I think). It's on the same side you drive when travelling from Chennai to Bangalore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
But man I must mention the A2B near Krishnagiri, its crowded to the core during the weekends. Anyone been there.
Do you mean the A2B on the Dharmapuri-Thoppur stretch, ~2 Kms from the Krishnagiri-Thoppur toll plaza ? This A2B was a godsend when it was opened a few years ago. Nowadays, as you've mentioned, its too crowded for its own good during weekends & long holidays.
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Old 6th May 2012, 10:37   #25
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

I completely agree with SS-Traveler. Dhabas with truckers parked are the only decent ones to fall back upon.

I would like to share some experiences I have had.

On my trip from Hyd - Varanasi, we had our first lunch stop after Adilabad on top of a hill. It was a Dhaba operated by a Muslim lady (called 'Amma's dhaba'). Most delicious fresh food. Again simple fare. Dal, fresh rotis, saag, omlette.

After that experience, we decided not to eat in any place that had a proper roof for the next 10 days of our trip. We must have broken that a few times (MPTDC guest houses, and in the cities). Otherwise stuck to that through out. And we got plenty of surprises. There was this place at the base of the hill on the way to Pachmarhi where we were treated to guava chutney! Fresh radishes and salads were available at other places. It was the end of Dec (2007) and the hot tandoors were a great place to warm up. Tea without milk was available at most places as milk is hard to get. None of the dhabhas had fridges, which meant that they had no choice but to cook fresh. I loved the plank style lunches and dinners with chillies and onions. We just took care not to drink water from there, and took plenty of supplies of water. We NEVER had any stomach upsets or any food poisoning (am amazed, especially I just returned to India a few months before that after almost 8 years abroad).

In comparison, the few highway food stalls and restaurants were pathetic and nobody cared for the travelers like the Dhaba walas do.

The flip side of course is the lack of loos.
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Old 6th May 2012, 10:49   #26
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

Here's a picture of the Amma Dhaba on NH7 shortly after Adilabad and en route Nagpur. What better way than to see your lunch being prepared in front of you!
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Old 10th May 2012, 15:32   #27
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
Well Its not about the number of eateries,but recently i noticed on Chandigarh-Delhi stretch,while going towards Delhi from chandigarh,there are hardly any good dhabas around Murthal on left side(All of them are towards right),and with construction in full swing,its a pain to find a suitable turn,the only exception here is Pind Baluchi
Result,we had to travel empty stomach
Agreed! - Not so long ago, the Delhi-Chandigarh-Delhi travel was bliss for food both for Vegetarians (vaishnav dhaba's) as well for non veggie..
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Old 11th May 2012, 16:10   #28
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

The issue is with the need and the availability. As alredy pointed out by others, better roads, better vehicles, longer driving durations and also increasing 'family drives' have all changed our highway eating pattern; but the eateries are yet to change. Earlier the highways were frequented primarily by the truck drivers and few individuals, mainly men. So the focus was more on food and with time the typical highway dhabas flourished in abundance. However with change in the above factors, today the need is to have places were you not only get good food but also clean and hygenic rest rooms as well. Though inadequate at present, I am sure very soon, such eateris too will come up in plenty.

Having said that, I personally enjoy my food breaks at those typical highways dhabas that have many trucks parked and you have to eat sitting on the charpoys with legs folded, esp in the northen parts.... simple, tasty and fresh food. And if the oil in the gravy is an issue, just keep a spoon on the table and rest one end of the plate on it. You will get enough elevation to let the excess oil flow down and leave you with 'less' oily gravy to enjoy
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Old 11th May 2012, 17:31   #29
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

I agree with the OP. In fact why only for people driving by themselves, many of us using state transport buses/ volvos are also at the mercy of such eateries.

Of every 1 good eatery on the highway, there are 999 (lets say n) other pathetic eateries. I think the problem is that people who have the land/ resources to bring up an eatery are not resourceful or skilled enough to maintain it.

Recently I stopped at a decent sized hotel called New Vilas something just before Katraj on my way to Pune. It was decently clean, did not try the restrooms so dont know how they were. So all in all administratively a decent place. However the food there sucked bigtime.
The manager said he had only sukka sabzi and brought a runny baingan curry. The misal pav was pathetic and beyond tasteless. Must have been the only misal I havent finished in my life.
Gets me to think that the people who work here are not really cooks who are good at what they do. They are just trying to put 2 and 2 together to make some money. The objective is not customer satisfaction or delight because they dont expect return customers. It is to get people in once and serve them something and get money from it.
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Old 20th May 2012, 00:26   #30
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Default Re: Highway Eateries : Depleting rapidly in number and quality

I have been to south as well as to north side, I follow one simple rule, I generally ask the petrol bunk guys which are good eateries available on the way. Here I use the bunk for rest rooms which are much better than the Dhaba loos.

I am south indian staying in Mumbai, so food of both nature suits me. I always order the food stuffs which most of the people will be ordering in such restaurants/dhabas. I always buy Bisleri 2L water bottles.

Recently did Mumbai sringar trip ( Travelogue yet to compile ) with mine and brothers family , total nine members , three were kids, nobody faced any problem with food.

Dhabas mostly look unhygenic, but cooked hot food are safe which does not have much oil. I always wipe the plates with tissue paper before using it.
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