-By Odette Mascarenhas
Remember the stories of the Portuguese officials, their horses clip-clopping on the mud tracks as they made their way through the dense undergrowth from Mapusa to Panaji? The local academicians spouted verbose over a glass of Vinho Tinto in cafes in the early 1900s… Enter a modest little bar and restaurant - George. It was started by Joao Camilo Jorge in 1936 to cater mainly to the Lyceum College residents. Nestled at the foot of the Church in Panaji, it was popular with the locals and the Portuguese officials. Carefree students sipped on authentic Caju Feni and Vinho Tinto. Eddie the proprietor, son of the founder, is today often found seated at the cashier's desk. The little place is always jam-packed with tables. The Goan food is definitely recommended as the masalas are Eddie's mum's very own. A popular homely soup is still found here - beef soup boiled with bone marrow and an assortment of finely chopped carrots, potatoes, beef pieces and macaroni. Among starters, the Beef Croquettes are crisp on the outside, succulent and juicy within. The Pork Chops are crumb-fried with their own spiced quotient. The finely chopped meat of the Pork Sorpotel, the Chicken Xacutti, the Sausage Pulao… Yummy. And for lunch, the local business honchos send their drivers for his famous fish curry/rice. You might be tempted to stand on your chair and beat at your chest like 'George of the jungle'. But would the ghosts of the past generation approve? By George!
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