Baner clearly thrives on pop culture; if two TV show-inspired eateries that have recently cropped up here are any indication.
Café 221B is a little off the trodden path in terms of location (buried deep inside a lane on the less-frequented Pancard Club road) as well as theme. The young owner is an unabashed Sherlock Holmes fanboy – and his venture is named after, and revolves around, the beloved detective series. There is incredible attention to detail put into assimilating Sherlock motifs in the restaurant space – think walls splashed with profound quotes by the character below minimalistic illustrations, an entire section dedicated to a depiction of the ‘mind palace’ concept discussed in the BBC show, the menu card’s design featuring the graphic that appears during the title track, and a replica of the ‘sudocube’ (a numerical puzzle version of the Rubik’s cube – a rare collector’s item sourced all the way from London) on each table.
There are bean bags to lounge about on, books to flip through, a breezy outdoor as well as a snug indoor seating area, and all the time in the world to kill. Food is simple vegetarian fare – grilled sandwiches, bite-sized munchies, and a few beverages. But the primary USP here is the easy-going ambience and the inviting countryside milieu.
A slightly older player in the game is the tiny steakhouse Central Perk 7 on the Baner Pashan Link Road – the name plays a tribute to everybody’s favourite TV show. There is no big red couch or a disgruntled-looking Gunther lookalike manning the counter inside, of course, but the green-walled place is speckled with posters and quotes from the show, some items on the menu are named after the characters, and you do get delicious, frothy coffee. Moreover, it is only here that you can dig into a Joey’s double steak washed down with a Monica’s mango pango mocktail – which is served in an extra clean glass, they are quick to inform!
So what is next – a Bazinga bistro, perhaps?
Follow Mrunmayi @moonogamy
We at Eazydiner feel privileged to have worked with someone like Mrunmayi who was an independent writer with over five years of experience in arts and lifestyle journalism. She had worked with several print and online publications based out of Pune and Goa. In the realm of food, she had contributed reviews, topical stories and long features primarily to Pune Mirror, The Goan, Planet-Goa, and the website goa.me. A foodie with an eclectic taste, she enjoyed a well-prepared spread of English Breakfast as much as some fiery Kolhapuri mutton curry.