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Pao or Pav, is a bread with a golden-brown crust, that is widely eaten in Mumbai and is hugely popular. Slathered with butter and enjoyed with a cup of tea or eaten with a Vada, Samosa or Bhajjis between the Pav, this bread lends itself easily to any dish. Mumbaikars are ready to devour it in any combination, even with an Omelette or Scrambled Eggs. Apart from roadside stalls and eateries, one can relish dishes served with pav even at restaurants and these dishes are usually affordably priced. My top 5 picks:
Bohri Kheema Pav at SodaBottleOpenerWala, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Western Suburbs
The Bohri Kheema Pav here, which is made of home-ground mince from the leg of goat and is subtly spiced, is a meal by itself as it comes with soft and fluffy Pav.
Vada Pav at Potoba, Mahim, South Mumbai
Known for its simple, home-style Maharashtrian vegetarian food, this place is sought after for breakfast. Most of the dishes here are worth-a-try, but the Vada Pav, a staple in Maharashtra, is a delight for the taste buds. The Mirchi Vada Pav, which is fiery owing to its Chutney and Thecha, is a dish you must not miss.
Misal Pav at Aaswad, Dadar Shivaji Park, South Mumbai
One of the most popular Maharashtrian delicacies, a spicy sprouts and lentil-based preparation topped with farsan, onions, lemon juice, et al, served with Pav, this dish is a must-have in Mumbai. Aaswad does an authentic one which is value-for-money too.
Pav Bhaji at Sardar Pav Bhaji, Tardeo
You can not be in Mumbai and not savour this satiating and spicy dish – Pav Bhaji. A medley of vegetables, cooked in a tangy tomato base and mashed to perfection, served with a generous dollop of butter and a buttered pav, this one will have even carnivores drooling.
Bun Maska at Ideal Corner, Fort, South Mumbai
A slight deviation from the pav, this bun with generous amounts of butter is an old Parsi favourite and an anytime comfort dish, of the people of Mumbai. Sip a sweet Irani Chai along with this and the experience is enhanced ten-fold.