In this post, I am going to spill another secret from the beautiful Latin quarters of Fontainhas in the capital city of Goa. And this time it isn't a cafe or bakery. It's a recently revamped bar (read: tavern) right in the heart of Panaji city. Located amidst beautiful bungalows, this rustic little spot is so popular among backpackers, you can miss meeting a bunch of cool travellers at Joseph Bar.
The place is tiny - trust me, it really is small. The little bar counter features a variety of bottles laid out. You can park yourself at one of the three stools placed right there, or sit at the table which has only two chairs. That's all the indoor seating they have. However, the outdoor is very much happening. Though they don't have an organised seating, you can join people sitting on the street as you sip on your drink. The interiors are rustic, with incandescent lighting that takes you back in time. Joseph Bar is the closest you can come to a truly Goan experience!
Stopping by at this place surely gives you a feeling of walking back in time. I am sure the place was frequented by locals stopping by to gulp down a peg before they went home. Now, though the place is frequented by travellers and urban crowd, the essence of the place still prevails. Probably, it's the place, or the manager of the place Gundu. Gundu is such a popular figure, he even has a Facebook page. What distinguishes him is his antiques. He can talk on and on and entertain you throughout. He speaks fluent English and Konkani and will assist you in everything and give you some free advice as well.
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They don't really serve a lot of food, but they have a few snacks every day. However, they are available only until stock lasts. They snacks usually include beef samosas, dangar (prawn cutlet), rissois and chicken lollypops all made locally. If you're lucky, you may also be able to pick from their specail menu which includes Goan delicacies like Goan sausage bread and beef roast bread, sorpotrel bread and garlic bread.
Though limited, the food is delicious and everything is reasonably priced. You can ask for local port wine all throughout the year or urrack during the summers. They still have some stock of urrack left though. Gundu will love to make you a drink by pouring a large shot of urrack in a glass, add a pinch of salt and squeeze a little lemon to make the perfect Goan cocktail. Though the place opens in the evening, it's happening post 7pm once crowd starts walking in. But if you are hoping to find a seat, go in by 7pm.