Two Wheels to Move the Soul

Writing about my motorbike rides and other motorcycle related stuff


July 2015

Brahmin’s cafe

Brahmin’s Cafe – The life saver of morning birds like me.

Many times on weekends I like to get up really early and go out. If it is not a ride with a group then I just get up and go ride around the city. One key requirement at this hour is coffee and food. I am talking of 6 to 6-30 in the morning.
Many a times I have headed out at 5 a.m., riding around for an hour and then struggled to find good coffee.

The one place where I can reliably find excellent coffee is Brahmin’s Cafe. Really good filter coffee. The kind that leaves a lingering taste long after the coffee is over. Ahhhhh!!!

What is even more amazing is the fact that at 6 a.m. they have idli, vada, khara bath (upma) and chutney fully ready to serve to hungry souls. I have never yet gone there and been told it is too early to get food. Too late yes, they do run out of stuff, esp. in the evenings but at 6 a.m. you can reliably find succor.

IMG_20150713_184949Let’s talk about that idli and vada for a minute. Super fresh, super soft idli freshly taken out of the cooker served immediately. No other food can beat fresh idlis in the area of fast & fresh food. I know there are plenty of people with many polarized opinions on which is the best idli south of the Vindhyas but as a package of idlis vada and coffee I put Brahmin’s right up there.

Talking of vada, these are among the crispest and freshest I have found. Seriously good vadas.

The quirk with Brahmin’s is they don’t make sambar, I mean seriously there is no sambar on offer here. Their chutney is a little more liquid that what you get in other places but super tasty. It is the chutney of course which quite defines the place. There is an unlimited supply of chutney to keep refilling your plates with as you savor the idli and vada.

There is a person who sits separate from the food counter whose sole purpose in life is to ladlChutney Chape out chutney in to dishes where it has been mopped up. The chutney-chap is a classic, if you are there I would recommend spending a few moments observing him. He dispassionately dispenses chutney in to dishes, giving everyone the same amount in each serving irrespective of their station in life and not withstanding any pleas for special favors. Chutney-chap, the great social leveler.

Once you are done with idli, vada and chutney that is when you have set the stage for the grand performance of the filter coffee. There is of course the usual options of badam milk etc. but really it is the coffee which makes the real grand entrance. Of course here too the coffee server is a classic. Anyone who can elicit a smile from this guy will get a weCoffeeek’s worth of idlis from me. If the chutney-chap was dispassionate this guy knows he is dispensing the world’s best coffee and you are nothing but a mere mortal waiting for a taste of the nectar. if ever there was anyone who poured down coffee at you it is this gentleman. He stands on top of the coffee mountain and pours out small portions of the nectar for mortals. But it is worth it, great coffee needs a little sacrifice.

Just to complete the list, the chap who serves you idli/vada/khara bath is the most friendly of the lot and actually talks and chats with customers, the anarchist.

Having had this dose of brilliant food, coffee and anthropology you can ride on with the lingering taste of good coffee all set to have a smashing day.

Ride Safe !

Mysore Ride via Kanakapura Road

Mysore ride!

Last weekend we rode out to Mysore.
It was a boys night out that we had been planning for a while. We were to do this a few weeks ago but that was rained upon. Though we did have the night out it was a drive and not a ride. So that didn’t count.
This time we were determined to ride out irrespective of the rain.
The Mysore Sports Club serves a fantastic chicken biryani and they do this on Friday nights. So the rest of the gang (I am a veggie) wanted to be there on Friday night. It was a working day as well. So we decided to leave around 2:30 pm in the afternoon, leaving us enough daylight to get there.
Well, we did not manage to leave at the planned time of course. One of the bikes had a bit of a starting problem. It was a battery issue. After struggling with it for a good 45 minutes, my friend decided to use my C500 instead. So, both my bikes got to ride out. We were finally on the way by 4 p.m.
Our first stop was of course, the good old Harohalli joint, “Upahara Darshini” – it is about 30Km down the road and serves a really good coffee. It is always a pleasant stop whether we just pop there for an early morning breakfast or stop on the way somewhere.
Having thus refueled ourselves with good old filter coffee we were back on the way to Mysore.
About the route: There are two options (aren’t there always) the Bangalore – Mysore highway and the Kanakapura road. Both of these run quite parallel to each other (asymptotic for the pedants out there).
The Mysore highway is a good road mostly 2 lanes on each side of the divider. There is a divider for most parts of the road. BUT- there is a problem with the road. It has a ton of speed-breakers all through. More recently these have been replaced by traffic constrictors all along. Every few kilometers there are these barriers which makes the road really narrow. To make it worse there are really aggressive (almost reckless) drivers on this road.

Kanakapura on the other hand is reasonably quiet after Harohalli and esp. so after Kanakapura. The road is narrow – only two lanes with no dividers. But bereft of traffic almost throughout. For about 50 Kms after Kanakapura it is quite winding and you need to be a little careful approaching the curves as some of them can be quite sharp. But otherwise, for any biker I would expressly recommend this route over the other.

We rode at a comfortable pace, stopping to take in the scenery. With the delay in leaving we got quite lucky. We missed the rain, we drove on plenty of wet roads but it did not rain on us. The last section of the road was quite bad in patches because of the rain. If you have a seriously big bike, that part is a bit of a pain. Even with my smallish Harley it was quite painful. The rear tyres don’t really grip anything other than tarmac.
Having maneuvered through the dirt and slush patches we took a mini-break just outside Mysore. We reached Mysore shortly after 7:30 p.m. It was a good ride.
Towards the end of a nice ride
The Mysore Sports Club is a place built a long time ago and it stayed in that timezone. Feels really great in the high ceiling-ed lounges and the classic décor with animal pelts on the walls. There is a bar called Yezdi (it is Mysore), unfortunately they redecorated it recently and removed all the Yezdi engine parts that were on the walls there.
The place has a fantastic old world charm and the food is just awesome. Everything that we ordered was really well made. The Biryani was apparently good enough to move some of the guys to poetry. There is nothing like a nice boys night out to get the batteries recharged.
The ride back was also good fun. We wanted to stop at Mayura resort, right on the bank of the river Cauvery. If in the vicinity you should check this out. A great place to have a coffee break watching the river go by. A most tranquil setting.
However, in this instance, there was road construction going on and we could not reach the resort.
In order to visit Mayura which is near Srirangapatnam we had to take the Mysore-Bangalore highway. Our preferred option was Kanakapura of course, so after Mandya we turned right to get back to Kanakapura road. This added a good 25Kms to the ride. And most of the 25Km was really bad road. This made the ride quite uncomfortable.
In patches there was good tarmac and lovely green fields on both sides which was a pleasure to ride through – unfortunately not enough of that kind of road.
It was a relief to finally reach Kanakapura road again, good smooth tarmac. From there on we made it back to Harohalli in good time. Lunch at our favorite roadside joint and it was time to head back home.

All in all it was a very good ride and the boys night out was a bonus.

Keep Riding ! Stay Safe!

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