The breakfast on Deccan Queen is something that has been talked and written about so much that it almost is a truism to say anything about it. For Puneiets the train has been like a lifeline that runs from Pune to Mumbai at 7 am and Mumbai to pune at 5 pm again. The train has been running for over 30 years now and carries people who work in the either of the cities and work in the other. Needless to say the breakfast is quite an affair here..
As the train pulls fresh aroma of chicken cutlets, various omelettes and cheese fills up the compartments. Everything is made fresh in the pantry car and is over by the time train reaches Mumbai at 10.45? am.
Although me and Sachin are not “regulars” on this train, neither are we one of those enthusiastic train travellers nor does the Mumbai –Pune travel entice us in any which way. But since we had a flight to catch from Mumbai in the afternoon and as usual our love for food got us on the train rather than a bus which runs every half an hour for Mumbai.
As we settle down with our luggage (me n sachin travel really heavy and we don’t know how..) and get our seats, a friendly but a rather quick guy takes our order. More than usually I end up ordering (read bite) more than I can chew (pun intended). Our order arrives in a nicely folded white paper bag with paper plates inside. We have ordered for two plates of chicken cutlets, a cheese sandwich and a cheese toast. Cutlets are crisp outside and very soft inside. They are flavoured with mint and mildly spiced, one bite of these and I confess to Sachin that I’ve not had these good cutlets in a while. Once again I come to believe in my philosophy of simple pleasures of life! The cheese toast is actually not toasted but fried! And fried to delight!! It is a combination of white slice of bread and some sour cheese coated with flour and deep fried till crispy on the edges. I finish one cutlet and wrap up the other for the road.
It is delightful conversations between the waiters and the “regulars” that take place on board. Within no time we’ve crossed Panvel and are closing in to Dadar. Its time, to say adios to an experience full of good food and people.