Mumbai's budget-friendly neighbourhood store: Uncle Pinto's goodies
Sourced from locals in the vicinity, Uncle Pinto's most prized stock, of sandwiches, rolls and patties, run out by noon
Vaibhav Stores, or — as Kalina's inhabitants know it — Uncle Pinto's shop, is like something out of a children's story book. Familiar faces, the hustle and bustle of the transient market that disappears each evening along with the vegetable carts and their owners, and Uncle Pinto's jovial nature, all make it the quintessential neighbourhood go-to. Primarily a grocery store, this shop also stores a hoard of goodies, ranging from sandwiches and confectionaries to puri bhaji and aloo paratha.
Sourced from locals in the vicinity, Uncle Pinto's most prized stock, of sandwiches, rolls and patties, run out by noon. We pre-book our picks of a chicken (Rs 30), chutney and cheese (Rs 30) and plain chutney sandwich (Rs 20), veg (Rs 20) and chicken (Rs 22) patties, and a chicken roll (Rs 30).
A bite of the chutney sandwich confirms that the bread could have been softer, but we like the small size of the snack and the chutney is vibrant. The butter has been used generously. The cheese and chutney sandwich is like its humbler variant, but with a slice of yellow cheese. But the chicken sandwich isn't great — it has a funny smell from the cabbage (instead of which lettuce should have been used) and the mayo is flat. Thankfully, the chicken hotdog — which perhaps should be rechristened as a roll, considering there's no sausage — is spicy and flavourful. The filling is acidic, with loads of onion, vinegar and pepper. It's more enjoyable than the typically sweet confections you find in similar holes-in-the-wall, and while it's not perfect like the delicious one you get at a Mulund-based cold storage called Eat Wells, it's definitely palatable. Both the chicken and veg patties have a nice, bulky coating. The veg filling, made with beans, carrots, onion and potato, is a little sparse, whereas the chicken one is more wholesome.
Chicken hotdog Pic /Suman Mahfuz Quazi
The thing about Uncle Pinto's goodies is that while the place is no Asia's Top 50 Restaurants' contestant, it is simple, wholehearted and serves the purpose.
Pinto patties Pic /Suman Mahfuz Quazi
At Vaibav Stores, Kalina, Santacruz East.
Time 6.30 am to 10 pm
Check out the other neighbourhood gem here
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