on to the goa restaurant reports.
we arrived on the evening on a tuesday and left in the afternoon the next tuesday. had dinner out the first night--all dinners and breakfasts after that were prepared at home by the cook we engaged in the village. the first dinner out was fine but nothing great, and a bit expensive for what it was. worth pointing out here that we were in south goa. on the one hand, this means far fewer tourists and pristine beaches; on the other hand, it also means far fewer options for eating out. our dinner the first night was on a restaurant by the water, aimed at more upscale travelers. things were good but unremarkable. our first lunch the next day was marginal at best. we made the mistake of eating at a beach shack.
this is how the shacks work: they set up comfortable sun beds with umbrellas right by the water which you get to use for free on the unspoken agreement that you will purchase food and drink from them over the course of the day (only very few foreign tourists actually seemed to be keeping up their end of the bargain). some of the food can be brought to you but the shack proper is a restaurant. their menus are aimed very obviously at european and north indian tourists. i had been warned not to expect anything but the tandoori items to be acceptable but we ordered from the small goan menu anyway. not good. (i'll have details on shack eating and our first dinner in a separate report soon.) the first cook-made dinner was also not good, due to crossed communication wires. and so we needed lunch next day to be good to salvage my dream of excellent goan food for a week.
to make this happen we booked a table at martin's corner---about 30 minutes drive from where we were but still south goa. it's a restaurant that started out small in 1989 but has since expanded/grown into a major place. it was recommended to us from all directions. their menu too features north indian, indian chinese and "continental dishes" but the goan stuff is very much not an afterthought. we couldn't eat very much of it as we were just the four of us but everything we ate was very good. (steve, you'll be pleased to see that the boys got butter naans.) herewith some details.