On a single stretch of Kautilya Marg, in New Delhi's diplomatic zone, it's possible to travel the length of India with one's stomach. Each of India's 28 states has a bhavan, or guesthouse and representative office, there most outfitted with cheap canteens for homesick state-government employees. Many are open to intrepid foragers.
On the day we went, celebrated kebabs at Jammu and Kashmir House were replaced with bony mutton in oily gravy, and Kerala House sent visitors to its garage for decidedly unsouthern fare. But Andhra Pradesh Bhavan packed two floors for its hearty thali and dry mutton fry. Assam House's Delicacy Restaurant featured upscale brass bowls of fish curries. Better still, if hardly state-run, was caterer Patrick Barretto's Viva O Viva a lime green lair at the Goa Niwas, where daily specials included superbly fresh kingfish reichado and chili-slathered crabs. Call this one a commissary for the gods.
Viva O Viva Goa Niwas, 14 Bir Tikendrajit Marg, Chanakyapuri; tel: (91-11) 2611 8370; open 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. (approximately); about $7 per diner
Delicacy Restaurant Assam House, 1 Lok Priya Gopinath Bordoloi Marg (off Kautilya Marg), Chanakyapuri; tel: (91-11) 2301 5551; open breakfast, lunch and dinner (call for current hours); about $4 per diner
Andhra Pradesh Bhavan 1 Ashoka Road; tel: (91-11) 2338 1290; open 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; about $2 a head
Got an awful travel gripe? The Avenger may be able to sort it out for you.