Cairo / egypt / Food. / Good Times

Eating Egypt

MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE. GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS?

Happy hump day, kiddos.

Just a culinary update today as I had a shockingly social Tuesday that led to lots of delicious foods I thought I’d share.

Tuesday morning started with a crossfit session as per usual, and afterwards the majority of our class decided to go get breakfast, as one of our younger members was leaving yesterday night to go to Germany, where he will be enrolling in university. He had only found out about a week prior, so it was a good surprise, but we were all sad to see him go. So we treated him to an Egyptian breakfast at Kazouza, a restaurant serving traditional Egyptian fare, but in a slightly classier/more expensive joint. (It is, in fact, in Maadi, which is a nicer area heavily populated by expats.)

Looks like a Western-style café, but serves typical Egyptian dishes.

Looks like a Western-style café, but serves typical Egyptian dishes.

Like most restaurants here, there was a nice little patio to sit on given that, more often than not, the weather in Cairo is sunny, so we swarmed a few tables. I told one of our Egyptian members to order for me since I’ve technically never had a typical Egyptian breakfast before–this ended both successfully and rather surprisingly. He was asking me if I liked a bunch of dishes, and I was assuming he would just pick one (or two if they were small) but instead he literally ordered me like..5 things. So I sampled all, and shared the majority.

Of course, every meal comes with bread, and this was my starter--3 falafel and a small skillet of shakshouka.

Of course, every meal comes with bread, and this was my starter–3 falafel and a small skillet of shakshouka.

First, he ordered me ta3miya (ta’amiya, whatever) which is the Egyptian version of falafel–it uses green fava beans rather than chickpeas like falafel in the rest of the Middle East–and shakshouka, which in Egypt ends up being sort of like a veggie/egg scramble as opposed to other North African versions you may have seen where eggs are baked on top of a tomato/veggie sauce.

Left: Liver. Right: "Oriental Sausage"

Left: Liver. Right: “Oriental Sausage”

Semi-cheddar cheese on the left, yogurt-y "cheese" on the right. I'm super good at names, guys.

Semi-cheddar cheese on the left, yogurt-y “cheese” on the right. I’m super good at names, guys.

Little to my knowledge, he also ordered two different types of sandwiches for me to have. (PS, sandwiches here are most often served in long hotdog buns which aren’t quite as dense or soft as their American counterparts.) One was liver, which is popular in Egypt, particularly Alexandria, and the other was “oriental sausage” which I can promise you was NOT pork sausage, but actually had a really nice sweet/mildly spicy combo I enjoyed a lot. He also ordered two types of cheeses, one of which looked and somewhat tasted like cheddar, the other I would more qualify as a yogurt dip with tomatoes, but hey, that’s just one Westerner’s opinion. Alas that I forgot the names of both.

F'teer/Fatayer

F’teer/Fatayer/Feteer

Finally, as a table, we ordered one dish which is spelled a billion different ways–F’teer, feteer, fatayer…whatever. Basically it’s like a stuffed pizza, minus the sauce, which gets fried in oil. Ours had beef, onions, olives, and some other stuff inside. It was delicious, and I’m kinda sad I only grabbed one piece–the younger guys at our table DEMOLISHED it.

So after that morning, considering that I had eaten filling foods and spent a bit too much, I thought I was done for the day, but at work, some of us started talking about this magical little joint we simply refer to as where we get “The Chicken.”

Yep. The chicken.

Greasy, slightly charred in spots, tender, and with a free side salad/bread.

Greasy, slightly charred in spots, tender, and with a free side salad/bread.

In the neighborhood of Mounira (which is right across a main road from me) there is a street referred to as Mobtadeyan, which houses many restaurants, shops, etc. Close to my side of things is a little drink/shisha café, and next to it is a rotisserie meat stand. One of my coworkers took me there when I first arrived, and he used to go literally multiple times a week, so he is well known there. We hadn’t been in a while, so a few other coworkers joined us last night for some rotisserie chicken and a chat.

You can still get plenty of oldschool glass bottles around here. That's "Coca Cola" in Arabic, by the way. And my coworker behind a cloud of shisha smoke.

You can still get plenty of oldschool glass bottles around here. That’s “Coca Cola” in Arabic, by the way. And my coworker behind a cloud of shisha smoke.

Incase you ever find yourself on Mobtadeyan street and want to know the café...here it is. "Star of Mobtadeyan". Chicken is just out of sight to the right.

Incase you ever find yourself on Mobtadeyan street and want to know the café…here it is. “Star of Mobtadeyan”. Chicken is just out of sight to the right.

My day ended by my new Tuesday tradition, going over to that same coworker’s apartment to watch RuPaul’s drag race, and eat a ton of junk food. Everyone usually brings something, and often as not it ends up being chips or someone orders a pizza, but for some reason yesterday had a PLETHORA of chocolate.

Might have eaten a fair bit demolished half of it.

(I ain’t mad.)

Have a good rest of your week kiddos!

-B

 

3 thoughts on “Eating Egypt

  1. True story: I would probably either lose a lot of weight or just plain starve if I ever went to Egypt. But I’m glad you enjoy the food there!! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Shutupdate #2 | Becky Abroad

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