I was sitting in bed on a quiet Saturday afternoon when my dad approached me and said “I am going to Egypt, do you want to join?”. The last time I had gone to Egypt was in 2011 before the political revolution and everything crazy that happened so I was sort of skeptical at first, but jumped right at the opportunity. So spring break 2016 I head off to Egypt with my dad. It was not long before I remembered just how much I missed it! The people, the general atmosphere, it was something I was reminded of as soon as I stepped off the plane. Aside from all of the touristic attractions I visited, the food was something I indulged in happily.
The first day was somewhat slow because we were still getting used to the time difference and everything so we kept it slow. We went to a nearby mall called Cairo Festival City Mall that was recently opened and had lunch at Olives, a Lebanese restaurant. And boy was the food delicious!
We were given freshly baked break with a side of humus and zataar and olives to start off the meal. The bread was warm and tasted delicious and paired deliciously with the humus! If you don’t know, zataar is a mix of different herbs like thyme, sesame
seeds, oregano, and salt. It’s usually mixed with a small amount of olive oil and spread over break. Or in this case, you dip the bread in and end off the bite with a tangy olive! It was the perfect start to the meal and I couldn’t wait for what was to come next. I ordered something called Chicken Freekeh. Freekeh is a grain, sort of a mix between rice and quinoa. My plate arrived and it looked beautiful, I could not wait to drive in. In came shaped like a donut. The
bottom layer was the Freekeh grain itself, then came the chicken topped with toasted almonds,
and a DELICIOUS sauce. Until this day, I am not 100% sure what was in that sauce but it was so good I could not get myself to stop eating. The next thing we ordered was Shish Tawook, which is basically marinated chicken that is grilled. To my surprise, the chicken actually came to our table with the grill itself! It was served hot on top of a grill that had fire going on in case you wanted your chicken cooked more or less. It also came with grilled vegetables and was tremendous!
The next destination of my food journey in Egypt was Zalabya! To simply put it, they’re deep fried dough balls topped off with almost anything! We were in a sports club type of location when we noticed a small shack that sells them, so of course, we stopped to get some! There were four different types of topping: white chocolate, Nutella, powdered sugar, and honey. WE ORDERED ALL FOUR TOPPINGS! And four separate plates of the Zalabya. It was delicious, sweet, and deep fried! Next time I visit Egypt, I will be stopping by Batates and Zalabya again for another plate!
Finally, one day in Maadi, I took my friends to a place I saw on an Instagram page dedicated to Cairo food places called Ice Egy! It was known for its ice-cream rolls which was something not popular in the Bay Area so I was definitely both curious and excited! I ordered a vanilla ice-cream base with a chocolate brownie chunk mixture. The ice cream rolls were made on a frozen plate where everything was mixed into each other and then topped off with a piece of Kinder chocolate, chocolate syrup, and a brownie piece. This is definitely a place I’d go back to try again and have already recommended it to multiple people that live there! This trip was not only fun for the different places I visited, but for the food I tasted as well! Egypt is the next stop for foodies!