Saturday, July 26, 2014

Location: Cairo's best fast food falafel sandwich

I was told not to miss a falafel sandwich in Egypt, because it's supposedly one of the best. While in Cairo, there was a nice Middle Eastern restaurant at our hotel,  "Nubian", right out by the pool, facing the timeless pyramids. "Falafel" was calling my name, but to my disappointment, what was served at the Nubian was just the same I had tasted in other Middle Eastern restaurants around the world, and it was also... guess... overpriced!

So I was happy to find out that, on our Nile cruise, there would be an Arabian night-themed feast. Maybe now I could experience the Egyptian "falafel". Hmm... well, no falafel was included in the banquet menu, though. I had to know why. To my surprise, I was told that "falafel" is not exactly food for the Pharaohs, but a very popular meal for the masses (the equivalent of a burger), therefore, not fit for the feast buffet. OK, but I couldn't leave Egypt without trying their original falafel made for the people! What to do now? Since it's a popular food, let's try a popular place, not a tourist restaurant, I thought...

I noticed a place that looked like an Egyptian style fast food a few blocks from the hotel and decided to venture out of the safe "tourist zone" and mingle with the locals - although there was no mistaking me for a local though, since during the 10 minute walk from the hotel to the Egyptian "McDonald's", I received several solicitations from vendors trying to get me to buy their "made in China" plush camels! But I made it to the place, safe and hungry. It was full of local Egyptians and not one single tourist, and I was able to order my "people's falafel" sandwich! Which cost me the fortune of... 25 cents! No joke, it was really that cheap; it was actually the cheapest sandwich on the menu... and it was the most delicious falafel sandwich I've ever eaten!!!! So, when you're wandering around Cairo, don't forget to stop at their local fast food looking place for the 25 cent falafel sandwich. Don't be afraid to try this culinary adventure. You won't regret it... and you will be craving it for eternity!

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