Archives for posts with tag: gastronomic revolution

My American friends in Cairo have been hard pressed to provide some New Jersey pre-departure orientation to better prepare me for my upcoming move to the US of A.

The first step requires a sociolinguistic full-immersion into Jersey vernacular. Therefore, I have started practicing twice per day by repeating the dialogue from this South Park episode in front of the mirror, so that I can call someone a ‘Twashy Whore‘ without people noticing my foreign-ness (click on the picture to see the video).

Step two involved the creation of a list of all things American to do/see/eat, which was developed in a moment of intoxication a few months ago. Here’s the result – a selection of items from the bucket list is included after the photo.

  • Olive Garden
  • In & Out
  • Costco
  • Taco Bell
  • Holidaying in Tijuana
  • Attend a Bar Mitzvah
  • Korean Karaoke
  • Eat at Denny’s at 2 am
  • Mariachi band at mexican restaurant
  • Vegas (eat buffet)
  • Mall of America in MN
  • Have a threesome
  • Get a manicure at a gay bar ( we were, after all, intoxicated)
  • Roller blading
  • Miami beach (with speedo)
  • Road trip across America
  • Bondage hotel
  • Grand Canyon
  • Football game
  • Mardi Gras
  • African-American Indians

So, I am putting off finishing a boring presentation for work and partly playing with this blog idea, since, to be honest, I did not expect to receive such encouraging feedback.

Well, here is where the blog doubles up as ‘gastronomic revolution.’ With a friend who recently came back to Cairo and her roommate we went out to get Chinese in the most awesome Chinese place west of China.

The place is run by Chinese Muslims and caters mostly to Asian student from Al-Azhar University, a few Egyptians from da hood (Abbasseya) and of course the curse that is Cairo’s foreigners.

After reading this article on the Thai restaurant nearby, I decided to go on a little gastronomic discovery trip. On that day the Thai place was shut (and since then I never managed to get there when it is open, the restaurant has now turned into a sort of food unicorn) so we ended up at the Chinese place. And since then it has been love at first sight. I even took a friend visiting from Hong Kong there and the restaurant passed the authenticity test.

The business concept is pretty simple: serving an untapped market and doing it well and cheap. Tofu noodle salad, caramelized chicken and spicy tofu with meat are the recurring themes of my visits there (also featured in the picture below). It usually ends up being a rather unedifying spectacle of me and friends gorging ourselves as if we had never seen food in our lives.

Well, the staff of the restaurant is actually what makes it such a cool place. It’s a family run business, with this guy and his wife. I am always tempted to ask about their lives as I am really curious to know what their lives in Egypt are like (and I don’t mean it in a patronising way,  more like ‘let me stick my nose into your business’ way). For one, they speak mostly classical Arabic (even to each other) and a little Egyptian Arabic and some English. Thank God the menu has got pictures because I don’t think my classical Arabic stretches as far as ‘We will have the cabbage salad and the caramelized chicken with the very nice soup that comes with ravioli like things inside.’

And most of all, I love the kid of the owners. Little Mustapha. Never thought in my life that I would meet a Chinese kid called Mustapha.