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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Settling in in Cairo

We spent most of our first day resting but then went out to lunch.  The Domina restaurant down the block that just opened last March is out of business.  The new owner promised kitchen service "in one month."

That Chicken Mixckan was quite tasty.  And for 32 pounds Egyptian =  $5.81 was a bit pricey for the area but reasonable to us.

Until the kitchen reopens, it is just another tea, Pepsi and shisha (waterpipe) spot like the nearby Cupid.

  So we headed a few hundred yards down to the Gardinya Village.

The Gardinya is a combination of sandwich shop on the street and restaurant.  There is a grill just inside those stone arches that is the kitchen area.  There is table seating under the trees and umbrellas in the rear.  Of course, this is Egypt so you never know whether you will get the chair with the bad cushion or one of the good ones:

Now, in Egypt, "lunch" is not a big part of a restaurant's business.  A restaurant is much more likely to be open at 1:00 a.m. than 1:00 p.m.  When we first sat down, the waiter who seated us told us that there was no food and we were about to leave.  His manager rushed over to tell us that we could have whatever we wanted.  We still aren't sure if they opened the kitchen for us or ordered take-away from some other place, but we ended up with two good Shwarma sandwiches and two salads.  The sandwiches are about $3 apiece.

 On the way back to the apartment, we passed a Koshary stand.  Koshary is an Egyptian specialty made with several pastas, lentils and a flavorful tomato sauce.  There are many fast-food stands serving the dish and they usually look about like this one although you might also encounter it sold from a cart.

The typical plastic container holds about a pint and sells for 2 pounds Egyptian, or about 36 cents.  You also get two "flavor bags" as I call them.  The red one is the good stuff.  Nice and spicy.

We took these home for dinner.  Very good.

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