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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Abou Shakra, Pyramids. Come for the Sunset, Stay for the Om Ali!

About a month ago I posted some pictures taken in the quiet of early morning at the Sphinx exit from the pyramids area.  I also took a picture of the shops across the street from the exit.  There is a book and photo seller on the left and a KFC/Pizza Hut store (can you believe it?  Colonel Sanders by the Sphinx!) on the right.
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There used to be an outstanding souvenir shop in the middle, but with the dearth of tourists (especially free-spending Americans and other Westerners) the space has now been taken over by the Egyptian restaurant chain, Abou Shakra.  This company operates several facilities in Cairo and Alexandria, gets good reviews on Trip Advisor and could probably even pass  a department of health inspection in most U.S. cities.

They serve the usual Egyptian fare of chicken, kabobs, kofta and "mixed grill," along with salads and rice, but also have more elaborate fare such as lamb shank on their extensive menu.  You can expect to find local businessmen here practicing "The Art of the Deal".  This location also has a strong tourist appeal and we found several groups seated on the second level anticipating the approaching sunset.  We have been hosting a visiting friend from Turkey and decided to try this spot after hearing very good recommendations from local sources.

The restaurant is "tourist friendly," keeping the windows clean, the drapes open and the inside lights off until after sunset to eliminate reflections.

As sunset approached, there were lot of cameras put to use.

Pictures were taken and results checked.
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I think the best results were from the left side of the window.

We were probably one or two days past having the sun settle squarely into the notch between pyramids, but it is still a nice photo opportunity.

Dinner arrived after the sun was below the horizon and the interior lights had been turned on.  The lentil soup was outstanding and the grilled chicken was attractively presented with al dente  vegetables and a pyramid of rice.
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For dessert, Om Ali is just one option and my favorite.  This traditional Egyptian sweet was served hot and was absolutely perfect.

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