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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Dinner in the Delta

After our visit to the papyrus factory, it was well past lunch time.  We wanted to find a nearby place for lunch but first thought we should tour a bit more of the village.

Izbat Al Qaramous (Izbat means "village" in Arabic) is not big but doesn't really look much like a village any longer due to creeping urban sprawl from Cairo.  The skyline is dominated by the familiar red brick and concrete multistory structures of modern style, low-budget Egyptian construction.
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We went back past that interesting looking post office painted in the national colors of red white and black plus the Egypt post color of green.
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Nearby was the "old Qaramous mosque" - properly labeled as such - with its single minaret.
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Out by the main road there was a sparkling new mosque with two very tall minarets.
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Along the way we passed several old style village homes.  These are more of what I was expecting in a village.  Note the paintings on one that shows they have made the "Haj" pilgrimage to Mecca. The painting shows how they traveled there (plane) and what they saw there (Kaaba).
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Linda also found a number of attractive gates to add to her collection.  Perhaps she will have accumulated enough soon for one of her "....of Egypt" web pages.
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At the main highway, Roshdy, our friend and driver, found a resident and inquired about restaurants and discovered that there was a good one called Abu Blassy just about five miles away in the larger town of Abu Kibir.  We headed in that direction passing wheat fields and another very tall minaret on a new mosque.
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The route took us past a number of small manufacturers of wooden doors.  I neglected to take any pictures until I did grab a shot of this factory making hat-racks / clothes-trees.
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The town of Abu Kibir has a population of about a hundred thousand and is the center of government for a much larger municipality.  We soon found the restaurant labeled Abu Blassy.

As we walked in, I noticed a large number of gentlemen in suits (very unusual) seated at tables on the first floor.  Perhaps a gathering of the local Rotary club or lawyers on break from the courthouse across the street?  A good sign, though.
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We settled in at a table on the second floor.  Like most Egyptian restaurants, the seating for full service is on the second floor with the kitchen and takeaway operation on the ground floor.  We were going to consider the menu or a recommended lamb shank when Linda saw a plate served to a nearby patron.  Our waiter and we crowded around the table to inspect it.

Three orders of the "meat in paper" were duly ordered.  It actually is served as meat in saran wrap but is a very appetizing imitation of the French en papillote.
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It came with the usual Egyptian salads course and a tall heap of pita bread.  Lamb, generous amounts of onions, tomatoes and "some spices" comprise the main dish and it was outstanding.
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I think there is more than one restaurant with approximately the name Abu Blassy in Abu Kibir, so match the picture up carefully if you choose to drop in for lunch.
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