Showing posts with label egypt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label egypt. Show all posts

Friday, December 7, 2012


Even thought Egypt is going through a political roller coaster - more people are travelling to it than ever.   Perhaps it's cause Egypt is getting a lot of daily exposure in the mainstream media and perhaps it's cause for many in the Western world there is something extremely romantic in travelling to a nation who's people decided to take their future into their own hands and through a peaceful revolution changed their own government .

A few asked me about Hummus in Egypt and I didn't know what to answer. I love Egypt and the Egyptian people. It's a magical country that has so much history and ancient architecture that is a  monument to the beginning of modern civilization.

Since Google is tied so heavily to the Egyptian revolution - I figured it'll also be OK if I google to find out what the pro's think about Hummus there and if anything changed after the revolution also in terms of the standing of the top Hummus restaurants there.

But sadly when I googled the words : BEST HUMMUS EGYPT - there were no links to actual restaurants for 2 whole Google pages. Dozens of links - and none to actual dining places in Egypt.

I decided to change my search words and typed HUMMUS and EGYPT...
I thought maybe if I'll make it a broader search I will get a list of hundreds of Hummus restaurants in Egypt.
After all, when one types just the word HUMMUS and reads about it in Wikipedia - one of the first thing Wikipedia does mention for all Hummus history seekers is that:

"The earliest known recipes for a dish similar to hummus bi tahini are recorded in cookbooks published in Cairo in the 13th century"

So how could the nation that had the first recorded Hummus recipe published - not have any thing in GOOGLE?

But I was not willing to give up yet - so I Googled the words:  BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT EGYPT - and sadly, all that popped up were links to middle eastern restaurants in the US.

I was shocked that I couldn't find any Egyptian Hummus restaurants in Egypt.

Hopefully now that Egyptian are standing up and taking destiny into their own hands - they will also help remind the world - they are also the leaders with Hummus and in the future when people around the world Google Hummus and Egypt  - they will not just get the best Egyptian restaurants in the US.

I would love to hear thoughts from those who have been in Egypt recent.

One of the amazing things is that TRIP ADVISOR has a list of the top 10 restaurants in Cairo.
Their number 1 restaurant isn't a local cuisine but rather a Japanese restaurant.

#2 is a Lebanese restaurant.
Their info:

Fayruz Lebanese Restaurant  

InterContinental Cairo Citystars | Omar Ibn El Khattab St., HeliopolisCairo 11737Egypt

While I've never been to that restaurant my initial thought is that since it's in the InterContinental - it probably won't be as cheap as other less fancy places. 
But from the pictures it looks clean and indeed fancy for the middle eastern restaurant.
Trip Advisor gives #3, #4, #5 best restaurants in Cairo to an Italian, Indian and Four Seasons restaurants.
#6 is finally an Egyptian restaurant. Here's the info:
Kebabgy - 3 El Thawra Council Street | P.O. Box 732, El Orman - GizaCairoEgypt

Then #7,#8,#9 are again not local cuisines and finally at #10 are again Egyptian: 
Koshari al-Tahrir - Sharia Abd el-Khalik SarwatCairoEgypt
Only in #11 is there a recommendation for a cheap Egyptian restaurant:
Koshary Abou Tarek -16 Maarouf St. | ChampollionCairoEgypt

Looking at the reviews on Trip Advisor it's sad that traditional Egyptian Restaurants are at the bottom of the top 10 restaurants in Cairo. 

Many believe that a pride of a country rests on it's traditional cuisine - so Egyptians must find a way to help their local eateries improve their local cuisines and not just serve high end international cuisines.  

For other cities - here's links to the thoughts of the big guns of travel and what they recommend:

Lonely Planet publications a very respectable international tour  company and  they do have some recommendations about Egyptian restaurants. While I highly trust Lonely Planet about travel - their food recommendations can be a hit or miss, and the restaurants they currently recommend mostly have less than 10 likes each - so it's hard to know if others agree or not with Lonely planet's taste buds:

Except for it's top 10 list - TRIP ADVISOR also has a list of many restaurants that travellers have attended and liked - but while I love Trip Advisor's recommendations about hotels - with Food it gets more tricky as many times the highest rated restaurants are mediocre places as it's about the average rating of millions of travellers and in that kind of scenario - not always the greatest places shine.

They have a lot of restaurants but also many aren't neccasserily Local Egyptian. Here's one of the ones that is recommended but from their description doesn't seem cheap or fast and reservation is required so it's not for those just wanted to come on a whim and eat some Hummus.

"Abu Sid (Off 26th of July St., Zamalek, Cairo; tel. 02/27359640): Reservations are required at this upscale eatery, and when you get to the table, traditional Egyptian cuisine never tasted so good. "


Searching for Hummus on facebook brought up one restaurant in Egypt:

Abu Hummus, Al Buhayrah, Egypt 

There's not a lot of information on this place. The page is very limited and has only about 250 LIKES  but still more than any other place.

That's it Hummus Lovers. 
Enjoy Egypt.
Enjoy the revolution.
And keep us updated on your new findings.

BEST HUMMUS IN NEW YORK CITY ( NYC) 2012, Based on Village Voice


The Village Voice a publication that's always ahead of the pack published it's list of 10 best Middle Eastern Restaurants for 2012. 
The Village voice - is one voice I always listen to so I wondered what all of you think also of their taste buds not just their voice?  Their article got only 10 comments which might mean that their readers might love hearing a strong voice - but sadly aren't strong on their love of Hummus.
 I didn't want this voice forgotten - so I decided to help and share their conclusions:

Here's the link to the full article:

Here's their top 10 and the reason they'v chosen it:"

1. Kabab Café -- Not only does this Egyptian café in Astoria offer an outstanding meze platter, it's one of the most intimate, relaxing spaces in the entire city. If you come during the day, there will be no written menu to choose from, the owner and chef of the restaurant's minuscule kitchen, Ali El Sayed, will simply ask you what you'd like to eat. Your order must absolutely include baba ghanoush, made with intensely smoked eggplant and lime, stuffed eggplant (if available), and the place's truly distinct fava falafel -- the daintiest, crispiest fritters you could ever hope to find outside the region. 25-12 Steinway Street, Queens, 718-728-9858

2. Cedars Meat House -- The juicy meat skewers at Cedars will make every other kebab you've had in this city pale in comparison. Order the platter so you can really taste the deep seasoning and perfect char of the lamb shish kebab and the spicy beef kufta kebab. They come with plenty of accoutrements: two dipping sauces -- a potent garlic sauce, and one with hot pepper flakes; a fresh chopped cucumber, tomato, and onion salad; hummus; and baba ghanoush. Then cool down your palate with some ayran, a sour yogurt drink often consumed with meat for digestive purposes in the Middle East. 41-08 30th Avenue, 718-606-1244

3. Tanoreen -- You can find some fantastic meze -- snacks meant for nibbling on while lounging for hours at an outdoor café -- at this Bay Ridge restaurant. Try some Arab classics: kibbeh -- raw, if available (fear not, it's like steak tartare), baked, or fried -- crispy lamb-filled sambousek, and tabbouleh salad. 7704 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-748-5600

4. Taïm -- This Israeli vegetarian carryout gets some serious points for boldness -- it serves three different flavors of falafel, a move that would be considered heresy in some purist circles. My favorite one features house-made harissa, a chili pepper paste common in North African cooking, which turns the balls' interior a vibrant orange color. The great thing is that when you bite into the harissa falafel you're not inundated with heat; instead you taste the flavoring's zest playing off the low, earthy notes of the chickpeas. 222 Waverly Place, 212-691-1287

5. Ilili -- A little more pricey and swanky than most other Middle Eastern restaurants in the city, Ilili serves some outstanding lamb -- made into makanek, a typical Lebanese sausage, or simply seared as chops and served with a sauce made with za'atar -- which makes putting up with the loud music and weird décor worth it. 236 Fifth Avenue, 212-683-2929

6. Taboon -- The kitchen of this spacious Hell's Kitchen restaurant riffs on classic Middle Eastern dishes using Mediterranean -- often Greek -- flavors. It's a great place to go for brunch, especially for its freshly baked, crusty bread stuffed with feta cheese and soft-boiled eggs, or ground lamb and tahini. 773 Tenth Avenue, 212-713-0271

7. Alfanoose -- This restaurant got its start as a food truck that quickly won over the lunchtime crowd in the Financial District, where the street food competition is fierce. Here the falafel, which is not always super crispy but has a lively cumin-coriander flavor, is at its best when bundled up tight in a large pita (for tidy eating) with beets, tahini, lettuce, and tomato. 8 Maiden Lane, 212-528-4669

8. Tripoli/Damascus Breads & Pastry -- Located on an Arab restaurant-dense strip of Atlantic Avenue, Tripoli has an endearingly old-school feel -- the walls are covered in dark wood, the ceiling is painted to look like the sky, and the menu specializes in Lebanese home cooking. Make sure to try the wara'anib, tight cigars of grape leaves stuffed with ground lamb and rice served warm with a bit of lemony broth. Then for dessert, head across the street to Damascus Breads & Pastry, a Syrian bakery, and pick up some first-rate walnut or pistachio baklava for the road. Tripoli (156 Atlantic Avenue, 718-596-5800), Damascus Breads & Pastry (195 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-625-7070)

9. Moustache -- Much has been written about this West Village restaurant's flatbreads, but the best dish on the menu is also the most ordinary sounding -- grilled chicken over lentil puree. These are no ordinary lentils: They're softened and mashed until velvety and spiced with plenty of garlic and a drizzle of potent olive oil. Though it might be hard to resist the lamb sandwiches and fancy pitzas, this plate won't let you down. 90 Bedford Street, 212-229-2220

10. Gazala's -- At this Druze Israeli restaurant, located on the Upper West Side, you'll find the kitchen staff hand-rolling kibbeh at tables hidden in the back of the dining room, and freshly made bread that's stretchy, thin, and more like South Asian roti than the pita found in most Middle Eastern restaurants. Use it to scoop up lemony tahini and thinly sliced grilled lamb -- one of the best entrées on the menu. 380 Columbus Avenue, 212-873-8880"