Monday, January 18, 2010

Beware The Dark Alleys of Cairo

About two weeks ago, we trekked down to Road 9, to do some last minute shopping for one of the kids.  As usual we passed a VW parked on the street, so here's a few complimentary Bug photos since VB's been remiss at the Funkengroovin posts lately.  (We had the whole family here for awhile, plus entertained another five people who are our neighbors back in Connecticut.  So we've all been preoccupied.)

Below 3 photos:  Different views of the same Beetle.

On our walk, we discovered the bakery at the Metro overpass had closed up shop.  It always had full stands of bread and sweets.  Then the bread riots came and VB heard they were baking bread for the government.  As time went on, the amount of products they offered dwindled.  And now this - nothing.  So where to get freshly baked goods? 

While we were shopping near the Metro Market area of Road 9, VB could smell some enticing odors coming from a dark alleyway.  She looked up, saw a sign, and a man standing outside said, "bakery."  It smelled so good, VB had to visit, even over the protests from the kids.  So we went into the dark alleyway.   Below:  Wooden shelves containing  some of the breads, and crackers, including bread sticks. 

Looking beyond the the shelving a man was napping in an airy courtyard, where sheesha is served.

Below: Freshly baked rolls.

Below:  The reason we ended up staying longer.  They had a package of small pizzas made with puff pastry.  The baker said he would have fresh ones coming out of the oven in a few minutes, and the kids wanted fresh, warm pizza.  They didn't want to stop here to begin with, and now we have to wait so they can have it straight from the oven.

They also sell cookies exactly like Greek Koulourakia.

Below: These are called "S" and have an orange flavor.  Others have anise, and some are slathered with sesame seeds (VB's favorite.)

Much of the cooking around the Middle East, southern and eastern Europe is so similar, probably due to the Ottomans who had control of the territories for ages.  It's typically the first bits of a new language VB learns, since the words are so similar.

The bread below is called Tsorek, and tastes exactly like Greek Tsoureki, a bread usually baked for Easter.

Below: The shop sign.  This has become one of VB's favorite food stops.  Everything we've tasted is delicious, and disappears quickly.   We left with two packages of small pizzas (about 2-3 dozen), one tsoureki, one batch of "S", two large fateers, and two packages chocolate filled eclairs and puff pastries, for less than 100LE (about $17.00).  Quite a deal.

Most photos were taken with VB's iPhone, another one of her favorite things.  (No this is not a copy of "Oprah's Favorite Things", but they "Good Things" too.)



  1. So now you have given me my very first 'pang' for Cairo. Can't say I have missed it much, but lately Germany has been feeling all too clincal for my tastes. Besides, Egypt gave great "post". As did living in India or Turkey or Sri Lanka...

    We sure have plenty of bread here.. but there is just not the excitment of the dark alley experience.

  2. Yeah, it does provide good ideas for posts, and I'm wondering what I will do when we go back to the States. The bread at this place is great. I can't believe I never noticed it before.