26 May 2010

Café Riche

I started my culinary adventure in Egypt at Café Riche, a restaurant ripe with history and full of expats in downtown Cairo.  Founded in 1908, Café Riche was the social hot spot for Cairo's theater and literary community as well as a failed assassination attempt on the passing motorcade of Prime Minister Pasha in 1919.  Apparently anyone who was anybody in the Arabic world visited here before the restaurant's decade long hiatus in the 1990s due to earthquake damage.  Now the feel is distinctly touristy with a noticeable lack of local presence, particularly in the seating area off the entrance.  There was a second narrow room behind the first which looked more Arabic than sidewalk cafe but it was empty at the time of our visit. 

(Photo credit: http://www.auccaravan.org/Gallery/S09/Cafe_Riche/3.html)

Location: Downtown- Talaat Harb Street
Price: A light lunch (soup, salad, and water) was 30 Egyptian pounds (approximately $5.50)
Atmosphere: Think European cafe

The restaurant was quiet the afternoon we went and we had great service from waiters wearing traditional garb, small white turbans and blue galabias.  I loved the fresh pita bread the waiter brought to the table, fortunately one of the girls was gluten intolerant so I took that to mean I could help myself to her portion of the yeasty greatness.  The lentil soup is a must, it was fabulous and filling and the Greek salad was fresh and delish.  Alcohol is also served here for westerners interested in grabbing a drink at a historical Cairoian landmark.  We passed on imbibing adult beverages for lunch but there was a menu of drink specials on the table; one can choose from an array Red Bull cocktails mixed with everything from vodka to champagne or order an Egyptian beer to cool off from a day of sightseeing under the hot Egyptian sun.

No comments:

Post a Comment