4.304 Mixed Grill

-Cycle 4, Item 304-
5 (Tue) November 2013

Mixed Grill


at Abd el Wahab (Stars Centre)

-Nasr City, Cairo-

with Kim SY and various participants of the EMRO meeting

Day 4 (see previously 4.303 Molokheya..).

After work, a few of us went out for dinner.  The EMRO staffer in charge of the consultation played host.

Of course, the venue was in the mall again.

Abd el Wahab is a Lebanese restaurant.  According to the banner: "The Finest Lebanese Dining Experience"--as explained below, this would prove to be cruelly ironic.

The Levant is a geographical/cultural region historically encompassing parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa.  Today, the countries associated with the Levant include Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel--Old Testament-type places.

Empty (see also 4.303 Molokheya...).

Most dishes generally regarded worldwide as "Middle Eastern"--baba ghanoush, falafel, hummus, pita, shashlik, tabbouleh, tahini--are the legacies of Levantine cuisine.

For reasons that I don't yet know, many restaurants in Egypt are classified as "Lebanese," even though they seem to serve the same items as the restaurants labeled "Egyptian," both falling under the Levantine tradition.  When I asked a local about it, he replied that he had no idea, the look on his face suggesting that he'd never even considered the difference between the two.

Free flatbreads with olives and tahini (2.5)
--I could get used free olives.

Initially, for this post, I'd planned to feature this assorted plate of awesome veggie mezze (3.5)...until the thing with the meat happened.

Mixed veggie platter (2.5)
--Egyptians seem to eat a lot of cucumbers and tomatoes.

Dumplings with some kind of veggie filling (2.0).

Mini lamb sausages in balsamic(?) sauce (2.5).

Ta'amiya (falafel) (3.5)
--crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, intense fava bean flavor, excellent tahini dipping sauce.

That long sausage, that's the culprit kofta.

Fries (2.0).

Mint and lemon drink (2.5)
--nice, kinda like a virgin mohito.

A Levantine spread tends to be well-balanced, largely free of oils/fats/sauces/additives--the original "health" food.

The meal was fantastic ... at the time.  We got a wide variety of classic items, all tasty.  So good that I took some of the leftover meat to go, for breakfast the next morning.

Later that afternoon, I came down with the worst case of food poisoning that I've had in recent memory, maybe ever.