I sometimes feel that people look down on chain restaurants under the belief that they offer mass-produced, substandard food. For me, as long as the food is good, I don’t mind the name above the door. For people who are new to a town, city or even a country, a chain restaurant can provide some familiarity and comfort. I remember when I traveled to India several years ago almost 3 weeks into my trip, I snuck off to McDonald’s as I just wanted a break from Indian food! Also, in countries where there is a language barrier, such as when we went to China, a universal menu at a chain restaurant is sometimes a good idea!
A week or so after we moved to Cairo we needed to have the dreaded trip to Ikea, so we thought we’d fuel ourselves up before buying half of the store. I looked on El Menus and Cairo 360 for decent places to eat at CFC and the chain restaurant Casper and Gambini’s was recommended. The chain started Northern Italy just after WWII and it now has restaurants in 10 cities across the Middle East and Africa – for us it was our first visit.
Since that first visit we’ve been back several times for the following reasons;
* We usually go on a Friday morning and it’s really easy to get a table. We have been sitting indoors but now the weather is cooler there’s a large outside terrace.
* The staff are very friendly and the service is consistently good. On one occasion I poured half the salt-cellar over my food and, without any fuss, it was quickly replaced.
* The menu has lots of choice. They serve breakfast, light lunches, main meals and desserts – there’s something for everyone.
* The prices are reasonable for example Pancakes are 62LE, Lasagna is 91LE the House Burger is 85LE and Chocolate Fondant 49LE.
* You get a delicious basket of focaccia with dip to nibble on whilst waiting for your food to arrive.
* They serve really nice iced tea, but my favourite drink is ‘sweet roots’ with fresh pomegranate, beetroot and orange.
The 5 dishes I would recommend to try here are;
Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich (96LE)
Poached eggs with avocado on pumpernickel (44LE)
Terriyaki salmon with squid ink pasta (159LE)
Salmon with basmati rice and aubergine (185LE)
So, next time you’re at CFC and you get hungry I’d recommend you try Casper and Gambini’s. They also have branches at the Mall of Arabia, Towers Mall, Point 90 Mall, Maadi and City Stars.