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Giza, Cairo, Egypt.
Cassata: Drive-Through Delights in Marioteya
The drive-through phenomenon evokes the type of laziness and apathy that modern services seem to cater to more and more. In Cairo, though; it’s the type of luxury that Egyptians love. What’s better than having your food delivered to you at the wheel of your car while you get your gangsta lean on and scope out the scene? Cairenes can now even have their shisha through their car window; too far? Yes, definitely too far. You see, the best evolution of a service is always simple, something that Cassata has taken to heart.
Located on a stretch of road that seems to lead out of the Marioteya area to nowhere, Cassata’s face looks like a huge billboard, and the colours and lights will make you wince even from afar. Upon arrival, a staff member bursts through a door that you didn’t know existed, and hands you a menu before your car even pulls in.
The menu is vast and divided into several sections. Fruit juices, vegetable juices and ice creams as well as milkshakes; the basics are all there. If that’s too dull for you, then you can also dip into the special Boreo-infused milkshakes, the ‘world of mango’ section or the even more ecstatically peculiar Korombo menu, which is presumably inspired by the Egyptian TV cartoon detective.
The most expensive item on the menu is the quite extravagant fruit salad ice cream, which only costs 11LE. Basic juices cost between 4LE to 5LE, while the house fruit cocktails and milkshakes cost a few LE more. The combinations and peculiar ingredients will have you humming and ahh-ing for a good while. It’s easy to be overwhelmed; but don’t fall back on a meagre lemon juice – be brave.
Now you may find yourself studying the peculiar exterior of Cassata. The imagination can only run wild to picture what lies behind the huge wall of colours; there are probably oompa loompas in there making your juice.
Just as you are on the verge of becoming agitated and giving the staff looks, a small window slowly opens to a drum roll in your stomach. Two dark mysterious hands, maybe those of an oompa loompa, slide out with your drinks, which sparkle in the light and dispel any uncertainty towards your order.
Be warned; upon receiving your drink or ice cream, the scene suddenly turns into a cheesy TV commercial. A couple sits in the back seat and feed each other ice cream; people are leaning on their car bonnets with their drinks; they all hold their spoons and straws playfully and flick their heads back as they laugh loudly. Everyone is having a great time, and for a split second, you think that you’re on the beach or something.
Cassata may not have the same hallucinogenic effect on you; but it does deliver a great range of fresh juices, smoothies and ice creams. The menu is creative and well thought out, and the prices are amazingly cheap compared to its juice bar peers.
As a result of the hectic city life, health-conscious restaurants and cafés in Cairo are often overlooked in favour of filling up on more gratifying, and often unwholesome, meals and drinks.
Recently opened in Zamalek, international chain, Froots, strives to provide citizens with delicious, healthy alternatives. The small venue on 26th of July Street offers clean, vitamin-rich blends of juices and smoothies. A table is placed outside for customers wanting to drink on the spot, and inside there are two stools for patrons waiting on their orders.
Amongst others, the menu includes a wide of variety of tropical smoothies, fresh fruit juices, organic teas, coffee and even lip-smacking chocolate and ice cream milkshakes. Though in the past they were known for providing food, the current reworking of the menu means that meals are temporarily unavailable.
We ordered a Tidal Wave (22LE) cocktail – a blend of strawberries, peaches and kiwi juice – and a Berry Sunrise (33LE) – made with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, vanilla soy milk and fat free yoghurt. For the latter, our waiter willingly adapted the ingredients to replace the soy milk with regular dairy.
Served in large plastic cups, the Tidal Wave was refreshingly sweet, with a charming tinge of bitterness provided by the kiwi juice. On the other hand the Berry Sunrise, served icy cold, was thick, foamy, smooth and delicious. Although they were both scrumptious and filling, the drinks were unfortunately prepared with frozen, as opposed to fresh, produce.
Perfect to silence a rumbling stomach, Froots provide tasty, liquid alternatives to heavy meals and unhealthy snacks.