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Downtown, Cairo, Egypt.
El Tawheed Bakery: Fresh Pretzels in Downtown Cairo
We love our bread. There’s an undeniable comfort element found in our carbs, and the bakeries of Cairo might just be the very bane of our existence.
Located on Mohamed Farid Street round the corner from El Prince Restaurant, El Tawheed Bakery is always stocked with freshly baked goods. The green sign is minimal, but it’s hard to miss when you have to actually walk through the waft of freshly baked goodness.
The pavement outside the bakery is lined with croissants, pizzas, mini-pizzas, biscuits and more, while other standard breads are displayed on the racks in the back room. The bakery seems to be a family-owned joint; their smiling faces and patient bode well when you’re having trouble deciding what to choose.
Everyone’s got their favourite comfort pick when it comes to bakeries, and ours is definitely El Tawheed’s date-filled bread rings. The sweet baked bread is soft and fluffy with a smooth mixture of date filling that tastes ever so good with a cup of coffee.
Mustard pretzels are also available, both tiny and medium-sized, for 20LE per kilo. They make a great snack and their tangy bite is addictive; so watch out.
At the time of this reviewer’s visit, the croissants (0.75LE) were a little too crunchy for our liking. One type of pâté comes with roasted nuts (1.25LE) on top, making a heartier option, while the jelly-topped pastries are super sweet.
Depending on the day, El Tawheed has pizzas and pâtés filled with cheese as well. The pizzas are larger than the mini-ones that you would typically find at your standard bakery, and they are covered with fresh peppers, olives, onions and tomatoes.
When it comes to customer service, you’ll need patience at El Tawheed. With our routine experience at the bakery, we’ve noticed that it’s often slow and that’s not because it’s always crowded; they just like to take their merry time.
With Brew & Chew satisfying the cravings of Maadi residents, and Dip n Dip spreading their fantastic desserts in New Cairo, Nasr City and 6 of October City, the sweet-toothed of Zamalek can be forgiven for feeling a little neglected – that is until now. Chocolate by name, chocolaty by nature, Joe’s Chocolate Bar on Taha Hussein Street could be the answer to every chocaholic’s dreams.
As a venue, Joe’s Chocolate Bar is divided into two floors; the top floor has nothing remarkable about it but allows smoking, while the ground floor is where the ‘chocolate is. Besides the melted chocolate-like decoration on the wall (which is installed upside down, so instead looks like chocolate waves) the calm lighting and wood walls create a relaxing and cosy ambiance to the place.
The items on the menu are limited and nothing grabbed our attention, but we opted for the Molten Chocolate Cake (47LE), Triple Chocolate Crepe (41LE) and their new special item – as the waiter was so keen to mention – Oreo Waffle (49LE).
The molten chocolate cake had a bold chocolate flavour and a very moist texture; the gooey centre had a fantastic pudding-like consistency, which shows that it was cooked to perfection and, overall, the dessert had a spot-on sweetness. On the other hand, we would have preferred that the ice cream was served separately, because the hot temperature of cake melted it quickly and made the top of the cake rather soggy.
The triple chocolate crepe was just as good, meanwhile; coming as three thin, light and fluffy triangular servings, each one was filled with a generous amount of melted milk chocolate, and drizzled with white, milk, and dark chocolate. We also asked for fruit (10LE) on the side which consists of mini cubes of kiwi, bananas, and strawberries, and it was surprisingly fresh even though it’s not strawberry season yet.
As for the Oreo waffle, we expected nothing more than a waffle with crushed Oreo on top, but, impressively, the waffle itself had an actual layer of Oreo in the middle. Despite the waffles needing a little more milk chocolate on top and being a bit chewy, they were largely soft with a slightly crispy exterior, and the flavour of the Oreo popped in every single bite.
Joe’s Chocolate Bar definitely impressed with their well-executed desserts and big flavours, but we felt that the variety on the menu is too safe and a bit limited for a dessert specialist. We’d very happily come back for the molten chocolate cake, though.