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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Dan: The Brandname Catch
‘Serving juice in a different and new way,’ Dan is reminiscent of chain juice franchises elsewhere such as Jamba Juice, who pride themselves on bringing smoothies to mall-goers in the States.
The storefront is neon, immaculate and shiny, with the menu displayed over the counter fast-food style. Te two very friendly servers clad in uniform polo shirts, also a la fast food style. They were patient as my friends and I stared aghast at the choices. We had come to try something a little different, expecting something like...juice. But what was this? Did I want Tropical Smooth, Energy Juice, or Super Cool? Was kiwi, passion fruit and mango really a wise combination? Did I need protein powder with my juice? Should I choose from the classic or oriental menu sections?
After many long and suspense-filled moments, we each made our selections, one of us even giving up and simply ordering two juices to make the process easier. With the servers’ inning smile—they realy were good sports—our bill was tallied up...and that was the moment we realised what is so very different about Dan. My Maximum Energy (apple, mango, and passion fruit) was a staggering albeit delicious 24.75LE. Our total for five juices and smoothies was well over 100LE, which made us all giggle a little sheepishly, considering the fruit stand down the street costs a mere fraction of this. Dan does use fresh and delicious ingredients, and clearly imports its products, as everything on the menu from raspberries to tangerines were available. Unfortunately, it’s only a take-out juice bar, with no place to sit, relax and enjoy your beverage, which would have been lovely.
Still, Dan serves up a mean fruit cocktail, and might be making quite the splash on the beverage scene. Since the fateful night of our discovery, I've been dreaming of those refreshing fruit juice concoctions, but my pocket tells me no.
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.