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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Bread Basket: Fresh Pastries & Bread in Maadi
Located in a distinctively competitive area in Maadi, across from Metro Market and the Parisian-inspired La Gourmandise on Road 9, Bread Basket has still managed to cling to its long held position as a popular provider for Maadi's daily bread and carbohydrate cravings.
Taking up a teeny-tiny space on the 1st floor of a residential building, Bread Basket efficiently manages to make the most of the little space it has.
At the counter they display all their sweets and treats, which include such favourites as Danish pastries and brownies; both moderately priced at 5LE. Although the menu claims they serve a large selection of morning pastries – including a raisin Danish, an apple Danish and a chocolate Danish – only the pudding Danish was available when we visited. The pudding Danish was perfectly sweetened with a perfect pudding-to-bread ratio, making the pastry enjoyable and easy to eat.
At 2LE-3LE cheaper than the gateaux at The Bakery Shop, they make a good option if you want to buy morning pastries in large numbers. Even after the filling pudding Danish, we decided that an additional sugar fix couldn't hurt and went for a brownie. The brownies are sold in individually wrapped pieces and were chocolaty with a distinct butter taste. However, it was not as rich or moist as you would expect; it tasted only slightly better than store bought ones, which was disappointing.
Behind the counter are shelves reserved for the baked bread, which comes in a multitude of varieties including grain baguette (31LE), multigrain loaf (20LE), raisin bread (14.50LE), sesame rolls (1.25LE) and cheese rolls (2.50LE). However, despite having over 20 different kinds of bread listed on their menu, only about six were available that day.
We tried the brown multigrain bread, which was coated with a sprinkle of grains. Crunchy on the outside and very moist and soft on the inside, it hit the spot. However, since this bread does not come in the pre-packaged plastic sleeves that keep it fresh, make sure you have a place to store your bread or you risk it becoming stale before you have even finished.
Shopping at Bread Basket is an experience; the bakery is cosy and smells wonderful. But the selections are limited and if you don't come early then it's likely they will be out of some of the more popular staples by noon.
Four years ago, the Batter Half and Co. opened its first shop in Zamalek and it wasn’t long before it earned a wide fan base with their signature Chocolate Heaven and Red Velvet Cake. Comfortably nestled among the best confectionary shops in Cairo, the Batter Half & Co. decided to take it up a notch this summer by offering ice cream lovers a selection of flavours to choose from.
Wondering if The Batter Half and Co. has what it takes to impress ice cream addicts, we made up our minds to go and see for ourselves.
Arriving a little bit too early, the ice cream hadn’t been put on display yet, so we had to wait for about 10 minutes before everything was in its place. Besides a number of innovative flavours like red velvet and biscuit, we found some fruity flavours like mango and lemon as well as the universally-loved flavours including Nutella, coffee and caramel.
Easy as it was to choose what flavours we wanted to try, the process of having them scooped was laborious for the staff; the stone-hard ice cream needed to rest a little before it could be served. But with the lemon being the only flavour supple enough, we decided to have one scoop (15LE) in a cone until the rest of our order was ready, which happened to be a scoop of biscuit, caramel and coffee ice cream .
We had mixed feelings about the lemon; despite being the creamiest lemon ice cream we’ve ever tasted, we expected a zestier taste worthy of the distinctive flavour of lemon. In regards to the cone, we can’t really judge given that we were too early to have a freshly-baked one, but the flavoursome buttery taste made up for the slight limpness the cone had.
Thinking that it would taste like baby food, we were a bit skeptical about the biscuit ice cream, but it turned out to be the highlight of our visit; in addition to being as tasty as fresh butter cookies, it had an exquisite grainy texture – something we never thought we’d enjoy in an ice cream.
Flavoursome and rich, the coffee ice cream also had crunchy bits of something that we honestly couldn’t identify. Whether they were chocolate chips, coffee beans or both, those bits boosted the flavour as a whole. Just as good, the caramel flavour had a natural taste without being over sweet.
Now that we liked almost every single ice cream flavour we tasted at The Batter Half & Co., it’s clear that the place mastered the art of ice cream making –all the more reason to love it.