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New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt.
Lord of the Wings: Wings Specialist's New Branch in Cairo Festival City Hits the Spot
When it comes to finger food, wings have always been one of the staples - they're delicious and absolutely perfect for gatherings. And while finger food the likes of wings can mostly be found only in bars - a la the Tap - and some fast food chains as a side dish, Lord of the Wings is one of the few restaurants in Cairo's that specialises in it.
Tucked away in one of Cairo Festival City's hallways leading to the food court, Lord of the Wings' newest branch in Egypt's capital boasts an industrial design, with brick walls, wooden tables, exposed air conditioning vents and thick wires running along the walls, in addition to flat screens displaying occasional football matches or the diner's menu.
After being shown to our table, we were given the menus, which, other than the wings, also has burgers and steaks.
We started things off with some Canadian Poutine fries (41LE), along with some Super Duper Nachos (49LE) with an addition of bacon (14LE) to give it some extra crunch, as for the main course, we opted for the house specialty Garlic Parmesan Boneless Wings (49LE for 6 pieces), with The American Burger (53LE) and The Tenderloin Steak (145 LE).
After a good half an hour, the Poutine fries arrived and with it all our orders came pouring in.
Served in a large bowl and topped with gravy and melted cheese, the Poutine fries tasted great and had good consistency –though it was drenched in gravy and cheese – while the cheese complimented the overall flavour. The only thing that fell flat was the gravy, which had a bland taste and didn't add anything to the dish.
With little to no bacon, we had to return the Super Duper Nachos, which then came back with well-balanced amount of bacon bits and cheese, while being served with sour cream, salsa and guacamole. The nachos had a crunch but they had a bland taste which was saved by the melted cheese and the served dips.
Six medium-sized pieces of breaded boneless chicken covered with buffalo sauce, drenched with special garlic parmesan sauce and served with blue cheese sauce and some carrot and cucumber strips, the wings were quite delicious. The chicken itself was tender and tangy with a delightful crunchy crust and a savoury garlic parmesan kick at every bite. It was interesting how the garlic parmesan sauce worked so well with the buffalo sauce, which showcased how much attention was put into the flavours of the dish; overall it was the highlight of our visit.
An Angus patty covered with lettuce, onions, pickles, American cheese and special sauce, the American burger was accompanied by a generous portion of fries; only the burger itself had a chewy consistency and lacked flavours, while the bun had a stale taste as if the whole thing was rushed.The fries, on the hand, were tasty well-seasoned and had a homemade feel.
The tenderloin steak came as two pieces of steak with some sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes. Though it was ordered well-done, the steak was cooked medium-well which didn't jeopardize the taste but it wasn't what we ordered. The vegetables side was okay but the mashed potatoes felt a little rushed with a mediocre taste and some lumps in them.
We washed everything with Peanut Butter Shake (25 LE) which was very refreshing and very sweet – maybe a bit too sweet –with a thick texture and some generous caramel sauce.
In spite of the feeling that we had that some of the items were quite rushed and poorly executed, as far as wings, Lord of the Wings definitely excelled in terms of both quality and flavour.
It’s never been easier to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in food scenes around the world and one concept that seems to be becoming popular again is the concept of a traditional American diner. Diners offer a great variety of American comfort food in a casual ambiance with a cheerful interior – something that we found with Joe’s Diner in Heliopolis.
Despite the gloomy black painted walls, purple lighting and mainstream industrial-style ceiling, Joe’s Diner captured everything we imagined a diner to be; from the black and white chess-like flooring and the cheerful red and white furniture, to the cartoony neon signs and retro posters. The ambiance was just remarkable – all that was missing was a jukebox.
We started our meal with Joe’s Sloppy Cheese Fries (39LE) as an appetiser, and as our main we opted for Louisiana Fried Chicken Plate (69LE) and Joe's Special Burger (59LE).
Starting with Joe’s Sloppy Cheese Fries, the fries themselves were perfectly cooked, but sadly the scant amount of cheese and flavourful sauce and chilli was disappointing, while the bacon needed to be crispier. In addition, scallions were used instead of chives, but they added great pop to the flavour regardless. Overall, the fries stayed crispy because the appetiser was far from sloppy.
Moving to the mains, the Louisiana Fried Chicken was the star of the meal; two pieces of tender-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside fried chicken with a mouth-watering crunch, topped with simple gravy made of cream and peppercorn. The dish is served with smooth mashed potato topped with the same gravy as the chicken and Mexican rice which was bursting with flavours, but a bit watery.
We were keener, however, to try the burgers at Joe’s Diner – because what’s a diner without outstanding burger? The Joe’s Special Burger came in the form of a juicy patty cooked perfectly to the requested medium-well and topped with processed cheddar cheese, soft bacon, and crispy onion rings. Aside from the fact that the cheese hadn’t melted at all, burger patty was ruined by the noticeably un-fresh bun and the carelessly thrown-together toppings, as well as the fact that the fresh mushroom and the BBQ sauce promised in the menu that didn’t make it to the sandwich. The burger is served with coleslaw mixed with apple cider vinegar that added a unique flavour, and French fries which confused us because it was cold and soft unlike the fries in the appetiser.
We finished our meal in true diner style, with Vanilla Milkshake (25LE), Strawberry Milkshake (25LE) and Chocolate Chip Pie (39LE). The vanilla milkshake had a perfect consistency and a spot-on amount of sugar, while the strawberry milkshake tasted closer to artificially flavoured ice cream. As for the chocolate chip pie, it was basically a cookie stuffed with chocolate and topped with ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Flavour-wise, it had an overwhelming taste of flour and the stuffed chocolate was mild in flavour - but the ice cream was good.
All in all, Joe’s Diner looks the part, but in focusing on the look of the restaurant, our visit suggests that it has come at the expense of the food.