Sign in using your account with
Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Chili’s: Tex-Mex Chain Dominates Cairo
There are times in Cairo where we can’t always resist old familiar dining options. Anyone who has spent considerable time abroad knows that restaurants like Chili’s serve up dishes that we all know too well and that’s often just what we need. Although their options aren’t anything out of the ordinary; look no further than Cairo’s overabundance of Chili’s chains if you’re looking to have a convenient dose of Tex-Mex cuisine.
The best part about Chili’s is the fact that they deliver to nearly every neighbourhood in Cairo. The branch on Thawra Street in Heliopolis has a decently sized patio that makes a great outdoor lunch spot as long as the weather permits.
Drink options include virgin cocktails starting at 19.99LE. Pina coladas and margaritas come served in chilled glasses accompanied by a dainty piece of fresh fruit. Endless refills of soda including cherry and vanilla cost around 14LE a piece.
For appetisers, your typical options are fried cheese sticks (41.99LE) and boneless buffalo wings (39.99LE). For 27.99LE, the bottomless tostada chips are served crispy and fresh. The thin, crunchy chips pair well with their fresh salsa, and refills are for free.
Thankfully, Chili's greens tend to be fresher than other restaurant chains around Cairo. The quesadilla explosion salad (41.99LE) is huge and filled with toppings like tender chicken fajita strips with corn relish, cheese and tortilla chips; all of which is topped with a light, citrus balsamic dressing. Accompanying the salad are four big quesadilla pieces.
Chicken tenders, steak and shrimp platters, and various sandwich and pasta options are available on the menu; though this reviewer prefers to stick to a favourite Tex-Mex option: for 29.99LE including two tacos (or 39.99LE including three), the chicken club tacos are usually quite tasty. Filled with mesquite-flavoured chicken, beef bacon and fresh vegetables; the tacos are drizzled with chipotle ranch dressing. Sides include rice and delicious, fresh black beans.
When it comes to desserts, Chili’s doesn’t skimp on its cheesecake and sundaes. Because our sweet tooth seems to follow us around like a lost little puppy; we tend to go all out. That being said, the molten chocolate cake (34.99LE) is where it’s at. The chocolate fudge filling oozes out of the cake as soon as your spoon touches the top. Covered in a large scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate coating and caramel sauce, the molten chocolate cake is best shared with several other friends.
The food industry is no different than any other when it comes to imported goods and ideas; the Cairo restaurant scene continues to adjust and adapt the fast-food concept to cater for the specificities of the local palate – it’s the reason so many local eateries and chains are able to compete with the likes of McDonalds and the sorts.
Located on Syria Stree in Mohandiseen, Moro’s Take Away is a recent addition to Cairo’s constantly expanding fast-food circuit with an extensive menu that strives to satisfy all tastes, for any meal of the day. While the restaurant promotes itself as a takeout restaurant that delivers 24 hours a day, they also have a simple dining space, fashioned with a black bar top and red cushioned stools for eating in.
Peculiar to the traditional frames of fast-food, Moro’s offers lentil (9.99LE) and chicken cream (19.99LE) soups. The restaurant also offers three varieties of club sandwich; tuna (15.99LE), roast beef (17.99LE) and plain eggs with cheese (12.99LE).
Perhaps the most interesting item on the menu is the chicken pizza sandwich (16.99LE/20.99LE), made with slices of chicken and cuts of hot dog, topped with olives, tomatoes, green peppers and mozzarella cheese. Though it was served steaming hot in a loaf of white bread, the jumble of contents fails to come together, with the bland chicken dominated by the overly salty cheese.
Though the overall flavour of the egg and cheese club sandwich –possibly Moro’s healthiest item – is pleasing in a predictable, homely way, with plenty of fresh cuts of lettuce and tomato, the use of use of processed cheese slices was somewhat disappointing. Even a half-decent cheddar cheese would have been better.
The restaurants appetisers and side dishes are varied; their onion rings (M L11.99LE) and fries (M4.99LE L6.99LE) had both been prepared with fresh oil that gave them a crunchy texture and light flavour, enhanced by a sprinkle of herbs. Although we were looking forward to tasting them with the Moro’s own garlic mayo dip (1.75LE), their version of the condiment was solely mayonnaise, without the faintest hint of garlic.
Despite providing convenient, uncomplicated fast-food, Moro’s Take Away’s offers little innovation or novelty – big words to use for fast-food, maybe – to draw you away from your favourites.