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Ramleh, Alexandria, Egypt.
Mohamed Ahmed: Top-Notch Falafel in Alexandria
Taking it a step above the rest, Mohamed Ahmed is an Alexandrian favourite for its fresh falafel bites and delicious foul sandwiches. Located on Shakour Street in Downtown Alexandria (just around the corner from Ramleh Station and the Metropole Hotel), the venue offers a tasty and cheap meal in a bustling area of the city.
Even if you’re only visiting for the day, Mohamed Ahmed can be easily reached either by car or on food via Safeya Zaghloul Street, Saad Zaghloul Street or Sultan Hussein Street. Duck through the entryway into the shop, and its nostalgic feel will have your stomach rumbling with curiosity in minutes.
The venue is clean and well-lit, and the friendly staff don’t make any bones about it; so choose your dish and get ready for a satisfying meal. We recommend hitting up the restaurant at breakfast time for a traditional Mohamed Ahmed experience.
If you're craving the whole shebang, expect to pay around 12LE for falafel, foul, eggs, tehina and salad. Mohamed Ahmed’s staff are professionals when it comes to freshness, and their falafel says it all. Fried in an appropriate amount of the freshest oil, the delicious, doughnut-looking, bite-sized portions are served piping hot and leave your mouth partying onto the next dish. You can’t go to Mohamed Ahmed without trying the falafel.
You can’t have Mohamed Ahmed’s falafel without trying their Alexandria foul either. Lemon juice, fresh vegetables, and tehina grace the foul's surface; adding a zesty texture to the smoothness of the bean. Two eggs are cooked to your preference and provide an extra punch of protein, while another side of tehina and fresh bread only seal the deal on this satiable yet simple feast. Other offers at Mohamed Ahmed include your standard sandwiches and platters of various mezzas, salads and pickles.
Whether you're on the hunt for a traditional breakfast or a late-night feast with friends in Alexandria, Mohamed Ahmed will not disappoint.
Is there no end to new restaurants in Cairo? Feteera opened at the beginning of March and like many of the brand new eateries which pop up out of nowhere in Zamalek, it looks to be a hip joint from the outside. However, Fateera avoids being pretentious; its walls may be adorned with indie pop art images, but its main feature is a huge stone oven at the back – which, far from being a mere gimmick, turned out to be a wonder when it comes to cooking pies.
In Egypt, feteera can translate into anything from ‘pie' or 'pancake' to 'pizza' – balady-style – so those new to the dish may be curious as to what they'll receive. Although the menu reads ‘pie’, the selection of toppings suggests pizza, and as we waited for our ‘feteera’ to arrive we were further perplexed as we watched the chef sculpt the dough into an assortment of shapes, looking suspiciously like a pancake.
On offer from Feteera’s menu are vegetarian, cheese, seafood and chicken or meat dishes, plus additional toppings which are available for between 2LE-11LE.We ordered a Chicken and Pesto Pie (52LE) and a Mushroom Roll (25LE).
When the food arrived, it was piping hot, but we were still none-the-wiser about what to call it. We can best describe it as a crispy pancake stuffed with pizza-style fillings, so the best word for this creation may indeed be: pie. The Chicken and Pesto Pie was creamy and delicious, offering a good balance of flavour with plenty of chicken to fill the 12 inch dish. The pastry was cooked beautifully and formed a light flakey casing for the chewy cheesy center. Slightly worrying were the grease stains left at the bottom of the dish and after our cutlery failed to live up to the job, using our fingers to eat the pie turned out to be messy business.
The roll was a crispy pancake wrap, such as to rival Lebanon’s manouche. It contained roasted peppers, which despite not having been specified on the menu were a warming addition to what was otherwise a very plain snack. The mushrooms were slightly undercooked and hadn’t properly infused with the other flavours and despite the encouraging chunks of garlic and olives, all were tasteless. The roll proved to be too doughy and plain, losing all its taste despite the crunchy chewy texture we bit into at first boded well.
For dessert we treated ourselves to the Mars wrap (28LE) and a Banana and Peanut Butter wrap (29LE). Feteera could have been more generous with the amount of chocolate but the peanut butter and banana combination was a triumph, if we do say so ourselves. It tasted buttery and soft, filled with just the right amount of ripe banana.
Though feteer with toppings is nothing new, this Egyptian pie house gets the thumbs up from us for bringing a traditional Egyptian dish up to date, allowing diners to fill up on an authentic dish with a modern Zamalek twist.