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Downtown, El Gouna, Egypt.
Jobos Sportsbar: Does El Gouna Have the Best Burgers in Egypt?
We don’t know what it is about El Gouna, but for some reason this Red Sea resort offers some of the best dining spots in Egypt. In fact, this reviewer will go out on a limb and say that many of El Gouna’s restaurants offer better cuisine than the most popular restaurants in Cairo.
Take Jobos, for example. Having sampled burgers all around Cairo, we can safely say that Jobos’ mouth-wateringly delicious burgers are the best that we’ve ever had. This reviewer brought along a whole crew of fickle eaters to try them, and Jobos passed with flying colours for its calorie-laden but undeniably yummy burgers.
Located across from Tamr Henna Café on the cobblestone courtyard of Downtown Gouna, Jobos Sportsbar offers open-air dining and partially shaded indoor seating, where wooden tables and chairs are arranged in front of a large projector screen showing football matches. If you missed the ‘sports bar’ part of the name, the sports memorabilia decorating all the walls are a subtle reminder.
Jobos is not all about football and being surrounded by enthusiastic fans yelling at the screen. The restaurant has an excellent charcoal grill, and we highly recommend any meat dish that comes off it.
For starters, the loaded potato (35LE) is large enough to be shared by two people: the baked potato comes piled with crispy beef bacon bits mixed with creamy mayonnaise and mashed potatoes and a side of a rather sour cream that was hardly needed. The chicken nachos (45LE) also came in a generous portion with heaps of cheese, peppers and sour cream to dip the nachos into.
If you have a small appetite, we recommend that you go straight for the main course of burgers, as they’re quite filling. Be warned, though; there’s no elegant or polite way of eating these messy but heavenly burgers. At a starting price of 52LE, Jobos’ burgers definitely aren’t cheap; but they’re definitely worth it.
The classic cheese burger (52LE), ranch burger (55LE), bacon cheese burger (59LE) and Tex-Mex burger (59LE) are all expertly grilled using quality meat; so the meat patty is ever-so-slightly pink in the centre with all its juicy flavour retained. The ranch burger is embarrassingly messy as it comes filled with coleslaw that works surprisingly well. All burgers come with a side of spicy potato wedges, though we would recommend opting for their French fries (14LE) with their special cream sauce instead.
Given the overzealous amount of food that we ordered, there was little room for dessert; so we ordered sodas (14LE), beer (25LE for a Heineken) and shishas from the nearby Tamr Henna. Although we’re pretty sure that a shisha at Tamr Henna costs 8LE, we were charged 20LE for our order, which is probably due to the ten-metre walk that the shisha guy had to make to reach Jobos. However, if you’re too heavy to move and would like a shisha and a cold drink while watching the game; stick to Jobos.
If you're ever in El Gouna and yearning for a juicy, fat burger full of flavour and calories, Jobos is highly recommended.
The concept of a ‘secret menu’ comes with several questions; what’s a secret menu? Do you get to pick you order? How did you find out about it? Even though it’s an old trend in the west, it’s totally understandable to be confused, because the concept is very new to Egypt.
A secret menu is simply when a restaurant offers flavour combinations and hidden items like Burger King’s Frings – obviously not in Egypt - which consists of a mix of onion rings and fries, or the four-patty Suicide Burger. Usually you’ll find out about these items through word of mouth and social media; so basically you have to be a true fanatic of the restaurant. Just think of it like a hidden character in a video game.
Salt’s secret menu offers Duck Confit and Chicken Waffle with two secret sauces, Honey Sriracha, and Spiced Maple.
We kicked things off with a Honey Sriracha Chicken Waffle Combo (52LE). Two pieces of soft Belgian waffles act like a bun and are filled with a piece of fried chicken, a slice of American cheese, dill pickles, shredded lettuce, onion and spicy honey sriracha sauce – yes, this one item you can’t eat without making a mess. Despite the waffles being slightly too thick for the filling and sauce being a bit too spicy, the overall flavours were on point and the chicken was very juicy and had a fantastic crispy crust.
As for the rest of the combo, we opted for the thin and crispy cheese fries, which are smothered with a generous amount of tasty cheese sauce and fulfilled its purpose as a delicious sidekick to the chicken waffles.
We also tried the Duck Confit sandwich (40LE). For those that might not be familiar with French cuisine, duck confit involves cooking duck in its own rendered fat. Served in their burger bun, Salt’s sandwich version is filled with super tasty shredded duck confit, sautéed onion, the restaurant’s Big Mac-like special sauce and melted American cheese. It was close to being flawless, but for the bones we found in it.
We couldn’t leave without checking up on the not-secret dry-aged beef burgers and noticed a new addition to the menu – the Mushroom Burger (38LE). Just like our previous visit, the perfectly-seasoned beef patty had a crust bursting with flavours, the ingredients were very fresh, the soft potato bun was exquisite and the Big Mac-like sauce added sharpness to every bite, while the generous amount of fresh sautéed mushrooms added a great earthy flavour.
While the idea of a secret menu might seem strange, it’s actually a great way to build and maintain a relationship with their loyal customers. But the best thing about our latest visit to Salt is that, not only has it maintained its quality, but it’s actually improving it, too.