Finding good Mexican food on this side of the Atlantic Ocean can be a fruitless – and even depressing – quest.

Once you've tasted real Mexican, many restaurants outside of North America will seem like bland interpretations of the original. There are just too few Mexicans in this part of the world for their unique cuisine to remain authentic.

T.G.I.Friday's, however, does a better job than most at offering a respectable take on delicious cuisine that centres around corn, beef and hearty spices. The chain's location in Maadi also offers an outdoor dining area with stunning and serene views of the Nile.

T.G.I.Friday's, short for the weekend-rallying slogan "Thank God it's Friday," opened its first branch in New York City and features American classics like New York Steak (102.99LE) and Friday's Cheeseburger (41.99LE). There is also plenty of Mexican food on the menu, and many offerings from the Tex-Mex kitchen that came about when Mexican immigrants settled in Texas and blended two culinary traditions.

A half-portion of Cheese Nachos (34.99LE) makes for a good appetiser; the corn tortilla chips were salty and crisp, topped with melted cheese and hot jalapeno peppers with guacamole and sour cream dips.

Our top pick was the chicken fajita dish (66.99LE), which arrived at our table on a sizzling hot pan. It included slices of charbroiled marinated chicken with grilled onions and bell peppers and a side of yellow rice with spices. The rice was fried lightly and was still soft, while the chicken was tender and flavourful. The dish came with a side of salad, Colby cheese, sour cream and delicious tortilla bread. However, despite the promises on the menu, the guacamole and salsa side dishes were missing.

The chicken quesadillas (54.99LE) were another good pick for expats from the United States who yearn Mexican fast-food. This dish featured diced chicken, peppers and Colby cheese stuffed between two layers of tortilla bread. The generous portion was served with cold sour cream, which went down well with the sizzling hot quesadillas and melted cheese. The guacamole was a bit too chunky for our taste, though, and the promised salsa was once again nowhere in sight.

The elegant outside dining area overlooks a calm part of the Nile where fishing boats are more common than the noisy party boats of Downtown Cairo. Several feluccas are parked within walking-distance, and make for a great after-dinner trip.