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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Bob's Hot Dogs: El Gouna Hot Dog Stall Arrives in Maadi
For just a roadside stand, Bob's Hot Dogs know how to make an entrance. Their marketing team are working like (hot) dogs to promote what could be one of the big players in Maadi's already booming culinary scene. Parked amid the trendy cafés and cupcake shops of Road 9, the stand has little more to define it than it being under a tree and near a pile of leaves, but it's managing to get noticed all the same.
The stand is set up in a tasteful courtyard with three tables arranged just off from the roadside in black and bright orange – in keeping with Bob's colour scheme. Lights illuminate the small courtyard after dark and there's a parasol in case it gets hot.
There's no menu as such, but customers can chose from a selection of toppings such as chopped tomatoes, cheddar, pepper, onion, jalapeño and brand-name sauces, ranging from the classics to honey mustard and mango chutney.
A hotdog is 25LE, which includes as many toppings and sauces as you can handle, plus a complimentary packet of salted crisps. Our meals came after five minutes, accompanied by a packet of tissues, which the waitress set down with a knowing look as we piled on the toppings.
The bread was surprisingly good with a sturdy, rustic crust and a soft inside; it was also large enough so that bread-to-filling ratio was always balanced. The sausage was beef and, far from tasting like the processed over-salted frankfurter we're used to, it tasted delicious.
We ordered one hotdog with cheese, grilled onions and barbeque sauce, and another with jalapeño, fresh onion and sweet relish. We could have done with more cheese, even if it was a bit tasteless and processed, but the onions were heaped on plentifully. The vegetables were fresh and crunchy – not the sort of thing we'd expect to come out of a static cart.
They also sell a modest selection of crisps (5LE) and water (3LE), or fizzy drinks (5LE). Our Sprites were perfectly chilled – as Bob says 'the hottest dogs & coldest drinks!'
The staff are very friendly and chatty, and although the stall wasn't busy, everyone was getting on with tasks and the place was immaculately clean. Three clearly labelled recycling bins were also available, and the company have made an effort in the past to engage in community programs such as Earth Week.
It's a shame that the have no delivery service as of yet, though the hotdogs can be packed to take-away. But we're not complaining; Bob's Hot Dog's is perfect for a quick, filling and tasty snack.
With Mcdonald’s and Pizza Hut pretty much monopolising Dokki’s Messaha Square – just look at the always empty Papa John’s – it’s always a surprise when something new opens there. However, that didn’t stop Wienerwald from opening a new branch next to the ill-fated Papa John’s.
With the apple-green ceiling, wood floor, random cartoonish chicken silhouettes, the interior of Wienerwald pretty much follows the same colour scheme of the international branches. There are very limited number of tables and chairs, though.
Wienerwald’s menu is all about different variations of chicken, salads, sides and a lonely hot dog item. After checking the menu, we opted for Half Rotisserie Chicken Meal (50LE), Schnitzel (47LE) and Backhendl (36LE).
Served with perfectly cooked French fries, the rotisserie chicken had a beautiful golden brown crispy skin, exquisite seasoning with a unique smoky flavour to it and was all-round tender – plus, it didn’t have the bad poultry odour you usually find with roasted chicken. Despite a second side of bland rice, it was a flavourful and affordable meal served in a generous portion.
Moving to the Schnitzel, the German classic dish was served with a mini bowl of unremarkable coleslaw and a cold mashed potato that was otherwise very creamy and tasty. As for the schnitzel itself, it was breaded perfectly and had a perfect crust and the chicken very tender, but it wasn’t as thin as schnitzel should be, though a simple squeeze of lemon on top added a great zesty flavour.
Meanwhile, the Backhendl was rather disappointing. Coming with French fries, coleslaw,and 3 pieces of fried breaded chicken – a traditional Austrian dish – was, unlike the previous dishes, very dry, lacked seasoning which and tasted bland, while the crust was super oily.
We finished our meal with a German Apfelstrudel (19LE). The pastry is stuffed with an apple-cinnamon mixture, topped with powdered sugar and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Though it sounds great on paper, it turned out to be another disappointment. Even though the pastry had perfect layers it was very tough and while the apple had a spot-on tender consistency, the cinnamon flavour was far too strong – we felt like we were being tricked into taking the cinnamon challenge.
All in all, our visit at Wienerwald had its ups and downs. For a fast food chain, their food is clean and feels homemade. At the time of our visit, though, we experience the classic fast food problem: inconsistency. Some items were great and others had their flaws – a few too many.