Charley’s Philly Steaks: American Fast-Food Chain at Citystars
CityStars, Phase 1 Food-Court, Omar Ibn El Khattab Street
Citystars’ food court is home to some of the most frequented restaurants in Cairo – for those lucky enough never to have wandered through the noisy court, navigating it can be quite a challendge.
The gargantuan mall’s latest addition comes courtesy of popular American chain, Charley’s Philly Steaks – the first of what is said to be several new mall locations across the capital.
As expected, Charley’s specialises in the great American classic that is the steak sandwich, though they also offer several other options, including a section for vegetarians and sides such as chilli cheese fries and salads.
Overall, the menu is simple, though it’s varied enough to satisfy Cairo’s diverse palettes. Pricing is also straightforward; beef sandwiches are 23LE in medium and 34LE in large, while chicken sandwiches sell at 22LE (medium) and 33LE (large). Extra toppings and trimmings for your sandwich cost anything between 3LE-17LE, while fries cost between 7LE-21LE depending on the size ordered. Combos are also available by adding 12LE to the price of the sandwich.
In terms of portions, the large isn’t overly large, though it’s neatly presented and sliced in halves. We tried the bacon three-cheese sandwich which was dripping with cheddar, provolone, and Swiss cheeses. The sandwich was nothing out of the ordinary, and the meat itself was a little undercooked.
We also ordered a chicken teriyaki sandwich, which turned out to be somewhat of an inspired choice. Though the bread clearly wasn’t fresh, the combination of chicken, onions and green pepper, topped with a sweet teriyaki sauce, was well-cooked, perfectly seasoned and full of flavour.
Of the sides, we took a shot at the chilli cheese fries, which – like the beef sandwich – was underwhelming and fairly pedestrian.
Beverages at Charley’s come in the form of flavoured lemonades (9LE each); both the blue orange and strawberry lemonade were refreshing and tasted like what one might imagine liquid candy tasting like – in the best possible way.
Though many will groan at the prospect of yet another food-court eatery that panders to the lowest common denominator, Charley’s Philly Steak at least presents a welcome alternative to what is by far the busiest cove of Citystars. Cairo’s carnivores should be excited, but at the same time would do well not to expect the complete, authentic version of the American staple.