Back in 1976, a very humble cart started selling liver sandwiches in Dokki. Little did anyone know that this simple cart would rock the street-food scene for many years to come. Ezz El Menoufy, as we all probably know, now has multiple branches around Cairo, twelve to be exact. Their stores are everywhere, from Maadi and ElRehab City to the 6th of October and ElHaram. However, humble beginnings are usually the best of stories; that’s why we decided to pay ground zero a visit, as well as their newest branch in Maadi to see the difference.
Ezz El Menoufy cart is situated underneath the Dokki Bridge on the corner of Misr Insurance. When we got there, we circled two times until we found a spot to park right beside the cart. Only a few things were available on the menu: sausage, smoked sausage, and liver sandwiches – and you can also have a cup of salad water, yes you read that correctly. So we each got; Sausage (10 LE), Liver (10 LE), Smoked Sausage (10 LE), and Salad (3 LE).
The sausage sandwich was a real hit; everything about it was perfect: the sausage was faultlessly seasoned and smooth, and the bread was fluffy and hot. The smoked sausage sandwich came second to the regular sausage sandwich; the flavour wasn’t as buttery and unique, but still a great bite. Ironically, the liver sandwich was our least favourite, but not because it was anything short of exemplary. It was still tasty and perfectly cooked, but the regular sausage was still on top.
The salad cups, even though a fantastic idea, the water wasn’t adequately seasoned, which made it taste bland rather than a sip bursting with flavour. Lastly, for dessert, we opted for the Sakalans (10 LE) to end this late-night fun meal. Sakalans is typically a sandwich filled with halva, cream, and jam or honey, all mixed together. Unfortunately, this one fell short because it was more layered than actually mixed, making the taste feel deconstructed rather than a harmonious burst of sweet flavours.
As for the Maadi branch experience, it was quite different in every sense. It is an actual shop with a dining counter, and it had a full kitchen and more staff. However, the menu, prices, and the quality of the food were all the same. We ordered the exact same order as we got from the cart to compare the two spots properly. The Sausage Sandwich (10 LE) still came top, and the rest of the order came in second.
The experience was, all in all, an impressive one for sure. Maintaining the same quality and prices even though one is a cart and one is a shop is admirable. The cart had a lovely nostalgic feel as the place was buzzing until after midnight; people were eating, chatting, and just enjoying the organised chaos. On the other hand, the Maadi branch was more private and quiet. Both are a must-try when you’re passing through Dokki or Maadi areas and in the mood for some good quality local street food.
Cairo360 Tip: Try to look for parking early or take an Uber.
Best Bit: The regular sausage sandwich.
Worst Bit: Sakalnas sandwich.