Scotsabroad's Weblog

October 2, 2010

Baladi Bars

Filed under: Cairo — scotsabroad @ 11:28 am

We ventured downtown last night to visit some baladi bars. I had forgotten about the effects of drinking too much Stella. Seventeen years later I can reassure myself that Stella still rots the soul.

We all met in the Windsor Hotel. I last had a beer here seventeen years ago. I remembered the old postcards for sale at reception, the old elevator and chest freezer at the bar to keep the beers cold. Nothing had changed. Once the haunt of British Officers, the antlers and horns of many animals adorned the walls, some terribly small, testament to their desire to shoot things and obvious lack of big game around Cairo. We tried Cafe Riche and were told, open in one week. Then it was to Estoril down an alley off Tallat Harb, provoking anxious looks from some and comments like, where are you taking us? The food looked great. We then headed to El-Horreya which means freedom. This was my favourite bar. A bright, mirrored, noisy canteena-like place. Every space, table and chair occupied as the beer (take it or leave it) handed out of a crate. El-Muriaz was next with a forbidden first floor and a rank toilet. Then it was to Cap D’or, quite late and quite drunk.  A brown wooden establishment with a great bar. Free Fuul with spicy sauce and a Stella before being asked to leave. 

This was an enjoyable adventure. Most of our friends never knew this world existed. The Stella guide www.stella1ofus.com says downtown may be run down, even decrepit at times, but it’s authentic, friendly and interesting. And cheap of course.

A positive view:   Cairo Life Video by EgyptianG 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sirFChy5J68

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