Egyptians in Cairo have their own style of fast food restaurants—street carts. Not too far from Tahrir Square near a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant we discovered an Egyptian street vendor selling hot ready-to-eat grilled sweet potatoes from a wooden cart. The cart held what looked like an old oil drum. He had turned the drum into a charcoal oven. We used hand signs to question the vendor about what he might be grilling. He opened the oven door and showed us a stack of sweet potatoes still in their skins. The aroma that wafted from the open oven was truly tantalizing. We ordered two steaming hot potatoes. The vendor pulled them out of the “oven,” slit them down the middle and handed them to us. They were hot and delicious.
We saw other fast-food vendors selling things like Corn on the cob, popcorn, and chewy pita breads. Since their overhead is not too high, their prices were very moderate.
If you can set aside stringent sanitation standards, I recommend you try some Egyptian “fast food.” At least try the sweet potatoes. Few bacteria can survive in a hot charcoal oven.
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