The second capital by the sea has it all: sights, sounds and lots of food
By Rana Kamaly
Freska: Summer in Sahel is not complete without that sweet sandwich of honey between two thin wafers. Vendors hike with their glass cases all along the Alexandrian Corniche and North Coast beaches.
Fuul Eskanderani: The city by the sea has put its own stamp on the national dish by adding vegetables, onions and sometimes garlic. Don’t miss it at Mohammed Ahmed (17 Shokoor St., El Raml Station. Tel: (03) 487-3576) and Al Dumyaati (18 Al Andalus St., El-Ibrahimiya. Tel: (03) 590-2720)
Kibda Eskanderani: Best ordered from the local restaurants around El Raml Station near Midan Saad Zaghloul, the Alexandrian version of liver is seasoned with cumin, lemon and chili, and served with green pepper, bread and watercress. Check out Kebda Fahmy (76 Khaled Ibn Al-Waleed St., Sidi Beshr. Tel: (03) 359-3651).
Seafood: Alexandria is well known for its special seafood dishes, found nowhere else. Among there most famous are kishk with shrimps, grilled tersa, sayadia (fish casserole) with red sauce and dill and calamari tagen.
Best Dessert: Sheikh Wafeek in Bahary (24 Qasr Raas El Tin St., tel: (012) 2324-9623) for sweet couscous and rice pudding. Still holding its own for ice cream is Azza in Bahary (754 Cornish street, El Mandara., Tel: (03) 548-1743 ).
Best Seafood Restaurant: Hosny (24 Mohamed Hassanen Heikal St., Mandara. Tel: (03) 556-3049) and Balbaa (154 El-Malek Hefny St., Sidi Beshr.Tel: (03) 549-7555). At Samakmak (42 Qasr Ras El Tin St., Al-Anfushi. Tel: (03) 480-9523), the spaghetti with clams, crayfish and the crab tagen are a must.
For a traditional — very traditional — seaside outfit, Alexandrian dress code once included colorful mandeel b 2oia (scarf with tassel trim worn over the hair), milaya laf (loose wrap worn over clothes) and a bor2o3 (crocheted niqab-like face cover) for women, and las abo lia (loose long plants) for men. Several of the well-known local markets still carry these items, including El Saialla, Ras El Teen, and Zan’et El Setat.
The Alexandria Folk Dance Troupe keeps the spirit of the sea alive with a repertoire of traditional dances from the coastal areas. Among them are Nesma Bahary (Bahari Breeze), reflecting the folk dance in the areas of fisherman; Al Sekina (The Knife) performed by men in Alexandria, and Takasem Rakesa (Nay Dancer). Performing mainly at Ras El Teen Theater in Anfushy, the troupe also presents folk dances from around the country as well as contemporary dances and ballet performances.
Tel: (012) 2237-5498 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Facebook page: The Alexandria Folk Dance Troupe