This morning, I joined Loraine and Chantelle for breakfast at Left Bank, a trendy spot on the Nile with fresh air and flaky pastries. Normally I don’t venture very far out of my bubble, but Loraine had been raving about the place since she’d gone with Sally and Chantelle a few weeks ago.
“It’s like you’re not in Egypt anymore, but you are,” she raved, flipping through photos of yogurt towers and foamy cappuccinos. “At one point, I said, ‘This is like breakfast at home. The only thing missing is a newspaper.’ And a server passing by stopped and said, ‘Would you like an English newspaper?’ So I had breakfast on the Nile and read the paper!”
It was exactly as she’d described it. Cozied up next to Sequoia, an equally glamorous restaurant boasting creamy Egyptian dips and zesty juices, Left Bank was clearly a bastion of the swank and glitz that characterize Zamalek. Unlike my compound-like suburb, Zamalek is a glittering section of city brimming with hip bars and jazz clubs that thrive into the early morning hours.
Anne and Jim – a couple whose sophistication and easy glamor make them a perfect fit for the Zamalek lifestyle – invited me down last night, but being the boring homebody I am, I’d declined, preferring breakfast in town instead of bar hopping until 3AM. (When did I become so old?)
Left Bank did not disappoint. Butter was served in a silver dish, sugar came in cubes, and the food arrived promptly. Just for the heck of it, I scanned a newspaper and sipped my coffee because hey, that’s what you do at breakfast. All the while, the Nile sloshed on by, bearing colorful water taxis past the windows.
As far as breakfast venues go in Cairo, I’d rank this one pretty high up. While the Blackstone buffet is a tough contender, the location at Left Bank surely trumps the view of a vacant lot and some dumpsters visible over a Blackstone breakfast.
Tip: Get there before 10:30. It gets packed pretty fast.