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(Coffee) Shop Talk

Welcome to the shop where I talk about things that go well with coffee, which is almost everything.

My faithful readers (all of you, I’m sure) may remember a certain post a couple of months ago about how much I was going to miss Tex-Mex cuisine while in Egypt.

You will all be relieved to know that I no longer have this dilemma. Yesterday a Tex-Mex joint opened up on the first floor of my apartment building. My roommate discovered it first and, having already realized that I can’t go into a bar without complaining about the lack of nachos, smugly revealed her discovery and basked in my elation.

Tex-Mex in Egypt? You may well ask. Now seriously, what are the odds that this food is in any way authentic?

IT’S TOTALLY AUTHENTIC! IT’S RUN BY A DUDE FROM DALLAS!!!

He’s actually of Egyptian heritage, grew up in Dallas, has a stronger Texas accent than me, listens to Spanish regatone, and asked me three times if the picante sauce was hot enough. Then we discussed our mutual amazement that the local fava beans taste almost exactly like pinto beans and our mutual chagrin that local religious concerns prevented him from using bacon in said beans. (In my case the chagrin was a bit false, since I’m a vegetarian anyway, but I DO know the proper way to cook pinto beans, and I’m always glad to meet another pilgrim soul who also knows this.) Local religious regulations will also prevent him from serving margaritas, but the important thing is that I can now get salsa and nachos without going miles out of my way to the nearest Chile’s. (Due to oil concerns, there are in fact enough Texans in Egypt to support a chain of Chile’s restaurants.)

The only thing that is not fantastic about the new restaurant is its name. La Sombra means “the shadow.” Odd name for a restaurant. Also, on the sign over the restaurant there is a picture of a sombrero. I’m afraid that my new friend may be bringing a not-so-great Texan tradition along with his excellent quesadillas: the tradition of butchered Spanish. Alas.

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