Autumn is upon us and the kids are back to school. The summer holidays have come to an end and it is time to go for a relaxed stroll in downtown Alexandria and catch a fresh breeze before it gets too rainy in the coastal city.
And for the old-timers in downtown Alexandria, a stop at the trottoir café of Délices is an inevitable part of the itinerary.
At this time of the year, it is still not too cold to sit outside in the new bamboo chairs, even if one thinks they are not as nice as the old chairs, and enjoy a little chat about the city with a stress-free waitress who is willing to offer a few ideas for those who know the menu inside and out.
It is actually not such a bad idea at times to part ways with the otherwise good old favourites and venture towards something new.
Cleopatra and Nefertari wined the choice for soft drinks over Mohammed Ali Pacha and King Farouk
Cleopatra is a mix of Coca-Cola with strawberry syrup while Nefertiti is 7up and strawberry syrup.
A lighter choice for someone who is planning a sandwich or a snack a little later would be Mohamed Ali Pacha, a mixed juice of strawberry, banana and mango or a King Farouk, which contains the mixed juice of kiwi, guava and mango.
Cleopatra is quite cold and interesting because the Coca-Cola mix with the strawberry syrup is refreshing and intriguing, but not too sweet – compatible traits with the iconic seducer, although it's unlikely the kind of drink that Cleopatra would have ever offered to Julius Caesar or Marc Antony.
Neferiti was not a seducer but she did leave a strong imprint – and so too is the mix of the Seven Up and the strawberry syrup. The drink, however, did not match Nefertiti's most famous titles of Lady of Grace and Great of Praises, especially towards the end when the drink got a bit too sweet. But then again, Nefertiti was also called Sweet of Love.
With a wait of over half an hour between the drinks and the time the waiter came to the slightly wavy terrace on a late Saturday afternoon with the chicken and beef burgers, it was not difficult to conclude that whatever traits were there for Cleopatra and Nefertiti, they did induce a good appetite more than what a lovely Alexandria autumn afternoon would have normally prompted.
Served with homemade fresh golden fries and nice pickles the sandwiches are fresh, tasty, filling and not at all overdosed with ketchup and mayo. And for sure the bread is fresh and is not falling apart into little morsels when handled firmly.
The sandwiches are delicious enough to have prompted two Coca-Colas to maximize the lunching effect. And as always the case, good beef and chicken sandwiches, coffee afterwards is punctuating – without any of the many delicious desserts that the waitress is willing to suggest, be it the items of the good old days or the more fashionable Oreo-cheese cake or red-velvet cake.
A simple and enjoyable two-hour lunch at the heart of Ramleh, with a bit of a view of the sea that is otherwise hiding behind the many parking buses, cost two people a little under LE350.