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Cairo’s Kitchen

August 20, 2021

  • 155 W. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1D
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 525-2996
  • Website
  • Menu

You know me by now. I’m a burger, wings, pizza guy. I don’t venture outside of my comfort zone much….but I’m trying.

The year my son was born, I ended up working Christmas Day. We split up holiday’s at my job since we’re a 24/7/365 operation. My son was due on Thanksgiving and ended up being born on Black Friday. I asked not to work either of those knowing I would screw someone over at the last second if I was in the hospital.

The non-Christians in the office always volunteered to work Christmas. They weren’t forced to but I work with some good people. One guy volunteered every year and every year, he treated us (on the company dime) to Middle Eastern food for dinner since it was one of the few places open on Christmas Day.

I had never even tried Mediterranean food before that Christmas but it was the only thing we had to eat. It was just pork, beef, and lamb so it couldn’t be all that bad.

I found out that year that I liked the flavor of those meats prepared that way. I’m not much of a veggie guy so the rest of it wasn’t my thing but I ate a lot of Shish Tawook that Christmas.

Fast forward to now, I still don’t really eat Mediterranean food but I’m a little more open to it if it’s offered.

There’s a new Egyptian restaurant downtown and really close to where I work. It took me a few days to open myself up to something new but others in the office were raving about it so I had to give it a try.

Cairo’s Kitchen is the first restaurant to open up in The Exchange Building on the corner of Rose and Michigan in downtown Kalamazoo. The restaurant is on the first floor of the building on the Rose Street side even though it has a Michigan Avenue address. The restaurant doesn’t have it’s own outside access but entrance to the small shop is just inside the door.

Cairo’s Kitchen is new to the brick and mortar side of the business but they’ve been around as a food stand at the Portage Farmer’s Market for a while.

The restaurant isn’t very big. There’s an order counter that separates the small dining room from the kitchen. When I walked in on a Wednesday afternoon, the lady running the counter was taking call in orders and boxing up to-go orders from their website.

There isn’t much in the way of decor and the bare concrete wall and floors plus the high ceilings make it really loud in the restaurant. There are plenty of tables and the maximize use of the space plus there are a few tables outside but it looked like a lot of their business was being done carry-out.

I put in an order for a mixed meat (beef and chicken) Shawarma Wrap and an order of Cairo’s Fries. The cost was a little over $12 before tip. I took a seat in the dining room to wait on my order which took less than ten minutes to be bagged up and handed to me. They also offer online ordering which I’ll likely take advantage of in the future.

I popped open the box with the fries first because I knew I was going to like the fries. Cairo’s Fries are battered fries that are dusted with “Egyptian herbs and spices.” I have no idea what those herbs and spices are but they make the fries insanely good.

I added a small side of Shatta which is their house made garlic vinegar and peppery hot sauce. I’ve been craving hot sauce for some reason recently so I dipped a couple of the fries in the hot sauce just to add little more flavor and a little more spicy to an already delicious spicy fry.

On to the Shawarma Wrap. I was taking a big chance here. The Shawarma Wrap comes with grilled tomatoes, onions, a “special” garlic sauce, parsley and cheese alongside the meat that’s wrapped in a grilled tortilla. I said I took a chance because I don’t love tomatoes, I typically hate onions, and I’m not a big sauce….but hey, I’m trying new things,

So…uh….this thing was good. I mean, really good. Everything in the wrap just blended together so beautifully. The tomatoes actually had kind of a tomato sauce to them as they mixed with all of the juices leaking from the chicken and the beef. The garlic sauce was spread on pretty thin so it’s there…and it’s garlicky, but it’s not dripping down your chin or assaulting your taste buds. Heck, even the onions played a role that was agreeable to my onion hating palate. This wrap was just delicious.

I shocked myself here. I really enjoyed Cairo’s Kitchen. I went in with an open mind because it’s not a burger place nor could I order wings, but Shawarma really did it for me. I’ve already recommended it to a few people and there is no doubt in my mind Cairo’s Kitchen makes it in to my regular rotation of downtown lunch spots.

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