Friday, July 22, 2011

El Masry

El Masry is an Egyptian food cart located on SW 3rd Ave. and SW Washington St. in Portland, Oregon. Egyptian food and Mediterranean food are virtually identical, as I've found out. It's pretty much the same menu items, although they may be called by different names.

After looking at all their choices, I asked one of the workers what their best-selling item was. Unfortunately, the language barrier was in full effect and communication was tricky. They did mention their Kofta Kebab was a big hit, so I went with that.

Kofta Kebab
I was astounded at the size of the food. Nice pieces of freshly cooked, flavored meat engulfed with vegetables, tzatziki sauce, and hot sauce, wrapped in a pita.

The Middle Eastern/Mediterranean spices in the moist, flavorful kofta sent bursts of amazing flavor into my mouth. I thought the tzatziki and the hot sauce really rounded this dish out as a successful one because it added those extra elements of zing and heat. The fresh vegetables (onion, tomato, lettuce, and a bit of cucumber) were a welcome addition here. I know Feta cheese is Greek, but adding that would have really worked wonders for me. But given the size of the food and the wonderful flavors, I wouldn't mind paying $7 to get another one.

Basically, two nitpicking criticisms here, both dealing with what I felt was subpar customer service. First, the size of the food really requires a big mouth or a utensil. I probably should have asked for a fork at El Masry, but forgot to do so. Regardless, maybe they could have asked me if I needed any utensils or napkins? This leads to the second issue: the language barrier. What if someone (like myself) didn't know what to get and needed suggestions? Surely, one of the first places to go is to ask the people running the food cart on what their best-selling item is. No discrimination is intended here, but maybe someone who can better communicate with the customers needs to be at the front of the cart. At least I know that the food I'm about to receive is probably as authentic as can be, but on my food adventures, customer service plays a factor in the rating as well (now you can really see how it's practically impossible to get a 10 from me). The food (and the price for that food) was close to a 9, but I'm deducting some points for the service.

Anyway, I'll shut up about that now. If you just want a big pile of delicious food, head to El Masry for a great food experience! 7.75/10

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