Studies have demonstrated that the main source of illness among British (and other Western) holidaymakers is food poisoning (usually salmonella). Forget Al Qaeda and terrorism. The real risk comes from invisible microscopic enemies (germs) hidden in contaminated food (through dirty hand handling, flies sitting on the food, etc.). It is paramount, therefore, to recommend clean and safe restaurants. McDonald’s in Luxor is one of them, and is situated in the beginning of the souk.
Head north about 100 yards and you enter the souk from Saria al Souk. Walk about 200 to 300m, and Lotus is on your left-hand side and is a first-floor restaurant. The building is in a corner of a crossroads and the entrance is after you turn immediately left on the vertical road (which I think is Sharia Yussef Hassan). I think the wife of the owner or one of the owners is English.
The food is tasty, unpretentious, and inexpensive, and service is friendly and fast. For few Euros or dollars, you will have a very rewarding meal. In addition, a lot of the tables have a view to the vivid atmosphere and images of the street below without the cacophony of the sounds, thanks to the insulation of the glass windows. I have dined numerous times at Lotus and never had a tummy problem. I, therefore, recommend the place without hesitation.
If I have criticism for the chef, it is that he cannot boil the pasta al dente , the proper Italian way, with some hardness on the texture. Egyptians tend to overboil the pasta until it becomes too soft. The rest of the meals were brilliant, with a special mention for the Egyptian dessert, umm ali.
October 17, 2005
From journal Luxor, Egypt - For a truly relaxing holiday