Al-Ahram Weekly Online
21 - 27 June 2001
Issue No.539
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Current issue | Previous issue | Site map

Thomas goes to Heliopolis

Injy El-Kashef follows the trail

If anyone does not know Maison Thomas, they do not know that someone can save their life with a fantastic pizza at any hour of the day -- and that is a seriously important piece of information. The 24-hour, almost century-old little place in Zamalek has put so many smiles on so many people's faces that Thomas's sins are probably all forgiven, and forgotten, by now. Hot and cold sandwiches, salads, pizzas, main courses and desserts are all perfectly heavy and delicious. There remained only one problem: only one outlet. But good things come to those who wait, and Thomas has finally decided to oblige the many requests for more branches. After a new opening in Mohandessin a little while back, Thomas is now also open in Heliopolis. Hallelujah.

We headed there and found a much more spacious, albeit less cozy, venue than the Zamalek original. The large interior is lit up to feel like your living- room, not too bright and not too dark, the colours generally light leaning to beiges and whites; the menu is, thank goodness, exactly the same. Their huge ashtrays are not user-friendly, but we smoked anyway while placing the order: a regular Pizza Leonardo with extra olives, a Salade Provençale and a Chicken Brochette for my friend and I to share (having indulged in many a pizza together at the office, we felt the ritual should not be broken, but being right there at the restaurant also compelled us to go for a main course).

I don't know if it was the euphoria of eating at Thomas in Heliopolis or just being girls together, but as we awaited the orders impatiently we were in hysterics and lost all dignity. Food arrived. One napkin between yourself and the salad dish will prevent you from dripping the overly-generous amount of olive oil all over the table (which might be a problem when you rest your elbow there a few minutes later) and allow you to enjoy those artichoke hearts to the fullest. Even more delicious was the brochette with the tender, spicy chicken pieces separated by chunks of tomato, green pepper, onion and mushroom. It was so very healthy that we felt something must be wrong with us for ordering it. As for the pizza, allow me to roll up my sleeves for the description: being a Thomas pizza means that the whole is larger than the sum of its parts (sliced artichoke hearts, olives and mozzarella cheese).

They were out of my favourite chocolate cake with caramel filling, so I just got a slice of the kind of apple pie that wakes up the dead -- and I am not exaggerating, as I have said 10 million times. With a bottle of water and a fresh orange juice, the bill came to LE80. Heliopolis residents, have fun.

Maison Thomas, 114 Al-Merghani St (ex- Al-Dal'ouna), Heliopolis.
Tel: 419 2914/6360

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