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Tortuga: Mexican Delicacies in the Heart of Cairo’s Maadi

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Tortuga: Mexican Delicacies in the Heart of Cairo’s Maadi

Photo credit: Mona Bassel

Maadi is known as Cairo’s hub for exotic cuisine, which is why finding out a new Mexican place had decided to throw its hat in the ring was intriguing, to say the least. I’m not sure if it’s named after the island, the reptile, or the drug runner in Breaking Bad, but I’ll make it a point to ask the owner if I ever meet them.

Tortuga’s menu boasts a range of Mexican dishes, mainly burritos, tacos, and quesadillas, as well as some non-Mexican options in case you’re dining with a picky eater.

I made it a point to order from Tortuga several times to test out their quality; Maadi residents are all too familiar with the pain of falling in love with a new restaurant only to get their culinary hearts broken soon after.

The Classic Cheese Nachos (EGP 42) are perfect for sharing and always arrive warm along with a large side of cheese sauce (queso). They’re a refreshing change of pace since many other restaurants seem to skimp on the quality of the tortilla chips and compensate by drowning them in toppings. The Chicken Wings (EGP 40-70) are good, but not the best, especially since the market for chicken wings has become increasingly competitive over the years. They’re also inconsistent in terms of temperature, so it would be better to eat them while dining in rather than for delivery. If you decide to order the wings with the blue cheese sauce, make sure to request it on the side because the flavor can be very overwhelming.

The Guacamole Chicken Burrito (EGP 65) was incredibly filling and the guacamole added a rich and creamy flavor, but the rice was too over-seasoned and dominated the last few bites. As for the Chicken Fajita Wrap (EGP 42), the chicken, onion, and pepper filling was delicious but seemed lacking; a bit of sauce, shredded cheese, and lettuce would have made it much tastier.

Photo credit: Mona Bassel

The Triple Beef Steak Tacos (EGP 47), on the other hand, were delicious; the beef was tender, perfectly cooked, and bursting with flavor, especially accompanied by the lettuce and sour cream I chose as a topping. The tacos come in double or triple portions, but because they’re small and the price difference between both options is so minimal (around EGP 4-5), I can’t imagine anyone choosing the double option.

Despite the existence of similar restaurants in Maadi, Tortuga has already begun capturing the hearts of food enthusiasts and thankfully seems to be here to stay, so don’t worry about getting your heart broken anytime soon.

The best strategy when ordering from Tortuga would be to order as a group and share so you can enjoy a bit of everything without breaking the bank, but feel free to get greedy with the tacos.

Featured photo credit: Tortuga

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A writer and editor based in Cairo, Mona is passionate about providing people with a platform to share their stories. Her interests include cultural issues, mental health, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism from the American University in Cairo.

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