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Egypt and Jordan Recs?

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My mother and her friend are travelling to Egypt and Jordan in a couple of weeks and are looking for some recommendations for restaurants. They are staying at the Conrad in Cairo, the Movenpick in Aswan and Petra, and the Sheraton in Amman. They don't speak Arabic, but are slightly adventurous. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I've never been to Egypt. For Jordan:

    The lunch buffet at the Basin Restaurant inside Petra is actually pretty good, especially the items off the grill, and pretty unavoidable anyway unless they want to bring in a picnic. (which they may not want to do unless they get lucky on the weather: do let them know that Petra will be *chilly* in Jan or Feb, with snow not outside the realm of possibility. I actually got about two or three inches of snow in Amman when I was there the first week of February, and locals told me it wasn't unheard of. This is not a reason not to go then, as everything will be less crowded, just be sure they are dressed for it, especially at Petra since they will be outdoors a lot).

    You don't need to speak Arabic to be slightly adventurous in Jordan: a lot of folks speak at least a little English, and in many of the smaller eateries in Amman there is counter service so you can point at what looks good. At the bigger, better known places English is spoken and menus will often be in both languages. Do encourage them to leave the Sheraton for a meal. Taxis in Amman are cheap and safe, even if you get the 'tourist' rate (it is a good idea to negotiate the price before going, but even the tourist rate will seem reasonable to anyone used to US big city fares), and in most neighborhoods Amman is a safe place to walk on the street for women, even at night. (though they wouldn't get far without a taxi stopping to offer and negotiate a ride).

    I assume you saw this Amman thread, but here it is again. The links within it to my Petra report don't seem to be working, so here they are as well, and even an Aqaba report, though it doesn't sound like she will get down there:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/268300

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/26558...

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/26564...

    Jordan is a beautiful country and Petra should be on everyone's 'must see' lists of places. Hope this helps and they have a great time!