When I first came to Lebanon, my future husband tried to show me all the “in” and famous spots, the places “to be”. He needed me to feel comfortable and to like Beirut, his hometown. On my second day, he took me to a small street, to a place that didn’t look special at all. Actually I might have not even noticed it if I had just been by myself. What made it visible from afar was the long queue. It was Hajj Nasr, the most famous sandwich place in Lebanon.
The sandwiches are mainly meat and chicken-based, but you can have a cheese one as well, either kashkawal or traditional halloum (yes, there is a dispute whether halloum is originally Greek or Lebanese). They’re all wrapped in Arabic bread, filled with vegetables and pickles and toasted. Yummy!
Mr. Hajj has been serving sandwiches for almost 40 years. A few years ago he had to move a couple of streets which allowed him to renew the design, make it more appealing and enlarge the shop a little. The best seller is the kafta (minced beef with parsley, onion and spices) sandwich with mayonnaise, tomatoes and pickles.
Whenever you pass through the day, you can see people ether grabbing breakfast, spending their lunch break or having dinner on the go before a night out.