Belfast Telegraph

Crisp sandwiches: Love at first bite as Belfast's Simply Crispy cafe opens

By Amanda Ferguson

It began as a joke about Northern Ireland's love affair with the crisp sandwich.

But now the joke has become the world's first crisp sandwich cafe - and they're queuing out the door.

The concept of Simply Crispy began last week as a bit of fun on The Ulster Fry satirical website, but That Wee Cafe owner Andrew McMenamin decided to make the quirky idea a reality.

Now the humble crisp sandwich, a not so guilty pleasure for many, is going down a storm with customers after opening for business yesterday morning.

All you have to do when you visit the Bedford Street business is choose from more than 20 types of crisps, select your preferred bread and any other filling, such as cheese or ham, which can then be served with fries and soup, complete with Monster Munch croutons.

When the Belfast Telegraph visited That Wee Cafe for the launch of Simply Crispy, people were queued out the door, with Tayto cheese and onion proving the most popular choice among hungry patrons.

By 2pm stock had sold out.

Paul Gibson from Banbridge said: "I said to the guy in work there is a niche in the market for this and I think it will do well."

David Nicholl from Newtownabbey said: "I got a Belfast bap with some salt and vinegar Fright Bites and some tomato soup to try and be healthy!

"The cafe brings you back to your childhood when you went to the shops across from school after your mum gave you a few pound to get something decent to eat.

"Obviously you dodge that and get a crisp sandwich, so it's bringing me back to my youth."

Paul Doran from Belfast added: "I ordered, cheese and onion and tomato soup. When I heard I thought it was a joke. I think it's fun. If it works, then brilliant. I have heard people slagging it off as hipster nonsense, which I think is irrelevant. People like crisp sandwiches."

Mr McMenamin (35) said he was overwhelmed by the response to the quirky new offering and is hopeful it will be a success.

"When I spoke to the guys at ulsterfry.com they thought I was kidding but I was serious," he said. "That was last Wednesday morning and here we are! It's a bit of craic and people get a laugh."

Since the That Wee Cafe pop up restaurant opened in December, its best seller has been The Hallion cooked breakfast bap. World champion boxer Carl Frampton asked if he could add cheese and onion crisps to his Hallion so that particular combination has now been christened The Jackal, after the north Belfast man's fighting name.

Further reading

Northern Ireland 'delicacy' a reality at crisp sandwich cafe

Crisp sandwich shop sells out

Cereal Killer Cafe: Belfast brothers open UK's first ever cafe selling nothing but cereal 

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