The owner of a pop-up shop exclusively selling “crisp sandwiches” in Belfast just got the surprise of his life when customers bought all of his goods just two hours after setting up shop. Dozens of customers swoop down “Simply Crispy” and made off with those tasty classic Irish treats like there’s no tomorrow.
Andrew McMenamin, owner of Simply Crispy, said there has been an overwhelming demand for cheese and onion baps, which is made of Tayto’s cheese and onion flavoured crisps crushed between a floury Belfast bap, a classic weighty white bread that’s tough on the outside but fluffy on the inside. According to him, it all started when he decided to give his business a makeover.
“That Wee Cafe” on Belfast’s Bedford Street, a parody on satirical news website The Ulster Fry, served as an inspiration for McMenamin to temporarily transform his business. “We read that article about the crisp sandwich in the Cathedral Quarter and it struck a chord, it was so funny,” he said. “I think we needed it to be as close to the original article as possible.”
The transformation generated a huge buzz. Since then, long lines were snaking out the door of Simply Crispy all throughout lunchtime as lots of people were clamouring to have a taste of McMenamin’s crisp sandwiches.
At Simply Crispy, customers have 35 types of crisps to choose from, mostly from Tayto, which supports the shop’s operation. Aside from classic crisps, McMenamin’s and his staff offer novelty options like Fazzles and Monster Munch, which was inspired by a sign in the satire’s image that says “Daily Special: Monster Munch on Ormo.”
Costing around $4.50, the sandwiches are served with tomato soup and chips. Customers have the option to add meat or cheese to the sandwich. And if they don’t want to eat the crust, folks at Simply Crispy would be more than happy to cut off the crusts free of charge.
According to McMenamin, perhaps one of the reasons why their sandwiches are insanely popular is that they remind Irish people of their childhood. “I have been told Simply Cripy is the world’s first (crisp sandwich shop). It’s a school thing; people remember it from their school days, and it is a classic and it is old-school,” he said.
Meanwhile, when asked what his plans for the shop’s future are, McMenamin said that for now, he wants to keep his business open for three to four weeks, but he’s willing to “play it by ear.”