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Georges Maalouf: Fresh Fish Sandwiches in Batroun
Occupying the corner street of Batroun's old souk is a place I like - a sandwicheria owned and operated by Georges Maalouf. Consider it a snack or seafood joint, where the chef himself rolls one sandwich at a time. There's no menu but a selection of what he has from the fresh catch of the day.
Georges is an original character, if I may say, who doesn't smile much unless you throw a joke his way or ask him a question about his fish. Authentic and traditional, his place is clean and feels like home, he works calmly with open doors blending in with the neighborhood. Here, the food is fresh, the fish is clean and the sandwiches are tasty. Come here for simplicity and flavorful food. Today is my second visit enjoying a simple raw fish sandwich without sophistication or pretension. 6 sandwiches and you'll end up paying only a ridiculous contribution.
I enjoyed a simple raw fish sandwich. "Abou 2eshre" he calls it, raw fish that's violet in color and looks like tuna and tastes like the sea. He simply adds lemon and olive oil for pleasure. It's simple and wrapped in white pita bread. They look exactly like the rolled sandwiches we used to take to school. I then tried the calamari with a bit of cocktail sauce and lettuce, so fresh and full of flavor.
The vibes this place oozes are like none other. Even the fisherman next door came in for a sandwich. What a beautiful experience. Then came the octopus sandwich, real octopus with a bit of oil and lettuce, rolled into a thin piece of Lebanese bread. Yummy! The grilled fish was my favorite. Generously filled, the sandwich includes lettuce, tarator, lemon and the fish. I also tried the shrimps in a toasted sandwich. It was lightly warm, with mayonnaise and a bit of olive oil... Oh my God...
I'm amazed by the flavors and simplicity of these sandwiches. They are pure and natural, with no sophistication whatsoever. I believe I have a favorite sandwich spot.