Monday June 24th, 2024
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This Cloud Kitchen in Maadi is Serving up the ‘Perfect Burger’

Founded in April 2023, The Sandwich Bar is putting the full spectrum of American barbeque in billowing, buttery buns.

Ziyad El-Helbawy

This Cloud Kitchen in Maadi is Serving up the ‘Perfect Burger’

"Nothing short of perfection would do.” With those words, founder and chef Nadim Samy recalls the unconventional journey that swept his attention away from the family business - the Wadi Degla Clubs - and led to the creation of The Sandwich Bar, Maadi’s latest destination for smoked meats and hearty burgers.

What started as a hobby to create the perfect brisket blossomed into a full-fledged catering service, namely, Meat Party BBQ. Meat Party's success was driven by one standout menu item, as Samy shares with SceneEats: "Our burgers became so popular that we knew we had to offer them on their own." It was from this realisation that The Sandwich Bar was born in April 2023, operating out of Kitchinco, a cloud kitchen hub in Maadi also co-founded by Samy and his partners during the COVID-19 pandemic to house various culinary projects.

Specialising in smashed burgers and sandwiches, the casual eatery also offers fried chicken, wings and sides that are "fresh, never frozen, nor prepared in bulk,” as Samy makes sure to state. Using only premium ingredients, The Sandwich Bar’s buttery meat-filled buns are meticulously formulated in-house and put together daily.

SceneEats recently sat down (albeit virtually) with Kitchinco and The Sandwich Hub’s founder and chef Nadim Samy, to get a glimpse into his slow-cooked world, and how he walked right into it…

First off I'd love to know all about you. What drove you into the F&B industry? Has a love for food been brewing inside you for a while?

In truth, my background had nothing to do with F&B. I was working at the family business, Wadi Degla Clubs, but cooking had always been a little hobby of mine. It wasn’t big, but it was in there. I would try and cook something every few weeks and back then I wasn’t that into it. 

Then one day I was watching a silly TV show, and the entire episode was centred around a guy trying to get a brisket recipe from his mother in law.  I didn’t know what brisket was and when I googled it I was introduced to Texas BBQ and the idea of smoking meats. It looked delicious. Straight away I tried to find a place in Cairo that serves smoked brisket. I couldn’t find anything.  The next day I researched and designed a smoker and went to a welder to implement my design. It took three weeks to build. During these three weeks I watched so many different brisket videos, I think I was obsessed. The day I received it I ordered a brisket from a butchery called the right cut and smoked it overnight. The entire process took around 14 hours.

I tried my first bite and I was absolutely hooked. It was insane! I’d never tasted anything like it. And the fact that I was the one who made it gave me a weird sense of pride and accomplishment that I had never felt before. I woke up my entire family at 5 AM to get them to try it. We were all hooked!

I started playing around with my smoker and testing different woods and different meats. I was smoking everything! I invited friends and family to try my food all the time.  Everyone loved it!  The whole thing started when a family member of mine asked me to smoke her a brisket for a gathering she was having at her house.  One of her friends who was at the event called me a few weeks after and asked me to make her a brisket. She then asked me if I could make a whole menu. I did, and the rest is history.

I made smoked brisket, smoked short ribs, Philly cheese steaks, burgers, smoked Mac and cheese, coleslaw and potato salad. It was a hit, and that was how Meat Party BBQ - a parent of The Sandwich Bar - was born.

Could you tell me more about Kitchinco? When and how did it come to be? How does it operate? Is there a story behind the name?

Kitchinco is a business idea that me and a few friends came up with during COVID. We rent commercial kitchen space to F&B brands, and we give them access to the Maadi market whether it’s through delivery, pick-up or dine-in.

I believe you launched The Sandwich Bar last April? How’s it been since? Do you operate only in Maadi?

The sandwich bar is a spin off from one of our most successful menus at meat party BBQ. People loved our burgers, cheesesteaks, wings, and buns. We made them more accessible to everyone through The Sandwich Bar. So you can just come in and have a burger instead of having to host an event. We currently operate in Maadi, but are planning to expand to New Cairo very soon.

Why burgers and BBQ in particular? What would you say makes a sandwich from The Sandwich Bar different?

I think American BBQ is really different to any other type of cooking.  When you put something in the smoker and tend to it for 12 or more hours, and then you see the result and the reactions people give, that is what kept me going.

Burgers are a different story, I think burgers are the one food that everyone can agree on. I took it as a personal challenger to create the perfect burger. It was a trial and error kind of situation with many types of meat and hundreds of different blends and spices, until I came up with the burger that we’re serving at Meat Party BBQ and The Sandwich Bar. Making a burger is easy. But perfecting a burger, that’s a completely different story.

I think what makes our burger different is the quality of the ingredients and the research that’s gone into it.  We only use US Certified Angus Beef and we have a secret blend of cuts exclusive to us. I think another thing that takes our burgers to the next level is freshness. We grind the beef to form the burgers daily on site. We don’t use frozen Patties.

We make everything fresh, we don’t prepare anything in bulk.

What would you say are your personal favourites off the menu?

My favourite is and will always be the Meat Party Original. It’s the burger that put us on the map. I believe to judge the quality of a burger, you need to have the original.  The Meat Party Original is actually our best selling item, followed by the truffle burger, the Philly cheesesteak and the chipotle chicken burrito.

Do you have any exciting plans in the works?

We are currently finalising a location to open The Sandwich Bar in New Cairo. It should be up and running within a few months. We are also about to open a new sports bar called Tipsy Camel in Maadi. It’ll be the place to watch sports, grab your favourite burger and have a few beers.