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Sam’s Moroccan Sandwich Shop opens at 23rd and Union

Sam (Images: CHS)

Sam (Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

Sam’s Moroccan Sandwich Shop — opened up at 23rd Ave and Union a month ago — is named after Hisham Habchi. Hisham Habchi, of course, goes by Sam. The shop sells all kinds of sandwiches. The most popular seems to be the tuna sandwich which they call, in a simplified spelling of its Spanish inspiration, “Pocadio Tuna”.

“Morocco was a Spanish colony in the past and a lot of our dishes have a Spanish influence in them also,” the Moroccan Habchi tells CHS.

The shop is owned by Habchi and his business partner Mostafa Said. While Habchi is from Morocco and makes different kind of sandwiches from his homeland, his business partner Said hails from Eritrea and has lived in the States for over twenty years. Said said that war with Ethiopia made him flee to Sudan and from there he migrated to the United States.

On a Friday afternoon, you could hear holy music playing in the background as they quietly went about working in the kitchen. The friends met at a local mosque and decided to go into business together.

(Image: Sam's)

(Image: Sam’s)

20141010_131703Besides owning a restaurant, Said also works part-time at Uber. “I hardly get to see my kids,” Said told CHS. He has quite the passion for food himself. “I can make shawarma. Basically I make everything. Most of the Moroccan ones I have learned,” Said said.

Habchi moved to the United States eleven years ago and came to Seattle three years ago. Prior to that, he lived in San Francisco where he says he worked in many restaurants.

Doing business in the area has included a few challenges. “I made a sign and put it outside and by the next morning it was gone,” Habchi said. Someone has also broken their window. But the nuisances haven’t stopped them from promoting their shop. They’re also looking for ways to expand their business.

“I recently took my sandwiches to Katy’s Corner Cafe and I am also working on opening up a website,” Habchi said.

The sandwich shop sells a variety of items from pastas to traditional Moroccan sandwiches to soups. Most everything is made from scratch, the partners said. “Even the pasta sauce is my pasta sauce,” Habchi said.

His passion comes from being “Mumma’s boy,” he says. Helping out his mother in the kitchen helped him learn about the food and the spices that he offers to the public ever so proudly now. His favorite is the Moroccan Chicken Wrap with roasted garlic, hummus and roasted red peppers.20141010_130302

Sandwiches are $5.99 each. Sam’s also has homemade hummus, kalamata olives, and other offerings like fries to accompany your sandwich.

The partners said they plan to do something special for the upcoming holidays and, even after the recent unpleasant incidents, they hope that business will pick up.

“Right now, business is good but it could do better,” Habchi said.

Sam’s Moroccan Sandwich Shop is located at 1110 23rd Ave. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM and the shop is closed on Tuesdays. There is no website yet.  Check them out on Facebook.

This entry was posted in Food & Drink, News, etc. and tagged , by Sumedha Majumdar. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sumedha Majumdar

I am an aspiring journalist. I am currently a Journalism major attending school in Seattle University. I am graduating in the Spring. Writing and photography is a hobby and I want to turn them into a lifestyle. I am originally from India and I moved to Seattle back in 2004. My full-time job is in Safeway and I have been there for over ten years. I have always wanted to go into Journalism and have worked in a couple of school newspapers in the past. I have always wanted to cover serious issues and arts and entertainment. I am so looking forward to my internship in CHS and I know that I will be able to learn a lot.
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15 thoughts on “Sam’s Moroccan Sandwich Shop opens at 23rd and Union

  1. I’ve tried going here four times and still haven’t succeeded. Three of those times, it was closed during their posted business hours, and the fourth, they were out of falafel. I really hope they can get it together, because I’d love to try their food :P

  2. I’ve been twice for lunch, and I thought it was great. I would agree with Sam on the Moroccan Chicken being my favorite, but the Pocadio Tuna was also solid. Their homemade hummus is also very good and a lot less ($2.99) than a thing of Sabra or whatever at the grocery store.

  3. Pingback: Etats-Unis : Des sandwichs à la marocaine à Seattle | ZEGPRESS

  4. This is good news for that location, a property that the owners have intentionally let fall into decline.

    If we could get some more small businesses there and chase the gang-bangers out (something I hear the owners won’t do), maybe that site could move from neighborhood disgrace to a neighborhood focal point.

  5. This place was so good I stole half my girlfriend’s meatball sandwich. The sambusa, chicken curry sandwich, and pea soup were also excellent. I will go back all the time to try everything. So cheap and the guy behind the counter was really nice.

  6. I dropped in while passing by and this place is great. Very inexpensive and quite satisfying. Also, I was served tea while waiting for my carryout order.

  7. Sam’s got it down. Such a great, great shop.
    Sandwiches are some of the best I have ever experienced and FRESH, FRESH,
    FRESH! ! ! Five stars here. Sam’s is the best kept secret in Seattle and for
    $5.99 you get a big sandwich that is beautifully seasoned with Sam’s Moroccon
    herbs and spices–beyond delicious! ! !
    Can’t wait to go back.
    Steve Gilbert

  8. Stopped in for lunch today after driving by many times..First off, Sam the owner was great to talk too and super friendly..I got the Chicken Schwarma, a salad( the apple vinegar dressing-Yum)..all to go..the Chicken Schwarma was yummy and I think better than my old neighborhood favorite at Medi Mix..Prices were surprisingly reasonable.. Welcome to the neighborhood Sam–I will be back..

  9. I’ve been to Sam’s twice now- got the kefta burger and curry chicken sandwich and both were excellent. Glad that this place opened up in the neighborhood- good food and really friendly service.

  10. Thanks for the great article on our shop! Mustafa and I are so pleased
    for readers and we welcome them to stop by and explore the menu. .
    We are doing our best to overcome some staffing issues
    and to keep the menu reasonably price and delicious.
    Again, thank you Sumedha. Please come and see us again…

  11. Looks like I’m a bit late to the party, but anyway I visited Sam’s recently and had the chicken wrap, very good and well spiced. I wanted coffee with it, and although the urn was empty (it was late afternoon) he brewed me an individual cup! How many places would do that? Definitely will be back to try other items (the Kefta burger sounds great).

  12. We’ve been excited to try this new addition to the neighborhood and finally got there today, hoping to pick up some sandwiches for lunch. Unfortunately, although the sign said Open, the door was locked. A passerby said that the owner was at prayer and would be back later. No offense to his practice of his religion, but it does seem a little bad for business to be closed at lunch hour when your business is selling sandwiches. I’d suggest to the owner that putting a note to that effect on the Facebook page so people can plan their trip or even a note on the door, saying when he’ll be back, would be helpful. Still hoping to try it someday…