Merguez SandwichMerguez is the hot dog of Morocco. In fact, this spicy lamb sausage may be nudging out couscous as the dish most associated with this North African country of so many culinary delights. In America, you find merguez most often at trendy restaurants, but in Morocco it's a more casual treat you can get on the street. It's also all over Paris, where it joins paté and jambon as standard sandwich fillings. But if you venture to the far reaches of Astoria, you can experience merguez the way it ought to be, at a corner joint called Little Morocco.

All the sausages here are mixed and packed on site, in natural casings. They have less fiery heat and more earthy depth than those you've probably encountered before. You can choose between the traditional lamb or the more American-friendly chicken version, both laced with harissa (the red chile spice mix of North Africa). If you get it in a sandwich (recommended, at $5), it comes topped with a chopped salad of tomatoes, lettuce, and green olives (with real bite—imported). The bread, a fresh French roll, is split and toasted on the same grill as the sausages.

If you're a merguez convert already, you may be ready for kebda. Like merguez, this is a narrow-gauge, spiral-shaped sausage, but it's made of the most special parts of the lamb: heart and liver. Don't wretch—this is a lot more appealing than any chopped liver you've tasted. Lamb liver has a meatier taste and more toothsome texture than chicken liver. In fact, after the first bite, kebda is quite addictive. Among the other grillades, as kebabs are called in French, here are marinated lamb cubes, chicken breast cubes, and kefta (ground lamb with spices). On Fridays special couscous stews are served. But beware: the full menu is rarely available. Little Morocco is run more like a neighborhood kitchen. It's a spot where countrymen can stand around chatting and gorging on meat at one of the outside tables (the indoor ones are usually enveloped in smoke from the grill). But we look forward to the day when merguez sandwiches rise to challenge the insipid hot dogs that rule at carts throughout the city.