I swear it wasn’t more than 6 weeks ago when I was last in Bamn! on St. Mark’s, trying to explain its pinkess to a friend from out of town. I admit, I didn’t visit Bamn! all that often, but I stopped by every now and then during the summer for their soft-serve green tea ice cream. With that block being everything-crazy-and-Japanese these days, I was rather surprised to hear it was turning into a Baoguette. As of one week ago, the new spot wasn’t open yet, but it was in full swing this afternoon (okay, a few things weren’t on the menu yet), so I stopped in.
I don’t really do “uptown,” so I never made it to the original Baoguette on Lex. It was on my list for months though. Then I fell in love with Num Pang a couple of weeks ago and figured I was all set for sandwiches. Then again, Baoguette has a cute decor and actual table service. That’s a big plus.
Ordering the spicy beef noodle soup was almost an afterthought, but thank goodness we made the right choice. Nice broth, just the right amount of spice, fresh scallions, cilantro and red onions to brighten the flavors, tender beef, potatoes, carrots, and soft noodles. Baoguette really knows what they’re doing with pho.
But it’s all about the sandwiches, right? Well, Baoguette’s catfish sandwich has been getting rave reviews for months, so it had to be at least pretty good. It’s a lot better than that though — great toasted bread, yummy fried fish, little bits of pickle-y stuff, and just the right amount of spice from that honey mustard aoili. I could eat this sandwich often. The classic sandwich is a treat as well, with three types of pork, pickled daikon, and that great toasted roll. The sandwiches are served with a little bowl of fish sauce (or something made from it) for dipping. And at $5, that classic sandwich is priced just right. Maybe best of all, they’re served in these cute, little Chinese take-out-style boxes. Did I mention the waitservice is great too? Our waitress gave us a sample of the soft serve ice cream (is that machine leftover from Bamn!?) to try, just to make the $21 meal seem like an even better value. So add Baoguette to my “visit often” list — good thing I hear they’re opening a third location soon.