Thursday, February 12, 2009

Baoguette - Manhattan

Banh Mi Pushes into Curry Hill
The Vietnamese sandwich newcomer with the cute name is scrambling to keep up with the crush of patrons and the learning curve.

When I arrived at 1:45 in the afternoon, the place was packed back to the door, which is usually a good sign. There was a line to order and a spillover waiting for their sandwiches.
It's a tiny spot, with space for 8 along one wall which seems too tight to be comfortable. The menu is small as well - there are four variations of Banh Mi: barbecue chicken, catfish, spicy curry beef and the namesake "Baoguette" - a mix of pork, pork terrine and pate. I don't like pate so I crossed that off immediately and, after some thought, settled on the barbecue chicken.

After a long wait it became clear that the sandwich-crafters were having trouble keeping up with the orders. They botched a few, got flummoxed by the re-dos and sweated under the steady gaze of those waiting along the wall. They began to look as stressed as the cartoon spicy girl posted on the register.

I eventually got my sandwich and carried it back to work. When I unwrapped it I was not disappointed in the least. It was stuffed to the gills, the fresh veggies peeking out from a crusty baguette that felt sturdy to the touch.

I tore it in half to take a closer look. Wierd, that doesn't look like chicken.... I took a bite and slumped in my chair. They mistakenly gave me the Baoguette - the one with pork and pate. I made my way through it, as much as I dislike pate. The spicy kick helped as did the tasty bread. If these guys can get their act together they might be onto something. I'll reserve judgment for now - I'll make another trip soon to try the barbecue chicken.
25th & 26th Street

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  1. Hanco and this? Which would it be babe?

  2. At this point, Hanco's for sure. But, I will give this place another shot - I need to compare apples to apples.