Hot damn I’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches lately, but this one really was a new one in the mix.
A Baoguette Cafe opened relatively recently (I’m pretty sure I knew that) on St. Mark’s Place, after the success of the Lexington Avenue location, which was opened after chef/owner Michael Huynh came up at Mai House, a that point which I don’t know enough about Mr. Huynh to know about what came before that, but it sort of sounds like he’s had some good ideas here and there so I’d expect there are others … and all of which is to be followed soon by a Baoguette Cafe opening in another neighborhood where I end up spending quite a bit of time, on Christopher Street in the West Village, between Bedford and Bleeker, due open later this summer.
I had the classic banh mi — which, in terms of a technical description, I really can’t do better than this post by Ed Levine who describes it as:
“elevated by a house-made pork pate, house-made terrine, and thin slices of house-roasted pork belly. Hyunh’s house-made pork products beat the hell out of the usual canned and purchased stuff used by just about every other banh mi place I know in New York. The sandwich is filled (but not overfilled) out by pickled daikon, cilantro, and jalapeño, and then dabbed with house-made mayo, meat pan drippings, fish sauce, and optional hot sauce (Sriracha).”
See what I mean? Just wants to make you say, “Yeah, what he said.” I think it was the first time I consciously ordered terrine, I know I’ve had it before, so it was a big night. My gut reaction? Mmm … salty, a little Spam-y (on a good day) and not unlike some sort of has or decased sausage.
The flavors overall were complimentary — and I’m sure this has been said before — the freshness of the herbs, the jalapenoes, then the sticky-sweetness of the terrine, I’m assuming, then finally the savory of the pate and pork belly.
It was a good first. I’ll be back. In the meantime I leave you with the question I posed on Twitter just a bit ago, why do I like to take pictures of condiments?
COST: $5. a steal.
PREP TIME: anticipation.