BAOGUETTE: 37 ST. MARKS PLACE, NEW YORK (AND 61 LEX AND 120 CHRISTOPHER AND…)
After an event in the East Village last week we were in search of a decent sandwich before heading home. My initial thought was to head to Porchetta on East 7th for their remarkable porchetta sandwich, complete with crispy pork skin on a chewy baguette, perhaps with a plate of crispy potatoes and burnt ends [yes, burnt ends!!]
“It’s open late,” I said. But I was wrong, they close at 10 Sunday-Thursday.
Plan B – equally genius – was to walk a scant three blocks to Baoguette on St. Marks. I first wrote about Vietnamese bahn mi sandwiches nearly a year ago, before they started popping up everywhere in the city. Now, your bahn mi choices run the gamut, from cheap and traditional to less-cheap, with fancy ingredients, served to you by hipsters in Brooklyn. They are all good.
Bahn mi is a Vietnamese baguette sandwich traditionally filled with pork, pâté, pickled carrots and other vegetables and jalepeños. The baguette itself is extremely light and crispy, because of the incorporation of rice flour in the dough.
I went for the pork chop bahn mi this time, with grilled pork and a fried egg, extra spicy. The fried egg, oozing golden yolk all over the place, was key; the fat and protein in the egg cut the heat a little and provided a silky, rich component to the baguette. And all of this for between six and eight bucks.
Baogette also serves a few other traditional Vietnamese dishes, spring rolls and the like [as well as sweet, Vietnamese iced coffee], but the star here really is the bahn mi.