Don’t you hate it when you go to a place you’re super excited about and it doesn’t live up to the hype? That happens for me a lot. What doesn’t happen for me so often is going to a place that you are super excited about and it’s flat out not good.
I’m a huge Baoguette fan. Haven’t been back since that review, but I always see it on St. Marks and consider it strongly when I walk by. Since Baoguette was so good, I figure Baohaus would come through on flavor as well.
Baohaus is weak. I wanted to like it, I was pumped to go, we (the NYC Food Guy and I) even had a few drinks before arriving, and when we finally tasted the stuff, it wasn’t just underwhelming, it wasn’t very good. Turns out that Baohaus and Baoguette are under completely different management.
Being big Momofuku fans, we had to try the Chairman Bao (pork belly):
Don’t come in here thinking you’re going to get anything like a pork bun from Momofuku or you will be severely disappointed. I mean, My recommendation is not to come in here at all, but if you do, just don’t expect to get something similar for basically the same price. The pork was not of the same quality, far too fatty and the bun (this goes for all the buns) were chewier than I prefer.
Next up was the Birdhouse Bao (chicken):
Too many peanuts, not enough chicken. The menu says free-range and marinated overnight … I couldn’t tell if it was any more chicken-y than regular chicken you get anywhere else because of all the peanuts. If it was better chicken, you think they would want to showcase it and not drown it in other, overpowering flavors.
The Haus Bao (hanger steak) wasn’t awful:
It was the second favorite. There’s a relish that is supposed to be a complimentary flavor but it just didn’t work for me. The hanger steak was pretty juicy and tasty by itself, but the bun and the relish didn’t wow me.
Now we come to the unassuming Uncle Jesse (tofu):
This was probably the best bao of the bunch for the sole reason that the taste exceeded our lowered expectations for the baos in general and vegetarian dishes as a whole. Nothing was particular worthy of a return, but if you read this and fuck my couch anyway, you should probably get the Uncle Jesse.
The Sweet Bao Fries (fried bao) taste like an airplane lavatory:
Seriously. You know how Jelly Belly does those crazy flavors like “Baby Wipes” and “Skunk?” I felt like the researchers nailed it on this one – Airplane Bathroom, all the way. Go there and try it – you’re going to be amazed at how dead on this is.
The one saving grace here was the Sarsparilla:
The only problem is that it cost 100% more than it did next door at just about any of the Chinese bodegas around this place. I’ve since picked a few of these up as I’ve traveled around Chinatown, getting much better food to accompany them.
Looking back on this, we came in at about 11 – maybe everything here was just not as fresh as it is around lunchtime. If I had the New York Times budget, I’d go back during the day to see if this changed, but I don’t, so restaurants only get one shot to woo me. It’s unfortunate, and I may get food that’s not indicative of normal quality levels, but that’s what you get (sorry).
I was walking by Katz’s yesterday with Orchid and told her that she had to try the pastrami. We ducked in, I told her to tip a cutter and ask for a slice, and what we got was dry and just warm. I’m used to the hot, moist stuff you get at lunchtime. It was still good, but it wasn’t great.
I thought Eddie Huang was one for two with me right now because of the mistaken Baohaus/Baoguette connection, but he was 0-1. After attending his new Xiao Ye (that I won’t bother to write about or review because it was that terrible) he’s 0-2.
137 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002