There is this rising trend of sandwich shops all over the city. Here’s a post about a previous visit to the Baoguette Cafe and their gourmet banh mi sandwiches. Baoguette have multiple locations in Manhattan. I’ve only been to the East Village one (at 37 Saint Marks Place near 2nd Ave) and the West Village one (at 120 Christopher St near Bedford St).
Anatomy of a Banh Mi
A banh mi consists of thinly sliced picked carrots and daikon, onions, cucumbers, cilantro, and jalapeno peppers, pâté (ground pork meat paste loaf), and meat fillings or tofu/ vegetarian protein, all served in a warm baguette.
The traditional baguette is crispy on the outside and light and fluffy (just the right amount of fluffiness) in the inside.
Popular fillings include grilled pork, Vietnamese ham, chicken, scrambled eggs, pork meatballs. Popular condiments include fish sauce, mayonnaise, hot sauce.
A browse through their menu… Their sandwich prices range from $5 to $8. Their classic banh mi (baoguette) contains pork shoulder, slices of pork terine, chicken liver pate, and cilantro, pickled daikon and carrot, and goes for $5. Jalapeno slices are added on request. They have their signature banh mis like the spicy cat fish and the sloppy bao which go for $7. The sloppy bao has spicy curry beef, green mango, and basil. THere’s also a vegetarian option, the veguette, which has kung pao soy protein instead of pork. They also serve spring rolls, summer rolls, pho, rice vermicelli, and other vietnamese dishes. The cold vermicelli noodle dishes and hot beef noodle soup (pho) are $8. The summer rolls for $6. And yes, they serve Vietnamese coffee.
I’m not sure how I feel about Baoguette. The food was good but not amazing. The place is quite trendy and I find the prices a bit more expensive than it should be. Banh mi usually costs $3-$5. I think adding a fried egg into the sandwich is a great idea. Baguette offers a nice selection of banh mi sandwiches, but it doesn’t compare to your Chinatown banh mi options.
I found Baoguette to be satisfactory. It’s a good place for banh mi in the area, but I still prefer the banh mi from Chinatown. If you want the authentic banh mi, I would recommend heading to Banh Mi Saigan Bakery in Chinatown. Another recommendation would be Paris Sandwich Bakery Cafe. I would return to Baoguette, but it won’t be my top pick for banh mi.