Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Splurge: Baohaus (Manhattan, NY)

When you've tried to eat clean all week and your best friend asks you to join her for lunch at Baohaus, you have to say yes. So I did. It definitely didn't take any convincing or pleading on Ari's part. Asian cuisine is my jam. 

The restaurant in question, which looked more like a hole in the wall to me, was Baohaus on 14th Street. While very nondescript on the outside, Baohaus was bursting from the seams with personality on the inside...  the decor - though minimal - gave a nod to the hip-hop generation and still managed to throw a little personal culture into the mix.

Baohaus is owned by two brothers, Eddie and Evan Huang. Eddie quit his job as an attorney to pursue his passion, and on Christmas Eve of 2009, they opened their first location on the Lower East Side. The whole location was no larger than 400 square feet and served up inventive Taiwanese-Chinese food.

These days, nothing much has changed. The newer space on 14th Street is still quite small, but in this way, it retains its charm. The walls are covered with old pictures of the Huang family, comical art depicting their culinary creations and even an old poster of Kate Moss smoking a cigarette (hey, if you're dining alone at least you're in good company).

Even though we were clearly splurging, the Huang brothers make sure you don't have to feel guilty about everything! They use all-natural, antibiotic and hormone free meats, organic tofu and fry it all up in soy oil. I guess there could be worse choices!

Though we sampled just about every bao on the menu, the Birdhaus Bao was melt in your mouth delicious. The chicken was brined for 24 hours, fried and topped with the Haus Seasoning Salt, cilantro, crushed peanuts and Taiwanese red sugar. They also give you the option to 'GO LOKO' and dip your chicken in the General Loko Sauce.

Oh what the hell! I might as well share my pictures of the Chairman Bao, Uncle Jesse Bao and Broccolini Bao. You don't mind, right?

If you find yourself trekking to Trader Joe's to stock up on some 2 Buck Chuck, do yourself a favor and make a quick pit stop at Baohaus. That line at TJ's is LONG... you'll need some sustenance!

238 East 14th Street (at 2nd Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

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