Per my sandwich post last week, I was eager to check out Baoguette. I went with two FCIers on Wednesday. We arrived at 1:00 and the place was packed. There are only about 10 bar stools to sit at, so don’t count on eating your Vietnamese feast there, unless you can spare the time to wait. We actually only waited for 10 minutes before we got seats. It’s not a big shop and it’s quite chaotic, what with the people on line to order, jockeying for seats, waiting for their food and the ones who are just trying to look at the menu and the drink selection.
We ordered the original banh mi, the barbecue chicken banh mi, the spring rolls and the Vietnamese iced coffee. With so much press surrounding this little shop, it’s no wonder the expectations were so high. How can a cheap hero possibly live up to the hype? The answer is, it can’t. I was pretty much starving by time we got our order, I would have eaten anything you put in front of me. No matter, the original baoguette (pork terrine, pate, pulled pork, carrots and cilantro) was good. Not the best thing I’ve ever eaten between two pieces of bread, but tasty, and definitely an excellent value at $5. I never tasted the BBQ chicken sandwich, but the beneficiary of it reported that she was quite pleased. The summer rolls (stuffed with shrimp, vermicelli, lettuce and cilantro) were ok—the peanut dipping sauce was was great. I’d still like to try the banh mi at Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches (their banh mi is only $3.95!) on East 2nd St., so stay tuned for a report on those. And yes, I have tried, and liked, Banh Mi Saigon (a.k.a the jewelry store that also sells sandwiches). If anyone has other banh mi spots to try, send them my way.