Baoguette’s Out of Bounds Banh Mi is Worth the Extra Walk
I may be in the minority, but I happen to like the banh mi at Boi to Go (on 2nd Ave. btw. 42+43rd), and their newly opened Boi Sandwich (on 3rd Ave. btw. 44+45th). But even I’ll admit, it’s only good for Midtown. Put their $8 Vietnamese sandwich in Chinatown and I probably wouldn’t even give it a second look. So dreaming of something a little better, I decided earlier in the week to venture just outside the Midtown Lunch boundaries to try Baoguette, Chef Michale Huynh’s new take-out Banh Mi counter on Lexington btw 25+26th Street. It replaced a closed down Blimpie (unlike our three closed Blimpies which remain empty) and I have to say, if you work in the southern part of Midtown- the choice between waking 8 blocks north to Boi Sandwich, or 10 blocks south to Baoguette is no choice at all.
First of all, the standard “baoguette” is a still-expensive-compared-to-Chinatown but completely reasonable $5. It comes with everything you would want from a classic Vietnamese sandwich: pork, pate, julienned carrots and cucumber, and cilantro. Ask for it spicy and they add sliced jalapenos, and sweet and spicy siracha (I’m only guessing here) based sauce. The pork is super flavorful, the sauce is great, the french baguette is fresh, and it’s got a real nice kick (if you ask for it spicy.) It may not replace your weekend trip to Sunset Park or Chinatown, but it’s a damn fine sandwich.
In addition to the standard baoguette, they also offer a $5 chicken version, and a $7 “sloppy bao” curry beef version (hello!), both of which also sound delicious. But the real star appears to be the $7 catfish sandwich… which I fully intend to try on my next visit. Yes, that’s right. There will most definitely be another visit. After all, boundaries don’t really stand a chance when amazing banh mi is involved.
Baoguette, 61 Lexington Avenue (btw. 25+26th), 212-518-4089