Your First Look at the Now Open Boi Noodles

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When looking for Vietnamese food in Midtown, you kinda have to take what you can get. For those of you hankering for authentic and cheap… the subway to Chinatown is your best bet (and even that is questionable.) If you’ve got to stay in Midtown West, you’re stuck with Chicken House (on 36th btw. 7+8th) and now Boi Noodles- which opened today on 40th btw 7+8th Ave. If you’ve been to Boi Sandwich or Boi To Go (on the east side), you should be prepared for the sticker shock (banh mi sandwiches are $6.89, noodle soups are $7.35, and lunch boxes are in the $7 to $8 dollar range.)

Check out a few pictures of the interior after the jump.

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The seating area is upstairs and features picnic style benches. There’s plenty of seating and it wasn’t that crowded when we were there between Noon and 1pm. (Although it sounds like things started to pick up once the New York Times employees started taking their lunch breaks…)  We’ll have to wait and see how the lunching crowd takes to this new option…  check out the menu here, and early adopters should report back in the comments.

Related:
Menu Revealed: Boi Noodles Opening on Thursday
Boi to Go (aka How I Learned to Love the $7.50 Banh Mi)

13 Comments

  • I was there around 1:15 and it was pretty crowded. The way you order is a bit convoluted. You go wait in line towards the back to order, then go up front to pay, then go back to the back to wait for your order. I got the #9 (Banh Mi Saigon) and it was pretty tasty and definitely big enough to fill you up. I had banh mi for the first time recently at Baoguette, so I’m no expert, but Baogette’s was definitely better. Their vegetables were more flavorful and the sandwich just seemed a little jucier in general than Boi. Boi’s roll was very good though. We’re kind of limited as far as banh mi goes in midtown west though, so I think I’ll definitely be back. Here’s a picture (sorry for the crappy quality, something something iPhone….)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/14113936@N02/4636576206/

  • I just had the lunch box with pork and spicy soy sauce, not bad at all, lots of veggies and cilantro, it was busy but they kept the bodies moving, I’ll be back soon for sure but hope they figure out how to corral the herd better.

  • I too had the #9 today. I quite enjoyed it. Good baguette, nice stiff crust, as a baguette should have(cough, cough, italian soggy fake baguette) The toppings weren’t overpowering the meat, good cilantro taste. As soon as the multiple line situation is understood/stanchion-ed off I think it will be a bit smoother. So much better than chicken house, just not even comparable. Will have to try the Pho on the next rainy day. The closest pho to me is the underwhelming Cafe Duke stuff(cilantro not basil?) or Saigon 48.

  • a grand opening special would be nice…2 for 1 banh mi, free summer roll or bubble tea with purchase

    what do you say boi? make us an offer. convince me that i shouldn’t hop on the Q for a 3.75 spicy #1 at saigon.

    • The only place that needs the grand opening special is Pizza cone place…cuz i still wouldn’t go even if it was buy one get one free…

  • it does not take 7 years to learn to chop up a fucking fish

  • I don’t know about $7 banh mi. Especially when it’s easier to get to Baoguette from my office or travel further down to Banh Mi Saigon. At least it’s next to Popeye’s!! (Baoguette on 20-21 also has a Popeye’s nearby 26.)

  • I was going to say, “F*ck communal seating,” but I don’t work anywhere near this place, so it doesn’t matter.

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    Ok, just had lunch from Boi Noodles and here are my initial thoughts:

    1. The Space/service: totally sterile and bland space a la Chipotle. Not a deal-breaker as there are plenty of sterile spots in midtown serving good food (Maoz, Crisp, etc). Perhaps because they just opened it hasn’t been lived in enough but here is a palpable soullessness to the space. As previously stated the line system there is absurdly convoluted and confusing. Even the staff seemed a bit confused/overwhelmed. Confusing ordering system aside the staff did seem pretty friendly with the exception of the very loud and overly-aggressive woman, who I am assuming is either the manager or owner.
    2. The Food: I ordered the beef pho to go. At $8 it is definitely over-priced but this isn’t Mott St so I can’t really complain. First offense, and this is a BIG no-no, they didn’t include a side of bean sprouts, basil, lime, etc. Instead the threw a few measly sprouts into the soup itself. This really gets my goat. I like a lot of bean sprouts and basil in my pho not to mention that by the time I got back to my office the few bean sprouts that they did include were pretty limp, robbing the soup of the crunch component. Secondly the noodles were WHACK. They looked like Lipton. The beef was pretty scarce and that’s a good thing as it tasted like perhaps it was cooked last week. The only saving grace of this train wreck of a soup was the broth. Nice balance of fatty beefiness and cinnamon.

    My overall impression is that they are young and maybe will get it together after a bit of time. Of course they could also slip quietly into the night of mediocrity that is Midtown dining…

    • You felt the need to start a thread and post here with the exact same review? Someone likes the sound of their own voice :) Though I did like the phrase “palpable soulessness.”

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    I got the beef balls pho (thought I ordered the pho Saigon, that is beside the point tho) and thought it was crap. The noodles were lifeless, and broth flavorless. The beef balls also lacked flavor and were more tough then I am used to.
    Had a spring roll as well, which fell apart. Was nothing memorable about it.
    I’d go back to try the Bahn mi, but would not get the pho again

    Yeah- like everyone else said, ordering was disorganized, but certainly they will correct that.

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