Boi Restaurant Goes Downscale, Renamed “Foodie”
The Boi restaurants were at one point a God-send for those of us in Midtown East: pretty decent Vietnamese, only slightly overpriced for what it was. Plus, Boi To Go was one of the first places to offer the elusive banh mi in Midtown; granted it wasn’t Chinatown-cheap style banh mi, but we take what we can get here, don’t we? For a while they’ve been going through some changes, beginning with Boi To Go shuttering back in August which wasn’t a huge shock considering that Boi Sandwich is practically identical and one avenue over. But when we heard yesterday that they had closed Boi Restaurant, their slightly upscale Vietnamese flagship (on 44th btw. 2+3rd), that was kind of surprising. Even more surprising? The new name. Ladies and gentleman, meet “Foodie”.
Yes, Foodie. I don’t know either. The menu seems to be modeled after Boi Noodles (on 40th btw. 7+8th), with build your own lunch boxes, 9 different soups, dumplings. “small dishes” and (of course) banh mi. The set up is similar to the former Boi Sandwich, just in a much larger space. Tables in the front, you order in the back, and check out a few food cases in between. For this visit, I went with the classic Banh Mi “Saigon”.
The fresh baguette is literally overflowing with carrot and daikon, leaving little room for the meats (ham, Vietnamese ham, BBQ pork, and Pate). It tastes exactly as before, but I did note that there seemed to be much less pate than the last time I had them. My banh mi experience has increased only slightly since that last time, but this struck me as a good beginner banh mi for those of you out there hesitant to try one. And for a $7 sandwich that’s as big as my forearm, it’s not a bad deal either.
Sandwiches are still made to order, so expect to wait at least a few minutes, and those said food cases were empty when I was there. I plan on stopping back in soon to try out their handmade dumplings, another Chinatown offering sorely lacking in our neck of the woods.
Foodie, 246 E. 44th Street (btw 2nd+3rd), 212-681-6541