Fake Meat Banh Mi: Not As Bad As You’d Think!

When profiled lunch’er Chirag mentioned one of his favorite lunches downtown was the veguette banh mi at Baoguette, I was both intrigued and skeptical. To me soy protein masquerading as a meat product (in this case kung pao chicken) is kind of like the McRib: trying to be something it’s not. I know not everyone eats meat and as it’s one of the only vegetarian banh mi options in the Financial District (other than Nicky’s Vietnamese tofu version). Clearly someone had to try this sandwich for research purposes.

I think I’ve tried about every sandwich at Baoguette except for this one, and my favorite is the catfish. I learned while buying the veguette that the honey mustard coating the catfish is straight up Kraft out of a giant jug that was sitting on a shelf.

The veguette is the same as the other Baoguette sandwiches except it contains a tan colored soy protein that is kind of the consistency of a fried egg, but jiggles. This was a little scary, but I forged on and found that this sandwich isn’t bad.

Honestly, the “chicken” kind of took a backseat to all of the other flavors going on so you can’t really taste it. It kind of has a sweet sauce on it that blends in with the pickled carrots and cucumber. It seems like the sandwich construction has gotten a little better than the last time I ate here, meaning that there weren’t entire bushes of cilantro going on.

If you’re a vegetarian who isn’t afraid of fake meat products, I would recommend checking this out. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that if you are a meat or seafood eater this is probably not going to be your new favorite Baoguette sandwich.

Baoguette, 9 Maiden Lane (btw. Broadway & Nassau), (212) 233-3400



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