Two Years In, Baoguette’s Catfish Banh Mi Is Still My Go-To Lunch

This week marks two years since I’ve started writing¬† for you fine people on Midtown Lunch: Downtown and I thought it might be fun to tell you about some non-review lunches that I’ve eaten on a regular basis since I started working in the Financial District but haven’t ever written about. I’m saving my most shameful guilty pleasure lunch for the end of the week, but today you get the lunch that I’ve probably eaten the most when I’m crunched for time or can’t think of anything else imaginative to stuff in my face. That would be the catfish banh mi from Baoguette, extra spicy.

The old Baoguette location was dangerously close to my office and while I was sad when coffee shop Klatch closed, I was really excited to have a source of banh mi this close to me. This was before Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches opened on Nassau St., and I wasn’t really willing to trek down to the No. 1 Banh Mi Cart at Hanover Sq. Sometimes I’d walk over to Mangez Avec Moi Express on W. Broadway but even that was a little too far sometimes when I was feeling lazy. Then Baoguette moved a couple of blocks away on Nassau St. (btw. John & Fulton) and while I occasionally forget about it/don’t want to deal with the narrow sidewalks due to construction, I still find myself there semi-regularly.

Amazingly, no one’s written about this sandwich on ML: Downtown. If you’ve never eaten it, the catfish variety ($7.50) involves a couple of substantial hunks of fish bathed in a honey mustard sauce, along with pickled red onion, cilantro, cucumber relish plus jalapeno if you so desire. The baguette is nicely crisped and ensures you’ll have a pile of bread shards on yourself and possibly honey mustard sauce dripping down your hand. Make sure and grab plenty of napkins and don’t eat this if you’re wearing white.

I’m not entirely sure why I love this sandwich so much more than others, but I think it makes me feel like I’m eating healthy (it’s fish! there are vegetables! it’s not brimming with fresh mozzarella!) while eating an entire baguette. The flavors are also a little brighter than what you normally get in a banh mi where the sauces are pretty much limited to a swipe of mayo and some sriracha.

Stay tuned later this week for a couple more lunches that I’ve been keeping under my hat, including one that may or may not be a salad.

Baoguette, 75 Nassau St. (btw. John & Fulton), (212) 510-8787

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