Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Craving BaoBQ

Asian BBQ comes to the East Village
Ever enterprising restaurateur Michael Bao Huynh (Baoguette, Mikey's Burger) strikes again. And I'm hooked. BaoBQ, his latest EV cheap eats dining concept, celebrates Southeast Asian barbecue, a favorite of Huynh's.

"In Vietnam, it's everywhere," he explains of his native home. I can see why.

Since its quiet opening just before Christmas, I've been a regular. I crave the chicken. A lot. Instead of writing about it, I've just been eating it.

Thai smoked BBQ chicken
BBQ pork chops with dirty rice

Two styles of BBQ chicken are house specials: lemongrass marinated Thai (my favorite), and chili glazed Vietnamese. Both are smoked and finished by char grilling over apple wood. The meat just clings to perfectly crisped skin as it falls off the bone.

Then there are the addictive homemade dipping sauces. Classic Vietnamese nuoc cham is mildly spicy and sticky, and Huynh's own "Super Bao" hot sauce lives up to its name.

Vietnamese grilled pork chops are also bone gnawingly good. The roasted cauliflower, and sticky rice top my list of mostly traditional sides which nicely compliment the meat. The underdressed som tam (papaya salad) could use more tang. Noodle dishes and other grilled items, including Korean bulgogi, round out the menu.

A new favorite BBQ with a twist
Huynh is a very physical presence at BaoBQ these days. But, not surprisingly, his mind is already on his next neighborhood venture opening in March: Mikey's Cheesesteak. No doubt the classic sandwich will get a Baoified twist.

Note: A few months ago, I wrote about best East Village deliveries for $10. BaoBQ now tops this list.

229 First Ave
(between 13th + 14th Sts)
212 475 7011
Delivery available
Average entree $9

BaoBQ on Urbanspoon


  1. This is my favorite food blog of all time. It's so well-written and everything makes my mouth water.

  2. Wow, dem717, I'm really flattered and touched. Thanks so much for reading and writing. I'll do my best to keep uncovering mouth watering places!