Food so good you’ll want to bao to me. That’s not a typo, that’s just what’s being served at the hip hole-in-the-wall joint, Baohaus. Baos are delicious Taiwanese buns typically filled with braised pork belly, crushed peanuts, hoisin sauce, and garnish. Think of Asia’s answer to the taco, for the tame people who would prefer to eat the same thing over and over again.
If you are feeling adventurous towards something other than the Chinese takeout you call Asian food, stop by Baohaus. I’m suggesting this place because the atmosphere is very different from what you’d find at a typical Chinatown restaurant. The owner, Eddie Huang, has transfused his love of hip-hop culture into the restaurant. Baohaus’s interior is covered in graffiti, blasting Wu-Tang, and is very tiny: its not a fancy restaurant. It’s a cool and hip environment, most likely catering to the NYU college types, as it’s located right by Union Square.
I suggest you order the chicken “Birdhaus” bao if you have never tried pork belly. If you’re a true boss, you would order the “Chairman” bao (the pork belly). Pork belly is a delicious piece of meat that I would describe as thick cut bacon on steroids and crack. I suggested their flagship menu item (the Chairman) second, because every time I have my white friends try it, they get spooked by its fatty texture. In my opinion, I’m just introducing them to something they’ve never had, but its damn good.
Other menu items I would suggest would include the taro fried, fresh soy milk, and the “Uncle Jesse” bao if you are a vegetarian. Taro is a root vegetable that strays from the typical potato. Baohaus’ soy milk is more Asian influenced as a sweet drink, not the typical soy milk sold in stores.