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Food & Beverages April, 9 2012

Reasons I’m Not Vegetarian #1: Taiwanese Te-Bao at Baohaus, East Village

Guest writer, Jodie Chan is quite possibly the most hardline carnivore we have met. In the first of what we expect to be many correspondences, Chan get right into it with one of her favorite NYC locales – no greens please.

Respect and tolerance for vegetarian friends or those of any other dietary-isms is one thing, but empathic understanding is another. On the hunt for inspiring meat dishes that can get your vegan neighbor either uncomfortably twitching or privately envious, where better to start than Eddie Huang’s 14th Street Baohaus outpost.

Photography: Jodie Chan

Read and see more on Taiwanese Te-Bao at Baohaus East Village on the following page.

With a Cooking Channel show, a book deal in the works and an Observer front page profile published recently to boot, Huang’s star in New York and to all his fans ‘Fresh off the Boat’ are clearly on the rise. Baohaus, a restaurant which opened on the Lower East Side after Huang gave up on his law career in 2009; and then in East Village July last year, is giving neighbors on 14th Street such as Artichoke Pizza a real run for its money with food unpretentiously satisfying, cheap, fast.

A discreet hole in the wall decorated with family paraphernalia, affectionate cartoon drawings of talking Baos and a printout collage of NBA stars (namely Lin); a visit to this joint with a blasting and curated hip-hop playlist (below) will be inevitably gratifying.

Apart from its heritage, you might not be able to find a direct correlation between Huang’s latest Bao and its namesake, out of the season breakout Jeremy Lin. A clear difference though may be that this Bao with “Taiwanese pork chop with curry seasoning, pickled daikon-carrot, jalapeno, aioli and cilantro” is definitely here to stay and will not be relegated to the Baohaus backbench any time soon.

The lightly battered curry pork chop is no five-game-wonder: with the tender pork meat cooked to order just so and the spicy and sour seasoning enveloped in a fluffy, light and sweet Taiwanese bun, you’ll probably have had a dozen before/if Linsanity is officially over. Is it any wonder that any criticism of Huang- with his awe-inspiring personality and actions, can abate quicker than any other New York-based chef to curiosity and admiration, when he can prove his staying power in such a simple, uncomplicated but powerfully addictive pork chop and bun? If this bao is any indication, there is sure hope for its namesake NYK #17 as well.

Born in Hong Kong, raised in Sydney, Jodie Chan lives in New York where she is a senior account executive at Syndicate Media Group as well as an avid carnivore. On the scour for inspiring, mumble inducing meat dishes, Chan prefers plates that ooze. “No greens on the side, thank you.”

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