I have only been familiar with Vietnamese sandwiches, Banh Mi, for about a year, but I think they are pretty special. They are traditionally made of pork, beef, pate, or chicken, covered with pickled carrots and daikon, onions, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeño peppers and a mayonnaise spread. The salty meat combined with the sweet, acid, and spicy flavors combined on a crusty French baguette, makes for a truly original sandwich.
61 Lexington Ave (25/26), NYC
I have had Banh Mi a few times, but none better than Baoguette. This little shop, a renovated Blimpies, offers a few salads and noodle dishes, but the standout, as the name suggests, is the Banh Mi. The bread come right from the oven and the toppings and flavor combos are unique and very satisfying. We had the BBQ CHICKEN: Pickled Daikon, Cilantro, Cucumber, Garlic Aoli; SLOPPY BAO: Spicy Curry Beef, Green Mango, Basil, Lemongrass; and CAT FISH: Cucumber Relish, Pickled Red Onion, Honey Mustard Sauce. From some reason we skipped the namesake Baoguette, but there’s always next time. As Spud said, if this place was a block from work, she’d eat it daily. She could too, as all the sandwiches are $5-$7. Besides the food, I like that the owners try hard, and know their customer base. They have a nice website, are interested in getting press and may be affiliated with Bao Noodles and Bao 111, although I’m not sure. I wouldn’t be surprised if one ends up on Spud’s block, the owners seem ambitious. I think Baoguette is superior to Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches and deserves a GOLDEN BONZNE for its quality, value, and converting an old Blimpies.