While walking around the ‘hood recently, I’d been noticing that Baoguette, the gourmet banh mi outpost on Lexington opposite the Armory, was ominously closed; today the construction notices and lack of signs made it final: Baoguette is no more.
Opened in 2009 or so by celebrity chefs Michael Huynh and Thao Nguyen, Baoguette’s sandwiches led the banh mi craze which briefly enveloped Manhattan. And for MoCCA attendees, this was THE place to meet up, as everyone lined up for their fragrant catfish or spicy chicken sandwiches, all laced with sriracha sauce and pickled carrots, and served on amazing crusty bread. A star of our annual dining guide, Bauguette was part of the MoCCA experience.
Alas, Huynh and Nguyen seem to have pulled up stakes in all of their NYC restaurants….it’s a tough business.
For those planning to come to MoCCA this year, there is a Vietnamese place around the corner, Luu’s — I haven’t had their banh mi, but their bao and bun are OK. Nothing too exciting. For the closest thing to Baoguette there’s Num Pang a few blocks away — Cambodian sandwiches but very much the same spirit of crusty bread and spicy fillings.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.