CHOW Tour
Two CHOW editors on a caloric extravaganza exploring innovation, novelty, and deliciousness. rss
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BaoHaus: Friendly Bun Shop or Aggressive Foe?

We stumbled across BaoHaus, a tiny counter on the Lower East Side selling gua bao, Taiwanese steamed bun sandwiches, and remembered we'd heard good things about it. Well, actually, we'd heard weird things about it. Like, that the owner was in some kind of dramatic showdown with Chairman Bao, a San Francisco gua bao truck. How dare they call themselves by this cunning name, when BaoHaus has a pork belly bun on its menu also called the Chairman Bao? That’s what BaoHaus chef-owner Eddie Huang was apoplectic about, according to reports. "I am going to sue the living piss out of you. You unoriginal piece of shit," SF Weekly reported that Huang tweeted at one point.

Well, OK.

We sat down on BaoHaus's rickety Ikea-style stools and enjoyed a signature bao: a three-bite steamed bun filled with fork-tender hanger steak and topped with sweet-salty peanuts and Taiwanese red sugar that immediately went all over our laps and the counter. I can imagine inhaling a few of these on a late night out (the place stays open until 2 a.m. on the weekends).

We also tried the vegetarian, which contained molten-hot fried tofu that had been dredged in sweet potato starch, which gave it a light, crunchy coating without making it feel too heavy. It was sauced with a bright orange dash of what tasted like Sriracha and mayo. Too bad we’ll mostly likely be gone by the time BaoHaus chef Eddie Huang opens his new sit-down place, Xiao Ye.

Need we say we are eager to now try the SF-based Chairman Bao, this place's archrival?