If you have Asian parents, you know that they want you to get a good education so you can become a doctor, lawyer or banker. One of the last things they would want you to do is open a restaurant, which is exactly what Eddie Huang did. Before Eddie became semi-famous from the TV show “Fresh Off the Boat,” loosely adapted from his autobiography of the same name, he launched Baohaus in the Lower East Side.
Baohaus, a play on the German word”bauhaus,” serves Taiwanese-Chinese food in a very tiny storefront. You order at the counter, pay and then take a seat.
The menu is limited to five different baos (buns stuffed with various fillings) and three rice bowls. Add some taro fries, sweet bao fries and drinks and you’ve got the entire repertoire.
With Eddie being the hip hop lover that he is, the music here follows suit. The familiar strains of Nelly’s “It’s Getting Hot in Here” started up as soon as we sat down.
The Chairman Bao is their signature dish – braised pork belly, relish, peanuts and cilantro. If you’re squeamish about pork fat, this one is not for you. The younger me would have wolfed this one down without editing out the fat.
For the pork fat fearing, there’s the Birdhaus Bao (fried chicken, lemon garlic aioli, peanuts and cilantro, Fried Fish Bao (tartar sauce, slaw, fried garlic peanuts and cilantro), and, for the vegetarians, Uncle Jesse Bao (tofu, peanuts, cilantro and sauce). The flavors here are way more authentic than the similar Take A Bao in Los Angeles. The meat used is all natural, antibiotic and hormone-free and the soy milk and tofu are non-GMO – all good signs that the chef cares about what he’s doing.
Eddie’s been a rebel his entire life – from his love of hip hop music to giving up being an attorney and opening up a restaurant. What matters is that he’s keeping it real and doing it with heart, which makes him a success in my eyes. His parents should be proud.
Location – 238 East 14th Street, New York, 10003
Website – http://www.baohausnyc.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes