Friday, March 5, 2010
Funkdoobiest- Bow Wow Wow
Fuck it. I give up. Back to back posts and no breaking of virginal ground. I want to plant the flag on Mt. Howfreezy, beat my chest and scream to the world that I've done it yet again. Instead I wave the white handkerchief. Is Howfresh becoming your garden variety food blogger? Uh oh. Not as long as the fitted is a bit too big for the dome. I just can't compete with Sifton & Crew at the Times. They beat me with Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken and I continue to ride coattails with Baohaus. I'll just have to accept sheep status. "Who's the white sheep? How's the white sheep!!" Wait. White?? Baaa baaa. I had intentions of writing this long winded piece about animal sounds, but instead I'll let the skit speak for itself. An HFE post without a Cam reference? Never. Underrated rap on an underrated blog. Shit is pure laughter. A little comic relief. We can laugh right?
Cam'ron - I'm a Chicken Head (Skit)
I'm no pork bun veteran. Fairly new to the swine hot pocket, but based on the caliber of bun I've experienced, I'm confident in my skills to deem Who's Real?? Who's Fake?? Between Ippudo and Momofuku I've eaten a trough's worth of pork belly- delicious, traife, fatty, rich pork belly. So I give Eddie Huang some credit for posting up in the thick of things. Blue Momo Magic got the streets sprung, but he says fuck that and introduces Bao Wao to lower NYC. He's a baod man. The junkies (foodies, bloggers, et al.) are bugging. In fact, this shit is so strong my boy in San Fran got a whiff and kept bugging me to hit it. "Yo How, you got to get some bao. Come on dude. Let me now how it is. Dude just go. Please. Shit looks mean." Dude was open- Bubbles status. Seems as though he's not alone. During my trip there was a line and steady stream of custees the entire time. And they had to open 2 hours later on Monday after exhausting their meat supply during the weekend. Needed that re-up fams but papi was busy getting a Monday morning pedicure.
Don't get it twisted, I'm no pork bun snob. I didn't venture into the baowels of the LES with a chip on my shoulder. I was genuinely excited about this new addition to the pork bun scene. I liked the fact that Eddie Huang was into energy efficient forms of cooking and ingredients that were treated well prior to meeting their maker. He doesn't take himself too seriously as is evident by the Fresh Off The Boat theme. The scans are of stickers available at the store. He has gone so far as to label menu items Straight and Royal Frush. Yes, that is funny. Raugh out roud status? I didn't say it, he did. Dude's also a hip hop head so I knew I'd catch some decent theme music. Speaking of which, I had the Funkdoobiest lyrics floating through the mentals and knew a post was on the horizon. I'm back on my grind doggies.
The menu is limited. Quality before quantity. If your stable of hoes is buttahface status, what does really mean? 3 types of Taiwanese Gua Bao aka steamed buns- steak ($4.50), pork ($4.00) and tofu ($3.50), sweet bao fries (fried dough) and boiled peanuts. Along with several beverages. There is a beef noodle soup similar to a pho that's available on weekdays. It was a Saturday so no go. I ordered the pork (Chairman Bao) and the seldom seen steak (Haus Bao).
Not just any pork, but all natural Niman Ranch Pork Belly braised slow, as the menu says, served with cilantro, Haus Relish (pickled mustard greens), and Taiwanese red sugar. Crushed peanuts also come with, but I go peanutless. The NY Times delves even further into the cooking method, "The pork is flash-fried, and then simmered in rice wine, soy sauce, rock sugar, ginger and star anise — a technique called “red cooking” in Mandarin — plus cherry Coca-Cola." 2 slices of tender pork belly about an inch thick in a fluffy white bun. The first thing that caught me was the cilantro. I've never seen this on a pork bun before, but being a self-proclaimed cilantro fan, it was a great addition. It enhanced the semi-sweet pork and added a little aroma therapy. Ghostface in the background and we were bordering on a zen-like experience. But the corny cat across from me talking about strippers with C-section scars killed my tranquilo. First off, you're lying. Second, the girl with you wasn't impressed, and third, neither was I. Didn't your mother ever teach you about dinner table etiquette?
The steak bao made with Certified Angus skirtsteak left me confused. Red cooked like the pork, but laced. Cooley baos?? Wooly baos?? Moutai is added, chinese firewater as Huang says, known to be as strong as 100 Proof. No complaints with the texture- tender stringy steak with cilantro and the haus relish. But it reminded me of brisket. And I'm not used to that being sweet. I prefer savory to sweet when it comes to steak. This isn't to say it's not good, just not my thing. I might be alone in this opinion since the Haus Bao will be featured on Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown sometime this month.
Taiwanese root beer washed it down. For $3, a bit pricey, but none of the other options interested me. Plus I love root beer.
Bauhaus is small. A short flight of stairs leads you into a bustling subterranean space. Seating is very limited and there isn't much room to meander around the diners. A blue island in the middle of the room sits approximately 10 people, 10 small people. My trip consisted of mostly Asian females so it wasn't too tight. No shots. There is a 4 seater against the wall below the window. Each bao is made to order so you will have to wait. Inside, outside, wherever. When they're ready they call you out. Be clear with your name, because I wasn't. Howie Mumbles. If it wasn't for the "H" I wouldn't have known that Harlem or Harley was me. Nah, I call myself Harlem so as not to blow my cover. They start knowing who I am and I get the red carpet treatment.
If you're in the neighborhood I fully recommend a visit for the pork bun. Pre or post game Shopsin's. Heading back from the Doughnut Plant. On your way to Alife. Whatever the reason. Get daown, get daown...
137 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
Sun-Thurs Noon - 10pm
Fri - Sat Noon - 2am
F, J, M, Z to Delancey Station (Delancey & Essex)