Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Art of Deliciousness

Joseph Conrad wrote colonialism is "a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly." I wonder if Joseph Conrad would have felt this way if he had had a chance to taste the byproduct of French colonialism--the bahn mi--at Baoguette Cafe on St. Mark's Place. Eschewing the classic pork and pate sandwich, Pete tried the spicy cat fish (sic) bahn mi (Pete asked for it "very spicy," which means extra Sriracha and jalapenos; which means it was so hot that it made Pete hiccup; which means Pete should've noticed that all the Asian people in front of him ordered theirs either mild or medium); it comes with cucumber relish, pickled red onion, and honey mustard aioli and is served on a crispy baguette from Tom Cat Bakery. A purist may turn up their taste buds at the authenticity of a cat fish bahn mi, but Pete thinks the cross-cultural interplay of French, Vietnamese, and American ingredients make for a much more delicious sandwich. Also thinking outside the baguette and jumping on the bahnwagon is Thai Me Up on 14th between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Their twist on the bahn mi adds standard Thai ingredients like wok-fried cabbage, carrots, baby corn, broccoli, onion, and bean sprouts; Pete highly recommends getting one with hanger steak and black pearl sauce (tangy soy sauce with scallions). Pete is by no means suggesting that colonialism is/was a good thing, Pete's just saying if you can look past the genocide, racism, loss of culture, etc., there are some mighty tasty sandwiches out there to enjoy as a result of it.

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