Monday, March 15, 2010

Baguette House

It's not often I find myself in far North Austin, but when I do, it's usually because of a restaurant.

Since I moved to Austin three years ago, I keep hearing about Baguette Houses's bahn mi. The sandwich, a Vietnamese creation inspired by French cuisine, is made up of marinated meat, fresh chilies, cilantro and a quick pickle of carrot.

After hearing that Baguette House had a vegetarian version, I thought it was worth investigating.

The restaurant itself is brightly lit and utilitarian, and the menu is rather small. It's clear that the sandwiches are their specialty, and almost everyone in the restaurant was eating one.

Mr. Man and I each got a tofu bahn mi, and we split an order of fresh spring rolls.

The rolls were tasty. Standard, but tasty. I noticed that, among the tofu and herbs, there was some twisty gluten - a mock meat of some sort. It didn't have much flavor, but did lend kind of a meaty texture. I think I'd leave it out next time, as the rest of the roll was fine.

Spring rolls. Fresh herbs make them tasty.

The sandwich was actually really good. The tofu was delicately flavored, and the fresh jalapeno slices were laid to the side, so diners could place them in the sandwiches themselves to control the spice level. Those particular jalapenos were on the mild side, so a few more would have been welcome. Unfortunately, the sandwich also had the mock-meat gluten on it. Really, it's not that offensive - the flavor is minimal. But if it doesn't add much flavor, I don't think it has a place on my plate.

The vegetarian bahn mi - excellent bread, OK filling.

The bread, however, was fantastic - crisp on the outside with a crust that shatters when bitten, giving way to a soft and chewy interior. Yum. My favorite part of the sandwich. If I lived closer to Baguette House, I might buy their baguettes and make my own sandwiches with them.

Baguette House
10901 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753