At $9 for 2 Haus Bao, Baohaus is cheap only by NYC standards. But here's the value: As my crew of eagerly anticipatory bun testers trooped into the small space, we were immediately and warmly greeted by two fresh-faced proprietors, Eddie and Evan.
They're as cool as all get-out. They're the bee's knees. Whatever oldsy-timesy way of saying that these fellas are worth every penny should be inserted here. They're genuine, engaging, and completely immersed in their product and business. None of that all-too-common snotty sustainawhore holier-than-random-customer bullshit here.
Which is swell and all, but how's the food?
It's so good, I won't even be ashamed to tell my own FOB Momma how much I spent on bao, and more bao.
Between the Haus Bao (AKA, red-braised skirt steak in a steamed bun with crushed peanuts, sesame, Taiwanese red sugar, cilantro, and Haus Relish, 2 for $9):
..and the Chairman Bao (similarly red-braised and dressed Niman Ranch Pork Belly, at 2 for $8):
...our group was hard-pressed to choose a favorite. The buns/bao themselves were soft and sweet, and cradled the well-seasoned protein perfectly. The steak (a Baohaus innovation, as the Taiwanese tend toward red-cooking only pork) was tender but still had an appealing chew; the pork belly was a melting mouthful of no regrets, not to be undertaken by those who fear fat.
We had a happily fed vegetarian in our crew; she and I were pleased by the Uncle Jesse Bao, crammed with lightly fried soft tofu and a squirt of hot-and-sour bean sauce (2 for $7):
Gun to my head, I'd go with the pork. But why segregate? Get one of each kind of bun in the Straight Frush (any 3 buns with a drink and a cup of boiled peanuts, $15.50), or try everything they have on the menu with the Royal Frush (any 4 buns with boiled peanuts, Sweet Bao Fries, and 2 drinks, $25).