It was bad enough when BaoHaus' Eddie Huang profiled me last month, now he's really getting personal. The third generation Taiwanese chef has begun messing around with broccoli raab and sausage—a favorite combination of my Italian-American youth. And messing with it in a good way.
The Broccoli FOB sandwich ($4 for two) is so good, I wondered how to say "Madonna mia" in Mandarin when I tried it. I settled for pounding my fist on the blue counter in a fit of gastronomic bliss. The deceptively simple combination of sweet Chinese sausage and sautéed broccoli raab studded with garlic makes for an exquisite sandwich. (In case you're wondering, Huang says FOB rhymes with raab.)
Equally exquisite is the newly introduced beef noodle soup ($6.50). Beef—luscious and tender—is the operative word here. Chunks of prime shoulder clod have been simmered for more than three hours in a broth that's shot through with peanuts, chilies, and a judicious amount of Sichuan peppercorns. Those peanuts are not just an add-in, though; they're base of the broth. Huang starts the dish out by sautéing the peanuts until they get nice and smoky. It gives the soup a ridiculously intense depth of flavor. Huang sources the springy noodles from a nearby shop. With winter in full effect, I'm so glad this a regular item and not just a special.
137 Rivington Street, New York NY 10002 (map)