In the beauty that is New York, a cupcake lover's dream event was to take place called CupcakeCamp NYC where aspiring bakers are encouraged to bring their wares and others are invited to eat them. Like. Best event ever.
Or so I thought. I arrived at 7p (event starting time) to find the line already looped around the block. We all patiently waited for an hour outside, while more and more people began exiting the event carrying full, assorted trays of cupcakes. It appeared that everyone who got in thought it keen to take a dozen cupcakes to go from the event as a party favor.
Which meant: by the time I was able to get through the doors,
Yes. Zilch. Just crumbs on the counters.
So. From this, for any participants planning to attend next year, I would recommend the following:
1. Bake a dozen box cupcakes and bring them to the event: you will cut the entire line.
2. Take the box you brought your box cupcakes in and fill it with other cupcakes.
3. Pig.out !!
Anyway, one girl who took a bunch of cupcakes to go decided to stand by me to my torment. Here are a few shots of all the cupcakes I did not get a chance to eat:
Do you see the one by the flower that is a mini sprinkled donut?!
Diana, that one was for you. Can you even imagine?!
I like the belly button detail.
So while heading to my dinner spot, I ran across this cupcake themed graffiti. Another reminder of the fact that I DID NOT GET ANY CUPCAKES. Oh, woe is me ! (I love lamenting excessively.)
The only positive note of the event was that it was located in my favorite neck of the Lower East woods, and it positioned me to finally try out Baohaus !
Baohaus specializes in Taiwanese street food: offering a variety of Gua Bao, bao fries, and boiled peanuts. Eddie Huang, a former lawyer, is the brain behind this operation, learning the art of gua bao from his mother and grandfather.
Diana can probably explain it better, but gua bao is otherwise known as a "Taiwanese burger" and consists of a steamed bun and a filling like stewed pork meat. (Uhm. My kind of burger.)
Baohaus is tiny tiny and mostly filled with Asians. It has bar style seating along the walls which I find ideal. I don't want any eating partner to watch my crazy bao eating. It's better I just look at the wall and enjoy my messy self.
Along the wall seating.
I ordered two Chairman Baos which consist of braised Niman Ranch pork belly, crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus relish and Taiwanese red sugar.
So. Much. Goodness.
The gua baos were.
The pork belly is flash fried and then "red-cooked (hong shao)," simmered in rice wine, soy sauce, rock sugar, ginger, star anise and Cherry Coca-Cola. I gotta get in on this red cooking action. The meat had remarkable flavor, tender and so juicy from the lovely fat ribbons. The meat shredded like brisket and melted in your mouth. (Oh fun fact: apparently red cooked pork was one of Mao Zedong's favorite dishes, hence the menu item name: Chairman Bao!)
Now, everyone in New York notes Momofuku pork buns as the gold standard.
Momofuku pork belly buns
The Baohaus and Momofuku buns are different as you can denote from the pictures. Momofuku is more classic - crisp cucumber, more firm but succulent rectangles of pork belly and a healthy schmear of hoisin sauce to sweeten the bun package up. For more complex, your mouth is having a porkbellyraveparty type experience, you must Baohaus it all the way.
Baohaus also offers other baos with skirt steak and kobe beef, but I don't think I can move past the pork belly on future visits. Also, next time when I have an eating partner, we will share an order of the bao fries: fried strips of bao doused with black sesame sauce and condensed milk. Yum!
After Baohaus, I headed home but my mind kept reminding me how I was robbed of cupcakes, and I needed some kind of dessert satisfaction immediately !
I hopped off at West 4th, knowing that West Village must have something that can satiate my sweet tooth.
And oh it did.
The Wafels & Dinges truck !
Thomas Degeest left his 10-year IBM consulting career to develop this bright yellow wafelmobile. (Hmm...possible future inspiration??) Though I have seen it everywhere since I moved here, I have never stopped to try it, but now our fates have finally aligned!
W&D offers three wafel options:
1. Brussels: light and crispy
2. Liege: soft and chewy
3. Mini wafelini
After you select your wafel, you select your dinges (toppings!). Toppings include nutella, strawberries, bananas, whipped cream, dulce de leche, spekuloos spread (their favorite, made of cinnamon graham cookies) and more.
I got the Brussels + dulce de leche + whipped cream.
An order of whipped cream with a side of wafel
I sat at the steps of the nearby church and went to town on this wafel!
It was a
Freshmade whipped cream <3
The wafel was warm and crisp, the dulce had a sweet but slightly tart taste and the whipped cream rounded everything out completely.
There is a reason why W&D won Best Dessert at the 2009 Vendy Awards and beat Bobby Flay on Throwdown.
Find them asap and grab one too !
137 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002