Saturday, April 27, 2013

New in New York: Another French Roll Rocks at Baguette Bar

By Mitch Broder

I can’t promise you a Houska House or a Pumpernickel Pub, but I can follow my report on Croissanteria with one on Baguette Bar.

And considering that the city is full of places like Popover Café, it could soon very well have a restaurant named for every bread and roll.

For now, Baguette Bar is the apparently the newest, undoubtedly the tiniest, and surely the most focused. It serves meat-and-vegetable sandwiches on toasted baguettes. If you don’t want your meat and vegetables on a toasted baguette, you’ll most likely have to take them in a pile.

The meats are pretty much limited to corned beef, pastrami, salami, and turkey. The vegetables include corn (the cereal) and avocado (the fruit). On a standard sandwich you get one meat, two vegetables, and one sauce. Ketchup Mayo is a sauce. Ketchup is still a sauce.

The bar is about to roll out its Signature Sandwiches, which are based on five of its most successful combinations.

The New Yorker is pastrami, lettuce, red onions, pickles, and honey mustard. The Pirojok is corned beef, roasted red peppers, jalapenos, and spicy honey mustard. Lettuce does not count as a vegetable. Pickles and onions do. Pirojok means pie, even though it’s a sandwich.

The categorization may be challenging, but the concept is simple. The appeal of the simplicity is nicely explained by a comment on Yelp: “Cool New place downtown and its open super late! Perfect for when you’re really drunk and need something to eat…”

Just weeks ago the Baguette Bar space was a storeroom for Pink Elephant, the glittery new club whose entrance is around the corner on West Eighth Street. The club’s owner set up his brother, Ben Nahmani, and Ben’s friend Zachi Ozery as baguette baristas.

The idea came from places that sell comparable food in Israel. The furnishings came from a nearby defunct delicatessen. The location is the MacDougal Street corner of the regenerating West Eighth Street, just across from the appealingly simple Sticky’s Finger Joint.

The sandwiches, besides being panini-style, are also kosher-style, which means that the corned beef and pastrami are better than what you get at the diner. And they’re toasted not once but twice, the second time with an olive-oil glaze that Zachi says makes for “a much more nice taste.”

“Now,” he says, “I want people to recognize this product, and we’ll be able to open more.”

I’ll let you know when they do.

I’ll also let you know about the Brioche Boîte and the Sourdough Saloon.

Belly up to Baguette Bar, 179 MacDougal Street, near West Eighth Street, in New York City.


  1. I thought Ketchup was a vegetable. That said, sounds yummy and I'll be on the lookout for the Brioche Boîte and the Sourdough Saloon.

  2. Is it true that 90% of NYC restaurant seats could use a cushion?

  3. I like the Eiffel Tower as the "A" in the logo. Nice touch. Would like actual kosher, not just the style, but who can be so picky these days? Sandwich looks yummy. Great shot as usual! Those sandwich machines look like a row of weird robot chairs. Happy not to see ham!

  4. That sandwich looks really filling. How do those little tiny red chairs hold up? -- Peter

  5. Ketchup is NOT a veggie??

    Not a big sandwich person...but this could change...looks yummy!