A bao is a Chinese steamed bun full of something delicious. It’s basically China’s version of the hamburger.
Ok, I totally made that up.
Bao have been around since Pompeii was an island whereas I bet there are people still living who remember a world without hamburgers. If anything, hamburgers are our version of bao.
However, these two food items that are very dissimilar do have these things in common: They’re easy to eat with your hands, easy to eat on the run and present infinite filling possibilities.
Wow Bao has narrowed the field to just eight bao options – including a vegetarian edamame filling – but they also offer spicy noodles, pot stickers and breakfast oatmeal with goji berries and red dates so there’s clearly an eccentric intelligence at work here.
I had a chicken curry bao, coconut custard bao and spicy peanut noodles that came with cucumber sticks and fresh cilantro creating bright crunchy bursts of flavor. I’d order that same thing all over again.
Kudos to Wow Bao for filling the fast food gap we didn’t know existed, and for choosing Chicago as your birth place.
Now, please start franchising west.
I am no in love with a food I’ve never had. I love the look, the concept, the packaging. I love the mouthfeel just through imagination. A dumpling stuffed with spicy noodles? Vive le Wow Bao.