Restaurant Review: Wow Bao

I’ve had these tasty little dumplings in my mind for a long time. Last year, Dave, Leah, and I sampled some bao from Wow Bao at the taste of Chicago, and I’ve thought about them often ever since.

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If you’ve never tried them before, Baozi, or simply Bao, are chinese bread dumplings. They’re light and doughy, with a vegetable or meat filling. Steaming them gives them a soft, slightly sticky texture. They come in about a million forms and flavors, and while I’m anxious to try my hand at them at home, so far, I’ve only had them from Wow Bao. A few weeks ago, Leah and I stopped by Water Tower Place to do a little shopping, and stopped and had lunch at Wow Bao.

We shared a six-pack of Bao, and had the chance to try the BBQ Pork, Chicken Teriyaki, Spicy Mongolian Beef, and Thai Curry Chicken. They were all delicious. My favorite was the Chicken Teriyaki, while Leah enjoyed the Thai Curry Chicken the most. The Mongolian Beef was tasty, but a little too spicy for me. The BBQ Pork was good, but that was the one we happened to try at the Taste the year before. Leah also had a super-tasty pomegranate ginger ale. (I stuck with Diet Cokie. Shocking, I know).  I’d like to try one of the sweet varieties next time–they have Coconut Custard and Apple Cinnamon dessert flavored Bao as well as a whole menu of noodles and potstickers and soup and salad.

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They were an awesome shopping snack, but if you aren’t close enough to one of their three Chicago locations, you can apparently have frozen bao or potstickers shipped from their website right to your home to make yourself.

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3 Responses to “Restaurant Review: Wow Bao”

  1. Myth

    I actually was not a fan of Wow Bao when I tried them. Granted this was a few years ago (the Spexican was working downtown). I found the filling to be too salty and overpowering. The bao I’ve had in Chinatown have been much better. I suppose every culture has their fast food. Americans have burger joints, Mexicans have Taco Bell and Chipotle while the Chinese get Wow Bao and Panda Express.

  2. Teri

    Hmm. Salty doesn’t even come to mind for the fillings for me, and we tried all of the savory ones, I believe. They are a fast food option, true, and I’d like to try the real thing sometime. But we still thought these were really tasty.

    Side Note: You put Chipotle in the same category as Taco Bell?

  3. Myth

    It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s not really Mexican. No, it’s not a greasy pile of crap but it’s still fast food. There are scales of fast food. I like Culver’s, despise McDonald’s. Chipotle is passable faire but not what I would go to when I have a craving for Mexican. I try to avoid Taco Bell at all costs.

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