Monday, October 7, 2019

Bao'd Up is Open in Sunset Valley!

Bao'd Up Sunset Valley pork belly guabao
Pork belly guabao, one of my favorite items at Bao'd Up
BIG THANKS to Bao'd Up for 1) opening in South Austin 😊 and 2) having me out for lunch. This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own. I was not monetarily compensated for this post, nor was one requested from me. I am here to spread the good gospel of Bao'd Up!
Bao'd Up Sunset Valley logo tables
I met my friend Rebecca of The Honest Foodist (check out her blog and especially her Instagram Stories!) for lunch at Bao'd Up on Friday, where we sampled a number of items on the menu.  They are located at 5207 Brodie Lane, right next door to Tarka and down from Petsmart.
Bao'd Up Sunset Valley ordering system
When you walk in to Bao'd Up, there are four self-serve terminals on your right.  You do your own ordering, and it gives you options to customize like rice instead of noodles on the bowls. 
Bao'd Up Sunset Valley ordering system
There are even options with the boba or bubble teas, from different flavors, to bases, to sweetness options. You can also place a to go order online. Once you pay, your receipt will have a bar code, or if ordering online, you'll receive a confirmation code. Don't throw your receipt out!
Bao'd Up Sunset Valley lockers food pick up
There are a couple screens inside the restaurant that show your name and order status. Once your order is ready, it is placed inside one of these lockers and it shows "completed" by your name on the screen. You either scan your receipt or enter your code on the keypad, and a locker door pops open.

Bao'd Up Sunset Valley lockers food pick up
Ta dah! There's your food! (And so if you're ordering online, you may never have to interact with staff at Bao'd but that doesn't mean you should forgo a tip.)
Bao'd Up Sunset Valley bao guabao bowls boba
Yum yum! More explanation on what everything is, coming up!

Bao'd Up Sunset Valley pork brisket bao egg custard
Alex the manager admitted sometimes it's even hard for him to tell the pork bao apart! 😉 

Dang, I can't make this video larger. Here's Rebecca breaking bao (BBQ pork).

Bao'd Up Sunset Valley brisket bao
Brisket bao, a tasty Texas twist!

Bao'd Up Sunset Valley pork belly guabao
My favorite of the baos was the pork belly guabao (taco style) that's pictured at the very top of this post. The pork belly was so tender, it fell apart like pulled pork. And the flavors were phenomenal, though messy to eat!
Bao'd Up Sunset Valley spicy pork bowl with rice
This was my other favorite of everything we had, the spicy pork bowl with soft boiled egg and veggies. We got this with rice, but I will SO be getting this again with noodles! The pork had such a wonderful flavor and a nice medium spice level.  I am kind of drooling thinking about it right now! I loved this. 
Bao'd Up Sunset Valley braised chicken bowl with glass noodles
I think this was Rebecca's favorite, the braised chicken bowl, which we got with gluten free glass noodles (I think they were Korean sweet potato noodles). The chicken must have cooked for ages because the meat fell off the bone and had a light Chinese five spice seasoning to it. She said it reminded her of her family's home style Vietnamese food.

Top left is the crispy fish guabao, where they use barramundi, a Pacific ocean fish, also known as Asian sea bass. It was nicely fried, meaty, and really good. Top right is the pork belly guabao, and at the bottom is chicken katsu (fried chicken cutlet). 

Not pictured is the egg cream bao, which I remember from their Mueller location, because it made me a fan of  them! And this one did not disappoint. Sunset Valley is now the third location for Bao'd Up, with Mueller as the original, and they opened on Rio Grande + 22nd Street earlier this summer. I am so thankful Bao'd Up has come to South Austin, as I honestly don't know a place down here that serves bao. A wonderful new spot for us Southies to enjoy! More Asian food, please!

Thanks again to Alex and the Bao'd Up team for having us for lunch!
Bao'd Up Sunset Valley mural
Mural, part of the fun vibe at Bao'd Up. There's a similar one at the Mueller location too.