Nintendo-themed late night bao are coming to Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard.
Later this month, the people behind St. Johns' now-closed, much-loved Baowry restaurant will open a Nintendo-themed bao spot called Baoser, in the former Big Bertha's spot next to Hawthorne Boulevard barcade Quarterworld. Phil Ragaway, Quarterworld's owner, is backing the new restaurant.
The entire spot, says Baoser chef Alan Torres, will be decorated "like Bowser's castle, the original Nintendo one." That's 8-bit Bowser, for those paying attention.
Humbao, in case you hadn't had them, are fluffed-up steamed buns folded around all sorts of fillings. In the Baowry's case, this was taco-style, with a pile of meats or other ingredients within. There'll be 13 recipes, Torres says, including spicy chili garlic prawn and sweet Nutella.
Other specialty items on the menu will include "duck for two," which will consist of Peking style duck legs, buns, house-pickled veggies and plum sauce, or "Yoshi steak," a marinated flank steak with buns, sesame broccoli slaw and broccoli puree.
"These were recipes I had when I owned the Baowry," Torres says, "but I couldn't do them all there." Baoser will be open for lunch and late nights till 3 am, starting the last week of May.
Torres will continue as general manager of the food at Quarterworld, where he'd been serving his bao up to now. Quarterworld will now serve a new Asian-influenced menu with a lot of Asian-influenced french fry variations, rice balls and jelly doughnut holes.
There's only one stipulation, says Torres about Baoser. "Please do not bring Mario or Luigi cause they are 86ed for life."