Historically, local mini chain Wow Bao’s spongy, piping-hot bao--adorable steamed buns with savory or sweet fillings--were a guilty pleasure that could be had only on a downtown outing.
But now the Lettuce Entertain You brand has ventured north and opened a new shop at the bustling intersection of Clark and Diversey streets in Lakeview--making it far too easy for you to get your hands on a pocket of dough filled with spicy Mongolian beef or Thai curry chicken.
While all the old staples are still available, our favorite new addition to the Chinese-street-food-inspired menu is the open-faced glazed pork belly bun, which can be eaten in roughly three perfect bites.
The lovely little sandwich has just the right ratio of crisp carrot-and-cucumber crunch to rich, meaty pork--and a smear of creamy hoisin and Sriracha mayo to make it all the more crave-able. ($4 each)
Wash it down with a glass of house-made ginger ale and follow it up with another bao filled with oozing chocolate sauce. (Yep, that's a thing.)
Wow Bao, 2806 N. Clark St.; 773-433-5333 or wowbao.com