The Tulane Hullabaloo

Ba Chi Canteen modifies menu, includes more global options

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Just in time for the fall semester, Ba Chi Canteen updated its menu to rope in a new generation of soon-to-be-baco-obsessed Tulanians.

The Maple Street student hotspot offers a variety of Vietnamese dishes, including vegetarian and vegan-friendly items. Ba Chi’s menu features traditional Vietnamese cuisines, such as banh mi and pho, but also puts an inventive twist on some of its more popular items.

The new menu features items inspired by head chef Phat Vu’s recent trip to Asia. Vu said the new menu also incorporates more of his personal culinary style.

“We added more stuff ever since we took this trip, this Asian trip, this past summer, so we’re adding more influence on that for the Asian side of it,” Vu said.

With new menu additions, Vu said he wants students to expect a culinary experience that will linger in their minds and make them wonder about the inspiration behind the dishes.

“The menu is basically going to be more influenced from other countries than it was before … more my style, more open, creative, more out of the box,” Vu said.

Vu said he tries to consider student budgets when forming his menu, as a considerable volume of loyal Ba Chi fanatics are students at Tulane and other local colleges.

During the upcoming year, Vu wants to present students with memorable menu items that will leave them wondering what kind of creativity went into creating their meals.

“They should expect more amazing food,” Vu said. “They should expect something that will linger in their minds, like the wow factor.”

A few of the new items include a spicy Philly cheese steak and a Vietnamese take on ramen noodles.

Ba Chi is also home to the “baco,” the restaurant’s version of a Vietnamese taco. These taco hybrids are a student favorite, as they are both delicious and budget-friendly. The steamed flour bun, called bao, can hold a variety of fillings, such as chicken, beef, shrimp or fried oysters.

Vu created this concept when Ba Chi first opened, inspired by his love of tacos from living in Texas and his Asian background and culinary knowledge. He said he had tried similar Asian dishes containing duck and decided to experiment by stuffing bao with what have now become classic baco fillings.

Patrons have control over the ambiance of their dining experience, as Ba Chi offers outdoor picnic table seating, enclosed open-air seating and indoor dining.

For students of legal drinking age, forget spending money on overpriced cocktails or fancy wine (Read: wine that did not come from a bag. Sorry, Franzia). Ba Chi offers a BYOB option, allowing customers to bring in their own beverage of choice for a small fee.

Sophomore Zahra Saifudeen’s go-to meals at Ba Chi are the coconut curry shrimp baco and the creamy spicy shrimp baco. Saifudeen treats herself to Ba Chi about twice a month and appreciates the restaurant’s quick service and unique flavors.

“I love Ba Chi because it’s super close to campus,” Saifudeen said. “I’ve walked there with my friends in the evenings, and not only is it a 10 minute walk, but it’s really peaceful at that time and it’s a nice way to destress.”

Carrigan English contributed to the reporting of this article.

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
Ba Chi Canteen modifies menu, includes more global options