There’s a new breed of healthy fast food options sweeping the city. Tiny shops selling a wide range of tasty treats that will put any traditional kiosco sorry ass sandwich to shame. Exemplifying this new concept, Baking BA in the microcentro is all about the food: simple, natural and rico. Reinventing lunch on the go, Baking specializes in… yes, you guessed it.. baked goods! But this isn’t just any Argie style panadería, it’s been yanqui-fied, with North American favorites, and the goods are baked mighty fine, sandwiches, salads, wraps, yogurts, juices and oh so much more.
Part food para llevar, part bakery, Baking BA excels in pretty much everything they do: inventive fresh and flavorful sandwiches, salads that actually have dressing – and dressings that actually taste good, soups of the day, plates of the day, homemade granola, greek style low-fat yogurt, low cal desserts that don’t taste like health food, all natural sugar-free bottled-up juices like passionfruit and orange, good coffee to go, Toll House recipe cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, salted chocolate bars, you get the point.
Influenced by travels to New York, wonder chef and master baker Mariano Cobaco opened Baking as a way to bring healthy and flavorful lunch options and well baked, baked goods to Buenos Aires. Mariano studied at Instituto Argentino de Gastronomía, Le Cordon Bleu in London and even helped develop the menu at Café Crespín, so he knows what’s up.
Some of the lunchtime favorites include Paninis (they call them ‘Toasties’) with meatballs and cheddar cheese, BBQ chicken, teriyaki chicken, vegetarian sandwiches packed with grilled vegetables and Caesar salad wraps with a damn good dressing that is one of the best Caesar’s I’ve tried in the city.
The chicken quesadillas (shown above) are also pretty good looking, although the first time I visited, they weren’t really quesadillas since they are made with a pita-like bread.
But the second time I came in, they had changed up the format, offering a flour tortilla. They also make platos del día / del mes that highlight different flavor combinations from around the world, with Middle Eastern, Indian, Thai and Mexican influences.
What is that, you ask? Breakfast sandwich baby! REAL freshly baked English muffin topped with REAL crispy bacon and somewhat REAL cheddar cheese. It’s awesome, it’s delicious, it’s the best way to wake up in the morning.
You can almost always assume that when you order Caesar salad in a restaurant, the dressing will be a mayo-bomb of inedible-ness. But this one has it right – the healthy version of the real deal, it has an extra citrus squirt that makes it shine. An almost perfect take on the salad, the only thing I still don’t get is why this city is salad seed crazy?
Bob Cobb would be mighty happy with this one too – again, a bit seed and almond crazy, but a hearty and delicious salad.
Want a healthy dessert? 150 calorie cheesecake and Tiramisu taste like the full fatty real deal.
Another massive reason to go to Baking (and it’s worth the trip just for this) is the homemade granola with low-fat yogurt and berries, or the yogurt with mango, passionfruit and cardamom. The yogurt casero, has a consistency and taste of greek yogurt, and not the fake Yogurt Griego you get here in the stores. I only wish you could buy the yogurt on its own, or packaged separately from the granola, to avoid any soggy granolers.
Or maybe you are in the mood for just a granola bar? One of my personal favorites is the the blueberry granola bar, made with fresh blueberries and almonds, it has a streusel crumbly topping, just like my favorite part of the muffin top.
With Cookie Monster’s blood running through my veins, it’s important to honor an extremely well made cookie. Chocolate fudge and chocolate chip (the Toll House Recipe minus the actual Toll House chocolate chips), both cookies purrrrfectly underbaked, gooey, soft and pliable.
If you are a budin kinda boy, try the ginger, super moist since it’s made with apple sauce, and an ultra sweet vanilla glazed frosting.
Another reason why Baking BA is utter hot stuff, they make their own line of chocolate. Using the well-known Belgium Barry Callebaut brand, Baking mixes and bars up flavor combinations like dark chocolate with ginger, hazelnut, and my favorite, salted chocolate.
An affordable option in the microcentro, the only bad part I’ve found about Baking BA is that the actual location has no seating area, so be prepared to take your goods to go, stuffing your face with cookies on the commute home.