Fans of Duck Duck Goat (857 W. Fulton Market, West Loop) might have noticed a slight change at chef Stephanie Izard's "reasonably authentic" Chinese restaurant. Its takeout window—which, for two years, floated out savory street food—has recently rebranded as Baobing. The snack stop now has a new focus: Taiwanese-inspired desserts. They're perfect little summer treats to take with you on the go.
Izard decided to revamp Duck Duck Ta'Go because many patrons saw it as an extension of the restaurant instead of a spot with its own menu. "Rebranding it as Baobing gives the window its own identity and better showcases that it serves Taiwanese-inspired street food," she says. It also gave her an opportunity to play with desserts she noticed were in high demand when she visited Taiwan.
The window's named after a popular Taiwanese dessert made of shaved ice embellished with toppings galore, although it's sort of a misnomer here. While sweetened ice does make appearances on the small menu, soft-serve ice cream is the basic foundation of all six items, a bit of an American twist.
The Blue Blue Lemon, a refreshing mix of blueberry ice cream and lemon snow ice, is dressed with fresh blueberries and candied lemon peels that introduce a bit of crunch. The Sesame Sundae goes more savory, with a dollop of ice cream graced with a trio of fried sesame balls.
The most unique item, though, is the Jian Bing Thing. Izard has dreamed up a dessert version of jianbing, the popular Chinese crepe stuffed with savory ingredients. Her pancake is custard-coated and wraps around a careful configuration of vanilla ice cream, drizzles of hoisin caramel, sweet and crunchy chili oil, bits of crispy wonton, and sprigs of cilantro. It's a gustatory mishmash, a spectacular marriage of sweet and salty.
Despite Baobing's focus on chilled goodies, Izard plans to keep the window open throughout the year since foot traffic is increasing around Fulton Market. "Chicagoans don’t seem to be afraid to stand in the cold to get something tasty," she says. This includes tasty warm bites: the window does serve a handful of savory snacks, such as fried chicken and fried tofu—some traces of the old Duck Duck Ta'Go.