December 10, 2009 | Short Order

Chef-wanderers Michael Huynh and Alex Garcia Plan Cuban-Asian Joint

        Bad Boy Chef Michael Huynh, the wayward empire builder, says he and Alex Garcia, another restless whisk, are planning a Cuban-Asian joint together. But first: Baoguette on Maiden Lane, Michael and wife Thao Nguyen’s newest Vietnamese sandwich outlet, opening Friday or Monday, he predicts. And any minute now, his homage to America, Mikey’s Burgers, 135 Ludlow near Rivington. I’m dizzy just hearing his plans. “I’m coming back to my first job in America at White Castle,” Huynh schmoozed nostalgically last night at spottily occupied Abao, his Pan-Asian midtown noodle shop partnership with a duo of Thai restaurateurs. No wonder he looks a bit exhausted.  “Come by late Friday night,” he said, for the opening of Mikey’s.

         The 20 seat burger shop will feature American burgers with an Asian twist, lamb burger with homemade ketchup, a BLT with Chinese bacon, and a Southern-style burger with peanut butter and jalapeno. Milkshakes will be many splendored: avocado, almond, black sesame and tamarind caramel. “But very American. American people will like it.”

        In his resume as the Don Juan of New York restaurants, Huynh has spawned dozens of hits, then split, leaving heartbreak behind. He asks me to write the foreward to the cookbook he is assembling in his spare moments. 

        “But maybe you won’t like what I write,” I warn him.

         “No it’s okay,” he responds with a grin.  “Whatever you say.  Everybody loves a bad boy.”

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