Bahn Mi Shop ‘Theo’s Rolls & Bowls’ Opens at Cross Street Market

| August 25, 2023 | 0 Comments

Wife and husband Kaitlin and John Castor recently opened bahn mi shop Theo’s Rolls & Bowls at Cross Street Market in Federal Hill. Theo’s takes over a space last occupied by Bullhead Pit Beef.

The Castors were raised in the Philippines and fell in love with the Vietnamese bahn mi sandwiches after being exposed to them in the United States. Kaitlin Castor said they have made trips to New York and Virginia to try different bahn mi sandwiches and were inspired by JOJU in New York City when coming up with the concept for Theo’s.

Kaitlin Castor said the sandwiches are traditional in a sense where they have French bread, pate spread, mayo, jalapeños, cilantro, and pickled carrots and radish, but said they are taking a more modern approach to the proteins. They have the traditional lemongrass pork or chicken, but also have bahn mi sandwiches with pulled pork adobo, a nod to their Filipino heritage; Korean pork belly; Korean beef bulgogi; chipotle fried chicken; Banhg Banhg shrimp; and tofu.

The Castors tested 10 types of French bread to find exactly what they were looking for. They landed on bread from Hyattsville’s Lyon Bakery.

Along with bahn mi sandwiches, Theo’s offers bowls with steamed rice or mixed greens that have the same protein options and toppings plus different sauces. Side orders include Shumai dumplings and pork spring rolls made in a Filipino fashion.

Drinks include sodas, coconut water, and aloe drinks.

Theo’s offerings are available for delivery on GrubHub and DoorDash.

Bubble tea and Vietnamese coffee will likely be added to the menu in the near future.

Theo’s is named after Kaitlin Castor’s first nephew Theo who was born last year as they were conceptualizing the business.

Kaitlin Castor came to America through an internship program at the Baltimore Country Club (BCC) and has worked in hospitality and catering. John Castor has been working at sushi restaurant Nanami Cafe in Fells Point.

Kaitlin Castor credited BCC member Larry Koch with helping her plan business and navigate financing options. He also introduced her to Arsh Mirmiran of Caves Valley Partners, the controlling partner of Cross Street Market.

One of the reasons the Castors picked Cross Street Market was an opportunity to pull banh mi sandwiches out of Vietnamese restaurants and make hem more accessible to everyone. They also like the ability to tap into crowds going to Orioles and Ravens games.

Cross Street Market is becoming a hub of Asian food with Dashi making Japanese-style ramen, Chicken Lab cooking Korean-style fried chicken, Blowfish Poke offering poke and sushi with nods to Hawaii and Japan, and Theo’s offering Vietnamese specialities with a Filipino twist. Kaitlin Castor said she loves being around all the different Asian styles of food, but noted how distinctly different they all are.

The Castors hope to eventually launch a food truck and potentially additional locations.

Theo’s is open Sunday to Tuesday from 11am to 8pm, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am to 9pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm. photo 

Photos below courtesy of Theo’s Rolls & Bowls

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