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Congee, on the Bowery

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Congee, on the Bowery

newsjoke | Apr 30, 2005 08:10 AM

After not having been there for a while, last night we went down to Congee (on the Bowery, near Grand; this is a different place from "Congee Village," where I've actually never been).

We had their famous salt-baked squid which, I'm happy to say, is still second only to-- and refreshingly different from-- the way they do this dish at Great NY Noodletown. In fact, as stupid as it sounds, the only thing better about this dish at Noodletown is the squid itself; the cashews, onions, peppers, etc. that Congee uses make the squid's "surroundings" much more interesting.

Next, we tried something new (for us) there: a pan-fried flounder with Okra. Man, this was delicious, and I highly recommend it.

Then we got some sauteed clams in a very good black bean sauce-- the sauce was nice and spicy, without being salty.

Next we had some nicely prepared steamed "Chinese greens with garlic."

Finally, we ordered their (apparently) famous fried chicken although, for health reasons, I just couldn't get myself to eat any. (I'm just way too accustomed to sticking to white-meat poultry, and pulling the skin off.) I did, however, dip some of the accompanying broccoli into the dish's sauce, and it was really tasty.

Perhaps the best (albeit, somewhat cliched) recommendation for this place is that it was absolutely packed (with several people waiting for tables), and I and one other person in our party were literally the ONLY non-Asians in the entire place.

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