wing wong's excellent congee
- andrew reibman
lately, I've been getting joak/congee/rice gruel at wing wong at 111 lafayette. (they have a branch at 102 mott - never been there). I discovered this place after walking by a chinese mob scene on two different saturday morning - place is just packed to the gills. I've been several times, and darn, that congee is good...its the thinner cantonese kind, lightly flavored with ginger, not the thicker gloppier northern stuff.... (I like that too, but with boiled peanuts...) my favorite is the classic pork with thousand year old eggs... roast meats are fine as well, and the fried devils (those long fried dough things that you tear up and throw in the congee) are fresh, and have just the right amount of grease... you occasionally see a white foreign devil, like myself, come in and order something else, but the natives, at least at lunch, see to come for the gruel...one final note, egads! they serve this stuff hot. I don't think I've ever had soup served so hot. maybe the rice in solution increases the boiling point, allowing it to be even hotter - (distant memories of freshman chemistry and molal boiling point elevation...) the chinese elder uncles who inhabit the place around 11 slurp it right up with never a wince, or even a light blow on the spoon.... I've tried to eat it that way, you must have to learn it from birth... when you first get it, the stuff is so hotI can't even eat it off a cold fried devil.... ahhh. a happy chowhound, more than one person can eat for just 3.50.