I first heard of Congee Bowery Restaurant & Bar on the program Bizarre Foods hosted by Andrew Zimmerman, he had the goose intestine which Ms A and I were excited to try, so off we went one fine day.
The restaurant has a nice and grand entrance; inside is big and spacious with 2 levels, dining hall on the upper level and function rooms on the lower level.
On the menu, they have a wide variety of Chinese-American dishes. It took them quite awhile to come over and took our order, then came a waiter who looked like he was ready to pick a fight, since we were there for the goose intestines, that was what we first ordered. I went ahead and ordered the Goose Intestine with Black Bean Sauce, the waiter said ‘No Have’, so I said ‘fine, can we have the Goose Intestine with Soy Sauce then’, again he said ‘No Have’, by that time my blood pressure was raising so I said ‘do you have the Boiled Goose Intestine with bean sprouts?’, he said ‘No Have’. Oh dear God! I was about to burst so I asked him why don’t they have all those dishes, is it only for that day or they have they ran out of it or what! He just said ‘We don’t have goose intestine, you order something else’ ... trust me, I was in a calm mood that day or else I would have walked out so we gave them a chance and ordered Liver & Pork Porridge, Small Juicy Bun in Shanghai Style 小籠包 and Baked Fish Intestine (yes, you read it right, we had FISH INTESTINE, it tasted ok, I still like the ones I had in Singapore, the cooking was so much better).
We had to wait quite awhile before our food came, we saw that other patrons that were there after us already had some of their dishes served, and good thing the food came before we made a complaint. The dishes were so-so, the congee was decent but the Small Juicy Bun in Shanghai Style 小籠包 was lousy, it was tasteless and the skin tasted like they weren’t cooked.
Overall the meal was not very satisfactory and the waiter that took our order was a moron. On our way out, we asked the counter lady why didn’t they have the goose intestine since it was featured on TV only about 2 weeks ago, she explained very nicely that there has been a short of supply and they were supplied with chicken intestine instead so in order not to let the customers feel cheated since goose intestine are bigger and tastier than chicken intestine they stopped serving those 3 goose intestine dishes, at least she was nice, polite and even apologetic that we went all the way and didn’t get to eat what we wanted. We might give this restaurant a chance again someday and be back to try other dishes, for the moment we have a whole list of eateries to try out first.
Congee Bowery Restaurant & Bar
between Rivington St & Spring St)
New York, NY 10002