Thursday, September 29, 2011
The owner, Hay (pronounced Hi) -- I wish I took a picture of him-- is a trip. The guy speaks several languages -- Vietnamese, Chinese, English, French, Spanish. But, he claims to not really speak any of them. Yet, in the course of 15 minutes, I hear four different tongues from this jovial Vietnamese grandfather. The lady at the next table calls him "the nicest guy in Chinatown!"
And, I can clearly see why: He loves to chat up each customer that walks through his doors. Telling them about his family in Florida. How he fell in love with his wife. And, how he won't make you pay for your noodles if you don't like the food. "I find the best Chef--he cook for many years," says Hay. "You have young guys who think they know all--but, they have no experience. My chef cooked in Vietnam too." And, Hay's chef lived up to the hype. The rice noodles and sweet and sour chili sauce were perfect with the crunchy spring rolls. The warm meaty filling was perfect against the crispy rice skin shell.
As we left, Hay called out, "you must come back." And, we definitely will--how could we lie to the nicest guy in Chinatown?
Cong Ly is located at 132 Hester Street in Chinatown.
The spring rolls and Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) are delicious. And, with a steady stream of neighborhood locals, you know this is going to be way better than any uptown chain.