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East Village/ LES >
Posted by lw7028 on 07/23/2007
I went into the restaurant 7/22/07 and before entering the restaurant, I had checked to see if there was the visa/mastercard (credit card) logo posted on the door which means that the restaurant takes credit cards. I only had about $9 on me and so I was going to use my card. After the meal, my bill was $10 and a few cents. When I put down my visa check card, the waitress rudely informed me that they don't take cards and it's cash only. I asked her about the logo on the door to which she responded that there's a 20 minimum for using cards. I also asked her why they didn't have a sign posted on the door if there was a minimum. To that she just kept responding that there was a $20 minimum. I had to leave my ID and walk to the nearest ATM to get cash for the bill. When I returned to the restaurant to pay my bill, I asked the manager and the lady at the register why they don't have a sign showing the card minimum. The manager said that my bill was only $10. I said yes I know but I don't see a sign saying that there is a $20 minimum which is why I didn't go to the ATM before eating at the restaurant. I asked him to maybe put up a sign showing that there is a $20 minimum to use a credit card and he and the lady at the counter at that point just started to ignore me and started to laugh a little. I thought that was really rude, they could have just said no, they didn't see a need to put up a sign. I don't disagree that restaurants may set a minimum for credit card usage...it's the restaurant's prerogative. However, to belittle a customer for not having cash when the minimum is not stated, and just to not accept cash with no stated credit card minimum really shows that the restaurant has no regard for the customers.
Posted by sweetclafoutis on 01/15/2007
This spot just north of Chinatown has authentic, tasty food with excellent, friendly service (SO much nicer than the average Chinatown establishment!). The staff speaks English, which is great for a Chinese-American like me--or anyone--who can't speak the language. The vibe is hip and energetic, and the rooms are handsomely decorated. I held a party for 33 in the private room downstairs, and they did everything to make us feel welcome. Food came out efficiently (served family banquet-syle, one dish at a time), and everyone enjoyed it. When we finished eating, we were able to hang out and turn on the karaoke machine, and some of the younger guests had a blast singing (although we had to search the song selection to find titles we knew).They didn't try to rush us out. I highly recommend Congee Bowery for a special event or just a fun meal in the regular ground-level dining room. And it's a superb value. We had plenty of food and drinks from the full bar for less than $30 a person. The house special chicken is delicious, as well as the five-spice duck, the congee, the snow-pea leaves, clams in black bean sauce, chow fun noodles, minced pork patties with salty fish, etc. etc. I steered away from the more exotic dishes because we had some picky eaters in the group, but I will definitely go back to explore the menu further.