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  • Writer's pictureEric Elkins

Ode: The Congee at Onefold

I crave it constantly, even on the hottest summer mornings.

The perfect poached egg floating on a sea of rice porridge, delicate swirls of duck fat and chili oil spreading gently along the surface, scallions like tiny green islands, and the waft of fresh ginger when I give it all a stir, dredging up shreds of confit duck as the egg breaks apart and loses itself in the savory warmth of the whole thing.

I love how the very first bite packs enough heat to power up a moisture farm under my nose, gentle droplets of perspiration coming to rest on my upper lip. It’s comfort food with the audacity to slap you upside the head.

Punish me, congee.

I’m sure Onefold has other delicious items on their Vietnamese- and Mexican-inflected brunch menu, but the duck congee is what calls to me every time — its siren song of spicy sexiness wrapped in the warm, think blanket of glutinous goodness, every bite a moment of fiery perfection. I make my way through the massive bowl slowly, using the Asian soup spoon to stir and sip, stir and sip, taking joy in the beads of sweat along my forehead, rapt in the way every guzzle warms my internal parts.

I take a breather here and there, sipping from a Vietnamese iced coffee, letting the super sweet condensed milk cool my tubes. And then it’s back to shoveling down the hot porridge, chomping happily on the duck meat and ginger root, little involuntary grunts of pleasure punctuating my dining experience.

I tap the Tums in my pocket as a talisman and continue through to the very bottom of the bowl.

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