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Cleveland Food Adventurers Visit to the Pho Thang Café

The Cleveland Food Adventurers have eaten the food and learned about the history/culture of quite a few countries IMG_3712in the last two years since Ms. Debbie Hanson and Mr. Dan Hanson of first initiated the group.

On Wednesday night we hearty souls combined forces for another outing and visited the "Pho Thang Café" on Superior Avenue East in downtown Cleveland. Ms. Hanson told us that 48 people had rsvp'd for this event including our co-worker Mr. George Koussa  from Margaret W. Wong and Associates.IMG_3713

At dinner we sat beside our good friend Ms. Ingrida Bublys who, as we know, immigrated from Lithuania at an early age, and Ms. Susan Blauvelt, an ESL educator who teaches at Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy. It was interesting to listen to the two of them discuss their experiences involving learning English and/or teaching the language to others.

The "Pho Thang Café" is owned by Mr. Henry Truong and Ms. Nancy Truong and we got to meet them both as well as their daughter, Ms. Susan Truong, the latter of whom expediently disbursed the prepared food to us all. Unfortunately, we had a conflicting commitment and couldn't stay for the entire adventure but we thought that the IMG_3723soup and the different rolls and sauces were exceptional.

We were blessed to have Ms. Gia Hoa Ryan and Ms. Oanh Powell, who both immigrated here from Vietnam in the 1970's, amongst us because during the course of the meal they shared with us all kinds of things about Vietnamese culture, food, dress, and education. We learned, for instance, that in Vietnam one put together an entire meal from individual items bought from street venders. Plus, one needn't really worry about eating the fish purchased from such a vender because chances are it is quite fresh caught no more than a day prior.

Ms. Ryan made it very clear that the food from China, Vietnam, and other Asian countries have their distinct IMG_3724differences. In China, for example, the sauce that one puts on fish is thicker than that served in Vietnam.

While we were waiting for the entrée, LTC (Ret) Joseph Meissner, who has written books and is recognized as a scholar, gave a short history lesson about Vietnam/Southeast Asia.

Soon it was time for us to go and on our way out, Ms. Susan Truong stopped us and gave us a tasty takeout dinner that (despite being very busy serving everyone else) she had put together for us and we were quite grateful for her consideration.




Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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