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a funny anecdote that happened fairly recently:

mark and i had been meaning to go to the west bank to eat at a few of the pho restaurants over there since there's a pretty strong vietnamese community on that side of the river and we heard reports of some outstanding pho places.

Last week, we went to one called Tan Dinh. As we were in the final stages of pho-goodness, an old couple ended up sitting at a table behind me, the male who looked like he was in his 80s, the female who looked like she was in her 70s, according to mark.

I didn't see any of this since they were behind me, but mark told me that when they got their menus, the woman looked absolutely perplexed and was peering at the menu closely and looking more and more confused. Clearly their first time there, and clearly also not familiar with the food. The menu was the sort where the vietnamese name for the dishes was the most prominent, and the contents of the food in english was below the dish name in smaller print and in parentheses.

the waitress came over and asked "do you know what you want to order, do you have any questions about the menu?". The woman, who was still scanning the menu and looking very flustered, asked the waitress, "Do you have any szechuan chicken?"

The waitress blinked at her a little and then said, "no, we don't have anything like that," which made the woman more flustered. She then followed up with, "how about sweet and sour pork?"

Mark relayed the story to me after the fact, and i laughed and said, "i'm not sure if i should think that's funny or if i should be offended."

pretty fantastic.

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( read spoken (4) — speak )
Nov. 25th, 2009 07:31 am (UTC)
I get questions like that all the time. I remember one exchange:
Customer: I know it's Chinese but do you have hot mustard? I mean I know this is a Thai place, but it's pretty much the same thing as Chinese food...right? Do you have got mustard?

Me:....Lol wut?
Nov. 25th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
I feel like the proper reaction is more like "OH PHO CRYING OUT LOUD" or "PHO GOODNESS SAKE!!1!11!1"
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 5th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
I think it's awesome. First of all, folks in their 70s tend to avoid the unknown; it's great they are trying a place that they literally know nothing about. Second, the waitress offers an appropriate American-Chinese-food alternative.

I live near at least one pho place which will cook up Chinese dishes...
( read spoken (4) — speak )


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