The Thanksgiving Meal: To Tweak or Not To Tweak

I was also thinking I’d hear of a cross-cultural admixture of a meal when I ran into Chuong Le, who works the front of house at Pho Saigon after a long stint at Viet Huong in Wing Phat Plaza. Over a few Celebrators at Devil’s Den, he emphatically dissuaded me of the notion while nearly echoing Nolen: “We do Vietnamese food everyday. Why not do something different? What the fuck? Turkey and pecan pie,” he insisted before asking me where my beer was.

“Last year, we had thirty people. Pies, turkey, cookies, etc.”

Yes, but when else do you ever eat turkey, I implored. No one eats turkey at any other time during the year.

“You have a girlfriend?” he asks.

“Well, once a year you have turkey,” he adds brilliantly.

And then, hardly allowing me to recover, he grabs my coat and draws me in closer.

“We didn’t come here because of economics—my family was doing quite well. We came here for political reasons. We love this country. The political system. We’re thankful as immigrants being here. We never had turkey before. What the fuck—we don’t know turkey. Italy—maybe they know turkey. We’re happy to be here. That’s why, 100%, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving. Look, you’ll never understand this until you’re first generation. Ask yourself, what’s Thanksgiving? What’s Christmas? Thanksgiving is because you’re here in America.”

Continue Reading >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s