Talking Pho and Freedom at a Vietnamese Restaurant

When Andrew Tran was a child in Vietnam, and he and his family were looking to get out, Tran had no idea where America was located.

"I asked my brother 'where is America?', Tran said. "We were playing on a farm, and he told me 'Start digging a hole and when you get to the other end of the globe, that is where America is'. Being young and very innocent, I started digging a hole. I never finished the hole, but I still made it here."

His route to America was through a rickety home-built boat that got him to Hong Kong, and a US Navy frigate that plucked him out of the water on July 4th, 1982 and brought him to the U.S.

"The 4th of July always has a special meaning to me," Tran said. "It means freedom, independence, being reborn again."

His life here in the U.S. has brought many things and he is currently the General Manager of Pho & Crab on Memorial Drive.

The restaurant specializes in the classic Vietnamese noodle soup, with a focus on the seafood variety. The key to the soup is the broth, which was developed by the restaurant's owner, Madame Ky. She started the very first pho restaurant in Houston nearly 50 years ago after the war in Vietnam ended,  The key to the broth is letting it cook for nearly 24 hours, and using lots of bones and bone marrow for flavor.

The restaurant also grows it's own herbs, and makes a special drink using home grown lemongrass along with lime juice and milk.

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