Phong Yang Pham and Kim Miranda Trang
K-Wok Restaurant, Cedar-Riverside Mpls, 8/7/08
I've been eating at K-Wok Restaurant across the street from the KFAI studios ever since we moved to our current Cedar-Riverside location in the early 90s. It's a great place. The couple who owns/cooks/everything's the place is Vietnamese (I think). The restaurant is nominally Chinese, but it also has a Vietnamese menu (largely Pho, though it changes) and a Malaysian section. I usually eat off the Malaysian menu.
And their lunch buffets are amazing, in a home-cooked way. The selections, which are (mostly) different every day, range from very good to great. Kim is the cook, and she'll just whip up whatever she feels like. When one dish runs out, she may just make something else to fill the buffet tray. Sometimes, I ask what a dish is, but that doesn't help very much. They don't speak English very well, even after 15 years. (First generation immigrants rarely do; too many debating the Mexican border situation forget that their grandmother spoke German/whatever around the house.)
While I've been there a lot, and watched their son grow up (he's now graduated from High School), I rarely had a camera with me and didn't get a shot of them if I did. For the Fringe Festival, I was in Photo Mode. K-Wok is between the Bedlam Theater (Fringe Centeral) and the Rarig. At last!
I printed out a copy of the picture above, plus a cropped version centering on just the two of them. I went down there for lunch today, partially to give them the pictures. They loved 'em, and effused. I asked their full names, and had them write it out. "Are you going to put this on the internet for the restaurant?" Well, I mainly wanted their names for my records, but sure, I'll do that.
I like this shot, capturing the lush mirrored decor of K-Wok. They're standing in front of the cash register, the spot with the most atmosphere. Really it's a simple place, relatively small, with lots of windows. Yum!