Friday, April 17, 2020

The Pitt News profiles Timothy Vong of Thai Gourmet and Thai Gourmet Express for its Silhouettes 2020 series.

by Thomas Yang.

The Pitt News, the student newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh, has profiled Timothy Vong of Bloomfield's Thai Gourmet restaurant and Oakland's Thai Gourmet Express food truck as part of this year's Silhouettes series.
“I try to create a friendly environment and give my customers a warm welcome,” Vong said, flashing the trademark grin he gives every customer he serves. “If I see a friendly, familiar face I come out and shake their hand. As for my students, I treat them and try and take care of them like they’re my own kids.”

Each morning, Tim and Vilivan head to Thai Gourmet — their Bloomfield restaurant the truck is named after — to prepare the day’s supply of food for the truck. Depending on the season, they serve 30 to 120 people per day.

“Fresh, fresh, fresh, everyday. People support us, so we want to provide that for them,” said Vong. “I’m very satisfied and happy to be involved in the Pitt community — to meet the new students in the fall and give them satisfaction.”

The 52-year-old Turtle Creek resident is very satisfied with the life he has now, though his journey to Pittsburgh and the restaurant industry he adores actually took several decades.

Vong compared his childhood years in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, to that of today’s average American kid — spent doing chores and playing soccer with friends. But following the Vietnam War, life became harder and more dangerous for his family. In 1979, his parents made the decision to flee the country with Vong and his five younger siblings to attempt to start a new life elsewhere.

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