In Portland, Oregon, Vietnamese food is a staple, with restaurants on every corner dishing out phở and bánh mì. But among the food scene, Rose VL Deli stands apart from the rest. That’s all thanks to the man behind the meal, William Vuong. Born in South Vietnam, William worked within the CIA during the Vietnam War. When the United States pulled out of the war, Vuong was sent to prison for 10 years by the communist regime. After getting out, he reunited with his family in Portland, opening up a restaurant specializing in soup. Today, they’ve become one of the most renowned Vietnamese restaurants in the country, serving up food you can’t find outside Vietnam.
This story is a part of our Flavors series, where we do so much more than play with our food. Come with us as we dive into deliciously different and tastefully off-beat stories in the culinary world.
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