New Vietnamese restaurant tells family’s immigrant story

Years before Manh Trac was born in Ho Chi Minh City, his mother performed at the local circus, balancing her petite frame upon spinning barrels. She had terrible motion sickness, but she also had six siblings to help feed. So if it took some daredevil stunts to accomplish that, so be it. 



a person standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera: Family portrait at Yen's Kitchen, from left: Phuong Trac, Mike Du, Yen Nguyen, Hung Trac, Manh Trac. The Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.


© Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post
Family portrait at Yen’s Kitchen, from left: Phuong Trac, Mike Du, Yen Nguyen, Hung Trac, Manh Trac. The Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.

When that wasn’t enough, Yen Nguyen learned to cook. She set up a lunch stand in an industrial neighborhood and sold steaming bowls of her homemade noodle soups to factory workers on break. Her long-simmered beef pho and pork-broth soups picked up a following. Soon she had a food cart to roll into the local zoo, where she could sell bags of homemade Vietnamese street snacks to visiting families. 

When her son was born, she moved the food enterprise to her front porch. At 25, Manh Trac tells that story as if he witnessed all of it himself, with details so vivid you can taste the chili oil in his mother’s popular spicy beef vermicelli bowls. 

He tells the story today from Yen’s Kitchen, the bright, month-old restaurant his mother opened in a suburban Lake Worth plaza that’s home to three churches, a pizzeria and a new-ish Asian market. Manh may be standing a world away from that front-porch stand of their native Vietnam, but the scents and flavors of their homeland surround him in the small, casual eatery. 

“Everything you see here is made by my mother,” says Manh, referring to the neat shelves of street snacks and spices his mom makes and packages. “We’re just her supporters.”



a person cooking in a kitchen preparing food: Yen Nguyen drains noodles as she make a pho bowl at her restaurant, Yen's Kitchen. Open since late August, the Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.


© Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post
Yen Nguyen drains noodles as she make a pho bowl at her restaurant, Yen’s Kitchen. Open since late August, the Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.

A hand-painted mural lights up a wall with a sign that translates to “Second Sister of Saigon” — it’s a popular Vietnamese movie title that seems made to order for his mom. Not only is she a second-eldest sister from the city formerly known as Saigon, she’s an industrious woman like the film’s protagonist.  

That’s his mother in the kitchen, ladling 18-hour broth into deep bowls. What you don’t see: The many hours Yen Nguyen spends making the snacks she packages, the desserts displayed in the cooler, the traditional teas she brews, the sandwich meats for her banh mis and the batter for her Vietnamese crepes. 



a bowl of soup: A pho bowl is served at Yen's Kitchen Vietnamese restaurant in suburban Lake Worth.


© Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post
A pho bowl is served at Yen’s Kitchen Vietnamese restaurant in suburban Lake Worth.

Manh, who was 8 when his family came to America in 2003 and who holds bachelor’s degrees in business management and communications, handles the operational side of the restaurant while his father Hung Trac and sister Phuong Trac, who

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Family’s years of hell living next to mountain of rubbish in neighbour’s garden that ‘smells like a sewer’

A FAMILY have told of their hell after living next to a mountain of rubbish in their neighbour’s garden that “smells like a sewer”.

James Flanagan, 26, and his mum Linda, 58, have considered moving from their home in Hall Green, Birmingham, due to the stench. 

James and Linda Flanagan peer over their fence into next door's garden

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James and Linda Flanagan peer over their fence into next door’s garden Credit: BiPM MEDIA
The rubbish is draped in tarpaulin, taking up the whole of next door's garden

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The rubbish is draped in tarpaulin, taking up the whole of next door’s gardenCredit: BiPM MEDIA
A heap of tyres, broken toys and plastic bags lies in next door's garden

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A heap of tyres, broken toys and plastic bags lies in next door’s gardenCredit: BiPM MEDIA

The mum and son had begged Birmingham City Council to have a 30ft light-blocking hedge cut down next door.

But when workers removed it last month – and replaced it with a new one – a huge pile of rubbish was revealed, including a dumped fridge-freezer, dozens of bike tyres, plastic bags and shopping baskets.

James said: “We couldn’t believe it. As they took more of the hedge away, you could see it just looked like a skip yard.

‘INDESCRIBABLE SMELL’

“It’s unbearable the smell. I can’t describe it – it smells maybe similar to what a sewer would smell like.”

“We complained about the hedge and how it blocked light for us and was breaking our fences. We suspected some hoarded rubbish – but not this much.”

The mound of rubbish was uncovered on August 27 as the hedge came down.

James said: “Because of how long it’s been going on we have thought about moving away –  but we’ve decided we’re not going to be pushed out so we’re staying.

“The 30ft hedge was frustrating being there, but the positive thing about it was it was blocking the smell.

“Now it’s not there, the smell is definitely the main issue.

Since the hedge was removed the family have been complaining for the rubbish itself – and source of the stench – to be removed.

They say a housing manager finally called to tell them the garden would be cleared by September 24.

A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council said: “This is a complex case involving vulnerable individuals.

“Some furniture has been found in the garden and has been scheduled to be removed within ten days.

“We have since provided additional support to the tenant of the property so that their conditions of tenancy can be maintained and no further issues regarding the state of the

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Diet decisions divide family’s kitchen table | Advice



Annie Lane

Annie Lane


Dear Annie: My wife and I have just celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary.

Two years ago, she decided to become a vegan for moral and dietary reasons. I respect her greatly for that, though I didn’t love constantly hearing about it. I also have adopted many of the same eating habits, but I do still eat meat.

We have both learned to prepare very nice vegan dishes that the other enjoys. Lately, however, she has decided to adopt a whole-food, plant-based diet, she also has decided to use a lot of spices in her foods that I cannot eat.

For the past two years, I have not cooked meat in our house nor have I fired up my barbecue out of respect for her. Now, I find myself wanting to again cook dishes for myself that I feel are healthy but that include lean meats: chicken fajitas, turkey chili, etc.

Do I have the right to cook in my house and if so, how do I approach the subject with her in a way that she doesn’t “flip out”?

— Omnivore Husband in Oregon

Dear Omnivore: Your wife wouldn’t appreciate it if you told her how to eat. She should respect your right to decide what you’d like to eat, too.

However, I have a feeling that you may want to take a leaf from her book once you see the effects of a whole-food, plant-based diet. It’s one of the healthiest ways to eat and has been shown to be effective against many common chronic diseases, including heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. (Check out “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., and “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., for more information.) So, keep an open mind.

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California wildfire destroys family’s iconic store and house hours apart

The Creek fire in California has been destroying hundreds of homes and structures since Friday evening. Among them, a beloved and historic general store that has served the Fresno community since 1904.

Nestled in the mountains near Shaver Lake and China Peak ski resort, Cressman’s became the popular spot to stop for vacationers going to the lake or ski cabins, but it also provided food, fuel and supplies for local families and loggers.

“Cressman’s has established a reputation in our area for just being such a special spot for people to stop at,” Cressman’s owner Tara Gillett and her husband Ty told Fox News. “Parents will tell their kids ‘I remember when I used to stop here when I was a kid.’ Families are just mourning with us and we’ve really seen that come alive in the past couple days. It’s just being felt across the entire mountain.”

(Courtesy: Cressman’s General Store)

On Monday, Ty and a group of friends tried to prepare the store for the surging flames. They brought down over 40 trees and placed hoses and water pumps all around the area to help bolster its defense.

The fire arrived by 9:30 p.m.

“We are very prepared, but we were not prepared for what was coming. And it ran us out of there very quickly,” Ty recalled. “We were basically completely surrounded by the fire by the time we left and it was throwing hot embers over our head.”

LIVE UPDATES: WILDFIRES RAGE IN CALIFORNIA AND OTHER WESTERN STATES

Ty accredited the firefighters and their expertise for getting them out of the area and keeping them alive that night.

The Creek fire wasn’t done with the Gillett family just yet. As Ty left Cressman’s, he watched the flames move across the forest, directly toward his home. The fire burned the house down to its foundation.

The Gillett's home in Pine Ridge, California, was completely destroyed by the fires on the same night their family business was scorched. 

The Gillett’s home in Pine Ridge, California, was completely destroyed by the fires on the same night their family business was scorched. 

Ty and Tara, along with their two young children, had evacuated their home in Pine Ridge, which they say is just about a mile from Cressman’s, earlier that day and were able to save a few of their most valued possessions.

“I wish we had a do-over because even when I was packing, I didn’t think that would be the last time I would be in my home,” Tara said. “So there’s things now that I wish I would have gotten, like my wedding dress out so my daughter can play in it when she gets older.”

According to Cal Fire, approximately 14,000 firefighters are battling 28 major wildfires across California.

“The fire was so hot that it was hard to comprehend that it was burning things so fast that there was nothing left,” Ty said.

WASHINGTON MAN ARRESTED FOR STARTING FIRE IN MEDIAN OF HIGHWAY, POLICE SAY

Cal Fire spokesman Seth Brown said the flames that consumed Cressman’s were driven by strong winds.

Ty and Tara took over ownership

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