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Thank You, Thulan

Nguyen, who arrived in Richmond from Vietnam 25 years ago, serves as chef at the family-owned restaurants. She cooks dinner at Carytown and lunch on Harrison, although she spends more time in the shop near VCU, she confesses.

The Carytown store opened seven years ago when she and her French sister-in-law sat down to create the fused French/Vietnamese menu. The newest, more casual Indochine features lower prices (all items are $1 less than they used to be) and more choices. You can get an Asian- (lemongrass beef, Thai peanut tofu) or American-inspired concoction (chicken Caesar, country fried chicken) in a wrap, sub or salad. Also on the menu are noodle and rice bowls, appetizers like dumplings, spring rolls or french fries, and Vietnamese pho soup. All for $1.50 to $5.50. Everything is made to order, cafeteria-style, and you're likely to get Nguyen's daughter or husband behind the register.

Before Indochine, Nguyen worked as an inspector for AT&T for 16 years while she and her family saved up enough money to open their first restaurant. Today, she is still thankful for the opportunities she's has had in the United States. "I came here empty-handed, but who helped me? God helped me and America helped me. I want to thank you America."

— Carrie Nieman

Café Indochine

1100 W. Cary St.


Open daily 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

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