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Response to owner of Harbor Town Pub regarding offensive name of menu item

I sent the following email to Chad Cline, the owner of the new Harbor Town Pub in San Diego, after finding out he named a sandwich “Pho-King Amazing Sandwich.”

Dear Chad Cline,

Hello, I wanted to let you know that I read the article about your pub and menu items on DiscoverSD.com. As a board representative with the Asian American Journalists Association (which represents 2,000 reporters worldwide and 40 locally), I sent a letter to the Union-Tribune editors (the parent company of DiscoverSD.com) but I also wanted to send you a note.

I’d like you to know that your attempt at being clever by using “Pho-King Amazing” to describe your sandwich was unsuccessful. Not only is the name of the sandwich completely dimwitted, the ingredients of your sandwich also fail to relate to any Vietnamese flavor while adding insults to millions of people.

As a Chinese-Vietnamese-American woman I find the name of your menu item to be incredibly offensive to not only the Vietnamese population but all people who strive to treat others with respect. It shows complete ignorance about what it means to be culturally aware and considerate. As a person in the communications industry, I am amazed that a businessperson who is attempting to find success in the restaurant industry would even consider berating 2.5 percent of the population in San Diego and those they associate with personally and professionally

As I state in my email to the Union-Tribune, I encourage you to learn what a “pho” dish is and how to pronounce it. [Hint: “Pho” does not translate to “sandwich” nor is it pronounced “Fuh.”]

Thank you for your attention.

Hoa Quach