To everyone at True Thai, Anousone Phanthavong was Ped. That is a Lao nickname, and the "p" is pronounced more like a "b." He was devoted to the restaurant and much of his income went to support his elderly parents.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that U2's tour manager came to True Thai to see if we could feed the band and their road company, but there was one condition: Bono insisted that his food be prepared by the owner! I can cook, but I do not do the cooking for True Thai so Ped worked closely with me as we fixed Bono's meal. OK, the truth is Ped cooked Bono's meal and I tried to help as best I could.
As usual, Ped did a wonderful job and the band was very happy. Ped was proud of his cooking and we had many knowledgable customers who would ask if he was working whenever they came in. Ped developed many of newer items on our menu, including X, Y, and Z.
But mostly, I think he should be remembered as a good employee and a good son, a man who cooked for rock stars and who helped introduce thousands of Minnesotans to authentic Thai cuisine. Not bad for a kid who grew up on his own in Laos, somehow managing to make it to the United States to be with his family and his new friends.
True Thai Restaurant will be closed on Saturday from 11 am until 4 pm in honor of Anousone "Ped" Phanthavong's funeral services which will be held Washburn McReavy funeral home at 3816 Penn Avenue North, this Saturday at noon. Afterwards, Ped's friends and family will gather at the restaurant, which will re-open to the general public at 4 pm.