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Friday, April 12, 2024

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How Boba Tea and Authentic Vietnamese Came to Cape May County  

Boba tea from Cape May Pho and Boba Tea
Collin Hall

Boba tea from Cape May Pho and Boba Tea

By Herald Staff

COURT HOUSE – Thao “Tracey” Le and her husband Tai Pham have always wanted to share the food of their home country with Cape May County. When the couple moved here from Vietnam, friends and acquaintances would constantly ask: “where can I get Vietnamese around here?” To finally answer this question, the couple opened Cape May Pho and Boba Tea in Court House. 
Tracey and Tai made this dream a reality when they opened the restaurant in November of 2022. “After over four years of thinking about it, we finally did it,” Tracey said during a hurried interview. She keeps incredibly busy at the new restaurant; she works hard in the kitchen alongside her husband, her mother, and her aunt. 
Tracey said that it has been hard to find workers who can work the kitchen because she is committed to preserving the authenticity of her dishes. 
“It has been hard to find people who can cook Vietnamese food; Americans don’t know how to cook it. I want Vietnamese people to cook the food,” she said. “Many Vietnamese restaurants staff Americans who don’t know how to cook the food.” This is something Tracey was eager to avoid, and she enlisted her family to help solve the problem. 
Her family has lived in America for twelve years now. Cape May Pho and Boba Tea has been a family endeavor; every member of her family brings a different talent to the establishment. 
The broth used in most of the pho bowls uses a family recipe that requires at least 48 hours of preparation. This broth is part of what makes their pho bowl – a traditional Vietnamese dish with thick noodles, hearty broth, seasoned meat, and green herbs – their best dish. 
But Vietnamese food is only half of the equation. Tracey grew up enjoying boba teas, milk teas, and other sweet drinks. “Boba tea,” also known as “bubble tea,” is a tea-based beverage that incorporates a variety of fruity flavors with milk and chewy tapioca pearls. The pearls give the drink a real heft, and the tea / milk combination is a deviation from tradition American drinks. Boba has seen a spike in popularity and is especially popular with younger folks.
Tracey is excited to finally bring Boba to the peninsula. She took several boba-making classes back home in Vietnam, and brought her skills with her when she moved to New Jersey. 
But beyond the food, Tracey hopes that the restaurant can become a community hub for Vietnamese people who now call Cape May County home. “I have seen a lot of Vietnamese people gather here,” she said. 
For their most up-to-date hours, visit their Facebook page. They are also open for takeout.

Cape May Pho and Boba Tea

709 S Rte 9, Cape May Court House

(609) 536-2545

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