Ba’s means “Dad’s” and an awesome Dad is the reason Karen and Seth Carey opened Ba’s Vietnamese Comfort Food.
Karen learned to cook from her father, Tony Pham, who taught her all her grandmother’s recipes.
In the 1970s, Tony fled Vietnam and thought he’d never see his parents again. Honoring family recipes was a way to keep the family connection.
Karen said that their restaurant, which opened June 8, features the same dishes she ate growing up.
“Ba’s is all about family,” Karen shared. “We are serving what we eat at home.”
Ba’s Vietnamese Comfort Food features appetizers like pork or veggie egg rolls and tofu or shrimp & pork salad rolls.
Their beef pho simmers for 12 hours. Other dishes include chicken pho, vermicelli noodle salads plus rice bowls featuring beef stew, braised pork, ginger chicken and vegan curry.
Specialty iced teas, hot tea, Vietnamese coffee, avocado smoothie, sake, beer, and wine round out the dining experience.
Their dishes are healthy, made with fresh ingredients and no added MSG.
Every week Ba’s holds “Do Right Tuesday,” where each month they chose an organization or group to donate 10% of their Tuesday sales to. If you have a favorite nonprofit, Seth asks that you message Ba’s on Facebook for consideration.
Seth and Karen are both Oregon State University grads, but they met in South Korea while on internships. The Careys were married about a year-and-a-half ago, and enjoy working together.
Karen’s parents, both from Vietnam, met and married in the USA. In the 90s, they were finally able to reconnect with their relatives in Vietnam.
The walls of the restaurant are covered in murals depicting favorite places and family photos. The restaurant is designed to look like an alley. It’s the perfect setting as Vietnamese food is street food, Seth said.
Ba’s Vietnamese Comfort Food is located at 117 First Ave. E, Suite 104 in Downtown Albany. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11 am – 3 pm and 5-9 pm.
They can be reached at (541) 791-7299 or visit them on social media.