Pho Goodness Sake

If your exposure to Orlando has been focused on theme parks and all things mouse related, you may not be aware that the city itself has one of the largest Vietnamese populations in the southeast. As a result, we have an area known as Little Vietnam where there is no shortage of great authentic Vietnamese restaurants. Tonight we tried a new place - that is new to us - called Pho Hoa. As it turns out this is actually a franchise operation, however the food did not have the homogenized or diluted presentation or flavors one might expect from a national chain. In fact we found it quite comparable to the other small independently owned restaurants we have tried in the area.

We shared a three beef combination appetizer comprised of grilled mint beef (ground beef & peppercorns wrapped in mint leaves); grilled onion beef (marinated eye round steak wrapped around a green onion) and grilled sour meatballs (ground beef & pork). All three were quite tastey. For dinner I had the #34, Pho Tai Bo Vien, or beef noodle soup with eye round steak and meatballs. The broth was richly flavored and the steak, which at some places can be rather bland and/or chewy had a nice beef flavor and was quite tender. The dense meatballs
were well seasoned and tasted similar to what we would call bologna. My husband had the Pho with brisket and flank steak which tend to be fattier cuts. Both were extremely tender and flavorful. We both agreed that their meats were some of the best we have had in any Pho restaurant to date.

For dessert I splurged and tried an avocado shake. I had always heard about how good they were and really wanted to see for myself. I was not disappointed. Made with avocado, condensed milk and sugar this "smoothy" was wonderfully refreshing. I can't wait to try to recreate one at home in a "lightened" version.

The staff at Pho Hoa was very attentive, cheerful and helpful. In fact, of all the Vietnamese places we have tried so far - the staff here was the most pleasant. We will definitely go back again.

Dinner & Dessert
Pho Hoa, Orlando FL

Three Beef Combination Lettuce Wraps (3 Pts)
Pho Tai Bo Vien - noodle soup with eye round & meatballs (5 Pts)
Avocado Shake (7 Pts)

Avocado Shake

Pho Tai Bo Vien

(Pho is traditionally served with garnishes like cilantro, basil, mint, lime, peppers & sprouts)

Three Beef Combination Appetizer

Panera, Longwood FL

Roast beef & cheddar on asiago cheese demi, light mayo & mustard (7 Pts)
Corn Chowder (This wasn't very good so I only had a few spoonfuls) (.5 Pts)
Small apple (1 Pt)
Iced non fat latte (1 Pt)


Fiber One Raisin Bran Clusters, banana, 1% milk (4.5 Pts)
Coffee with 1% milk (1 Pt)


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