Just before all corona hell broke loose,back in March, I visited Phoresh, a “noodles and street fare” cafe in East Orlando. Ironically, I ordered my food for takeout. Had I known what was about to happen, I might have stayed to savor a final dine-in experience. But since we’re focusing these days on the takeout experience, I thought I might as well tell you about Phoresh now.
As you might gather from the first three letters of the name, Phoresh specializes in pho, the Vietnamese beef soup. I’m guessing that if one were to use the correct pronunciation of pho – like the word fur without the r – the name is meant to sound like saying fresh with two syllables.
The concept is a little bit like an assemblage restaurant – choose your broth, choose your protein and such. And it’s a quick-serve operation where you order and pay at the counter. At least it was until late March.
But considering that a standard Vietnamese restaurant’s pho listings often tally in the dozens, I rather appreciated the simplicity of Phoresh’s menu and its limited choices.
For example, if you choose the beef broth, you can select from among eye round steak, beef brisket, flank or beef ball for you protein. I chose the eye round and while I waited, I helped myself to the condiment bar, something I’m certain has now been rendered obsolete. So your bean spouts, basil leaves and such will have to be dished up for you.
Instead of putting all the soup ingredients together in one container, the broth was packed separately from the meat and noodles for me to assemble at home. That kept the raw meat from overcooking in the hot broth. A nice touch.
The broth was full flavored and had just the right amount of little fat bubbles on the surface. I replated – or rather rebowled – everything into one of my larger soup bowls and enjoyed slurping up the noodles and chopsticking the steak.
For those who don’t want pho might opt for one of the rice or vermicelli selections. I ordered the vermicelli noodles with grilled chicken, which was sliced and spread across the white noodles, sprinkled with crushed peanuts and served with a container of fish sauce. I liked it, but the pho was more interesting.
Service was friendly and the kitchen, which is in full view, was spotlessly clean, as was the small dining area. (Phoresh took over the space that was briefly Pizzeria Roberti.)
The dining area was so small that I’m not sure it could reopen under current occupance restrictions. But I feel confident in recommending it for takeout.
Phoresh is at 2751 S. Chickasaw Trail, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. The phone number is 407-704-8338.