It was a pretty quick turnaround for the former Medina’s Market and Cafe. It’s now been transformed into a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho K5. Most of us now know that Pho is the beef soup that so many of the local restaurants specialize in. The K5 in the name is a reference to Kink 5, which is the name of an agricultural village in southwestern Vietnam.
Pho K5 was previously in the Chinatown complex on West Colonial Drive in Orlando. The owners moved to the Bumby Avenue location and also recently sold a business in Buffalo, New York, called 99 Fastfood. I’m thinking restaurant names aren’t their strong suit. That’s OK. They have a pleasant new restaurant with delicious food.
Pho K5 opened in late November but for the first few weeks it offered discounts on all of its food as a sort of practice period. Now it’s back up to regular pricing, so I stopped in for a second visit the other day.
My lunch guest and I started with the crispy spring rolls, little tiparillos of egg roll devices filled with minced pork and deep fried.
I think I liked the unfried summer rolls in the stretchy translucent wrappers with the fresh bean sprouts, lettuce and noodles inside. Delicious with the peanut dipping sauce.
The pho (pictured at top) was very good with an appropriately beefy broth base. I had the no. 3, with rare beef and beef balls. Of course it came with a plate of fresh sprouts, basil leaves, jalapeno slices and lime wedges for me to add or not as I desired.
I also tried the lemon grass chicken stir fry, which had a yellow color similar to a curry, but the dominant flavor was the pungent lemon grass, which was complemented by big hunks of onions, all served over rice.
The rice vermicelli with barbecue pork skewers featured three wood sticks with minced pork molded on then grilled. They were served atop the white noodles with shredded cucumber, carrots and crushed peanuts. The meat was a little difficult to coax off the skewers, but it was delicious once accomplished.
The space is a bit spartan and stark. Quite bright but also spotless. Service was attentive and welcoming if a bit cautious.
Pho K5 is at 101 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando. It is open for breakfast (starting at 9:30), lunch and dinner daily. The website has the full menu with prices. One appreciated nice touch: some dishes are available in small or large portions. The phone number is 407-532-7373.