Saigon Noodle & Grill has taken over the space on Bumby Avenue that for a short time was Pho K5 and for a very long time Medina’s Market and Cafe.
This is a second location for SN&G. We visited the original, on Goldenrod Road last year as a suggestion for celebrating the Lunar New Year. This year Lunar New Year begins on Feb. 8, signaling the Year of the Monkey, which is just perfect for this particular election year. You may want to consider the new Saigon Noodle & Grill for your celebration again this year, but you might not want to wait two weeks to go.
What impressed me most about the food I had here was how vibrant and colorful it looked. Even the pho, which is many restaurants can look like day old dishwater, was vivid and fresh looking. Part of the reason may be that my dining companion had chosen the vegetable and tofu pho, so the broth was a clear vegetable broth. But the carrots and greens and even the white cubes of tofu were so enticing.
I chose the Combination House Special Vermicelli for my entree. It had grilled pork, chicken and beef with fried spring rolls and lettuce and cucumbers, each ingredient stacked neatly on top of the bowl, served over a stack of vermicelli noodles. The server admonished me to pour the entire cup of sweet vinaigrette over ingredients and mix it all together. I liked the bit of greasiness of the pork, which helped to counter the vegetarianism of my companion’s dish.
We also shared an order of Summer Rolls, which had shrimp and pork folded into translucent wrappers, and the Saigon Golden Pancake, which is closer to an omelet than a hotcake, with sprouts in the folded crepe. It was served with fresh lettuce leaves so we could wrap some of the pancake inside and eat with our hands, always the best.
Service was prompt and welcoming, and the interior, which doesn’t seem to have changed much since the last Vietnamese restaurant occupied it, is bright and clean.
Just like the food.
Saigon Noodle & Grill is at 101 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The Phone number is 407-532-7373.