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First, in full disclosure, the three young men who started Viet-Nomz are old friends of mine from college. But even if I did not know these three foolish friends who decided to take on the food industry, I would wholeheartedly feel the same about Viet-Nomz.

Phillip Nguyen, Chris Chen, and Mike Cho began this journey just a few years ago when they started to brainstorm about how to bring their collective love for Vietnamese food together. Phillip, who is of Vietnamese descent, traveled around the world and America, most notably in the Vietnamese enclaves of Southern California as well as the motherland in the streets of Saigon in south Vietnam, to taste and try dishes to bring back to their project in Orlando. With this inspiration, the three friends, each with their own years of experience in the restaurant industry, opened up Viet-Nomz in late June and has hit the ground running ever since.

The space is quite hip, with natural wood ambiance. Order at the counter and your dishes will be brought to you. I visited on multiple occasions and enjoyed everything I had, from the plump, fried pork egg rolls to the grilled beef banh mi sandwiches drizzled with spicy “nom nom” sauce, to the delicately nuanced and flavorful bowls of pho, the staple of Vietnamese restaurants every where. In some ways, Viet-Nomz is the Vietnamese version of a ramen-shop, with piping hot bowls of pho beef noodle soup instead of ramen emanating from their open kitchen.

There are some updates to the Vietnamese menu here, brought on by the founder’s own upbringings. Chris Chen, who is of Taiwanese descent, brought some of the doughy, steamed white buns that make the famous gua baos in Taiwanese street foods, and married them with Vietnamese banh mi ingredients like pickled daikon and carrots and grilled pork. There are also banh mi tacos on the menu, something that was a favorite on our visits.

Photo Jun 23, 12 33 02 PM

Everything is made to order, and you can watch as they assemble and grill the dishes for the rice bowls or noodle bowls, and pour soups from the huge vats of pho beef noodle soup that have been simmering for hours and hours that day. For vegetarians, do try their vegetarian pho, one of the most flavorful renditions I’ve ever tried, made through a special combination of bok choy, mushrooms and vegetables that just speaks volumes of “umami”.

Instead of Vietnamese coffee made by the drip cannisters, the coffee here is made via an espresso machine with a unique house blend of coffee beans. Must try.

The only complaint is the heat from the grills and soup pots that emanates from the open kitchen area – it can get quite uncomfortable, but some say it does bring memories of the hot summers of Vietnam. I hear the heat issues will be remedied soon.

Located just outside of Full Sail on Goldenrod and University, they plan on opening late nights on the weekend in the future for the university crowd.

Overall, I do recommend nomming down on Viet-Nomz soon,  and bring a friend.

Viet-Nomz Vietnamese Pho & Street Fare

7581 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792
Corner of University Blvd & Goldenrod Rd
(Across from Winn-Dixie/Tijuana Flats)
Phone: +1 407-636-6069
http://vietnomzfl.com/

HOURS
Sunday – Thursday
11:00 AM — 10:00 PM

Friday & Saturday
11:00 AM — 3:00 AM

Photo Jun 23, 12 32 27 PM Photo Jun 23, 12 32 36 PM

Grilled Pork Bao
Grilled Pork Bao
Fried egg rolls
Fried egg rolls
Grilled beef rice bowl with fried egg
Grilled beef rice bowl with fried egg
Herbs and veggie station
Herbs and veggie station – The Herb Bar
Banh mi tacos
Banh mi tacos
Banh mi topped with egg
Banh mi topped with egg
Chris Chen and Phillip Nguyen
Chris Chen and Phillip Nguyen
Pho beef noodle soup
Pho beef noodle soup
Vietnamese iced coffee
Vietnamese iced coffee

Photo Jul 01, 12 26 21 PM

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According to their facebook page, “Viet-Nomz is a modern take on delicious Vietnamese cuisine. We are here to satisfy your appetite with popular Vietnamese fare in a fast casual environment! Viet-Nomz is a Vietnamese QSR restaurant created with a new concept and freshness in mind. Every rice and noodle bowl is handcrafted in our kitchen with only quality ingredients. We believe in flavorful and wholesome meals with a modern, yet authentic, twist to traditional Vietnamese cuisine.”

It is founded by friends Chris Chen, Phillip Nguyen, and Mike Cho.

They are also going to be offering late night pho on Friday and Saturday nights (until 3 AM). GAME CHANGER!

They are now under construction and expect to open summer 2016.

Background Summary:

Viet-Nomz is a Vietnamese QSR restaurant created with a new concept and freshness in mind. Every rice and noodle bowl is handcrafted in our kitchen with only quality ingredients. We believe in flavorful and wholesome meals with a modern, yet authentic, twist to traditional Vietnamese cuisine.

Overview:

Viet-Nomz is a modern take on delicious Vietnamese cuisine, serving noodle soups, rice and noodle bowls, and contemporary-style Asian street food.

Industry:

Restaurant (fast-casual)

Drivers and Goals:

My partner Philip Nguyen and I (Chris Chen) love pho and Vietnamese food. However, we’ve noticed a lack of a modern twist to this traditional cuisine. In today’s world, QSR (quick service restaurants) are rapidly growing as the traditional sit-down dining restaurants are declining. With that being said, there’s a lack of QSR Viet restaurants in Orlando and Florida, unlike QSR Chinese and Japanese restaurants, which are already mainstream.

Audience:

We are designing for foodies and pho lovers who share the same passion and excitement for the Vietnamese cuisine. Our demographics ranges from young adults to families who simply love pho and Viet food and want it in a fast-casual environment.

Tone:

Asian street feel – not quite urban; industrial rustic modern atmosphere. Breaking the traditional feel of Asian cuisine. Contemporary Cali-inspired.

Message:

Quality and wholesome foods in a fast-pace way of service. We want customers to see our shop as a place to enjoy pho on-the-go or a more relax/chill place for friends and family to eat popular Vietnamese fare and kick back.

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vietnomz/timeline
http://vietnomzfl.com/

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Alton Brown, the Food Network television personality of Good Eats, Iron Chef America, and Cutthroat Kitchen fame, will be returning to Orlando for his live “Eat Your Science” show at the Dr Phillips Performing Arts Center on April 22, 2017.

On his last visit to Orlando, he stopped by some local favorites such as Beefy King, Credo and Lineage Coffee, Skyebird Juice Bar, Olde Hearth Bakery, Kappo at East End Market, The Ravenous Pig, Pho 88, and Pom Pom’s Tea House and Sandwicheria.

On March 14, Alton Brown posted this on Facebook:

“Dear Orlando: The last time I was in your fine city for Alton Brown Live, you directed me to these fine establishments. Well…I’m coming back April 22 (http://bit.ly/EYSOrlando) and need your help again. Where should I go? #ABRoadEatsORL”

I humbly submit a few places for his next visit, including a few of my favorites.

Knowing he is probably on a tight schedule, I recommend visiting the Mills 50 area first, where he can hit up a few spots at once:

1. Mamak – Malaysian street food

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Dishes to try: Wontons in hot peanut sauce and the roti canai.

Mamak
1231 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 270-4688
www.mamakasianorlando.com/

2. Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa

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Dishes to try:  The Oak-smoked St. Louis ribs (half-rack $14.99, full $22.99) are truly among the best, if not the best, ribs in all of Orlando – slow-cooked with a crispy surface yet tender, fall of the bone meat within and a nice sweet flavor. Try it with the crispy sweet fennel apple salad.

Pig Floyds
1326 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 203-0866
www.pigfloyds.com

3. Chuan Lu Garden – Sichuan Chinese cuisine


Dishes to try: La Zi Fish, fried with Sichuan peppercorns and the pan fried house made dumplings.

Chuan Lu Garden
Phone (407) 896-8966
??1101 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
http://www.chuanluorlando.com/

4. Vietnam Cuisine:


Dishes to try: Banh cuon, a rice noodle crepe dish filled with mushrooms and pickled daikon radish.

Vietnam Cuisine

1224 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803

5. Seito Sushi at Baldwin Park:


Dishes to try: Pork Tonkotsu Ramen – made with a 24 hour pork broth, and topped with slices of braised pork belly, poached Lake Meadows soy pullet egg, and house made garnish

Seito Sushi
4898 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814
(407) 898-8801
www.seitosushi.com

6. The Osprey Tavern:


Dishes to try: Spicy Egg Pizza

The Osprey Tavern
4899 New Broad Street
Orlando, FL 32814 407-960-7700

7. The Donut King in Winter Park


Dishes to try: The Cronut or the Traditional Glazed Donut

Donut King
3716 Howell Branch Rd Winter Park, FL 32792
(321) 316-4817
http://www.thedonutking.com/

8. Viet-Nomz


Dishes to try: Vietnamese pork tacos and Vietnamese coffee

Viet-Nomz Vietnamese Pho & Street Fare

7581 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792
Phone: +1 407-636-6069
http://vietnomzfl.com/

9. Shishco Mezze and Grill

Dishes to try: The Gyro bowl, a generous bowl with a large lavash flat bread base overflowing with bulgur wheat grain, sliced pickled red onion, chopped tomatoes, and slices of beef and lamb doner / gyro.

Shishco Mezze and Grill
118 Lake Ave, Maitland, FL 32751
Phone:(407) 661-1336
Menu: shishcomezzegrill.com

10. Bulla Gastrobar in Winter Park

Dishes to Try: Huevos Bulla, made with eggs, homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam and truffle oil. The dish is mixed at the table.

Bulla Gastrobar
110 S Orlando Ave #7, Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (321) 214-6120

Where would you send Alton Brown? Use the hashtag #ABRoadEatsORL on facebook, twitter and instagram to send him your recs.

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