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Inside Look: Pho Huong Lan with Phuc Map aka Brandon Hurley

Pho Huong Lan, located in a hidden courtyard in Orlando’s Mills 50 District, is a Vietnamese eatery known for its house hand made pho rice noodles, specializing in Pho Beef Noodle Soup topped with juicy beef short rib and filet mignon.

I recently visited to try their dishes with Brandon Hurley, aka Phuc Map, who attended the University of Central Florida and worked as a bouncer in downtown Orlando with his jiujitsu expertise before moving to Vietnam in 2014 and living there for eight years.

During his time there, the serendipitous encounter with his beloved wife in 2016 galvanized Hurley, known affectionately as Phúc Map, to embark upon the pursuit of mastery in the Vietnamese language. He learned Vietnamese very masterfully – even more fluent than my kindergarten level Vietnamese. He became a sort of celebrity there, appearing on Vietnamese national entertainment programs and became known as “Phuc Map” or “Fat Phuc” in English and popular for his prodigious series, “Vietnamese Word of the Day.”

Recently, Phúc M?p was bestowed the esteemed title of “Special Ambassador of Tourism to Vietnam” by Dân Trí magazine, an honor that reaffirms his unwavering commitment to disseminating the salient virtues of Vietnamese culture, language, and culinary prowess to a global audience.

Recently, he and his wife returned to the states to help his wife’s family with the family business – the family nail salon in Kentucky. He recently visited Orlando and we were able to meet up for lunch at Pho Huong Lan.

The first time I entered Pho Huong Lan, I could smell and feel the scent of simmering broth, hot and newly steamed rice noodles, and fresh herbs reminiscent of street stalls in Saigon.

The beef short rib, tender and succulent, and melt in your mouth chopped filet mignon, are some of my favorite toppings for pho here, but don’t miss their Bun Bo Hue as well.

The Bun Bo Hue is a spicy beef noodle soup, originating from central Vietnam (Hue), boasts a fiery broth infused with lemongrass, chili, and aromatic spices and tender beef chunks. The broth is made by simmering beef bones, lemongrass, annatto seeds (which give the broth its distinctive reddish color), and various aromatic herbs and spices – and contains slices of beef, which can include beef brisket, beef shank, and sometimes even pig’s knuckles.  Here they even have huyet which is blood pudding in their bun bo hue.

The tiny, but mighty Pho Huong Lan is truly among the best Vietnamese noodle soup shops in Orlando!

Pho Huong Lan
1216 E Colonial Dr Suite 7, Orlando, FL 32803

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