About a year and a half ago (maybe more), I noticed this little restaurant pop up near the Florida Mall. It’s name was Viet Thai Cafe. I was immediate intrigued since it seemed to combine two of my favorite foods. I don’t eat either as much as I want to, so this was a treat. It was conveniently located near my office, so I could drop by for lunches. I indeed stopped by about a week later, and I brought some people with me. Unfortunately, this place fell off of my radar, until recently…
I cannot tell you why this restaurant fell off my radar, but logic suggests that there simply wasn’t anything special about this little hole-in-the-wall. Though, I can tell you that this simply wasn’t the reason, because it is a special place.
Describing Viet Thai as a “hole-in-the-wall” is a pretty accurate description, in a non-literal sense. This eatery is very easy to miss, even though it’s on the corner of one of Orlando’s most trafficked intersections, at South Orange Blossom Trail and Sand Lake Road. That’s mainly because of all of the new businesses that have sprouted up there, as well as the recent construction.
As you might have gathered from the name, Viet Thai serves dishes from both the Vietnamese and Thailand cuisines. I am a big fan of both.
The atmosphere at this cafe is very casual and friendly. The tables are spaced apart just enough, and the food is cooked right in front of you. Only a portion of their kitchen is out of view.
The staff is always very friendly and accommodating. I have heard people order meals in a way that they almost don’t resemble what they were supposed to be, and the servers just smile and make it happen. Even though one of the servers is not always easy to understand, he manages to communicate just fine. The other server reminds me of my cousins in California. He’s laid-back, and super-friendly.
The tables have minimal place settings, and they give every hint of the kind of food you’re about to eat. I LOVE me some Sriacha hot sauce too! What didn’t make the picture on the left are the chop sticks, and the soup spoon. Asian-style soup spoons are the best!
I have been there numerous times since re-discovering it. During these visits, I have chosen a handful of meals from all over the menu. While there have been things that I haven’t liked about certain dishes, I have never been disappointed to the point of not wanting to have it again. With a variety of items on the menu from soups to noodles, to Edame appetizers, you would find it difficult to not find a dish that you’d like.
What I find myself always going back to is their beef soup, called Phö. The best Phö I’ve ever had was at a restaurant in California, but this is no slouch. It has delicious cuts of tender beef in it, cooked medium rare, with plenty of rice noodles, and served with minimal veggies, including some fresh sprouts. (You’re supposed to put those into the soup.)
Pricing of the meals is about average for most dishes, especially in consideration with the area restaurants. Though, their seafood dishes are a slight bit pricy.
The entire eatery is very clean too. I am very impressed with how clean the place looks.
Here’s a tip for you though… If you like coffee-flavored cotton candy, you’re in luck! Their Thai Tea tastes just like that! :) Yuck!
Overall, I really like to visit this restaurant. The food is great, and the service is better. For example, the second time I ever came in, the server already remembered what I ordered the last time I was there, and about a week had transpired! Give Viet Thai Cafe a try.