The new wave of pho empires continues to spread across the greater New Orleans area, with Ian McNulty reporting that Pho Orchid Express will be opening at 1401 Airline in Metairie later this summer. Owner Dave Nguyen, who opened Pho Orchid in 2009 near Clearview Mall, will bring Express service and an abbreviated menu to the former Cafe Zizi's space? originally a Popeye's? with a hipper aesthetic in mind than that of a fast food joint, or even a traditional Vietnamese restaurant. Customers will be able to order via touchscreen devices at the counter and will also be able to watch the cooks "assemble spring rolls and other items in the kitchen."
As per those other items, they'll venture away from the family-style servings popular at Pho Orchid, and a shorter menu of banh mi, summer rolls, and pho will play off the "modern trends" taking over the latest slew of area Vietnamese restaurants, including a dish called "Orchid Tacos, which represent another example of the growing use of steamed buns filled like tacos or sandwiches" as seen at Ba Chi Canteen and Pho Bistreaux. The original Pho Orchid has been open since 2009 in Metairie.