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The Fusion Files: French Pizza in Harlem by way of Africa.

1 Mar

French Pizza

I’ve noticed a few pizzerias in Harlem that have a French accent.

oui (7)At first glance, crepes and pizza might seem like a natural mix.

oui (5)And at Oui Oui there was a French/English menu where one of the crepes  was named for the largest city in Mali. Was I on to something here?

oui (6)Why order a pedestrian “Italiano” pizza when a merguez was available?

oui (9)And so I did. Not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised that the piquant sausage made of lamb and beef gave the pizza a very welcome kick to it and was, in my estimation, a worthy substitute to traditional Italian sweet sausage.

crepeThe “Harlem” crepe, however, was another story and one not worth dwelling on.

oui (3)Still, everything was made in Harlem. And what could be better than that?


The Fusion Files Follies

7 Dec


curry king 003

“I’ll have a large General Tso’s Chicken,” I said into the phone.

There was silence on the other end and then: “Chicken? What kind?”

“General Tso’s,” I repeated, looking at the menu for Curry King that advertised Halal Chinese food. I was excited. I wanted to see if there was any difference between the standard Chinese rendition of General Tso’s as opposed to the Indo-Pak Halal version that Curry King was promoting. Besides the halal meats, what made Halal Chinese food unique? Would Indo/Pak/Bangladeshi Chinese automatically be spicier?  I wanted to know.

“Chicken curry?” the voice on the other end of the line asked.

“No, General Tso’s chicken,” I asked again. “From the Chinese section of your menu.”

“Oh, that’s no more,” the voice said.

“What do you mean?” I asked, the deflation apparent in my voice.

“We don’t make the Chinese food anymore,” he said.


“No one wants it.”

I wanted it, but I didn’t tell him that. Would it have done any good?

“What about the hot and sour soup?”


“Yes, the hot and sour soup.”

“I have that,” he said.

I was puzzled that the hot and sour soup was available but no General Tso’s.

“I’ll have it,” I said. And then I went on to order a number of either Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi items—I wasn’t sure what distinguished one from the other.

When I arrived to pick up my order, I glanced at the Indian/Pakistani and/or Bangladeshi items in the steam trays behind the counter.

Pakistani? Indian? or Bangladeshi?

Pakistani? Indian? or Bangladeshi?

“Is that the soup?” I asked, pointing to what looked like chicken soup.

“Yes, chicken soup,” the woman behind the counter told me.

“Hot and sour?”

“Chicken soup,” she repeated. “It’s fresh and very good.”

I had no doubt of that. “But it’s not hot and sour?”

Chicken soup on far left.

Chicken soup on far left.

“We can make it hot,” she said.

I nodded,  but didn’t ask if she could make it sour.



Fusion Files: The Not So Well Being Edition

7 Sep

It’s my somber duty to report that the well being of Dino’s Well Being Fusion Deli & Cafe is not very good.

But Dino’s unfortunate demise had nothing to do with its diverse menu where you could order a “chicken Seasor wrap” the “deluxe udon,” or the “bibimbab,” paired with a “fried shrimp po boy.”

Fusion options like those documented at Dino’s are irresistible and certainly well intentioned to boost one’s well being. There had to be another reason why Dino’s went kaput. And I discovered it when a man, who noticed me taking a picture of the Well Being Cafe, came up to me and, with a sad, but knowing smile on his face, shook his head and said: “That place is spooked.”

Sometimes if a place is spooked, no matter how much well being it has, it’s just got no chance.

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