Fresh Like Fusion

In our post-Cronut and chocolate-covered-bacon food revolution, who knew the recent suggestion of adding green peas to guacamole could ignite a national foodie firestorm? Can’t all the veggies just get along?

Blending traditional fare with unexpected ingredients, spices or cooking techniques from different global regions is a good thing, a great thing. It’s a fusion thing. And the big-city trend is not lost on us locals. We may not crowd into the subway or a taxi at the end of the day, but we know good food when we find it, even if we get there in the comfort of our SUVs. That’s Oklahoma sensibility at its finest, a fusion all its own. Discover some of Edmond’s ingenious restaurateurs who bring global fare to the neighborhood every day.

Asian Fusion at Covell Park

Duck at Covell ParkThis contemporary new north Edmond gem is comfy enough for families but metro-glam enough to seriously impress a date. Owners and American natives, Nam Nguyen and Trong Le, bring a modern twist to Asian home-cooking with an exquisite blend of ingredients that appeals to even the pickiest eaters. Appetizers like mussels in a lemony sausage sauce, caramelized Brussels sprouts and tasty chicken lollipops are an instant attraction.

The sushi is a masterful blend of sustainable seafood, non-fried ingredients and low-sugar sauces accented with fennel, apple, soy tomatoes and inventive flavors you never even knew you loved. Other highlights are the duck with pickled butternut squash and the pork chop topped with caramelized Brussels sprouts. And Vegans, rejoice! The tofu with a grilled, caramelized topping brings unprecedented variety to this mainstay.

Seriously, save room for dessert. The pan-seared carrot cake with cream cheese gelato, lacy candied carrots and pecans is unlike anything you’ve ever had. And waffles for dessert? Oh yeah! This gorgeous dessert shows off with hunks of light taro root waffle, pistachio ice cream, handcrafted, charred marshmallow and candied pecans for extra fabulous dipping.

1200 W Covell Rd, Suite 100 •

Zarate’s Mexican Latin Grill

As colorful as its distinctive blue building on Broadway, Zarate’s equally electric cuisine stands out from the crowd. The menu reads like a vacation map of exotic culinary adventures with stops in Peru, Mexico, Jamaica, Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico and more. A casual décor adds to the carefree coastal feel. Peruvian-born owner, Jorge Zarate says the growing appeal of fusion foods, especially Peruvian, is due to a well-traveled population with expanded tastes. For eight years, his restaurant has treated locals to the international flavors they crave.

Though many first-timers come in for their favorite Tex-Mex entrées like enchiladas, their heads quickly turn as a steamy plate of Jamaican shrimp curry or Chilean tilapia passes by the table. The most popular dish is Lomo Saltado, a Peruvian stir-fry. Grilled skirt steak is sautéed in a wok over an open flame with tomatoes, onions, potatoes and peppers and tossed with a Chilean wine sauce. Also known for their fantastic selection of beers like Nicaraguan and Brazilian imports, Zarate’s also serves a mean Sangria Swirl, so I’m told.

706 S Broadway •

European-American Cuisine at Café 501

Crab Enchiladas at Cafe 501Café 501’s refined dishes and bakery items blend the diverse tastes of France, Italy, South America, Morocco, Germany and Austria. Their seamless merge of global influences in each dish creates an exciting menu of designer salads, soups, sandwiches, brick oven pizzas, Saturday breakfast, Sunday brunch and magnificent dinner entrées. Even if you’ve dined at this lively corner café many times, you always have your eye on the next must-try dish.

For dinner, the hummus duo features a lemon garlic hummus and a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste with black beans, Feta cheese, roasted red pepper and cucumber, served with crispy pita chips. The crab enchiladas with Cilantro rice and Oaxacan corn casserole are another favorite. For comfort food with punched-up spice, try the Tequila-lime shrimp and spicy grits with Cilantro cream sauce. Finish every meal with delicious pastries, pies, cakes, cookies or specialty confections. You won’t be sorry.

501 S Boulevard, Edmond & 5825 NW Grand Blvd, OKC •

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