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New Fuze Restaurant Sparks Excitement in Downtown Kalamazoo

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Fuze

We are happy to share this guest post by Jayne Economos and Chante Wiggins. Economos is a freelance writer from Wales. Having lived in several countries, including Switzerland, Ireland, and Australia, she has been happy to have called Kalamazoo her home for the last 7 years. Wiggins is a research assistant and Public Relations major at Western Michigan University.

The latest hotspot on the Kalamazoo food scene is Fuze Kitchen & Bar located at 214 East Michigan Avenue. The décor is warehouse style and elegant, yet relaxed, with floor to ceiling exposed brick walls, wooden floors, and comfortable multi-level seating. The lighting and music are set perfectly for good conversation.

Fuze couldn't have arrived at a more perfect time to build on Kalamazoo's growing reputation for great food, beer and wine. The menu at Fuze teases the taste buds, stretches the imagination and promises a fresh, exciting dining experience.

General Manager A.J. Danias, explains that he wants to create a restaurant that the city of Kalamazoo has never seen before. After a lunchtime visit to the restaurant, it is obvious that he and his team have succeeded.

Danias describes the style of the menu as Modern American, but each dish also has an artistic twist. He takes the best ideas from different cultures and as the name of his restaurant suggests, fuses them in creative ways. The menu is dynamic, benefitting from the freshest seasonal produce.

We ordered the soup of the day, The Butternut Curry Cream, laced with an Asian spicy, coconut concoction. This was followed by the Cornbread Crusted Redfish Sandwich with Smoked Sea- Salt Fries and Lamb Gyro, partnered with the Rosemary Truffle Fries. All dishes were perfectly fused.

Danias passion for his new venture is infectious. "I love the satisfaction of making people happy and seeing them leave happy. Knowing that my menu is very different from other restaurants and my customers enjoy all the different cuisines, from the Grilled Portabella to the Warm Fall Salad, brings me joy."

The dessert menu brought us pure joy. We devoured the flan caramel bliss topped with vanilla bean tuile. Then we were tempted by the dish that seemed to sum up the essence of Fuze: Cucumber Sponge (with yuzu gel, gin crème anglaise and popping sugar). Unsure how this would translate from menu to plate, we were delighted by the fluffy sponge, fresh taste of cucumber, and fun, popping sensation.

Fuze also offers an excellent choice of American and international wines and beers, hand selected by Danias from local purveyors.

When asked, why Kalamazoo? Danias' love for the city comes into full focus.
"The town is fun and has always been amazing. There are a lot of things to do and a ton of restaurants for people to choose from. ESPN College GameDay was recently here which was very exciting, and that's proof that Kalamazoo is growing and is a great place."

Downriver, south of Detroit is where Danias found his love of food and this passion has been the center of his working life for 17 years. He first started working in the kitchen, transitioned to being a busboy, and years later, after getting to know the restaurant business inside out, brought his expertise to tease our minds and mouths by bringing Fuze to Kalamazoo.

"I've always wanted to create a restaurant because of my love for food, and I wanted to do it where I would be closer to my family. I've lived in Michigan for the majority of my life and I wouldn't want to open my first restaurant anywhere else," Danias explains.

We can't wait to return for evening entrees, (available after 4pm). And then for the brunch menu, to sample such tempting delights as Chorizo Bing Bing, and Peanut Butter Yummy. Brunch is available on Sundays from 10.30am until 4pm.

And don't forget to add Fuze to your list of places to eat during this week's "Restaurant Week", Check out their website for more details.

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