New fusion restaurant heats Greensboro | on information
From: Jennifer Zeleski
W.When it comes to choosing a restaurant, I avoid those that refer to the menu as “fusion”. It has to do with combining two completely different types of cuisine that never seems to come out quite right. Embur Fire Fusion, located at 107 Smyres Pl. In Greensboro, just opened its doors in early August and seemed worth a try.
Embur is behind Mad Hatter in the former Donutime Coffee and Donuts. The old illuminated sign is still hanging in the window, but Embur is far from serving your favorite pick-me-up in the morning. The menu is a mix of Peruvian dishes and wood-fired pizza, which is not only atypical, but also another international restaurant that adds to Greensboro’s gastronomy. Trying not to have too high expectations, I was looking forward to getting my first taste of Peruvian and Italian food just minutes outside of downtown.
Before entering, guests can look in the large windows to see the wood-burning stove or notice the large garden boxes on the sidewalk filled with fresh herbs. In the summer heat, basil, rosemary and various types of mint grow abundantly and form a green contrast to the very modern interior of the restaurant, which is only a few steps away.
Seating is open to your choice or preference, and the sides of the restaurant are lined with cubicles that make it easy for children to squeeze in if seating was limited. There’s also a long bar in the back that overlooks a well-stocked liquor rack and traditional espresso machine. Not entirely sure if the restaurant inherited it or if there are plans to use it, but one can only wonder about a fusion restaurant.
The menu was fascinating at first sight. Some of the categories combined the two kitchens side by side, others were just one or the other. Other lunch options could be found in the salads, sandwiches and soups categories, while the heavier plates were more in keeping with their traditional roots.
There are long lists of ingredients for the salads that contain different flavors, such as: B. a tropical salad with rocket, mango, strawberries, bell pepper, fennel, palmitos and lemon dressing. The sandwiches are simpler; The caprese consisted of tomatoes, mozzarella, and rocket (which is hardly the only meat-free option on the menu). All pizzas on the menu can be classified as vegetarian, with the exception of Americana, a margherita pizza with a sautéed onion and pepper mix over roasted chicken.
Speaking of chicken, it’s the only meat you’ll find on the menu. And after hearing rave reviews about how tender and tasty Peruvian fried chicken is, I couldn’t have been more excited. For the most part, chicken is my meat of choice and I was curious to see how it would stand up to the hype.
However, I knew I couldn’t just order the chicken. If I wanted to experience his fusion style, I had to order some of the menu items that I couldn’t identify and somehow combine them with a side of pizza. Fortunately, my friend Peyton is always ready for adventure and we didn’t want to give up the opportunity to see what Embur could offer us.
Our order started with a starter of Yuquitas a la Huancaina, which I am too embarrassed to pronounce, but our server, which was described as roasted yuca, was served with a yellow Peruvian pepper sauce. Despite my slight American embarrassment, our server could pronounce it wonderfully.
According to the menu, Peyton ordered one of his personal favorites, Margherita pizza with only tomatoes and Fior Di Latte mozzarella. It was a safe choice, but one he couldn’t miss thanks to the tempting smell of the wood-burning oven and hopes for a delicious pizza experience.
I chose the 1/4 Pollo a la Brasa, the Peruvian fried chicken that came with hand-cut french fries and a salad or Peruvian house rice. Without thinking, I ordered the fries and salad as a side dish, but realized my regrets when our waitress left. The Peruvian rice sounded delicious, but I was tempted to pair the fresh mixed green salad with the hearty chicken so I wouldn’t let my decision lead to dissatisfaction.
Instead of waiting until after dinner for a dessert menu, I took on the fact that by the end of our meals I would be too full for tiramisu or alfajores (cookies filled with dulce de leche topped with coconut flakes) and ordered the maduros (fried) Plantains) as the sweet side instead.
The yuquitas a la huancaina didn’t take long to get to the table and I was surprised at how similar they looked to french fries but how different they were. Despite its appearance, it was tastier than a potato and had a more complex taste. The yuquitas a la huancaina smelled like fair food, but they were lacking the fat and I plan to get them the next time I need a fried food fix. The yellow dipping sauce wasn’t harsh to the taste and just had a mild flavor that Peyton had compared to jalapeños. The starter was satisfactorily crispy and perfectly salted, but I knew I couldn’t finish them all with the rest of the meal that was to follow. Don’t let the name intimidate you. This could be the best starter for your family if you stop by (and you don’t have to tell the kids they aren’t potatoes).
Our main courses arrived shortly afterwards, mine with different textures and contrasting colors and peytons with quaint melted cheese and bright red tomato sauce. We couldn’t wait to delve into. The chicken, which was white meat and served with a small chicken wing, was so tender it pulled right off the skin. Not to be a cliché but it was tender in the mouth and difficult to stop eating to try my other options. The fries are good enough that I would have fallen in love with them as a kid, although I wouldn’t have cared about the steak cut fries, but they could have used something to pair with another version of the Peruvian yellow pepper sauce . I hate to admit that my American heart longed for some ketchup.
When the yellow sauce was paired with the chicken it was a good combination, but the sauce only overshadowed the delicious flavors of the chicken itself so I decided against using it. As for the salad, I loved the light balsamic vinegar it was tossed in, and the mixed greens and chopped tomatoes tasted fresh. It was a great way to cut down on the hearty and salty flavors I’ve experienced elsewhere and I would be interested to try the other salads from the menu options on my next visit.
Peyton’s experience was very different across the table or across the continent, depending on how you look at it. The crust of the pizza was thin and barely crispy, which was surprising when it was made in the wood oven. The lack of crispy edges or blackened spots made for a slightly disappointing center, but the cheese was well melted and the sauce had the tartness you need for a firm margherita pizza. However, we couldn’t believe there was a shortage of basil with so many fresh herbs growing outside. But the overall taste and texture of the pizza were pretty decent. Since we only ordered the basic margherita, we’re not sure how many toppings there actually are for the other options, but would be interested to find out.
After all, the Maduros were a bit mushy and greasy for my taste. I had never fried plantains from a restaurant before, and they lacked the slight crispness I was used to. The plantains have a sweeter taste, but not one that looks like bananas, as many suspect. The caramelization worked in their favor. I wouldn’t feel compelled to order the Maduros again unless someone at the table had a real craving for fried plantains.
Without the starter and the extra side, the total would have been a modest $ 20 for two, what is your average cost in the area and what to expect for the amount of food for both plates. Can’t say I was as impressed with the cuisine as I was with the other authentic restaurants in Greensboro. Embur is a place that can satisfy picky eaters and allow others to step out of their comfort zone.
If you’re looking to take a risk at a fusion restaurant, Embur Fire Fusion is your newest stop in the triad and may whet your appetite for local combination cuisine.
Jennifer Zeleski is a student assistant at YES! Weekly. Originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, she is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communications from High Point University.