Restaurants / Openings

Houston Taco Gurus Go Far Beyond Tortillas With New Greenway Plaza Restaurant

Brunch Gets a Beachy Upgrade — and Happy Hour’s Wild

BY // 07.12.18
photography Kirsten Gilliam

Houston is a melting pot like no other, and the city’s restaurants are no exception. We’ve got all the ethnic eats you can imagine, from Polish to Sichuan, Ethiopian to Argentine. And even then, you can mix and match.

If you’re cruisin’ for some fusion, there’s a new spot in town that loves to mix it up. Fusion Taco’s surprising new spin-off, Fusion Eats, opened this week at 9 Greenway Plaza.

The name tips you off from the start — the menu here goes far beyond tacos. Here, there be monster-sized falafel and dragon roll salads, mushroom quesadillas, seasonal soups and even ceviche and paninis on the horizon.

Not to mention those beloved weekend Fusion Taco brunch tacos are getting an upgrade and a lot more exposure. You can pick one up at Fusion Eats any day of the week, with fried or scrambled eggs, your choice.

It’s all in a beachy setting. This new Houston restaurant brings a 2,400-square-foot, contemporary and light interior with high ceilings and huge windows, next to Greenway Plaza’s ample green space and water fixture.

Owners Julia Sharaby and David Grossman crafted a very personal menu for Fusion Eats, inspired by their culinary whims and wants.

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  • Christopher Martin Gallery 1 - Houston (ROOMS)
  • Christopher Martin Gallery 1 - Houston (ROOMS)
  • Christopher Martin Gallery 1 - Houston (ROOMS)
  • Christopher Martin Gallery 1 - Houston (ROOMS)
  • Christopher Martin Gallery 1 - Houston (ROOMS)

“We make food the way I like it and the way David likes it, and we hope people like it, too,” Sharaby tells PaperCity. “We just took the things we loved and tried to make a taco with it.”

Grossman brings the technical and Sharaby brings the creative. “I say let’s do this, let’s do that, let’s do this. And he’s like ‘execute it.’ Which is important. That’s more important than the idea,” Sharaby says.

The result?  All the Fusion Taco favorites you’ll find at Fusion Eats. Like Lamb Keema, the result of Sharaby spending more hours than she’d like to admit in the kitchen of her friend, who owns an Indian restaurant.

“She taught me how to make Lamb Keema, and she says I make it better than her now. I totally agree,” Sharaby laughs.

The Fusion Eats’ version comes with grape tomatoes, Persian cucumber and tahini. Then there’s the BBQ Berkshire pork with roasted corn salsa and grilled onions, and the Chicken Tikka Masala with crème fraiche and spicy curry tomato sauce.

Variety is the spice of life, and their variety of spices covers Indian, Mexican, Thai, Mediterranean and more. And Sharaby says she’d never sacrifice authenticity for breadth.

“We try really hard to make it diverse. What we want is when we say it’s falafel, it’s actually falafel. If we say it’s Thai chicken, you can differentiate this food from one thing to the next,” Sharaby says.

Designing dishes meant striving to create options that were faithful to the original cuisine they came from. It’s an approachable take on ethnic foods.

“It gets people to try new things. They maybe venture outside their comfort zone a little bit,” Sharaby notes. “But I also don’t think we’re so sophisticated that we’re trying to show you what’s up.”

But they know what’s up when it comes to simple craft cocktails. And you can forget about carafes — these come by the pitcher.

For now, the focus is on tequila, but rum, vodka and gin are right around the corner. You’ll never find a neon-green mix lurking in the cabinets of Fusion Eats. Every marg is made from scratch.

“I’m a purist when it comes to that stuff. I wouldn’t do it any other way,” Sharaby says.

Margarita Power

The margarita with the most it-factor for now is the Watermelon Margarita with Pura Vida. An upcoming Pineapple Margarita may just swipe that title, with its pureed pineapple refined into a smooth pineapple water. All fresh juices, from raspberry to blackberry to jalapeno, are pureed in-house.

“I’m not trying to be a Mixologist over here. I just want fresh, delicious drinks that don’t take 20 minutes to make,” Sharaby says. Happy hour runs from 4 pm to 7 pm daily with $3 tacos, $4 draft beers and $5 margaritas.

This is the third brick-and-mortar restaurant for the Fusion Taco group, which started things in a food truck. The downtown location, which opened back in 2013, closed after Hurricane Harvey flooding.

Now, Sharaby’s looking to expand even further.

“We’re definitely opening another one. It may be Fusion Eats, it may be Fusion Taco, I’m not sure. But we’re definitely opening more locations,” Sharaby says. She’s on the lookout for a Galleria Area restaurant location, but says she is up for any thing as long as it feels right.

One thing’s for sure — Fusion Eats wants to blend, but it doesn’t want to blend in.

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