For being a small town nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Bend has no shortage of food trucks. You will find them at The Lot, a beer garden anchored by a bevy of mobile eateries, at the various festivals in the warmer months, and parked in a multitude of random parking lots around town. However, one food truck in particular ~ EMW Fusion ~ tends to stand out from the crowd with is bright colors and super cool graphics.
EMW Fusion is Bend’s premier Korean fusion food truck. Specializing in their version of the classic “sando”, EMW brings you the “pando” which is based on Korean street food. It’s a Korean pancake stuffed with savory or sweet fillings, grilled then topped with more filling, slaw and signature EMW sauce. Choose from bulgogi beef, spicy chicken, smoked pulled pork or refried black bean.
These delicious made-to-order pandos offer a healthy option in the world of food truck take-out. Looking for a gluten-free option? Try a “bowl” featuring two toppings served over cabbage. My two favorite pandos are the bulgogi beef and black bean, so I was pretty darn happy when I discovered I could combine these two toppings in a bowl if I’m watching my carbs! They also often have kimchi. It’s not on the menu, so be sure to ask about it if you haven’t tried it yet. You can order it on the side, on your pando or in your bowl!
Have the kiddos in tow? EMW offers a grilled cheese or a peanut butter and jam pando to satisfy even the pickiest eater. At festivals, I often struggle finding my kids something to eat from the food trucks beyond the standard hot dog. They are just not that adventurous. Even the jam EMW serves is house made with seasonal organic berries!
Oh, and do yourself a favor and order up one of their delicious sweet pandos, the Hotteok. It’s filled with brown sugar, walnuts, pepitas and cinnamon. Your kids will want one and they are just too good to share!
When I discovered EMW Fusion last summer, I quickly became obsessed with their food. When you show up to the same food truck twice a week on a fairly consistent basis (stalker alert!), following them on Facebook and Instagram so you know where they will be parked to get your fix at a moments notice, you get to know the owners. I became interested in their story, the inspiration behind their delicious food, and the creativity and artistry displayed on their very unique food truck.
So I began my quest to get to the bottom of this most curious combination, and I found out East met West twenty years ago…in the apparel industry! Yoonmee and Brandon were both designers working for various apparel and advertising companies. When a man from the West met a woman from the East and they began to share their lives, cultures, beliefs and love for food and art, you have the foundation for what is to become EMW Fusion.
As creatives, travelers and foodies, they decided to put corporate life behind them and take a chance on a new adventure of their own. They opened up EMW Fusion in Bend in July of 2016 and haven’t looked back!
“This is our first own venture bringing our passion for food and art together. We’ve developed a unique taste for food and art from traveling around the world. We also bring two very different cultures together from our completely different backgrounds. EMW is about uniting communities large and small, the similarities and differences that join us all regardless of geography, bringing a new perspective found in the unusual. We want to make a difference but never be to serious!”
EMW uses all fresh, locally sourced ingredients and are believers of community driven food. They use as much organic food as possible. Their menu clearly calls out where they get their food from, clear and simple. Everything on the menu is made from scratch and minimally processed. EMW believes good food is essential for a good life!
All this deliciousness isn’t just limited to the EMW Fusion food truck. Follow their food blog ~ Yoonmee’s Food Journal ~ for delicious recipes and inspiration. Some examples of the recipes Yoonmee has created (or perfected) and shared include Vegan Cheese Sauce, Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Almond Bars, Creamy Cauliflower Mushroom Risotto, and Rockfish Baked in Puttanesca Sauce. Alright, I’m seriously starving after typing all those yummy titles!
Yoonmee has developed her own version of healthy eating habits, which are not limited to Vegan, Vegetarian or Paleo. Yoonmee’s Food Journal is her way of sharing what she’s learned over the years with people who share the same interest.
Now, let’s get to all that vibrant eclectic art on the side of their food truck! The other half of EMW Fusion is Brandon Walsh, an artist and graphic designer by trade. The artwork EMW is known for is all original work by Brandon and a fusion, just like their food, of the East and Western cultures. Just take a look at “Pika-Mouse”, “Smokey the Panda Bear”, or “Hello Felix” and you will see the fusion of two cultures swirled into one creatively awesome image! Some of these cool images are made into postcards and stickers available at the food truck and for purchase online along with EMW t-shirts.
Brandon also channels his creative energy into fine art. His artwork was featured at Cosa Cura in downtown Bend for the First Friday Artwalk last month. Future shows to be announced, so be sure to check their Facebook page for upcoming events!
As if all this creative genius wasn’t enough, EMW has created one of the coolest shirts out there for men. The “Hawaiian Cowboy” shirt comes in a variety of unique color and pattern combinations and most are custom made to order. Be sure to order one for the Dad in your life…just in time for Father’s Day! EMW Fusion’s apparel can be found in their Etsy shop.
They also offer bandanas in a variety of cool Hawaiian patterns!
Of course, we can’t forget about the ladies! Also available on Etsy are Yoonmee’s eclectic line of “Apron Dresses”. Just in time for warmer weather, these cute wrap dresses will take your summer wardrobe to the next level!
EMW Fusion can be found at the Bend Factory Stores, W-F, 11am-2pm. On most every Saturday, look for them at the NWX Farmers Market, which runs 6/17-9/16, 10am-2pm. They are also serving up pandos at the “Last Saturday” event at The WorkHouse through Nov, 6-9pm. Be sure to check their website for additional locations at upcoming festivals and special events around Central Oregon. Wherever you decide to find them, it really doesn’t matter, just FIND THEM! Their deliciousness and creativity is just to awesome to pass up, and of course I’ll see you there…Living the Bend Life!
*Photos courtesy EMW Fusion