Fusion & Flavors Shows Off Peru's Eclectic Influences

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Peruvian food isn't the standard beans-and-rice fare so common in South America. It has influences from the country's Asian, Italian, and Spanish immigrants, and that shows on the menu of the new Fusion & Flavors. The tiny storefront sits next to a Subway and between a couple strip clubs on Federal Highway in Oakland Park and boasts a menu of Italian and Peruvian staples, from chicken picatta to chaufa chicken fried rice.

The place was just about packed yesterday for lunch, but I didn't spot anyone

ordering the Italian dishes. After all, South Florida has plenty of

Italian joints and few Peruvian ones (luckily, we've got a great

Peruvian sandwich spot with Bravo). Likewise, I ordered a Peruvian staple, chicken saltado, which comes in a light and salty brown gravy with tomatoes and onions.

We also got the aji de gallina,

a dish that shows off those wide-ranging influences on Peruvian food.

The sauce is rich and creamy and reminiscent of Indian or Thai curries.

The shredded chicken feels very South American, but then, oddly, it's

topped with shaved Parmesan and walnuts. Definitely a lot of

influences there.

Fusion & Flavors might be trying to do

many things, but what it's not is expensive -- there's a lunch menu

that's $5.99 during the week and $7.99 on the weekends. No doubt it has

a couple hurdles to overcome, though, like whether a Peruvian joint

also should serve penne bolognese. But it's good just to have one more

place to try that Peruvian melting pot.

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