In downtown Fallbrook, I discovered a treasure trove of intense flavors. At Brooktown Fusion Kitchen, where the walls are splashed with vibrant Caribbean colors, I not only felt the energy from the flavors and the colors, but I heard positive buzz from the diners, “Have you tried the avocado toast? It’s to die for.”
Faro Trupiano, of Trupiano Restaurant Group, is an innovative restaurateur with more than one North San Diego County restaurant in his repertoire. His business partner is Seana Martin-Shami. The two bring creative energy and culinary expertise to their new venture.
As a “fusion” restaurant there are endless possibilities.
“It allows us to create – now – and in the future. It’s a blank canvas and that’s exciting,” Faro noted. “Neither one of us are professionally trained, we just have a passion for cooking.”
Faro and Seana decided that one of their highlights would be Cuban cuisine. They both enjoy Cuban food – Seana was raised in Miami where Cuban cuisine was popular, and Faro has spent considerable time in Puerto Rico, where the cuisine is also influenced by Cuba. These flavors are bracing – bold – but not spicy hot.
Brooktown’s Cuban Sandwich is made with a traditional recipe anchored by mojo pork. The pork, along with garlic, cumin and other spices, is slow-cooked at a low temperature, so the spices have plenty of time to infuse the meat with a marvelous flavor. It’s served on a Cuban bolillo roll with a semi-soft crust and a soft, flavorful interior similar to French bread. The bread is layered with ingredients that generate an enticing fusion of flavors – mustard, mayonnaise, Swiss cheese, mojo pork, sliced dill pickles, and thinly-sliced ham. Because of the various layers, no one ingredient overpowers – they all blend to create a bold unique flavor I have never before experienced.
As a side, I chose Cuban Black Beans, which are intensely flavorful, but not spicy hot like beans I have eaten in the Bahamas and on other Caribbean islands. Beans, onion, green bell pepper, garlic, cumin and coriander are added to the pot, then cooked slowly for two to six hours at a low temperature. As Faro said with a smile, “Low and slow.”
“One of the reasons I love the Cuban cuisine is because I like flavorful spice-full food, not necessarily spicy food,” Faro said.
What an apt description of both the black beans and the mojo pork– “spice-full”!
One of the favorites at Brooktown Fusion Kitchen is the Avocado Toast. The menu lists more than one version of this sandwich, but I was enamored by the one with ahi tuna poke because of the Hawaiian Islands flavor twist.
In this sandwich, “sweet, savory and salty are combined,” Seana noted.
It all starts with toasted whole grain bread. Avocado “smash” comes next, then a colorful and hearty layer of house-made mango salsa lends a hint of sweetness. The ahi tuna poke is tossed with house-made ahi poke sauce, which is an exotic mix of green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds. Sriracha Aioli – with just a hint of heat – is drizzled on the ahi poke. Delicate chives crown the top. Such an eclectic concoction, but it was astonishingly delicious!
“Our objective was to create a simple menu that appeals to many different palates, preferences and diets – We have done that,” Faro explained.
“We are forever evolving,” Seana added. “We are tweaking our menu every single week. What we have now is great – but it is going to be fantastic.”
There is an extraordinary range of flavors to be discovered at Brooktown Fusion Kitchen. Some are traditional, and some are exotic, but no matter what you order, two things are certain – it will be delicious…and affordable.
Find the Brooktown Fusion Kitchen at 139 S. Main Ave. in Fallbrook, Calif. The telephone number is (760) 645-3891.