Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fuzion Cafe (Closed)

**NOTE: This cafe closed down in April 2008. Another one bites the dust.

"It’s déjà vu all over again."
- Attributed to Yogi Berra

That’s right, I’m talking about sandwiches. Again.

I’d been to Fuzion, near Wenceslas Square for a sandwich once before. I wasn’t too impressed.

A reader told me to give it another chance. I thought maybe I’d go back. Then V told me to give it another chance.

Definitely had to go back.

Fuzion is a well furnished and modern looking coffee shop right by the tram stop on Vodičkova. It is a fairly busy area, with a lot of foot traffic.

They seem to do a decent business, but in the three times I’ve visited, I haven’t seen crowds lining up for espressos or cappuccinos. I've usually seen just a handfull of people there.A large espresso is 30 CZK. A large cappuccino or a latte is 50 CZK or 40 CZK for a regular. Fuzion has a variety of teas for 30 CZK. They generally charge about 5 CZK less for take out.

But I have to confess, I’m usually not a coffee drinker. So, I’ll get back to the sandwiches.

At someone’s suggestion, I got the warm ham and cheese croissant. It comes with a choice of a hot drink for 70 CZK. I wasn’t really in the mood for a hot drink, and asked if I could get the croissant alone.
I was told it was a package deal, so I ordered a hot chocolate. They do have a cold ham and cheese croissant with extras like tomatoes on it in the refrigerator case.

The warm and buttery croissant was small. It had been under a heat lamp for a fair amount of time and suffered a little, but it was still pretty tasty. It was good cheese, and decent, but salty ham. It was about four bites.

The hot chocolate was good, a hot milk and cocoa powder version, served in a large cup and topped with whipped cream. It was not extra thick, but not thin either.

Another suggestion was that I try the panini with “pastrami” and jalapeno for 75 CZK. On the Czech version of the menu online, the pastrami is called “smoked meat” (uzené maso). It is one slice of something like ham. I wouldn’t have minded more meat. The bread is nicely grilled – warm and crunchy.

When you open up the sandwich, you can see that they are very generous with the pickled jalapenos.

This sandwich is not for the faint of heart. It is very spicy. I’d probably only get it again if I get a jalapeno craving, which happens with me from time to time.

I decided to take another sandwich with me for later. I got the roast chicken salad baguette. It has lettuce, tomato onion, and garlic/mayo dressing. I wasn’t too impressed.

The roast chicken slices were very bland. I tried a bite of the meat by itself – almost no flavor there. The baguette still retained a little crunch and freshness, but it went a bit stale in the refrigerator case. Maybe the best thing here was the red onion mixed with the mayo.

Overall, the chicken baguette was similar in quality to the bacon, lettuce, and tomato baguette I’d had on an earlier visit.I probably wouldn’t get it again unless I was in a hurry and hungry. If I want a baguette, I’ll probably go for the warm ones up the street at Boulevard Bageterie.

V highly recommended the vegetarian wrap with vegetables, goat cheese, and dressing. I really wanted to try it, but didn’t see it in the sandwich display case. I asked someone who worked there if they had any, but the woman didn’t seem to know what I was talking about.

There is a sign, though, that says they can make any sandwich that is not pre-prepared within five minutes. There are also a number of salad options on the menu.

Fuzion has a few small tables downstairs on street level. But they also have a nice space with nice furniture one floor up. They do offer Wi-Fi so it would be a decent place to hang out, surf the net, and have coffee and snacks. There aren’t a lot of places like this around Wenceslas Square.

Also of interest is that they offer online ordering through their website and delivery within one kilometer of the shop for 50 CZK.

I’m still waiting to see if the Starbucks-style model will catch on in Prague. There are other chains in town like Coffee Heaven, and they seem to be doing OK, but I don’t see Starbucks-sized crowds there, either.

As of this writing, Starbucks announced it is coming to Prague, but it is not here yet.

These places may catch on, but as Mr. Berra is reported to have said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Vodičkova 38
Prague 1

Tel. (+420) 224 215 156
Hours: Mon-Fri 7 am - 8 pm, Sat-Sun 8 am - 5 pm


Pivní Filosof said...

I really like Boulevard, really good bagettes, though, a bit pricy. But still, an excellent alternative to the other fast food chains.
Nearby there is the Jarmark Lahůdky. The have really nice bagettes and sandwiches, pretty fresh, and pretty good chlebičky as well.
I must say Im not too keen on the Starbucks thing. I prefer to go to real cafes, those that are rather dark and old fashioned, where you get service at your table and where you can sit down and smoke a cigar while drinking a glass of Brandy with your coffee, if you so fancy.
Don't care too much about wi-fi either, I prefer to read a book or simply watch people.

Anonymous said...

I have only been to Fuzion once and it was sterile but fine. I have heard very good things about the wi-fi they have there, though. I've not used it yet, but friends tell me that it is a good signal, reliable, free, and best of all doesn't require cumbersome and idiotic passwords to get into. Merely open your laptop and surf away ....

You may not have noticed, but many of the other "free wi-fi" spots in town are now no longer free or have reliable networks. Staff is poorly trained and once you've ordered your food and drink and lifted your laptop lid only to find that the network is out, you've got no recourse but simply to pay and go. It's frustrating to say the least ...

Imagine if a cafe or bar had a sign on the door that said "free beer" and when you went in you were told that it actually costs 30 Kc or that the tap was not working that day ... you'd be ticked ..