Pizza Fusion: Organic Doesn't Necessarily Mean Good

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Lee Klein
Fusion's individual pie
Guess it's time to admit I'm just not a New Age pizza guy. I wasn't crazy about the product at Naked Pizza when I sampled it last summer, although the crust of grains, nuts, roots, and "heat-resistant probiotics" was pretty good. In retrospect, I liked Naked's pizza more than the one I tried yesterday at Pizza Fusion.

I'm speaking of the just-opened branch in the Shops at Fifth and Alton in South Beach. There was a Pizza Fusion at 148th Street and Biscayne Boulevard, but that one didn't last long. Upon first bite of the pie in this new shop, I think I know why the other one closed.

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Lee Klein
The venue is colorful and comfortable enough, with at least three television screens dangling about. Pizza Fusion is a certified organic restaurant, and many (not all) of the ingredients are organic (those that are organic get italicized on the concise menu).

Besides pizza, there are three appetizers (flatbread and dip trio; mini meatball sliders; stuffed mushrooms, $6 to $9.50); three sandwiches ($9); and five salads served in half or full portions ($6 to $7, or $10 to $11). I sampled a half of chicken bruschetta salad. The arugula, romaine, red onions, basil, garlic-heavy bruschetta mix, and crostini are organic. The free range chicken and fresh mozzarella cheese, both cut into a small dice, are not organic, but the larger problem with these two ingredients is that they are apparently refrigerated with the rest in pre-made platings -- which means the chicken and cheese are ice cold. Otherwise, it's a good salad and pretty decent deal for $7 (with a choice of dressing on the side).

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Lee Klein
Bruschetta salad, half portion
And then there is the pizza. The three sizes are personal (six-inch by nine-inch); large (18-inch by 9-inch); and X-large (28" by 9"). Crust comes original organic white or multi-grain. There are lots of toppings to choose from, as well signature pizzas (barbecue chicken, Hawaiian-style, and so forth). Soy cheese is available, and for extra money so is a gluten-free crust. That's a good reason for vegans and folks with wheat allergies to come here.

I tried a personal pie with a white crust that was thin and floppy and topped with simply tomato sauce and melted mozzarella and provolone cheeses($7). The crust and cheeses were passable, but the sauce tasted overcooked -- or lousy for some other reason. The pizza seemed homemade in a primitive sense, as in a refined version of a college student's rendition: English muffin halves topped with bottled tomato sauce and melted cheese. Maybe it would be better with a whole bunch of toppings.

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Lee Klein
Pizza Fusion offers ten wines by glass/bottle ($6 to $7/$21 to $24), and 16 draft and bottled beers for $5. The brews might be the best thing going here. The ones on tap include Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale from Tampa, and Native Lager from Fort Lauderdale; the bottles are all craft.

The concept of an "earth-friendly" pizza place is great. Too bad the pizza isn't.

Pizza Fusion
1115 Fifth St., Miami Beach
305-672-7778


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11 comments
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Absinthe78
Absinthe78

i also disagree! pizza fusion is delicious! their roasted beet salad is incredible as are all of their pizza's i have sampled. i suggest the author give Pizza Fusion another chance!

Chris Minaya
Chris Minaya

I like both Pizza Fusion and Naked Pizza. They are both great tasting, have a great concept and I enjoy both almost equally. The only difference is that the Pizza Fusion location is much more convenient for me. What's disappointing is that It sounds like this blog was initiatied from a Naked Pizza owner or manager and that actually puts a very bad taste in my mouth. That is very unprofessional and speaks to what type of establishment Naked Pizza is. Naked pizza has lost my business.......

Bish2177
Bish2177

I disagree with the review, I eat at Pizza Fusion in Ft Lauderdale often. While its a different type of pizza than a traditional ny style, its kinda like flatbread in a way. I love the bbq chix and the founders pie both are top notch. I don't go there for a cheese pizza. Its kinda like going to a mexican place and ordering a hamburger. Its not what they are known for.

TrashMan
TrashMan

GARBAGE

Chris Minaya
Chris Minaya

I like both Pizza Fusion and Naked Pizza. They are both great tasting, have a great concept and I enjoy both almost equally. The only difference is that the Pizza Fusion location is much more convenient for me. What's disappointing is that It sounds like this blog was initiatied from a Naked Pizza owner or manager and that actually puts a very bad taste in my mouth. That is very unprofessional and speaks to what type of establishment Naked Pizza is. Naked pizza has lost my business.......

Robbie Vitrano
Robbie Vitrano

Lee, we're ready for your discerning taste buds again at Naked. Almost one year since opening and things are going great in South Beach.

By the way, we're very different from Fusion - kinda' like the difference between fly fishing and deep sea fishing - not a restaurant, carryout & delivery. Not organic - all natural, whole food ingredients with no added sugar or freaky chemicals because it tastes better without the junk (an organic oreo is still an oreo). Made with 10 grains and seeds and still round, still comes in a square box, delivered hot in about 30 minutes.

Kempynut
Kempynut

I guess if they were making oreo cookies that would be a great analogy Robbie.

GoodLuckRobbie
GoodLuckRobbie

I'd be care throwing aroudn the words, "All Natural." Now you sound like a corporate label on corporate food at corporate Publix.

Evan
Evan

I completely disagree with the writer, Lee Klein. I am a huge pizza fan and only until recently, became lactose intolerant. I stopped by to try this new Pizza Fusion at Fifth & Alton and thought the pizza was great! I tried the gluten free soy cheese option nonetheless, and trust me, I know a good pizza when I eat one! I can imagine the regular cheese was even better.

I was told that this Pizza Fusion has only been open for a week as of this past Monday so I'm sure they will need to get through the opening kinks but regardless, the location is beautiful, there is outdoor seating, its one of the only options for vegan pizza anywhere not to mention there is 2 hours of free parking (which doesn't exist anywhere on South Beach, ) and I had a great meal that was ready in 10 minutes!

To be honest, I will be a regular customer...

Concerned4Evan
Concerned4Evan

2 things Evan,

1. You obviously don't know shit about pizza if you think that shit is good.2. What do restaurants need time to work out the kinks in their food these days? Is it too much to ask that the restaurant be good and have maybe praticed before they open? Why do we have to wait for a place to get good

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