July 15, 2010

Restaurant Review: Mix Fusion Bistro

(Mix Fusion Bistro at 6407 City West Parkway in Eden Prairie)

There's a great Seinfeld episode where Jerry Seinfeld takes an interest in the struggling new restaurant that opened up across the street from his apartment, eventually suggesting to the owner that he change The Dream Cafe from all-American food and decor to cuisine and culture from his native Pakistan. The advice is well-intentioned but ultimately ineffective, and naturally hilarity ensues. You can watch some of the highlights here and here.

I bring that up because recently I had an experience that reminded me of the episode. A new "French-Asian fusion" restaurant called Mix Fusion Bistro opened up in my neighborhood and I went with a group of eight people at seven o'clock on a Saturday night. We called ahead and made a reservation, but it turned out the place was completely empty when we arrived and no other customers came in during the hour or so we were there.

Afterward we talked about what a shame it was, because the food was great, the staff was friendly, and the decor was nice. In fact, all eight people liked what they ordered and several loved their dish. I got the dijon herb-crusted pork prime rib and it was great. As a unique new restaurant with good food Mix Fusion Bistro should have plenty of customers, but as Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares has taught me sometimes quality isn't enough to get people in the door.

I fear they're facing long odds serving French-Asian fusion in suburban Minnesota, particularly since the restaurant seems far too upscale and classy to be next to an electric fence store in the middle of a strip mall. Still, once upon a time I was convinced no one would ever read this blog and thanks largely to word of mouth people eventually found the place, so I'm hoping this quasi-review convinces a few of you to give Mix Fusion Bistro a try. They deserve a chance.

21 Comments »

  1. Hey, I read your blog on a daily basis and I think it’s great. In my opinion this an admirable way to use your pulpit to promote local business. I think I’ll go to that place. Keep up the reviews!

    Comment by Alan — July 15, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

  2. They should get a new sign. That thing really doesn’t say “far too upscale and classy” to me. (The actual name itself isn’t too great either.)

    Comment by Andy — July 15, 2010 @ 9:17 pm

  3. How many free dinners are you angling for?

    Comment by Chris — July 15, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

  4. Coincidence that “Eden Prairie” is likely a hot search term right now after winning CNN Money’s #1 best small town?

    Enjoy the hits

    Comment by Chet — July 15, 2010 @ 10:40 pm

  5. Where is it at? I used to live in EP and get back a few times a year and would like to check it out.

    Comment by Josh — July 15, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

  6. Location, location, location. An upscale-ish sorta place shouldn’t be in a strip mall. Neither should a french place. Strip malls are for take-out asian places, burger joints, and Timberlodge Steak House. They probably should have tried to get into a real mall. TOo bad…

    Comment by Adam — July 15, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

  7. They’ve been around for at least 18 months, and don’t have a website. So no, they don’t deserve a chance. I might have given it a shot if there was a menu I could look at before committing to drive across town.

    Comment by Tim — July 16, 2010 @ 6:42 am

  8. I’m all about local no name restaurants because they almost always have 10 times better food than known places. Sorry, but that is the truth. I like that you did this Gleeman.

    Problem is, too many people are afraid to get out of their comfort zone for restaurants. It is actually one of my biggest pet peeves when asking friends, “where should we eat?” and they say, “Applebees or TGI Fridays”. I always look up new places and that is my first choice, no matter what! A few good ones – Matt’s Bar, 5-8 Club, Fat Lorenzos, Savoy’s, Naviyas, Mediterranean Deli, or Convention Grill

    Comment by Shea — July 16, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  9. In response to the restaurant being around for 18months…..That’s an idiot speaking. I was just in there the other day after reading this blog. I got the chance to meet one of the owners and he said they just opened in June of 2010.(how is that 18months?) Getting back to the food.. I give it a try and i love what i had. I also had the pork prime rib and gosh that was amazing. I’ll be going back for more.

    Comment by Jane — July 16, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

  10. I’m all about local no name restaurants because they almost always have 10 times better food than known places. Sorry, but that is the truth. I like that you did this Gleeman.

    Problem is, too many people are afraid to get out of their comfort zone for restaurants. It is actually one of my biggest pet peeves when asking friends, “where should we eat?” and they say, “Applebees or TGI Fridays”. I always look up new places and that is my first choice, no matter what! A few good ones – Matt’s Bar, 5-8 Club, Fat Lorenzos, Savoy’s, Naviyas, Mediterranean Deli, or Convention Grill.

    Word. Chain restaurants are fine when you’re in the middle of nowhere and you don’t have any other choices. If you live in the Cities, there’s no reason to every eat at places like that – there are better and cheaper and local option everywhere.

    Comment by Son of Shane Mack — July 16, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

  11. Tim — what are you talking about “no menu?” Gleeman linked to a page with their menu twice. WTF, dude?

    Comment by Daddy — July 16, 2010 @ 11:43 pm

  12. They’ve been around for at least 18 months, and don’t have a website. So no, they don’t deserve a chance. I might have given it a shot if there was a menu I could look at before committing to drive across town.

    Tim — what are you talking about “no menu?” Gleeman linked to a page with their menu twice. WTF, dude?

    Indeed there is. Kind of allows us to give your comment the credence it’s obviously due.

    Comment by Son of Shane Mack — July 17, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  13. thanks for the tip, we went there last night. the food was awesome!

    Comment by andy — July 18, 2010 @ 9:22 am

  14. No sure how someone got the idea that they were opened for 18 months. They’ve just been open for a month now.

    Comment by Jiimy Tolson — July 21, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

  15. very. awesome. food.

    just went in and had the salmon, stuffed with spinach and crab, on a bed or roasted carrots and mashed sweet potatoes… amazing! it was 10 dollars! seriously!

    the dessert was a chocolate souflet to die for!!

    highly recommend! thanks aaron for highlighting restaurant owners who aren’t a big bad chain and who have amazing, well priced food!

    Comment by marla — July 29, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  16. We got lunch takeout fo rthe first time this past week-all I can say is WOW!!! I took several menus and distributed at work. The food was fabulous and very visually appealing as well. Often takeout is lumped into a box-but they know presentation is impt. and took the time to do it right.We had the surf and turf, chicken salad and tomato basil soup-TO DIE FOR!
    I can’t wait to try several other items. I am sure that I won’t be disappointed!!

    Comment by Laura — July 29, 2010 @ 10:50 am

  17. Tim is right about the website, though. They have a web PAGE. Lame.

    Comment by Tom — August 1, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

  18. Thanks for this info. I found their name and was searching for reviews since I am a bit leery of strip mall restaurants (they can be great, but they can also be pretty bad) a positive review is very helpful.
    Yes websites are important for marketing, but I certainly wouldn’t avoid a restaurant because they don’t have one. That’s just tech snobbery which is rather misplaced when choosing food.
    Yes I know being leery of strip mall restaurants is a bit of snobbery as well, but at least it relates to the quality of the food.

    Comment by Nat — August 22, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  19. We love the place and will go there for our Valentines dinner. Hope they make it, the food is fabulous. I know the menu changes from time to time but a website would be very helpful.

    Comment by Sally — February 13, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  20. We’ve been there twice and both times had a great meal. Particularly love their creme brulee – and I don’t even like creme brulee, or at least until now. Great wine selection, too.

    They do have a website – http://mixfusionbistro.com/#

    Comment by Elizabeth — February 22, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

  21. Same here, went there New Year’s Eve with my daughter – we were all dressed up and no where to go (long story). We live right around the corner, so we went. The place has amazing food! Also, there were only 2 other couples there. I am worried they will not hang in there. I am trying to get the word of mouth out also – odd location, nice decor, upscale, fantastic food.

    Comment by Melinda Albers — September 19, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

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