The exceedingly outgoing and friendly chef Tito De Dios has long been a fixture in North Kansas City, having operated a handful of restaurants over the past 18 years, including local favorite Latin Bistro. After a brief hiatus, he has recently returned to the kitchen with a new food truck and restaurant, both named American Fusion, with the café side of the business located on Swift Street in North Kansas City.

American Fusion Café, currently open only for lunch, specializes both in recipes traditional to Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula (including Mayan recipes), as well as a host of American comfort classics. American Fusion’s menu changes slightly from day to day, but staples include the Mayan pork, pork tenderloin, shrimp po’boy and Cuban sandwiches, as well as fish and shrimp tacos, all made fresh to order.

Chef De Dios has staffed the restaurant with family, including his two daughters, who are as knowledgeable about and proud of the food that is served at American Fusion Café. The specialty sandwich, the Mayan Pork, for example, is a recipe that is close to home for the family. Pulled pork is bathed in a savory sauce made from achiote (annatto) paste, orange juice, vinegar and herbs, including cilantro and onion powder. The sandwich is served on dense bread, as you would serve a torta, and like the other sandwiches on the menu, comes with crispy twice-fried French fries.

American Fusion Café also serves daily specials, including from-scratch lasagna on Fridays. Another recent special featured cheesy corn and roasted poblano peppers, served with fresh tortillas, carne asada and refried black beans. Other weekly specials include cortadillo (thinly-sliced beef braised in beer with fresh vegetables), as well as tacos, burritos, fettuccine alfredo and more.

At American Fusion Café, the service style is fast-casual. Customers order at the counter, and food is brought out to tables (or is packed up to go) once it is ready. The restaurant seats approximately 30 to 40 diners between the bar and a series of two- and four-tops arranged throughout the dining room, which is accented with vintage housewares that make the space feel like a friend’s house as much as a restaurant. The café serves bottled drinks and does not currently serve alcohol.

American Fusion Café is open Monday through Friday from 10:30am-1:30pm. Dinner and bar service could be added soon.

American Fusion Café, 1621 Swift St., North Kansas City, Missouri, 816.841.4700, americanfusion.kitchen

April is a Kansas Citian by way of New Mexico, worker bee, freelance writer and photographer, food, music, animal and travel lover.

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