Hello Bend! For being a small town nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Bend has no shortage of food trucks. You will find them at The Lot, a beer garden anchored by a bevy of mobile eateries, at the various festivals in the warmer months, and parked in a multitude of random parking lots around town. One food truck in particular ~ EMW Fusion ~ tends to stand out from the Bend crowd with its bright colors, super cool graphics, and unique menu boasting authentic Korean street food.
You may know EMW Fusion from their original version of the classic “sando”– the “pando” which was based on authentic Korean street food. They’ve evolved their menu based on a recent trip to Korea, and now they’re serving up the “Pando 2.0”!
The Sweet Machine
When I discovered EMW Fusion a while back, I quickly became obsessed with their food and wanted to learn more of their story and the inspiration behind the delicious menu AND artwork. Check them out at Facebook and Instagram. If you’re interested in the art, check out the EMW Artist Shop on instagram!
Their story begins when “East” met “West” twenty years ago…in the apparel industry! Yoonmee and Brandon were both designers working for various apparel and advertising companies. They began to share their lives, cultures, beliefs, and love for food and art–from there, the foundation of the food truck EMW Fusion started evolving. Recently, the menu has seen quite an evolution with the Pando 2.0 upgrade. According to Brandon, “When Yoonmee went to Korea to visit her Mom in Seoul, she saw these machines in the Subway and different street vendors, it was the new food experience in Korea. It originated in Japan and is called Taiyaki, in Korea they call it Bungeoppang, we call it FishWaffle. The fish shape is a good luck symbol. Typically the fillings in Asia are a sweet bean paste filling, because we are a Fusion truck we do all types of fillings, the Hotteok being specific to Korea.”
As creatives, travelers, and foodies, they decided to put corporate life behind them and take a chance on a new adventure of their own. They opened up EMW Fusion in Bend in July of 2016 and haven’t looked back!
“This is our first own venture bringing our passion for food and art together. We’ve developed a unique taste for food and art from traveling around the world. We also bring two very different cultures together from our completely different backgrounds. EMW is about uniting communities large and small, the similarities and differences that join us all regardless of geography, bringing a new perspective found in the unusual. We want to make a difference but never be to serious!”
EMW uses all fresh, locally sourced ingredients and are believers of community driven food. They use as much organic food as possible. Their menu clearly calls out where they get their food from, clear and simple. Everything on the menu is made from scratch and minimally processed. EMW believes good food is essential for a good life!
The “West” half of EMW Fusion is Brandon Walsh, an artist and graphic designer by trade. The artwork EMW is known for is all original work by Brandon and a fusion, just like their food, of the East and Western cultures. Just take a look at “Pika-Mouse”, “Smokey the Panda Bear”, or KIZZ” and you will see the fusion of two cultures swirled into one creatively awesome image! Some of these cool images are made into postcards and stickers available at the food truck and for purchase online along with EMW t-shirts.
Brandon also channels his creative energy into fine art. Future shows to be announced, so be sure to check their Facebook page for upcoming events!
As if all this creative genius wasn’t enough, EMW has created one of the coolest shirts out there for men. The “Hawaiian Cowboy” shirt comes in a variety of unique color and pattern combinations and most are custom made to order. Order one for the Dad in your life…just in time for Father’s Day! EMW Fusion’s apparel can be found in their Etsy shop.
They also offer bandanas in a variety of cool Hawaiian patterns!
Of course, we can’t forget about the ladies! Also available on Etsy are Yoonmee’s eclectic line of “Apron Dresses”. Just in time for warmer weather, these cute wrap dresses will take your summer wardrobe to the next level!
EMW Fusion can be found at the Podski food truck lot. Check out their website for additional locations at upcoming festivals and special events around Central Oregon. When you order food, art, or apparel from EMW, Tag @hello_bend_oregon on instagram, or Hello Bend Oregon on Facebook for your chance to be featured!
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*Photos courtesy EMW Fusion