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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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In Whitehaven, ‘Trap Fusion’ takes root with healthy eats

#ACCESS901 columnist Joy Doss

Markieth McCoy sums up the Trap Fusion mission perfectly: “Our goal is to keep people alive.”

Markieth was talking to “Unc,” who came in to show love but was also trying to order chitlins or something like that. We were all like, “Now Unc, you know they don’t have that up in here!”

Unc relented, settling on the jerk chicken pasta. That pasta is delicious and once I learned it was kid-approved by the finicky 10-year-old, I took some home with me.

That brief exchange with Unc tells you everything you need to know about the mood at Trap Fusion – good vibes and good food. Sitting in Trap Fusion was like visiting a friend’s house. Everyone was chatting with each other and laughing, whether we knew each other or not.

McCoy’s friends from way back, including me, stopped in to get food.  I even met the daughter of my mother’s friends as we were randomly chatting. We laughed and laughed and ate and ate.

I half-expected my dad to walk in at any minute because it was kinda like being at his house but without the fully stocked bar. Daddy would’ve acted just like Unc, flirting with the women, talking smack and telling lies, as they say.

I am super proud of my pom pom squad homie, Warrior 4 Life and dope sista Monique, who with Markeith and her other partner Jason Gardener, opened the restaurant a few weeks ago in Whitehaven. I go to church in Whitehaven so I know that this is indeed an oasis in a vast food desert.

Markeith and Jason are Whitehaven guys through and through so they are the neighborhood and the neighborhood is them.  Jason lives nearby and is the co-owner of Beleaf Cigars, which opened a storefront in “the ‘Haven” about two years ago. But all three of them are 100 percent M-Town all day. From the name itself to the Trap Wingz to the Skinny Pimp hot dog to the ‘Blackhaven’ chocolate pie, they’re keeping it real Memphis,. Love it.

How did they come up with a name like ‘Trap Fusion?’ It’s celebrating what’s good in the hood. They were initially joking around but the name stuck. It started with Trap Kitchen, but the phrase was so overused. As they bounced more ideas around, they landed on Trap Fusion. It’s pretty spot on as it is literally the comingling of tastes and flavors, a healthier take on traditional Southern food.

During my visit, I sampled the stuffed turkey burger (spinach, pepper, cheese – though no cheese for me please and thanks!), gang bang skrimpz (again, Memphis) and jerk chicken. Each and every item was good to my soul. I play no games about my food so that is a genuine compliment.

Yes, you can get chicken (trap wings with their special sauce) and fried food (lobster nuggets) but the fried and/or fatty foods are few and far between on this menu. More importantly, there are options.

“We try to discourage people from ordering, for instance, double fries. We’re like, ‘Try some cabbage,” Monique says,” The cabbage is good too, by the way. You can get a good salad too, with the option for grilled salmon.

“There are actual vegetable sides,” she continued. “Not just stuff like coleslaw or potato salad that used to be veggies/root veggies before you put mayo in it!  Options! Also note that none of the vegetables are cooked with meat. For generally meat averse, there is a legit vegan menu for your gastronomic pleasure. A little sumn-sumn for every person and every palate.

The menu is fluid so they are periodically adding new items, some of which customers can sample on “Taste Tuesdays.” Don’t think these guys are just the face of the brand either. While they have hired a chef, all three of them know their way around the kitchen. Each of them contributed to the menu, including Markeith’s naturally sweetened water infused with either a strawberry-mango-peach combo or watermelon-lime-kiwi. I had that too and I likey.

You can also find them propping up other black businesses by stocking Mayweather Foods cinnamon rolls and Pop’s Kernels. I encourage everyone to pay them a visit. Support the people who support the hood AND the betterment of black bodies. Besides, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Monqiue, Jason, Markeith – Wishing you all prosperity and longevity. Keep doing right by the people and they will do right by you!

Trap Fusion is located at 4637 Boeingshire. You can also follow them on IG for the latest specials and updates: @trapfusion901.

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