20 South Main St.
Dayton, OH 45402
The latest take out spot to open in downtown Dayton, CJ’s Fusion Express replaces another former take-out spot and is one of the few Chinese food options in downtown Dayton. Not authentic, to be sure, but the spot does offer something that is unique to downtown, in food that is fast, a-la carte, take-out ready and very convenient. It’s got a niche and an audience, and I think the place should not be ignored as an option for downtown.
The menu of CJ Fusion focuses on Chinese and Thai food, with most options being easy to immediately take with you and a few of the best-quality dishes being made to order. Some of the things I have tried:
- Honey chicken/Orange chicken: A combination of two very common Chinese food options and a pretty steady combination of both, this chicken has a distinct combination of the two in it; you can taste the citrus up front then the honey later. Not bad.
- Barbecued chicken: This stuff is made with some of the sweet, mass-produced molasses-based barbecue sauces and it’s good for the slight smoke to the meat, which is good, but it’s still got that distinctly stir-fried flavor to it. Great.
- Crab Rangoon: One of the appetizers in the menu, these triangle-shaped fried morsels are filled with cream cheese. There may be some crab stick in them but otherwise I don’t taste a whole lot else.
The thing that really sets this spot apart from the previous businesses here has been its a-la-carte model; $1.50 for egg rolls, $1 each for chicken wings, deals on crab Rangoon and so on. That sets the place apart, because it’s somewhere you can go to pick up a quick snack just as easily as a full meal, which is good. The nearby bus hub and downtown businesses keep the spot busy.
That said, I would say the best way to get one of those nice pad Thai dishes or noodle bowls is try to come toward the beginning or end of the lunch rush; in the afternoon there will only be one or two people working so there can be a line.
All told though, the lone Chinese take-out spot in downtown Dayton shouldn’t be ignored, what they offer here really is a convenient niche and, for the price you pay, not bad at all.
- The fast take-out options are the quickest thing to pick up, but there are some higher quality things like pad Thai which shouldn’t be ignored.
- The place has a smaller staff in the afternoon and there can be lines. Service in lunch time is fast.
- Pretty good value for the food you’ll get here, still would recommend getting a bigger meal for value.