Lisa Marie 647.748.6822 http://www.fidelgastro.ca/ dinner tues-sun
Owner Matt Basile has taken his highly successful food truck “Fidel Gastro” and transitioned it into Lisa Marie which now inhabits the old Prague Deli space on Queen West. Cicchetti – kinda like tapas but not is the premise behind the menu, basically its small snacks and side dishes. Communal style high-tops line one end, a large open bar the other and four wood tables occupy the rest. It’s not uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t spend an evening at the spot. Rock beats belt out loudly competing with the lively crowd and then a cool breeze rolls through the oversized garage-door windows and all is well. Servers are harder to spot than a gazelle in the Serengeti, however, once located seem pleasant though painfully slow. As I look over I notice a large crowd looming in the doorway, and then the couple sitting next to us gets up and mutters something about waiting 20 minutes. Be prepared to wait…
The Gataway Car ($14) incorporates the garnishes into the house-made Caesar hot sauce blend that includes smoked cherry tomatoes and pickled veggies – I opted out of the 6oz beer chaser included because I’m just not into beer. The deep fried cheese burger ($7) is total mess: sour pickles and sweet seasoned ground brisket taste more like a burnt donut than a fried burger. Mozzarella and marrow sangweech ($7) would be smashing if the buffalo mozzarella wasn’t served rubbery cold along with roasted bone marrow on two slices of foccacia bread. The marrow did save the dish a bit, along with the zingy relish and the fact that it’s deep fried. Oh and they have a market in the back which includes pickled products and meats for one to take home.
Overall the food tastes like it came off a food truck parked out back. Stick to what you’re good at kids. The kitchen needs to realize they aren’t in Kansas anymore.