We were there to film my popup at the Philly Night Market. an event which happens 4 times a year, takes place in a different part of the city, and is open to about 25,000 people.
There are way more than just cheesesteaks going down in Philly – John’s Roast pork in South Philly or Dinic’s roast pork in Reading Terminal Market – specialized in just that; roast prok sandwiches. Succulent shaved pork with provolone and peppers just dripping with the smoked pork juices that soak through each and every hoggie bun.
But I wanted to make sure the sandwich was still a true representation of Philly’s street food scene. I met with a couple local foodtruckers. The food truck laws in Philly were incredible. Posters and sandwich boards lined the street letting people know exactly when food trucks were popping up in the city. We met up with a couple trucks in Philly’s infamous Love Park. After eating at the Foo truck and sampling pretty much every single foowich they had (a hybrid of sandwich and burrito) and knowing that this night Market was going to take place in Philly’s Chinatown i opted to draw from both of those influences and mesh that with the heart of the traditional Philly cheesesteak.
With wedding season just around the corner, we thought we would celebrate some of the most memorable #FGweddings we’ve catered and the amazing couples we’ve been fortunate to work with!
Meet Lindsey and Doug – these are two people that had a clear idea of what kind of wedding they wanted – super creative, DYI and very picturesque. The menu included fried shrimp po boys, smoked duck tacos, roasted street corn and eggplant carnitas.
photos courtesy of SilverSpot Photography
Meet Rebecca and Paul – We met once, and talked about a menu once and pulled off what we think is one of the coolest BBQ themed wedding’s that we’ve ever done. Set along lake Kawarthas, this dock side wedding has a refined BBQ menu that most guests were not expecting. The menu included Portuguese roasted chicken and potatoes, smoked ribs and street corn, Alabama tailgaters and late night sliders.
photos courtesy of Kyla Zanardi
365 days of Lisa Marie. wow. I mean we were just looking for a commissary for the food truck. That’s how all this happened. And then the FG family had a baby and her name was Lisa Marie. Survival was the initial thought running through our minds. Between Ky, Dom and I none of us had any real restaurant experience, but to be honest we had no food truck experience or popup experience before that so why let that get in our way.
The restaurant has been the most unique spoke of the FG business. There is no quick way to success in the restaurant biz – It can be popular right from the get-go but it’s about the long haul in the end. Surving that test of time. One year is by no means a test of time, we’ve only just begun… but frig it feels good. Lisa Marie needed constant re-working and required a creative output like no other. The menus were constantly evolving and had to be different. The online content had to engage people. And most importantly it all had to be on-brand. It all had to come back to the common denominator of “ya this is great, but is it streetfood… is it Fidel Gastro’s”?.
The biggest shift has been in the evolution of being a company of few to a company of many and ensuring that for the most part our staff believed in what we did. For some it was an adjustment others felt right at home. In the end we have a team we believe in and hopefully (fingers crossed) believe in us as well as we attempt to take this brand even further year after year.
We have had the honour of meeting some amazing chefs and mentors along the way, thousands and thousands of amazing and loyal customers, and abundance of people that come to us because we’re not your typical resto… and for that we couldn’t be more proud to call Toronto our home.
So in celebration of this 1 year milestone for Lisa Marie every hour this Friday and Saturday will be happy hour… $5 pints all weekend long and we will have random acts of free pad Thai fries starting at midnight both on Friday and Saturday for our late night crowd. ole!!!
Again, thank you for making street-food so engrained in Toronto’s culinary scene and thank you for supporting us on our journey… thank you for helping Lisa Marie turn 1. To my partners, staff, family and friends I say with total confidence, viva la revolucion!