Meet the owner

Matt Basile’s love for food started in the kitchen of his Italian grandparents helping them jar tomatoes and make pasta from scratch. And while the foodie in him was well established at a young age, he chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and work in advertising. But it didn’t take long for him to realize where his real desires lay.

“I wasn’t inspired by my work,” he says. “I sat down and looked at my long-term goals and being my own boss was at the top of those goals,” says the founder of the food company Fidel Gastro's and co-owner of the restaurant Lisa Marie. “I also wanted to add an element of food to my career.”

Matt worked diligently for a year developing a business plan for Fidel Gastro's that was “very in depth,” he says. But the universe had other ideas — financing was a problem. “I have the world’s record for the fastest bank loan rejection,” he laughs. “I had no assets, no collateral, no experience; that was tough. They were purely looking at numbers. It was hard to hear, but it was a blessing. I changed my approach — it was my ‘Ah-Ha!’ moment.”

Read the story of Lisa Marie

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Appears in 7 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
Winterlicious 2017: $28 dinners

Winterlicious 2017: $28 dinners

Lisa Marie is the brick and mortar restaurant for the Fidel Gastro’s food truck located in the heart of the Fashion District. With a vibrant energy and a constantly evolving menu, this restaurant fully embodies its West Queen West roots and its street food heart and soul. On the menu are Alabama tailgaters (bacon-wrapped shaved beef tenderloin stuffed with cheddar and kimchi); house smoked ribs with vinegar slaw and cornbread; and handheld apple pie with bourbon caramel sauce.

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Best sandwiches in Toronto

Best sandwiches in Toronto

In the eternal struggle to redefine brunch, the minds behind Lisa Marie – spawned from Toronto's favourite food truck Fidel Gastro – have turned pancakes into sandwich buns, filled them with pork patties, shredded lettuce, tomato slices and maple syrup, and began offering them with sides of pad Thai fries or duck-fat home fries (#gulp!). Lisa Marie loves to try new things – the Nutella-topped burger had its moment in the sun – but its pancakes are worth a return visit.

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