RESTAURANT REVIEW: Lisa's Bistro "Gourmet on the Go"

Laurie Grant
By Laurie Grant
May 26th, 2014

Lisa’s Lakeside Bistro – “Gourmet on the Go” – named after the owner/operator Lisa Smith.

Address: 1675 Hwy 3, Christina Lake, BC, V0H 1E0 (Christina Lake Living Arts Welcome Centre)

Phone: 250-447-2554

Hours: 7 days a week open at 7am – 4pm Sun-Thurs & 7am – 8pm Thurs/Fri with free Wi-Fi

Menu Breakfast and lunch menu:  Sandwiches made on local organic “From the Hearth” bread $6-9

Weekly Specials:

Mexican Monday’s

Appy Day Tuesday’s

Wings on Wednesday’s

Flatbread Thursday’s

Burgers on Thursday nights (For open mike night – open until 8PM)

French Onion soon-to-be Mexican Friday’s

Free coffee/tea Saturday/Sunday (you buy the dessert $5 min)

Eggs Benny Sunday’s

Unusual menu choices: Dark chocolate brownie with cream cheese icing.

Best Value: Coffee & a muffin $5.00 (tax included)

Service: Order and pay at the counter with food delivered to your table

Events: Thursday burgers and open-mike night, community Easter egg hunt, and this year will be the 4th annual Christmas Sing along.

Seating: Indoors at bar tables, bistro tables and chairs in the restaurant and larger tables in the larger reception area and outside on the open-air patio with rubber surfacing. A large playground is available in sight of the patio to keep the kiddies entertained while you eat outside.

Parking: Ample space in the circular dirt driveway

History: Lisa Smith took over the restaurant in the Christina Lake Living Arts Centre a couple of years ago. Smith says years of experience working in the food service industry have developed her confidence for “knowing what people like to eat” and “excellence in the lost art of customer service.”

“It (excellent customer service) starts with a staff that loves their jobs,” muses Smith. “My (10 to 12) staff all love to come to work and enjoy everyone they work with. I call myself a team leader, not the boss. Good service is often a reflection of how much you enjoy where you are working and who you are working with.

Smith also made a presentation to the local grade 7 class sharing the how to get a job and more importantly—how to keep it. She noted that volunteer or work experience, timeliness, availability, willingness to learn and enthusiasm for your duties are what she looks for.

Future Plans: This summer Lisa is excited to welcome a 90-member ladies bike group that are choosing to lunch with Lisa based on the reviews of customers on Trip Advisor. http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g182210-d3218497-Reviews-Lisa_s_Lakeside_Bistro-Christina_Lake_Grand_Forks_British_Columbia.html#REVIEWS

Awards: Certificate of Excellence 2014

My experience:

After enjoying an impromptu Spanish song by the Cuban singers “The Brisas Del Palmer Trio” I joined some colleagues for lunch at Lisa’s Lakeside Bistro housed in the Christina Lake Welcome Centre. Hard-working Lisa was there serving up meals on her day off! She introduced me to her manager and cook, who were both very congenial and helpful.

I randomly asked Boundary residents before and after visiting the restaurant if they had eaten there, and if they enjoyed it-a positive response was unanimous. I also asked a few regulars that eat there daily what they recommended that I try ­­– “a gourmet burger” was the unanimous first reply from the many lunch choices.

I refused a side order after learning the burgers are very filling, often too much for one person and perfect for sharing. The cheddar bacon burger was not a disappointment! Juicy and flavourful, the handmade burger was served open-faced on a ciabatta bun (airy and crunchy, sort of like a sour-dough crossed with an English muffin), topped with two thick slices of bacon, melted cheddar cheese and raw sliced onion, tomato and lettuce with a delicious top-secret burger sauce on the bun. My napkin was soaked with the juices that never made it to my mouth.

I made my way through half the burger and my hubby showed up just in time to help me finish it off. Two of my tablemates shared the daily special of a grilled-cheese sandwich with salad and another enjoyed a soup and sandwich special. All food was delivered to our table out of the dining area. The food was served hot in good time and the presentation was pleasant. Lisa offers three homemade soup choices daily and because of the open-stadium cooking, customers can watch the preparation of their meal and make special requests based on preferences or dietary needs.

Homemade dessert choices were many: Brownie with cream cheese icing, peanut butter cups, and OMG bars “plan on buying two,” advised a customer, “cause you won’t be able to stop at one OMG bar.”

Community Spirit

“Why wouldn’t you support other businesses in your community? Smith noted rhetorically. Web self-advertising:We mix old school recipes with new school ideas. We use local products and support local businesses whenever possible. At Lisa’s all soups, dressings, sauces and baking is made from scratch. “From a can” is not permitted.

Visit their website: http://www.lisasbistro.ca/ to view the menu and venue and see photos on Facebook.

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