Gloucester Centre East Side Marios is not my thing!

East Side Marios Gloucester Centre

East side Marios offers more sizzle than steak!
I must say that East Side Mario’s is not always our thing!
Though there are many others who its praises would sing
It’s true that the menu offers plenty to choose
Though often with quantity, its quality you lose
So Hey Budda Booom Budda Bing!

It is no coincidence that almost eighteen months after starting this blog, this is the first time that we are reviewing East Side Mario’s, even though there are two right in our neighbourhood. The one in the St. Laurent Shopping Centre has been there for a good many years and obviously has a loyal following. We first went there shortly after it first opened and then subsequently ate at one in Toronto a short while later. Neither of those experiences really blew us away and Dorothy is typically not a huge fan of Italian food in the first place, so we have not been tempted to revisit.
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Where we went: Sometimes it is agreeable to have visitors simply because they force us out of our normal rut of comfort zone. In truth, although there are many eating establishment where I would not choose to go, this is more out of habit than active dislike. There are so many places where we enjoy to eat or that remain on our wishlist that we are not inclined to go to others as a result. This is perhaps a rather lengthy diatribe to explain how we came to be eating at East Side Mario’s this particular evening.

What we ordered: Over the last couple of weeks, I have come to realize that one way in which I judge my own affinity for a given dining establishment relates to the difficulty, or lack of it, that I experience in selecting an item from the menu. If there are many items that vie for my attention and ultimate choice, I would intrinsically give this locale a higher rating. When perusing East Side Mario’s menu, although it is quite extensive, I did not find myself with a cornucopia of gastronomic alternatives. One of my own preconceptions about Italian food is that it tends to be heavy on the starch. Of course, one can always order a salad as I occasionally would but this evening I opted for scallops over pasta.

What we got: Bacon-wrapped scallops and pastaNow I must start off by saying that I am a huge fan of scallops and bacon and when my plate arrived at the table, it looked good enough to eat. However, as good as it looked, I was still disappointed because the taste did not match the appearance. It was simply bland. To add insult to injury, I didn’t find anything on the dessert menu to tickle my fancy either.

Worthy of note: East Side Mario’s did nothing specifically wrong on this visit or previous ones, I just come away with the feeling that this middle-of-the-road, family-style restaurant is not destined to ride high on my personal favourites list. Check out the Urbanspoon listing at the bottom of this post and you will note that (at time of posting), they are only running at a 60% approval rating which is somewhat low for an establishment of this type.


  • Positives: Good atmosphere and location.
  • Negatives: Food did not excite!
  • Recommendation: It may be to your liking but it is not to mine!
Category Rating Explanation
Food Quality ** Just average
Price $$$ moderate to high
Decor **** clean & bright
Service *** Normal
Overall Rating ** Not for me 🙁


Frivolous Foodie Facts
Still want to eat that scallop? Scallops with bright orange mantles are males. Those with brown to green mantles are females. The shell is decorated with many plants and animals. On the edge of the shell there are many little dots that are many simple eyes. When the eyes sense a change of light or danger, a scallop closes its shell.

East Side Mario's on Urbanspoon

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  1. […] Read our full review on Canada’s Un-Chef site […]

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