macho radio bar
macho radio bar
Macho Radio Bar (Image: Libby Roach)

So long Citta, hello Macho Radio Bar! City Place clientele and condo dwellers are flocking to the new Tex-Mex spot, flanked by a sunny and colourful patio. Vv Magazine’s food writer, Libby Roach, gives us an inside look at the new kid on the block. 

A little tinker and a retool have breathed new life into City Place. Citta, the rustic Italian restaurant that formerly occupied the space and shuttered after just over a year, has since been replaced by a more casual Tex-Mex themed restaurant, dubbed Macho Radio Bar.

Owned by heavy hitters INK Entertainment and Icon Legacy Hospitality (Charles & Hanif to those in the know), the rebrand to Tex-Mex is timely for summer, but also for the location – the restaurant is a stone’s throw to Rogers Centre and sporting events will be shown on Macho’s TVs (including some on the patio). Keeping with the sporty theme, Macho also features a few arcade games, like Streetfighter, Golden Tee or Pac-Man for a retro rec-room vibe.

The well trained and well versed Guillermo Hebertson is Head Chef, bringing his wealth culinary knowledge from past work in Michelin-starred restaurants and his upbringing, hailing from Mexico. Guillermo has his finger on the pulse of what’s current, with a menu that reads way beyond tacos (don’t worry – there are still tacos, of course).

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macho radio bar
Chorizo Queso Fundido (Image: Libby Roach)

Guillermo is passionate about ingredients and celebrates the unique flavours of Toronto, marrying them with his recipes – some a clear tribute to his family roots, like the Chorizo Queso Fundido ($10), a take on his mom’s own recipe. This dish is almost like a Mexican fondue, with gooey mozzarella cheese crowned with spicy chorizo sausage. A perfect starter dish, pair it with a bucket of Sangria ($25 per pitcher) and a platter of Macho Fries ($12) for a winning combo.

Macho radio bar
Macho Fries (Image: Libby Roach)

Greens are also well represented, with the Verde Fresca ($8) being a quick favourite. Kale salads are pretty much everywhere these days, but Guillermo’s version, with cotija cheese and puffed quinoa, are both original and quite satisfying. The Santa Fe ($8) salad is also on the hefty side, with charred corn, crispy tortilla chips, avocado, and corn nuts, making for a kitchen sink type of salad that could make for a meal.

Macho Radio Bar
Verde Fresca (Image: Libby Roach)

Guillermo makes everything in-house, except the tortillas that he has shipped in fresh from Chicago, three times a week. Corn or flour tortillas are the base for their tacos, with five fillings to choose from, including a vegan option. Pork shoulder ($5) was my top pick; Guillermo butchers the pigs in-house, topping these tacos with charred pineapple and kohlrabi slaw.

macho radio bar
Macho Radio Bar Tacos (Image: Libby Roach)

Smoke Show Fajitas ($14) are almost shareable; the portion size is a good heap of chicken or steak, here seared to perfect medium rare and paired with DIY hot sauces, and a trio of condiments for cooling it down.

macho radio bar
Smoke Show Fajitas (Image: Libby Roach)

The bar menu is well suited to the heat, with a bumper crop of bevvies designed to keep you well lubricated, like the Michelada ($8) which is a beer based Caesar, or the Tempano ($8), a patio favourite- with equal parts frozen margarita and lager. Punchier options like the Tejano Tea ($9), a take on the classic Long Island, feature the entire bar rail and a splash of coke and lemon to finish it off.  Frozen Margaritas($8) come with a salted rim and Kelvin’s organic mix for a tasty base, with El Jimador tequila fueling the drink.

macho radio bar
Tempano (Image: Libby Roach)

The sweet stuff makes for a solid finish, and the Flourless Cheesecake ($6) is a feat. Part Crème brûlée part cheesecake and all delicious, this inventive dessert hits a floral note, enhanced with hibiscus syrup and Dulce de Leche. The Apple-Em-Pie-Nada ($6) is a cheeky name for this empanada-shaped pie pocket, stuffed with cinnamon apples and paired with in-house made coconut vanilla ice cream.

Macho radio bar
Flourless Cheesecake (Image: Libby Roach)

Weekends will see the patio packed for their brunch, with huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos studding the menu. Sugar seekers will dig the creative Pop Rocks Toast ($9), with corn bread, caramelized banana and chocolate pop rocks guaranteeing a sugar rush like no other.

Macho Radio Bar is open daily at 4pm, with brunch starting at 11am on weekends.

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Will you visit Macho Radio Bar in City Place? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.