Again I found myself at Leslieville as I try to discover the hidden secret of the east side of downtown Toronto. Although saying this next find I visited as hidden might be a misnomer. Lately I find that a lot of people have checked it out. Naturally, curious person that I was, I went to Leslieville Pumps General Store and Kitchen myself.
Leslieville is not your ordinary eatery. It is primarily a gasoline station with an out-of-the-ordinary quick eats. It did stand out from the gasoline pumps as its wooden planked façade was lined faux Muskoka chairs. As I entered inside, I was greeted by the usual gasoline cashier, complete with a row of chocolate bars and mints with a display of scratch-and-win lottery tickets on my right. To the left were shelves of grocery supplies and tables for anyone wanting a quick bite. As you put your attention to the back of the room, lined with antique paraphernalia, you would find the kitchen and a menu that would make you think you were up at cottage country and not downtown Toronto. That was that point were I wished this gasoline station were closer to where I lived. If it were closer to North York, I would be a regular patron for gasoline for sure. It would be my excuse to sample their menu regularly each time I fill with gas.
For that visit I opted to try their Hickory Smoked Chicken and a side of corn fritters. As I was waiting for my food, I belatedly saw the smoked beans. I regretted not seeing it earlier. Ah well, I guess a second visit is a must. Unlike most fast food you get from a regular gasoline station, the food here took a while longer. Not so surprising though as the food is prepped as it was ordered. After a while I was handed my brown baggie with my sandwich and my corn fritters. The aroma of the food as I walked back to the car can really make your tummy churn.
My sandwich came warm and toasty and the corn fritters were hot to touch. I tentatively poked one corn fritter to place it for a quick picture before I taste it and after I did, I gave it a dunk into the Creole dip that came together with it. It was good to have it fresh and hot with burst of sweetness coming from the corn nibs that was deep in the dough. I do the same round of styling and placing the massive Hickory Smoked Chicken sandwich and decided to eat half of it. I don’t think I could finish the thing after I already have happily popped three corn fritters on my mouth. Biting into the sandwich, the unmistakable smoky aroma enhanced the taste. I loved that sandwich remained moist and tender and that it finished with a swift heat.
After finishing my meal and my tummy felt full, I again wished this gasoline station was closer to me. It would be nice to have one in North York where a chore of filling the car with gas could turn into pleasure with food selections like Leslieville Pumps. A foodie can dream, can’t she?