The last thing I want to do when driving anywhere in Toronto is get gas, especially if I can’t use one of the five reward points cards I have. However, if there was a solid sandwich waiting for me , would I reconsider?
I visited Leslieville Pumps to answer this question. Located on Queen St. near Carlaw, I would not consider it the most convenient place to gas up. It has a small menu with 4 sandwiches choices, a few sides and a couple of snacks. The woman at the counter was very friendly but seemed a bit overwhelmed when I asked her what the best things on the menu were. She recommended everything. It was interesting to sit at one of the few tables and read old paper clippings from 1942 through the glass. Also interesting was looking around to the small selection of normal gas station snacks, beverages and ping pong balls. A one stop party shop.
The corn fritters were dreamy. Crusty, moist and filled with roasted corn, it was served in a small bag which made me crave Swedish Berries and Sour Keys. It came with a unique, spicy and very flavorful creole dipping sauce as opposed to the normal trend of adding chipolte to ranch dressing and calling it Southwest Sauce.
I must say the service was very good. I was impressed to see a delivery man drop off some fresh produce and the owner (I presume he is the owner) offer him a cold water. Very classy.
The brisket sandwich was ok. It had a nice flavour but I did get some very gritty pieces. I wasn’t fond of the bun. It was dry and too big for the sandwich. The veginator was similarly flimsy although we were offered more of the other vegetables when no mushrooms were requested. In both cases, some optional condiments to boost the sandwich might of helped. In fact, I put some of the creole sauce on the brisket to add another dimension of flavour.
The slaw was decent, fresh and flavorful.
The sandwiches were almost $8 with no sides. I would either up the sandwich filling a bit or offer a cheaper side option (an individual portion of slaw for a buck) so I could get a meal for under $10.
I didn’t try many of the menu items including the corn salad, fries, beans and fried pickles. The quality of the fritters make me want to come back. I do like the thought of having a fresh, hot option (although it may not be a sandwich) instead of the packaged cheeseburger or a twinkie, both with an expiry date sometime in 2019. However, with no Aeroplan, Air Miles or Petro points card and an awkward location to fill up, I think I’ll only be leaving with one kind of gas.