Tag Archives: barbecue

Leslieville Pumps

14 Jun

What do you get when you combine southern barbeque, a gas station/convenience store and vintage kitsch and plop it down in the heart of Leslieville?

We present to you:  Leslieville Pumps

Leslieville Pumps General Store and Kitchen

Here, what once was a Leslieville  eyesore  old gas station has been spiffed up to look like a Wild West storefront. Reclaimed wood is used to give it that chic tack that will either make you squee or rub your eyes in disbelief. Inside the decor continues with the southern theme, but also includes bits of Canadiana, like a Hudson’s Bay tin and a flock of mallards dangling above the grab & go fridge.

Inside Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen

Inside Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen

It was hard to choose just two sandwiches to eat because all four looked irresistible. We ended up getting the beef brisket and the chicken thighs.

Chicken thighs sandwich at Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen

First we tried the smoked chicken thighs. The thighs themselves were moist and had hints of cinnamon. I liked the idea of the garnishes, especially when I learned that Judd, the owner, grows as much of his own produce as he can and incorporates it into his food when it’s available.  Chicken, in my opinion, doesn’t smoke as tastily as beef or pork, and while we liked the sandwich, it wouldn’t be our first option. It was more taste neutral, but don’t take that as a bad thing.  If I’m eating chicken, I like big and bold versus subtle and kind. I wouldn’t kick that sandwich out of bed, that’s for certain.

Beef brisket sandwich at Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen

The beef brisket was really amazing. It had a distinct smokey taste without tasting too much like a campfire. Judd told us that he smokes his meat with a mix of mesquite and hickory. The beef was tender and served in chunks and the homemade barbecue sauce was sweet and smokey. The grainy mustard and crispy onions were perfect complements. If the pulled pork is half as good as the brisket (and I’m sure it is), then I know when I’m getting next time I visit.

Poutine at Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitche

We were both pretty full, but when the owner, Judd, told us that he used goat cheese curds and gravy mixed with his homemade barbecue sauce in his poutine, we decided that we might have room for that, too. It was still steaming when it came to the table and the garnish of oregano leaves was a nice touch. There was a generous amount of both cheese and gravy on the fries, and the goat cheese curds were perfect. I tend to enjoy a thicker, fattier chicken gravy rather than beef gravy on my poutine, but this was still very satisfying.

Poutine at Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen

We ended our meal by grabbing a string of Fizz candy (remember them? How the colour on the pouch never matched the flavour inside?) to eat on our drive home.  Its a dangerously short drive to the Pumps, and the temptation to try their pulled pork and fried pickles means that we’ll be back very soon.

Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen
929 Queen Street East

Words by Robin and Richard. Photos by Robin

Leslieville Pumps on Urbanspoon


At Home: Lamb Burgers and Raspberry Bannock

8 Aug

Nothing says summer like food from the barbecue. On days when it’s too hot to cook inside, it’s utter perfection to sit on the back porch with a beer and grill up some burgers. Richard makes some of the best burgers I’ve ever had and I’m not just saying that because I’m his wife. Most people that we know agree that he makes some really kick-ass lamb burgers.

Lamb burgers on the grill

The problem with Richard’s recipes is that they’re never the same twice, so it’s hard to write them down, but here’s a starting point:

Lamb Burgers

1lb/500g ground lamb
1 half onion grated or finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
4 pinches ground coriander
fresh mint, chopped*
a little pepper
a little salt
1 hand fresh bread crumbs
1 egg lightly beaten

Mix all the patty ingredients thoroughly, adding more of the spices if necessary. Divide mixture into balls and mold into patties.  Cook on medium heat on the barbecue until the patty is cooked to your preferred degree of doneness. It shouldn’t be pink on the inside unless you’ve ground the meat yourself.

*I happen to hate fresh mint, so I never add this to my own burgers, but lamb and mint go hand in hand and everyone who likes mint likes it in these burgers. I’m just crazy.

Lamb burger recipe

Do you spy some local condiments behind my burger? Hint: The mustard and the barbecue sauce are both from Southern Ontario. Can you tell who they’re from?

And let’s not forget about dessert!

Bannock recipe

What’s this little guy? Why, it’s bannock of course! Anyone who’s been to Girl Guides or Boy Scouts has probably made bannock before. If you were like me you didn’t mix yours well enough and didn’t cook it long enough but you still thought that it was delicious because you cooked in the fire on a stick!

This is kind of a grown-up version of bannock, I guess. It’s stuffed with fresh raspberries because we had a ton of them, but you could stuff it with all sorts of things. Imagine bannock stuffed with apple and dulce de leche, or with grilled peaches and marscapone! I love to make this for company because it’s so easy to make and everybody always has fond memories of eating it at camp.


1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 cup olive oil
Pinch of salt

Measure flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix. Pour olive oil and water over flour mixture, adding more oil and water if the mixture is too dry and more flour if the mixture is too wet. Stir with fork to make a ball. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Grab handfuls of dough and flatten them in your hands, then add a bit of whatever filling you like and pinch them closed. Place on a lightly oiled piece of tin foil over the grill and cook with the lid closed until outsides begin to brown.

Bannock recipe

There are still plenty of evenings of barbecues left this summer… What have you been grilling up?