Leslieville: The First Food Tour

We are now on month 3 of living in Leslieville, and both my boyfriend and I agree that it’s such an amazing neighbourhood. Certainly lively and full of surprises. Now that we have had a chance to try out some great food spots in the area (with, admittedly, still so many left to try), I wanted to share my Top 5 Food Spots in Leslieville (for now).

1. Lady Marmalade: I don’t need to rehash how amazing this place truly is. So worth the wait. But just in case you forgot…

Baked french toast is the cat's pyjamas...

2. Ed’s Real Scoop & Bobbette and Belle:

Both of these spots make me all sorts of happy when it comes to dessert/snacks. Grabbing ice cream at Ed’s Real Scoop has now become my favourite passtime on warm summer nights (maybe a little too much…dangerous stuff!), and Bobbette & Belle makes nothing short of incredible desserts. My recommendation? Get a macaroon from them, pair it with the cookies ‘n creme ice cream from Ed’s, and call it a day.

3. Rashers & Leslieville Pumps:

I talked about the amazingness of Rashers way before I even lived down the street from it. Their sandwiches are still delicious. A new favourite we recently learned about is the Leslieville Pumps – on its face, this spot is merely a run of the mill gas station. But inside you will find more than just candy bars and chips. They have sandwiches with smoked meat, BLTs, pulled pork, poutine, coleslaw and deep fried pickels. Yum! Perfect hangover or late night food (while Rashers closes at 8pm, The Pumps is open 24h!)

Simple grilled cheese? Not these sandwiches!

Rashers’ goodness…

4. Paulette’s Chicken and Doughnuts:

Freshly made doughnuts (like, my favourite, the s’mores doughnut) + fried chicken + your choice of sauce makes this place a fun spot to have an unhealthy but utterly delicious snack. We recently tried their deep-fried macaroni ‘n cheese balls, too…can’t say you would be wrong in doing the same. I love this spot because it’s one-of-a-kind in the area and offers a fun alternative to fast food. If you’re feeling like something bad for you, but oh-so-good, this place delivers.

5. Prohibition Gastropub & Riverside Public House:

Riverside was the first place we tried upon moving in. And Prohibition has now become the “go-to” when meeting friends for a drink. They have great beers on tap, a fantastic happy hour, prime location at Queen and Broadview plus their food is  pretty damn good. My favourite dish that I’ve  had so far is their “Pulled Pork Grilled Fromage” – exactly what it sounds like: pulled pork +grilled cheese. But the kicker is that it comes with fries and a slightly tangy raspberry flavoured dipping sauce. It shouldn’t work, but it certainly does. Definitely work a try.

We fully intend on trying more places this summer (like Ruby Watchco/Ruby Eats, “The Nose”, Swirl Wine Bar, among others), and I will be sure to get more on he list.

The new 'hood!

The new ‘hood!

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Brunch Is Never A Bad Idea

Brunch is one of those lovely meals that typically only gets enjoyed on a lazy Sunday. There’s been a brunch revival in the last few years (particularly in Toronto) and now there is a smorgasbord of places to pick from if you want to get your “not-quite-breakfast, not-quite-lunch” fix. In fact, the Drake General Store even has a portable brunch map it sells, with all the city’s hot spots.

Stick this map in your wallet and go!

Stick this map in your wallet and go!

Ever since we moved to the new ‘hood, everyone I talk to has the same 3 or 4 places they say we HAVE to try. One of those places is Lady Marmalade, a breakfast/brunch/lunch spot that seems to have a perennial line out the door. After a few weekends of balking at the wait, we finally gave in yesterday and decided to try it. I can say the wait (in warm sunshine, finally!) was well worth it.

LM menuTheir menu is slightly Mexican-themed (lots of “huevos” involved), but their flavours are delightfully all over the map. They have a great selection of eggs benedict, as well as some fun daily specials. Plus, if you don’t eat gluten, they have the option of making a lot of their menu gluten-free. On this particular morning, my boyfriend had their eggs benny special (“Hawaiian Eggs Benedict” which included locally-sourced ham and a poached egg, as well as the unique flavour of roasted pineapple chunks and aged white cheddar) and I had the french toast special (moist baked french toast with raspberries and oranges, and maple syrup, obviously). Both were delicious and oh so filling!

Baked french toast is the cat's pyjamas...

Baked french toast is the cat’s pyjamas…

Aside from the delicious food and good service, I think one of the biggest draws to Lady Marmalade is the fact that they work with local food shops (like the nearby Rowe Farms) to source locally-grown, organic ingredients for their food.

Given the success of this MUST TRY spot, I’m certainly looking forward to hitting up the other local neighbourhood favourites during the summer. Oh, and if the picture of my delicious baked french toast is making you hungry and you want to give it a try at home, I recommend this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. There’s booze in it!