Fashion-able: Leslieville street style

Queen West is home to
great fashion, food, drink, espresso, entertainment and our very own
Burroughes building. We feel lucky to work in such a vibrant, happening ‘hood. But the other end of Queen Street is equally as hip, with its unassuming, grounded culture and (nearly) big-box store-free streets.


Leslieville is flourishing; it hosts high-quality
local, sustainable food stores such as Hooked, Rowe Farms and Leslieville Cheese.
We love its growing variety of delish eateries, such as Leslieville Pumps,
Paulette’s Original Donuts, Goods & Provisions and Enoteca Ascari 26. Shops
like Thrill of the Find, Baby on the Hip, Nathalie-Rose and Co. and Doll Factory offer great finds and a strong community vibe.

We decided to head over to the east end again (check out our previous blog
posts on Leslieville Pumps and Paulette’s Original Donuts), but this time to take a
few snaps of the local street style. We were not disappointed. We found the style
generally unpretentious and fun. Bright pops of colour and floral patterns were popular, and strappy sandals a staple.
Bright colours and a mullet skirt are fresh and summery.
A floral dress with gladiator sandals and a
black vest mixes sugar and spice.
This maxi dress with a smart cardigan and bag looks polished
but not overdone.
A print bag lends a flirty summer vibe to the
classic skinny-jeans-and-cute-blouse look.

This romantic dress looks city chic with a crossbody bag
and strappy sandals.
A bright skirt adds some sun to this outfit.
These bohemian capris are the centerpiece of a unique earthy
look.


We’re looking forward to hitting up more Toronto neighbourhoods to check out what styles people are rocking. 

Yum Yum: Paulette’s Original Donuts and Chicken

We don’t mean to toot our own horn (okay, well, maybe we do), but we foresaw the doughnut revival about six months ago. However, a take-out shop devoted to fried chicken and doughnuts? That’s just crazy! Crazy or not, this is the successful formula behind Paulette’s Original Donuts* and Chicken.

Paulette’s bright, can’t-miss exterior.



The aqua-hued Leslieville shop (913 Queen St. E.) is a hop, skip and a jump down the street from Leslieville Pumps (read our review here) and features staff decked out in 1950s-style diner uniforms. Doughnuts are available from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. or until they run out, Tuesday through Sunday, while the fried chicken starts at 11:30 a.m.

What is Foodie411 ordering?



Owner Devin Connell and chef Graham Bower create seven different flavours of full-size doughnuts daily, available for $2.75 each. The “Donut Dots” (think: Timbits) come tossed in either Maple Sugar or Garam Masala and are $4.50 for 8. We sampled the Root Beer Float doughnut and were impressed by the subtle root beer flavouring and dough texture. The doughnut wasn’t as sweet as we’d expected, which was a pleasant surprise.

Seven delectable flavours.



The fried chicken batter was lighter than we’d expected; closer to tempura than KFC. Paulette’s offers a variety of serving sizes, and each chicken order comes with your choice of dipping sauce (hot sauce, tandoori BBQ or honey) or rub (sumac oregano or garam masala). The fried chicken is the main show, but Paulette’s offers a few delicious sides to round out the meal, including Asian slaw, mac & cheese and cornbread. 

Chicken, hot sauce and mac & cheese, oh my!


We can’t speak for everyone, but doughnuts and fried chicken might be our new favourite combination. Grab a few friends (preferably with bikes), some Paulette’s and head over to the nearest park for a casual brunch al fresco. Diets be damned! 

Follow them on Twitter: @Paulettesorig


*Donuts vs. doughnuts. The eternal debate. “Doughnut” is the dictionary-approved spelling, so we’re sticking to that version, but respect Paulette’s right to the “donut”.   

Yum, yum: Leslieville Pumps

A few weeks ago, after a meeting on the east side, we decided to make a pit stop at Leslieville Pumps and pick up lunch for the fourth floor. Between them and Paulette’s, Queen and Carlaw has become quite the foodie corner. We’d been hearing a lot of buzz about this gas station cum southern BBQ joint, so decided to check it out for ourselves. 

The Flom brothers with the Pumps’ pump.



Founded by two brothers, Greg and Judson Flom, Leslieville Pumps feels like an establishment you’d stop in at in Tennessee en route to Nashville, instead of in Toronto’s Leslieville. The gas station is open 24 hours, 365 days a year, but the kitchen serves from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. during weekends.

Rustic interior.



A self-described smoke house, the Pumps’ menu has a lot of items that are cooked “low and slow”. Along with breakfast sandwiches, there’s beef brisket, pulled pork and smoked chicken thighs. We sampled the brisket and woweeeee, was it delicious. Piled onto a fresh bun, the brisket is topped with crispy onions, barbecue sauce and mustard. To die for!

Eat this brisket with your eyes closed, and you’ll swear you’re in Kansas.



As we can never turn down a pickle, the fried pickles were a definite order item. The batter remained crispy, as did the pickle, all the way back to the office. Finally, the BBQ corn salad was a nice, fresh side dish but was a hard decision with corn fritters on the menu too. 

What’s better than a pickle? One that’s deep fried, of course.



We can’t wait to go back and try out more items on the menu. We heard another customer raving about the curry, which is made by a Sri Lankan staff member and the BLT, made with maple glazed smoked peameal bacon sounds like an absolute must. One thing’s for sure, we’ll be heading over the east end a lot more often now.


Follow them on Twitter: @LPumps