Leslieville Pumps pumps out a delicious pulled pork sandwich.
AFT Kitchen & Bar 686 Queen E, at Broadview, 647-346-1541, aftbar.com, @aft_bar Taking its name from the acronym for "about fucking time," Paul Campbell's southern-fried bistro delivers considerable ‘cue on one of the loveliest backyard patios east of the Don Valley Parkway. Best: free-range half chickens slathered with sweet Kansas City-style sauce sided with purple cabbage slaw and German potato salad; nicely barked and perfectly pink pork side ribs optionally mopped with sauce; for the wayward vegetarian, deep-fried strips of panko-dusted portobello mushrooms with thyme aioli; shareable weekend-only platters with peppercorn-crusted brisket, those meaty ribs and saucy chicken sided with baked beans; cheddar-studded ground-brisket burgers on eggy Harbord Bakery buns;. Complete dinners for $40 per person, including tax, tip and smoked habanero Caesar. Average main $18. Open for dinner Monday to Friday 5 pm to 1 am, Saturday and Sunday 4 pm to 1 am. Weekend brunch 11 am to 3pm. Bar nightly till 2 am. Closed some holidays. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN
Leslieville Pumps 929 Queen E, at Carlaw, 416-465-1313, leslievillepumps.com, @LPumps Many a beanery will give you gas, but only first-time restaurateurs Greg and Judson Flom's southern-fried barbecue shack cum snack bar in a 24-hour east-side filling station will sell you gas instead. Barnboard, ahoy! Best: breakfast BLTs with house-smoked peameal bacon glazed with maple syrup on toasted Ace Bakery bun dressed with romaine, ripe tomato and the Floms' own mayo; hickory-smoked brisket in not-too assertive sauce; gently pulled pork dressed with spicy coleslaw; chunky chicken thighs with arugula and grilled tomato, all on absorbent ciabatta buns; regulation baked beans; first-rate fries turned into poutine with the addition of fresh Monforte Dairy cheese curds and kitchen-made gravy; deep-fried pickles. Complete meals for $12 per person, including tax, tip and a soda. Average main $8. Open 24/7. Kitchen open Monday to Friday 7 am to 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 9 pm. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN
Marky & Sparky's Smokehouse 520 Annette, at Runnymede, 647-748-4227, @MarkySparkys Despite being featured on an upcoming episode of Restaurant Takeover, Marcus de Simone and Frank DiGenova's Baby Point barbecue joint rises above the 10-seat takeaway's generic decor. And while they offer an extensive carte of 'cue - all sourced from DiGenova's Butcher by Nature across the street - get the best of the bunch in their $60 all-inclusive Ultimate Combo. Best: that deal includes half-racks of baby-back ribs slathered with mustard and a sweet paprika rub; a dozen chicken wings with sweet 'n' sour cherry sauce; half-pounds of slightly fatty pulled pork and lean machine-sliced brisket; two fennel-flecked pork sausages with caramelized onion jam; four jalapeño-studded cornbread muffins; dill pickle spears; sides of creamy cabbage slaw and baked beans laced with smoked brisket tips. Complete dinners for $40 per person (lunches $20), including tax, tip and a lemonade. Open Tuesday to Saturday noon to 8 pm, Sunday noon to 6 pm. Closed Monday, holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: barrier-free, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN