Cardinal Rule is all about the retro diner vibe. The all-day Roncesvalles restaurant dishes out veggie, vegan, gluten free and meaty options on all three of their menus - breakfast, lunch/dinner and a special brunch menu on weekends.
The decor resembles a different time period with argyle walls, pop icons (from the past) plastered on some of the tables, local art hanging on the walls and nostalgic music from the past filling the restaurant - it's like a local watering-hole from the 70's.
The menu is filled with pub-style comfort food, with a few modern twists like phish stix (battered fried tofu) over traditional fish sticks.
The classic- deep fried pickles ($7) served with garlic aioli are some of the best ones I've had. The batter is light, the pickles are crunchy and the dip is fresh.
The chicken club salad ($14) is a mixture of spinach, portobello mushrooms, cheddar, sun dried tomato and topped with grilled chicken, bacon and a honey mustard vinaigrette. The salad makes for a good, light lunch as an alternative to a heftier chicken club sandwich (which they also have for $12).
The jerk tilapia tacos (panko crusted shrimp is another option) is my favourite dish on the menu. It comes with tomatillo sour cream and mango slaw ($14). The fish is tender and the dressings offer a refreshing flavour with the fish.
Eggs Benedict ($11) and french toast ($10) are hot items offered on the weekday breakfast menu. Squish squash quesadillas ($12), burgers ($11) and a baked mac and cheese ($10) can be found on the lunch and dinner menu.
To stay hydrated, you have a long list of options. Beer lovers can keep it classic with a pint ($7) of one of the five beers and one cider on tap, or opt for one of the tall cans ($7), some of which (like the Liberty Village 504 Pale Ale) are local brews.
Not a fan of beer? You're covered with options like boozy coffee ($8.50), mimosas ($7), a wide range of cocktails ($7-8.50), one of their extravagant caesars ($7-12), and yes, of course they have non-alcoholic beverages too.
The weekend brunch menu offers an entire vegan section with offering like coconut pancakes ($11), huevos cardinalles quesadillas ($11) and the cowboy eggs benny ($14).
Photos by Hector Vasquez.