True True Diner
True True Diner is the evolution of True True pizzeria. The diner concept pays homage to the sites of many civil rights sit-ins, and the history of the diner in breaking down segregation.
Suzanne Barr and Johnnie Karas who run True True Diner have a diner background themselves, previously operating Saturday Dinette.
While embracing a modern diner feel with booths and white subway tile, images on the walls mix fun with references to the civil rights era.
A True Brekkie ($16) available all day is adopted from the Saturday Dinette menu, and truly represents a perfect plate of breakfast.
Two eggs prepared in your choice of style are accompanied by a crispy rosti, perfectly sauteed collard greens, buttery house focaccia, cheddar cheesy grits unexpectedly complemented by a dollop of lemon curd, and a roasted tomato.
A Fish Plate jumps in price a fair bit to $20, but again, every element is lovingly executed. House tartar sauce is layered between piled Arctic char cooked to medium rare with a crispy skin.
I’d definitely recommend showing up on Friday for ribs ($19), actually a double whammy of baby back beef ribs topped with fatty oxtail, both braised in cider and rice wine vinegar for a bit of a play on osso buco.
I love the Jamaican influence of a foundation of sweet house hardo bread and a fiery pepper sauce, and the same greens from the breakfast plate add an element of freshness. A green sauce, scallions, and crispy capers with chili oil finish everything off.
A plantain mash is just as addictive as the fall-off-the-bone meat, the plantains boiled and treated like mashed potatoes with butter and brown sugar. A heap of crispy leeks on top of this plate adds a fragrant, textural finishing touch.
A True Highball ($9) is a twist on a typical gin drink made with bitters and kombucha for a bitter, sweet, tart, colourful beverage.
Other cocktails like a Moscow Mule ($12) stick to the traditional, balancing the classic ingredients of vodka, ginger beer, mint and lime juice. I like the cute copper Solo-style cup.
A Caipirinha ($11) is also iconic, made simply with a Brazilian spirit called cachaca, muddled limes and cane sugar.
An emphasis on social responsibility means as many employees as possible are trained from the ground up, many of them students at nearby George Brown.