Mouthful

True Flavors Diner now open in Durham

True Flavors Diner opened earlier this month in Durham’s Greenwood Commons Shopping Center.
True Flavors Diner opened earlier this month in Durham’s Greenwood Commons Shopping Center. Katherine Miles Jones

Sidney Coves, a familiar presence on the Durham catering scene since 2004, has opened his first restaurant.

True Flavors Diner, which Coves opened earlier this month in Greenwood Commons Shopping Center, allows the chef greater freedom to venture beyond the limits of catering fare and explore an idea he’s been developing for a while. Combining his Johnson and Wales culinary degree with his fond food memories of growing up in Fayetteville, it’s a concept he’s billing as a fresh new take on a classic Southern diner.

On the menu, that translates to a broadly appealing offering, starting with breakfast options ranging from pork souse biscuit to North Carolina lump crab omelet. Other eye-openers include an entire category devoted to variations on the corned beef hash theme (duck hash, anyone? tofu hash?) and cornmeal-fried (or pan-seared) catfish and grits, the chef’s signature riff on shrimp and grits.

The lunch offering is likewise varied, with temptations including cracked pepper chicken-fried chicken, bourbon-bacon meatloaf, and an assortment of salads, burgers and sandwiches such as the house specialty Duck Crackle Club (roast duck, crispy duck skin, bacon and a fried egg on brioche loaf). On Saturdays, chicken and waffles, beef brisket Benedict, and country fried pork chops are a few of the items on a brunch menu that’s served all day.

True Flavors Diner (5410 NC Hwy. 55, Suite AJ, Durham; 919-316-7978; trueflavorsnc.com) is open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fans of the catering business will be happy to know that it’s still in operation.

Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Tune in to hear his radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF. Reach him at ggcox@bellsouth.net.

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