If you find yourself pining for a classic homestyle breakfast, you might land at the newly-opened Metro Diner in Raleigh’s Sutton Square shopping center. The two-week-old outpost of the Jacksonville, Florida chain restaurant has taken up residence in the space that used to house Aladdin’s Eatery.
You might feel immediately at ease as you glide under Metro Diner’s palm green awning and breeze by the two rows of wrought iron benches that are planted al fresco for waiting guests. The Floridian export prides itself on being the type of place where the community can gather, a diner, as the menu exuberantly extols, “where the locals eat”. Walk in and you might feel like this is the type of neighborhood spot that Jerry Seinfeld would meet George, Elaine and Kramer for a cup of a coffee to kvetch about nothing.
Indeed, on a Sunday morning, the cozy diner is bustling with families and their little ones fresh from church, young hungover couples with bloodshot eyes and mouths agape, and curious neighbors eager to try out the new hotspot around the corner. T-shirt clad servers are weaving through the dining space lined with tables and booths, and into the outdoor covered patio, perkily offering refills on the coffee of the day, the “Jazzy Java” ($2.29).
As you sip on your retro diner mug of coffee to study the menu, and the chalkboard specials menu located on the back wall, you might be elated to find that Metro Diner serves breakfast all day with a bevy of Southern stick-to-your-ribs favorites that include Charleston Shrimp and Grits, Fried Chicken and Waffle and Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. Should you find yourself craving the breakfast classics–benedicts, omelettes, and items from the griddle–Metro Diner has those covered as well.
And though Metro Diner calls Florida home, it doesn’t just limit itself to Cracker Barrel-type country cooking on the menu. You can find items from both its breakfast and lunch menus that draws inspiration from up north like Philly cheesesteak and Pittsburgh sandwiches and the Southwest region like huevos rancheros and breakfast burrito. Metro Diner clearly aims to ubiquitously please all those who have a hearty appetite, and that includes Food Network’s bleached-coiffed host of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” Guy Fieri, whose picture and endorsement is prominently emblazoned on the paper placemat.
Now the San Francisco benedict ($11.99) might not ignite your tastebuds like the flames off of Fieri’s oversized bowling shirt, but the poached eggs nested above slices of Canadian bacon, tomato, avocado and English muffin sloshed in a ladle of Hollandaise sauce will comfortably coat your stomach on a brisk Sunday morning. You’ll still knock it back with alternating bites of crispy hash browns. And, best yet, you will still have a few bucks in your wallet to spare when you sign your check on the server’s iPad.
Metro Diner will likely please anyone with a hearty appetite in search of good value and a casual spot to share a meal with good company. Judging by the crowd on Sunday morning, the locals have already warmly embraced the new addition.
METRO DINER | 6325 Falls of Neuse Road Raleigh NC 27615 | 919.578.9053