For a long time when I thought of a diner, I pictured something like the Waffle House. Maybe not that gross and outdated (they are around here, anyway), but certainly something that was not trendy, or fresh, or interesting. My experiences were with little roadside places in the middle of the night, many of which are rather interchangable in my memory. Standard fare filled the menu: burgers, melts, and American breakfast things. The staff generally seemed washed up despite being friendly enough, but all these things put together really caused a poor lasting impression for me. Thus, it was of little import to me when the Metro Diner opened close to Exit 3 on I-95 (just one of their locations). Did the world really need another diner? Weren’t they going out of style anyway? Soon, though, reports started pouring in that the place was the best thing since sliced bread.
My first impression indicated that these reports were to prove accurate. Around one thirty in the afternoon, the Metro Diner was full to bursting. There wasn’t even an open stool at the bar facing the open kitchen. Luckily, our wait wasn’t more than ten minutes, so we stuck it out. And boy, are we glad we did. The menu is a modern take on the traditional diner setup, with breakfast galore, burgers all sorts of ways, and several items that simply didn’t exist thirty years ago. Morgan, for example, ordered the avocado toast—just avocado and sliced tomato on eight grain toast—and reported that it’s absolutely delicious. They also provide the opportunity for toppings to be mixed into your hashbrowns (they do cost money per topping, but they don’t skimp on the amount you get).
I’m a sucker for eggs benedict, and who could resist one with a house made crab cake in place of the Canadian bacon? The hollandaise was absolutely exceptional, to the point where I paid for an extra side of it for my hashbrowns. I just wanted the opportunity to keep eating the stuff. Apparently, it was also good on the avocado toast (and how could it possibly not be?). The eggs were almost perfect; the yolks could have been a bit looser. However, as the cooks were just coming off a serious rush—and since the crab cake was sublime—I don’t hold it against them. They get two more tries (I’ll let you know).
I went to the Metro Diner to see whether that style of restaurant could be translated into the Twenty-First Century. Could a diner cater successfully to young people and still be a diner? The answer is a resounding yes; the only caveat is the pricepoint, though I have to agree that my crab eggs benedict was totally worth thirteen dollars. I look forward to my next visit to the Metro Diner, but I have yet to decide whether it’ll be a breakfast, lunch, or dinner experience.