This small franchise out of Jacksonville has it all figured out: large portions, good service and reliable quality make Metro Diner a guaranteed success in this area.
We had several winners among the items we tried. The chicken pot pie was loaded with baked chicken and veggies under a biscuit crust and comes in a regular size (which lasted two meals for me) and a jumbo for a dollar more at $9.99. The Bold City Burger for $11.99 has caramelized onions, bacon, sausage, fried jalapenos and a garlic aioli on a brioche bun and was spot on. The hamburger steak and eggs are a half pound of Angus with a side of hash browns or grits for $9.49.
Some of the portion sizes are a bit obscene. The fried chicken and waffles, with half a chicken and a Belgian waffle, made one of our reviewers say his mouth and hands were going to give out before his stomach did. The Yo Hala on the Square is French toast made with two giant slices of challah stuffed with bananas, brown sugar, cream cheese and hazelnut syrup topped with berry compote and powdered sugar. I got diabetes just typing that.
Other items to try are the breakfast pie, the Charleston shrimp and grits and the fish and chips. They have several salads but this just didn't seem like the time to order a salad. Instead, try the omelets, benedicts, breakfast sandwiches and griddle specialties.
One caveat: The kids portions seem really small in contrast. I recommend ordering a regular (gigantic) entree and getting an extra plate for the wee ones.
If reliably good food and a well-trained service staff top your list for favorite restaurants, this one is a must-go.
Address: 3710 Northside Drive
Hours: 7-8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 7-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Payment: Credit card, cash
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Medium to loud
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $6.49-$16.99
Restaurant reviewer dines anonymously at Telegraph expense. New restaurants must be open at least two months before a review. Reviews are not related to advertising.