I don’t know about you but I’m usually not a fan of chains. From a bland menu to questionable and inexperienced service, I typically avoid them. But I had heard about Metro Diner coming to the Triangle a while back and while I missed their grand opening, online reviews that soon popped up seemed very positive. And while I’m not a breakfast guy, sometimes you can’t resist so I decided it was time for an early visit to the new Metro Diner in N. Raleigh!
Heading up on Falls of Neuse Road, I’m scanning the area for Metro Diner. This area is rife with strip plazas so I wasn’t sure where it was exactly but my GPS brings me to an elevated plaza area up on a corner. I enter the plaza and spy Metro Diner on the far side, I’m pretty sure it’s in the same space that used to be Aladdin’s. The front of Metro Diner is a bit covered up behind a green, patio cover so keep your eyes peeled! And as I approach I realize why the patio is covered: the place is packed at 9:30 on a Sunday morning. Inside, there’s a small waiting area and the place is buzzing with conversation and activity. Every seat is taken and Metro Diner appears to be a favorite with families in the area. I’m able to grab a stool at the counter area near the kitchen, woo-hoo! It’s a prime spot for me as a blogger, right next to the service area.
The staff and kitchen is hustling hard this morning with the hungry crowd. Decked out in casual greet t-shirts, I’m immediately asked about a drink and have a laminated menu handed to me. A white, porcelain mug of nicely roasted coffee is dropped off in front of me while I scan the menu. I’m hungry for some sweets today and start piecing together a breakfast that combines some of Metro Diner’s waffles-pancakes-french toast along with the usual eggs and meat. But thankfully my server must have read my mind and suggests their Bissell Breakfast (2 eggs, bacon, hash browns and pancakes for $9.49) but allows for substitutions, woo-hoo! I go with two eggs over easy, sausage and their pecan, raisin cinnamon french toast as my blinged out breakfast!
As I’m waiting for my eats, I spin around in my stool to take in the scene here. Lots of locals and the dining room is jam-packed with a handful of folks sitting up front in the covered patio and in the waiting area. The dining room is SO busy I’m unable to get any clean photos of it but suffice it to say, it has a modern diner feel with plenty of ceiling fans spinning above. I’m guess that Metro Diner’s origins in Jacksonville, Florida may account for this more tropical, interior design style. Sitting by the staff service area, I see a lot of great looking breakfast plates heading out to the dining room, me hungry!
And thankfully, my breakfast comes up pretty quickly and it looks delicioso! Two eggs done over easy along with some wonderful link sausage, english muffin AND a heaping portion of hash browns, yum-may! Everything is perfectly cooked and grilled on my plate and I love that the hash browns are made from grated potato vs. home fries. The plate of pecan, cinnamon french toast is just over-kill at this point but I take a bite with some syrup, good stuff. While I’m not a huge breakfast fan, Metro Diner does it right. Over the course of the meal, staff stops by to check in on me and you can tell they are trained to handle the heavy crowds here.
Overall I found Metro Diner to be a very pleasant surprise. With 4 1/2 stars on Yelp I’m guessing I should not have been but I’m glad to see that the online reviews are accurate. If you’re looking for a casual spot and a hearty breakfast, I can heartily recommend this place! Given its location, it’s best for N. Raleighites but even worth the ride from downtown given that it’s not easy to find a good breakfast spot ITB in my opinion. So rock on Metro Diner! I’ll be back sometime soon to work off of your lunch menu.