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What's Up Magazine

Working Lunch: Metro Diner Cafe

Dec 07, 2010 10:52PM ● By Anonymous

Our first observation when entering the restaurant was the modern décor. The interior is a modern take on the traditional diner, with touch-screen self-serve registers and automated passkeys sued to track orders. It’s bright, fun, and a welcome change from the standard restaurants that are so prevalent.

What we ordered: The food, like the décor, is a reinterpretation of your standard diner fare. Metro Diner, unlike the diners of the past, showcases all-American food with a healthy edge; local ingredients are noted on the menu, and salads and heart-healthy meals feature prominently.

Emily ordered the hot half and half, choosing the chicken pesto Panini and the tomato soup. The food came to our table on upscale serving dishes, cleanly plated (which she appreciated). The chicken panini was tasty; the chicken was definitely fresh, and not overcooked like in some paninis I’ve had. The pesto, complete with pine nuts, was a great way to add flavor. The sandwich also included strips of red pepper; I wish there had been more because I liked the flavor of the pepper with the basil pesto. My only complaint was the juiciness of the sandwich; it was a little too drippy for diner food. The juices of the chicken combined with the pesto was just too much. My soup was also good, served at the perfect temperature (hard to get right with soup), but nothing to rave about. There was just a hint of Tabasco sauce (or some other spice), which was nice.

Kelsey tried out the teriyaki salmon sliders after hearing they were one of the diner’s most popular dishes. What came was a surprise—there was no visible teriyaki sauce, but rather thin slices of fresh ginger layered on the whole-wheat roll. The salmon was fresh and cooked very well. Along with the sliders came thin fries—these aren’t her favorite cut of French fries, but they did the trick.

The cupcakes we split were also delicious—kudos to Metro Diner for partnering up with one of the tastiest bakeries around! We had never tried Nostalgia’s cupcakes, but might have to make a visit sometime soon. The red velvet was my favorite, thanks to the richness of the frosting. We also tried vanilla, but it paled in comparison to the red velvet.

As for service, we had a slight incident with an employee too busy with a phone call to take our order, but another co-worker quickly stepped in and the issue was avoided (the cupcakes, a new item on the menu, were not included in the self-serve registers yet, so we had to order the old-fashioned way). Our food arrived in a timely fashion, and was cleared from our table when we were finished—no complaints there!

What we paid: The bill was $29 for two lunches, two cupcakes, and one soda. A little pricy for a restaurant’s that’s not full service, but if you think about all they are doing to make the food healthy and local, it’s worth it.

The verdict: All in all, lunch at Metro Diner was a pleasant experience and We would definitely go back. Emily is really curious about a couple of the menu items. The menu is pretty mainstream, but offers just enough quirky twists to remain interesting. Items we want to go back for are turkey burger, bison burger, and the mango vegetarian stirfry, which was featured in our print magazine. She’s also eager to try a milkshake—we question whether or not their healthy version is just as tasty as a regular milkshake.