The Metro Diner

“I remember a night we walked along the Seine
Riding on the Metro…” ~ The Metro, Berlin

I’m not talking about 80’s pop songs, though. I’m talking about The Metro Diner located on 711 A-I, N Thompson Ln, Murfreesboro, TN, very near the intersection of Thompson Lane and The Med. We can still apply an efficacious amount of nostalgia to this location however as you will see once we get into the meat and potatoes of things.

First Impression: 

Merriam-Webster defines a “diner” (not the person) as “ a typically small, informal, and inexpensive restaurant that has an extensive menu and that is often made from or designed to resemble a modified railroad dining car”. Typically, these can be found predominantly in the Northeast and Midwest portions of the country, though not exclusively. Does Metro Diner look like a railroad car? Not at all. It’s the corner spot of a strip mall. There is a generous amount of neon outside the building, which my mind associates with diner imagery, but I could be off. It’s not the best spot to turn into unless you are coming towards The Med from Thompson with Metro Diner on your right, but I’ve seen worse. Warning! This place is crazy busy right now, and in my opinion the parking lot is an issue. I don’t feel like there is enough parking in this area, and many of the other spots in the strip mall have not opened up yet.

Atmosphere:

This is where I think the “diner” theme really kicks in. Decor is a sort of retro look, kind of like an old restaurant from the 50’s but not *too* much. There’s a bar to the left as you go in, with plenty of colorful lighting and vintage-looking stools. You can order food at the bar (you may have to as busy as it is) but you can also purchase alcohol there. Classic rock was playing over the speakers, though it was a bit hard to hear sometimes as it was very noisy. The kitchen is VERY open, and you can easily see right into it, and the expediter stands right next to the booths getting the orders out. There is also a counter with stools right up against the kitchen for those who truly wish a seat at the show. Black and white checkerboard floors and vintage light fixtures complete the illusion.

Service:

We went very soon after they opened, a week or so. The corporate trainers were still in the mix, and keeping things between the ditches. Our server had a hitch or two in her giddy-up, but nothing disastrous and recovered quickly. Honestly, nothing worth even mentioning. The manager stopped by and chatted with us briefly as well, and that was nice to see: a manger on the floor and engaged with his patrons. Some people don’t like table visits. Some are offended if they don’t get one. I’m somewhere in the middle. I feel better about my experience when I see managers/owners involved with the guests and operations, but don’t feel it has to be with me personally. Nor do I feel they have to be hustling too much. A manager you see running around like crazy is a manager trying to correct a lot of problems. A place with a lot of problems makes me feel concerned for my own experience there. The staff and management here were relaxed, friendly and funny, but still a little green. Overall, great job.

Food:

I think this is where the “diner” part comes in again according to Merriam-Webster. The menu wasn’t enormous, but it did have a big selection including a lot of breakfast options. Also, nothing was too expensive. The food wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t plain…just good solid, stick to your ribs kind of fare.

I had a classic breakfast, the Three Egg Breakfast. I love, love, love my eggs over easy, and they came out perfect. All that extra yoke is the perfect addition to whatever else is on my plate. In this case, I mixed it with my hash browns instead of using ketchup. I avoid ketchup more often than not these days due to the sugar content. A tablespoon of Heinz ketchup has 4 g of sugar in it. For my meat selection, I opted for bacon. I’m kind of picky about my bacon and how its cooked. I cook mine in the oven at home at 350 for about 15 minutes till its cooked evenly and thoroughly, but still tender and a little chewy. I hate bacon so crisp it disintegrates as soon as you bite down on it. This bacon was close to my preferred state, but a little more done than I would have liked. I wasn’t going to ask for special treatment as they were so busy so I enjoyed it anyway. Lastly, I took a gamble. I ordered a waffle. I wasn’t sure how it would hit my blood sugar but I wanted to try one. The real killer is the syrup. To my delight, they had sugar free syrup available! For those keeping score with me, my blood sugar later that night was a little elevated, but only a few points outside my range and I still finished in my zone for the day. On a side note, apparently I forgot to take a pic of my food this time. My description of my plate will have to suffice.

The Missus sure do love her some bennies. Eggs Benedict that is. The San Francisco Benedict caught her discerning eye, mainly due to the presence of avocado on it. It’s a favorite food of hers. Poached eggs, the aforementioned avocado, Canadian bacon (eh!), and slices of tomato all covered in hollandaise. The visual on it was just as yummy as it tasted according to her. Because she is a sensible woman often with more smarts than me, she got a side of fresh fruit to go along with it. Had we switched meals, I would have likely been just fine to eat what she ordered too. There’s a lot of dishes here I’ll never be able to sample, but with smart menu choices and ordering there’s a lot I CAN have as well.

To round out the experience, The Missus got a milkshake. This was a menu “special” and Toasted Marshmallow I believe was the flavor.

Boy…it sure looked good.

Cleanliness:

Let’s face it: the place was brand new and packed with people. Its really hard to catch any cleaning flaws here. You have to just look for cleaning habits in this case. Did anyone wipe anything down when they had time? Did I catch sight of anyone with a broom in their hand near the expo area? Was there debris in the parking lot? Honestly, I didn’t see anything that jumped out at me which is a good thing. No towels hanging out of back pockets or across shoulders, no spray bottles next to food or food surfaces, etc. Those things catch my eye no matter how busy or new a place is.

Final Thoughts: 

A solid hit for me. The food was good, the service attentive, and the atmosphere dynamic. Menu selections have enough choices that everyone should find something they like. Best of all, it’s a great standard breakfast you can get at night. That’s a great option to Waffle House or Cracker Barrel. Every time I drive by this place, it’s packed. My suggestion is you hop on board the train and try it for yourself. I think you’ll be glad you rode on “The Metro”. (See what I did there?)

3 out of 5 peace signs! Dig it!

Now its time to roll credits and get you to do the liking, the commenting, and most of all the SHARING. If you ever visit Hippie Haven Studios, make sure to wear some flowers in your hair! (Old timers will get this reference)

“Make lunch, not war”!