DINER FOOD is no stranger to the mouths of most Americans. Almost anyone that you know or run into will have, at some point, dined at a mom-and-pop diner where they serve breakfast all day and have had the same menu since 1972.
This article is not about those diners. Though they scatter most of America, those diners are not Metro Diner.
Pooler has recently become the next city to obtain a Metro Diner location—a diner with so many options and so many different kinds of food (all done very well might I add) that the idea of America’s traditional breakfast-all-day diner hangout is all but a fleeting memory.
Tucked in a shopping center in the business district of Pooler near the outlets, theater, and bowling alley, Metro Diner has been serving up heaping helpings of legitimately authentic comfort since last year.
Daniel Schellhorn, managing partner of Metro Diner, told me that they “decided to bring Metro Diner to the Savannah community because it was a great step northward from our original diners in Jacksonville, Florida.”
Though the menu can be a bit overwhelming because of the vast array of options—and I will tell you, it is a menu containing a massive amount of options— my friends and I settled on five items to try. In traditional diner fashion, the portion sizes do not skimp.
Out of the five options we decided to try, we could not muster the gusto to get any of the incredibly tasty bang-for-your-buck portions down in their entirety. That’s not to say that we did not try!
If you are feeling like we were when we rolled into the familiar-feeling eatery with a modern twist—hungrier than an army in the desert—run your hand down the menu until you find the handmade Cheesy Tots. Tiny pillows of tender potatoes are created by hand with cheddar cheese folded inside, then deep fried to crispy perfection.
On the side comes a creamy tangy bowl of ranch dressing for dipping. Crisp on the outside yet light on the inside, these little balls of succulent sin are the perfect starter for any meal. However, do not let the satisfaction following indulging in the Cheesy Tots stop you from continuing on your culinary journey towards fulfillment.
Metro Diner has their own twist on a meat and waffle dish—the Pulled Pork Mac Stack. Although new to the menu, Metro Diner’s “Pulled Pork Mac Stack has quickly become a favorite,” Daniel said.
A gigantic cheddar cornbread waffle is served next to a heap of an entire half pound of barbeque pork that has been smothered in a sweet smokey BBQ sauce.
The cherry on top of this porky sundae? A mound of gooey decadent macaroni and cheese. If there was any question about the southern legitimacy of this diner, a barbecue cornbread waffle topped with mac-and-cheese should squash that in its tracks.
However, if you’re feeling more of a not-so-southern kind of meal, Metro Diner has you covered. The Chicken Parmesan is one of the largest plates of food I have ever attempted to tackle. Like most items on their menu, you should expect to bring some leftovers home.
The expertly breaded chicken is seasoned with Italian herbs and topped with some of the grandma-made-this tasting red sauce that everyone knows and loves. It sits atop a nest of al dente pasta for you to twirl in your fork before spearing a cut of the juicy chicken. The overall effect is an ultra savory, slightly cheesy, home style meal that will warm your belly.
If, instead, you are in the mood for a breakfast diner meal, Metro Diner has not forgotten to include options for you! In my opinion, one of the greatest toppings for a waffle is fried chicken, and Metro Diner does this dish right.
Daniel told me that their Fried Chicken and Waffles is “topped with strawberry butter and is our most popular item.”
The Diner uses a classic thick and airy Belgian waffle mix to create their cratered crispy breakfast bread. An entire half of a chicken, bone in, is fried to a light golden brown before being stacked on top of its waffle base.
Now, all Southerners have had fried chicken. We have had good, and we have had some not so good. This fried chicken holds up to something you would find at a local meat-and-three in the Deep South.
To finish the dish, an ice cream scoop size mound of sweet strawberry butter is dolloped on top. Sweet. Strawberry. Butter. On top of fried chicken. On top of a Belgian waffle. And, yes, it is as good as you want it to be.
Another signature and extremely popular dish on the menu at Metro Diner is the Chicken Pot Pie. Just like most of their dishes, this one is true to the classic version yet elevated with a slight twist.
The twist for Metro’s version of Chicken Pot Pie is a biscuit crust, like I use on any pot pie at home. So much better than the classic use of a pie crust, a biscuit crust allows you to sop up all of the gravy that is created by baking the meat and vegetables together alongside interior ingredients of mixed vegetables hidden underneath the thick layer of buttery biscuit.
With the food being so decadent, I was curious why Metro Diner decided to settle on the Savannah/Pooler area as a lucky recipient of one of their many locations. Schellhorn told me that “the Southern charm and the great local atmosphere here in Savannah has made it an enticing area to expand out Metro Diner’s footprint.”
If you find yourself near Metro Diner, and it’s a little early for the aforementioned feasts, lunch or dinner are not the only offerings. Metro Diner also offers breakfast and a gluten free menu as well.