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Spotlight: Metro Diner Puts All Effort On The Plate

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At Metro Diner, the food is impressive and sincere, and the atmosphere leaves no question about the diner designation.

 Especially if you sit at the lunch counter, as I did, snagging the only single stool available and thus avoiding joining the huddled masses at the door. There, you’re treated to a master class in short order cooking and the choreography that is necessary for 11 men — no women were working in the galley — to flip, ladle, slice, plate and pass without drawing blood or leaving other permanent marks.

 The fellow sitting next to me had just finished his plate of meatloaf as I was getting mine, and he exclaimed to the cook on the other side of the counter that it was “the best meatloaf he had ever had.” I can’t go quite that far. But he was young and has many more years of meatloafing to catch up to my sampling. But I will say it was pretty good.

It featured two thick slices of loaf, a blend of beef, pork and turkey with carrots, celery and mushrooms plus fine bread crumbs. The meat slices are finished in a pan to give the surfaces a bit of a crust. They’re placed on a plate along with lumpy, skin-on mashed potatoes, both ladled with gravy, and served with sauteed zucchini and squash for a reason that completely escapes me. But then the hunk of baguette was also unnecessary, as good a baguette as it was.

I also had a cup of the chili. It was thick with ground beef and red and black beans, and someone had obviously been taught — properly, in my book — that to make a good batch of chili requires a heavy hand with the chili powder. Unfortunately, the temp was a bit tepid.

 Metro Diner took over the space that was a Carmel Cafe ever so briefly. It’s rather drab, but that’s preferred to the faux retro ‘50s diner that too many places try to emulate in lieu of doing better food.

 Metro Diner is obviously putting all the effort on the plate.

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