Metro Diner opened its first restaurant in the Bradenton area this week in the Pinebrook Commons shopping center at 4726 Cortez Road W., and the owners are scouting other possible locations in Manatee County.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and also has kids, gluten-free and catering menus.
“We have a scratch kitchen and everything is made fresh,” said Rita Scarpati, the restaurant’s managing partner. “Large portions, affordable prices, exemplary service.
“I have been in the business 30 years, working in fine dining and casual dining. This is phenomenal food.”
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A sampling of the breakfast menu includes biscuits and sausage gravy served with two eggs and hash browns for $10.29, corned beef hash with poached eggs and toast for $9.49, as well as the 12-inch Metro Pancake for $6.69, and lots of egg dishes starting at $5.99, including two eggs, toast and hash browns or grits.
Lunch and dinner favorites include the meatloaf plate for $11.99, Charleston Shrimp and Grits for $16.99 and fish and chips for $11.49.
The menu also includes burgers, sandwiches, salads and soups.
Daily specials are written on large blackboards at the back of the restaurant.
Leo and Sandy LaGrotte were one of the first breakfast diners at the new restaurant.
“From top to bottom, it’s great,” Leo LaGrotte said. “We are diner people. If we see a sign with ‘diner’ on it, we go.”
Sean Pollard, a joint venture operating partner, said the new restaurant location has “a ton of people” living nearby, and that the company is happy to be in the Bradenton area.
The Jacksonville-based company has more than 60 Metro Diner locations in 13 states. The Bradenton partners are looking for additional locations in Manatee County, Pollard said.
The Cortez Road location, which has seating for 110, had its soft opening this past weekend, and donated proceeds to Meals on Wheels and Tidewell Hospice, he said.
“It’s a welcoming restaurant, the portions are very large and you will not leave here hungry,” Scarpati said.
Hours are 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.
The new Metro Diner is located in space formerly occupied by Dollar General. The Pinebrook Common shopping center is anchored by a Bealls Outlet store.
Metro Diner confirmed in October that it planned to open a Bradenton restaurant, and correctly forecast that it would open in March.
Metro Diner first appeared in the Bradenton-Sarasota area in February 2018 at 6056 North Lockwood Ridge Road, south of University Parkway, in a former bank building.
For more information, call 941-306-3102, or visit metrodiner.com/