Florida Times-Union

Preserving tradition at the Metro Diner

The Metro Diner has been a fixture and neighborhood hotspot on Hendricks Avenue for 10 years.  Recently, father-and-son duo, John and Mark Davoli, acquired the diner to fulfill a long-time dream of working together.  John was the former vice president of the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain, and Mark is a chef by trade and previously ran the dining service at the Bolles School.
“I have had hands-on experience in the restaurant business since I was approximately 12 years old, and by father has been my mentor in the industry,” Mark said.

The experience, interest, and determination of the Davoli family, which also enlists the help of Mark’s mother, sister and wife, should prove to bring even greater accomplishments to an already fantastic San Marco tradition.

Structural maintenance improvements are being completed to the more than 40-year-old building that houses the Metro diner.  Added seating, a peaceful retreat found in the new outdoor dining area, and an upgraded, enthusiastic staff have been put in place to better serve customers.  The Metro Diner also plans to extend its business hours to start serving dinner by the end of April.
“Although we are making improvements to the diner, the menu will remain the same, with a few additional items, and the original integrity of the diner that the customers have come to know will be kept in tact,” Mark said.

Also, accessibility to the restaurant has been made easier through the implementation of the Metro Diner Web site, which lists regular and catering menus and daily blackboard specials.
Having decided to eat at Metro Diner, you are well on your way to a culinary journey that is sure to excite your taste buds.  Breakfast takes on a whole new meaning when delightful dishes such as crab cakes Benedict, banana and granola pancakes and breakfast pie are served.  If that doesn’t jump start your engine maybe a fresh, hot bagel with lox and a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice will do the trick.

After enjoying a delectable breakfast, you will definitely be tempted to go back for lunch.  The eclectic lunch menu offers something for everyone, including a roasted veggie baguette, hot mushroom sandwich, meatloaf, chicken pot pie and a variety of salads, soups, and side dishes that are made on site using the freshest products available.  for those who are diet conscious, fresh salmon, grouper and mahi mahi can be prepared any way you like and are frequently featured on the daily blackboard special.  many dietary options, such as vegetarian, are also available and can be accommodated.

The Metro Diner is recognized by many locals as one of the best places in Jacksonville to eat.  Its distinctive menu, loyalty to customer satisfaction, friendly atmosphere and consistently excellent food, validate this recognition.

Metro Diner is located at 3302 Hendricks Ave., south of the San Marco square, and is open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.  For more information, call 398-3701 or check out the restaurant’s Web site at www.metrodinerjax. com.

Metro Diner Awards