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TAMARAC (CBSMiami) – For more than 25 years a Jacksonville based family owned and operated company called Metro Diner has been serving up hungry customers with oversized portions throughout the great state of Florida.

Metro Diner has more than 25 locations throughout Florida and more than 55 nationwide.

This down home diner went viral after it caught the attention of Chef Guy Fieri who featured it on his hit Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”

“After getting on ‘Triple D’ and that exposure, people would literally travel across the country to try Metro Diner, so they couldn’t keep up. They started opening up other locations in Jacksonville. Each one after the next was a big hit,” said Managing Partner David Ellis.

About a year ago, they opened at a strip mall in Tamarac where David Ellis tells us it’s all about the locals.

“We’re local. That’s part of our ‘where the locals eat’ signage. We try to hire within the neighborhood. The local feel is important,” said Ellis.

The look and feel is classic diner decor.

“The center is where the action happens, people love to sit at counter and watch our cooks work, they can interact,” Ellis added.

So, what’s cooking in the kitchen? A lot. And everything is BIG! Huge actually, like the Holy Davoli Burger (named after the owner). It’s an 8-ounce Angus beef patty topped with pickled slaw. But instead of a bun, both the bottom and top are grilled cheese sandwiches!

“If you want to splurge, this could be it,” said Petrillo after biting in. “I mean you’re talking grilled cheese, then a burger, then another grilled cheese and there’s bacon too!”

“That’s kind of the signature of Metro Diner comfort food motto. You should be full. We expect you to be taking a to-go box every time you leave. We try to go over the top with portion size,” Ellis said.

Johnny is back in the kitchen preparing their bestselling chicken and waffles. It’s a whole chicken that’s been brined for 48 hours. It’s served with Belgian waffles and homemade strawberry butter.

“I mean what’s not to love?  It’s a crispy tender fall off the bone chicken I might add,” said Petrillo.

“It shows why it’s our best seller,” said Ellis.

“I can’t stop eating it,” laughed Petrillo.

There’s the elegant San Francisco Eggs Benedict with avocado and sliced tomatoes and the enormous Charleston Shrimp and Grits.

“Instead of regular grits we use a fried grits cake, so what you see in middle is grits that are infused with andouille sausage and cheddar cheese,” Ellis explained.

They end on a breakfast staple – cinnamon roll pancakes with glazed pecans and homemade cinnamon butter!

Metro Diner is open 7 days a week 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with breakfast anytime. For more info visit www.metrodiner.com.

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