Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Metro 29 - Arlington's Very Own Diner

Stuffed Green Bell Peppers
Ever since Silver Diner opened, there has been a reemergence of restaurants dedicated to homey, comforting diner classics. While Silver Diner does some things well (JAM and friends have enjoyed many of their shakes back in the day), I can't say that I'm a huge fan of the food overall. Living in Northern Virginia, just outside DC, has given me very limited diner experience. After having passed a local Arlington diner off Lee Highway many a time, and even seeing their commercials on our local television network, we decided to give it a try.

Shake, shake, shake...

When we entered Metro 29 it definitely evoked the diner feel with the cash register up front so you pay when you leave and an enticing glass case of cakes and pastries attracting the eye as you walk by. We were seated at a cozy booth and handed menus to peruse while our waiter grabbed us two glasses of water. The menu is ridiculously long, as many diner menus are. The usual homestyle breakfast assortments and entrees are offered, as well as a number of daily specials. Ariel had a hankering for a strawberry milkshake and immediately settled on that, while I took some time in deciding. We finally settled on splitting the stuffed bell peppers special which comes with soup, salad, potato, and vegetable.

Split pea soup

I hadn't had split pea soup in a while, and wanted to see how their version held up to my Mom's. The split pea soup arrived in its green glory crowned with croutons and a side of crackers and bread sticks. The soup was smooth and had a nice flavor, but was overly salty. The croutons were a little soggy, but were easily pushed aside. Not a home run, but not terrible either.

Ariel's milkshake arrived and boy will this frozen treat give u the shakes if you drink the entire sugar laden concoction. It was one of the largest milkshakes we'd ever seen. Ariel enjoyed the creaminess and the real strawberry chunks mixed throughout, but the overwhelming taste was of Strawberry Nesquik (or whatever artificial strawberry flavored syrup it is they use). We both thought our cousin Peter would've loved this drink because he couldn't get enough Strawberry Nesquik back in the day.

Digging in

After helping Ariel with her milkshake, I was ready for something savory. I had no idea how much food would be coming out. The green bell peppers came with a baked potato, a side of corn (the frozen kind), and a salad, as well as the bread basket we hadn't even touched.
The salad was mainly composed of bland iceberg lettuce, with a few measly tomatoes and the bread had an odd, slightly sweet flavor we couldn't pinpoint, but it didn't make us want to keep eating it either. While the sides were nothing special, the bell peppers were quite good. The ground beef filling was full of onions, garlic, tomatoes and seasonings. The saucy juices that spilled out when cutting into the peppers were very oily, which is probably why this dish was so tasty. All in all a satisfying, comforting meal that was best shared. The prices were a bit high, but when shared with a friend turned out to be a real steal (and with all the food they throw at you, you should definitely consider sharing).

A view of Metro 29 Diner
So for anyone looking for a homey, stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal, hit up Metro 29 diner. It's not gourmet, but it'll hit the spot when your hungry on a cold winter night.

1.5 out of 3 JAMs

Metro 29
4711 Lee Hwy, Arlington 22207

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