Metro Diner 2316 W. Davis St., Dallas
The Metro Diner in Oak Cliff is the epitome of no-frills, greasy-spoon dining: short-order fare, the waitresses call you "Hon" and you'd be hard-pressed to spend more than $10 on a meal. I knew I was right at home when my daughter asked about the vegetable soup, and the first ingredient the waitress mentioned was ground beef.
But whether I liked it is of little consequence. The opinions that count are those of 11-year-old Iris and 6-year-old Lyle.
The first potential crisis was averted when Iris' hot chocolate arrived in a coffee mug topped by an enormous dollop of whipped cream. Lyle's eyes widened at the sight. The server, clearly no rookie at dealing with sibling jealousy, offered to change his order, even though she'd already brought his milk. (Lyle declined.)
Breakfast For Dinner: Lyle, a master procrastinator if I ever met one, finally got around to breakfast at 8:30 p.m., going for the "1x4." It's listed as one egg, one pancake, one slice of bacon and one piece of sausage, but the waitress let him substitute a second piece of bacon for the sausage.
Eat Your Veggies: Iris was sufficiently impressed with the waitress' description of the meaty vegetable soup and ordered a bowl. She subsequently declared it the best soup ever. It did, by the way, have some actual vegetables in it.
Same Menu, Different Diaper: Strangely, the children's menu doubles as the senior's menu. "Here's one for the cranky little guy in the diaper who looks like he's missed nap time," a waitress could say. "And here's the same menu for his great-grandson."
Moment of Existential Despair: At 11, Iris was already too old to order off the 10-and-under menu. That my firstborn was considered an adult customer gave me a sharp craving for a double bourbon on the rocks, a drink that pairs nicely with grim introspection. Alas, the only sauce to comfort me would be gravy.
So, I am one step closer to middle-age; the kids absolutely loved the place. In their words...
How was it? Iris: If I were giving this place a grade and could only give it 150, I would give it 150. Lyle: If I were giving it any number in the world, I'd give it a trillion. Iris: I'd give it infinity. Lyle: Yeah, but that's not a number.
You guys really liked it that much? Lyle: Iris, is it better than Steak 'n Shake Iris: Hmm. It's tied. Lyle: I think it's tied with Pizza Pizza [the difficult to enunciate Pete's Pizza Buffet in Frisco]. --Jesse Hughey