National Chicken and Waffles Day at Metro Diner

Close your eyes and imagine a large white plate filled with huge pieces of deep-fried, crispy chicken and golden waffles dripping with syrupy goodness. Are you hungry yet? This Thursday, August 8th, Metro Diner is celebrating National Chicken and Waffles Day. What gift are they presenting to the world? Their signature version of Chicken and Waffles for only $10.99! This sweet and savory dish is a combination that wows your taste buds with each bite, leaving you to crave it over and over again.

Chicken and Waffles at Metro Diner in Venice FL

Where Did Chicken and Waffles Begin?

Like many dishes throughout history, the origin of Chicken and Waffles as comfort food is a bit complicated. While it is mainly thought of as southern comfort food, there are many food scholars that argue it began in Harlem. A restaurant in the 1930’s known as “Wells Supper Club” to the privileged and Wells Restaurant to everyone else, added the now famous Chicken and Waffles to their menu, inspiring a national trend. The debate of whether this was the true birthplace of the dish is still heavily up for debate.

Random Fun Fact
Did you know you can thank Thomas Jefferson for his part in making this dish popular in America? During his time as foreign minister to France, he purchased four waffle irons in Amsterdam. This, along with recipes included in his granddaughter’s collection, only propelled the dish’s popularity.

National Chicken and Waffles Day

Metro Diner first opened in 1992 in Jacksonville, Florida but it didn’t transform into the chain of restaurants it is today until the late ’90s. With a wide menu that offers all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner with daily specials, it is everything we love about classic diners with locations all over the country. It’s most notable dish is… you guessed it, chicken and waffles. The unique spin on this dish is the sweet strawberry butter and the spicy syrup served with the dish.

Strawberry and Spicy?

I know what you’re thinking because believe me, I thought the same thing. “WHAT?!” Hear me out. Slather on the strawberry butter into the deep pockets of goodness on that waffle, watch it melt as you pour on their spicy syrup made with Louisiana hot sauce and dive in. Your tongue might just explode from the different flavors of sweet, spicy, salty and savory all in one bite. Then, as if that wasn’t delicious enough, you get this incredibly juicy fried chicken. An entire half of a chicken to be exact. A wing, thigh, breast, and drumstick! The drumstick may just be my favorite, tearing it apart and dipping it into the syrup is a peek into heaven’s kitchen.

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Diners Drive Ins and Dives Guy Fieri Metro Diner

Did you know that Metro Diner was also featured on the Food Network? One of my personal favorite TV chefs, Guy Fieri, visited a Metro Diner in Jacksonville. While he didn’t sample the chicken and waffles, he raved about their meatloaf and other dishes.

Check out the episode here.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL For Venice, Florida!

We love working with local restaurants to promote specials and events in the area. If you would like to partner up, contact me!

What part about this dish are you most excited about?

Restaurants Extending Savor Sarasota Deals!

Savor Sarasota

When the snowbirds fly back home and the locals start to venture back out to our favorite restaurants… Savor Sarasota hosts “Restaurant Week”! This year, it was from June 1-14, but some restaurants choose to extend anywhere from a few weeks to the entire summer!

Restaurants feature prix-fixe, multi-course lunch and dinner menus for just $16 and $32 per person!

Ending JUNE 30th!

Longer Extensions

Family-Friendly Dining in Venice

Family-friendly restaurants in Venice Fl

Just south of Sarasota, Venice is a small city on the Gulf of Mexico mainly known for its retirement communities. However, in recent years families have been moving in and making Venice their home. With a number of wonderful places for families to spend their day like the splash pad near Centennial Park, the various playgrounds or hunting for shark’s teeth at the beach, at the end of the day the question remains. What family-friendly restaurants are in Venice?

BrewBurgers

Two locations in Venice: 370 Commercial Ct & 525 Tamiami Trail BrewBurgers has all the makings of a hometown favorite place. With fun retro-style decor for casual indoor/outdoor dining, you can feel comfortable bringing in your kids and still enjoy an awesome meal. Serving bar and grill-type fare with a flair, they are kid and pet-friendly. BrewBurgers is well known for huge specialty burgers, and they have a large beer selection.

Pinchers

900 Venetia Bay Blvd.
Pincher’s is a local chain known for its fresh crabs and seafood. The kitschy decor befits the menu. There are sandwiches, ribs, and pasta offered for those who are not crazy about seafood. A kids menu is available with alternatives, as well. Bonus! Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree.

Off the Wagon Brewery & Kitchen

2107 Tamiami Trail
Don’t let the bar imagery fool you, while this is a local hotspot for nightlife, it is extremely family-friendly the rest of the day. With a kids menu featuring items like macaroni and cheese with hot dogs and adult entrees that will delight your tastebuds, this restaurant has something for the whole family. They serve craft burgers (voted #1 Best Burger in our Venice Foodies Community!), tacos, sandwiches, steaks and more. Come ready to be entertained, as they have live musical acts nearly every night. Early-bird specials are offered daily, and kids eat free all day every Tuesday. An added note, this is a brewery, so be sure to check out the fantastic beer selection and see how it is made right behind the glass window from the dining room!

Gold Rush BBQ

661 Tamiami Trail S.
This restaurant has a gold rush theme from the decor to the menu items. The decor includes mining supplies and rocks, and some menu items are even served on miner’s pans. There is a souvenir rock shop on site following the theme. They serve bbq, catfish, ribs, and more. There are some all you can eat specials, but be sure to ask as they change from time to time. Starting in May and going through the summer season, kids eat free on Mondays.

Shark Bites Deli

1740 E. Venice Ave.
Shark Bites specializes in fresh deli foods, such as sandwiches and salads. They have indoor and outdoor seating, with a shaded seating area. They are very family friendly and offer a special kids area with toys, puzzles, and games available. Also, kids eat free from the children’s menu with an adult entree.
Tip: If you check out our specials page, you can score a free side of their baked beans with any sandwich or salad purchase!

Kids Eat Free Bonuses

In addition to all the local family-friendly small business type spots, there are several chain restaurants in Venice offering specials for kids:

IHOP– offers kids eat free every night from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m
Denny’s – offers kids eat free every night from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Perkins – offers free kids meals every day from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Pizza Hut – offers free kids meals every Tuesday.
Firehouse Subs– offers free kids meal with the purchase of a medium sub on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Bob Evans – kids eat free after 4 p.m. on Tuesdays.

There are plenty of restaurants in Venice to suit everyone’s tastes. This is sometimes a challenge when eating out with children. Not only does Venice offer great family-friendly options, but most of the places on this list offer take out or use Door Dash for delivery! If you want to add a little adventure, there are plenty of parks and areas to have a picnic as well.

Traveling to Florida with a pet soon? Read more here.

About The Author
Raye Wiedner is an active widow, living in the Midwest. She has been a health care worker for most of her life, with a passion for trying new adventures.

5 Places To Have A Picnic Lunch in Venice, FL

Venice, Fl is a quaint spot just south of Sarasota. It really is a unique little bubble with a wealth of great restaurants, arts, entertainment, recreation, water activities, white-sand beaches, and amazing Mediterranean architecture; hence the name Venice. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Venice is an ideal location to find your favorite foods and go picnic with family and friends. Now all you need to know is where the best are spots to have a perfect picnic lunch.

Go get your favorite take-out food and then pick your perfect picnic spot!

Centennial Park

Bodrum in Venice, FL

200 W. Venice Ave Venice, FL 34285
This park often has events going on such as a local farmers market, jazz and blues music, seafood festival, etc. You can pair your picnic with upcoming events or watch the schedule to avoid a busier day and enjoy a relaxing picnic in the park.

Centennial Park has picnic tables ideal for taking it easy or set up a blanket on one of the open grassy areas. Conveniently located in the heart of downtown, you can choose from several restaurants to pick up a picnic lunch, check out Bodrum on Miami Ave for delicious gyros, falafel, kebobs and more.

Centennial Park has benches, an interactive splash pad (fun for the kids!), ADA accessible gazebo, a veterans memorial, free parking, beautiful nature, and shady trees to relax under. There is definitely a lot to explore.

Shamrock Park & Nature Center

Sausage Express in Venice, FL

3900 Shamrock Drive Venice, FL 34293
Shamrock Park is great for picnics with its scenic nature and bountiful wildlife. Choose from picnic tables complete with grills, rent a pavilion, or lay your blanket down. If you are going during the week, stop by the food truck in front of the Lowe’s on 41, Sausage Express for a sandwich or a wrap to bring with you!

Relax and have your picnic lunch in this 80-acre park. Bask in the beauty of the butterfly gardens while enjoying your favorite fare. Check out the pet-friendly areas, playground fields, sports courts, and hiking trails which are perfect for a nice day out in nature.

Service Club Park

Wood Fired Pizza

1190 Harbor Dr. S, Venice, FL 34285
This beautiful beachfront park is a flawless spot for a romantic sunset picnic on the sand with a little vino and a wood fired pizza from Made In Italy. If you want to see a picturesque sunset, this location is matchless. There is a nice boardwalk with decks and picnic tables (some covered) if you prefer; either way, you will still enjoy the amazing view of the Gulf. Other cool things you’ll find at Service Club Park are volleyball courts, barbeque grills, walking trails and wildlife.

Maxine Barritt Park

Sushi To Go

1800 S Harbor Dr. Venice, FL 34285
Spend some time walking on the beach at Maxine Barritt Park. Then come under the shelter of one of their beautiful large gazebos. Take a walk around the park and see the fenced pond looking for birds and possibly an alligator! Then choose your favorite spot for a picnic. You can sit at one of the picnic tables with charcoal barbeques or find another hidden spot to set up your blanket and have some fresh sushi. Who said sushi isn’t a picnic food? Pick up a delicious sushi lunch from Baiyoke Thai Bistro! Being located right off the Gulf makes this park a great location for picnicking and enjoying the cool breeze. Maybe take a swim after your lunch settles!

Brohard Paw Park

Shark Bites Deli in Venice, FL

1600 Harbor Drive South Venice, FL 34285
This unique park is perfect for dog lovers. Some people may not want to leave their dogs at home so, at Brohard Paw Park, you can have the best of both worlds. It’s actually a fenced dog park with a beach, picnic tables, showers & drinking fountains for you and your furry friends. Enjoy your tasty deli sandwiches from Shark Bites Deli (check out the specials page for an exclusive coupon!) and Fido can play in the park after!


Tell Us Where You Would Have Your Picnic Lunch in Venice, FL in the Comments Below!

Guest Post Written by Stefanie Resciniti. Stefanie is a graphic designer and marketing professional with a passion for learning, traveling and trying new things. She is excited about any opportunity to inspire creative content.