NOTE: The Metro Grill in Andover is no longer owned by Chef Michael Gonzalez, so the food and menu may have changed. Chef Gonzalez still operates the Metro Grill in Towne East as well as a freestanding building at the Waterfront shopping center.
The famous Metro Grill, dominator of Towne East mall food, has finally opened up a second location in a free standing building. Their new location, called Metro Grill II, is way out there in Andover, just north of Andover Rd and Kellogg. We were excited to try the place out minus the mall atmosphere, so on Saturday night we dropped by and were surprised to see just how popular the new location has become. There appear to be some initial growing pains; they were out of flan and soup, and the pop machine was down.
The space is on the small side with maybe 10 tables or so. You order and pay at the counter and then find a strange, trendy, wobbly, plastic bar stool to plop down on. Your order is called out to you, so you must pay attention. There isn’t a number or name system, they literally just call out the food you ordered, which causes some confusion especially on a busy night (They called our order 4 times before we realized it).
I went with the Pasta Mia. It is penne pasta in a pink garlic cream sauce. I added shrimp to mine and was happy that I did. The pasta was absolutely fantastic. Michael, the chef and owner, added the perfect amount of cheese to the top and I loved the dish. The downsides are that the dish is served on a styrofoam plate and plastic silverware, and there isn’t enough food. Phil and I both left still feeling hungry and decided some ice cream sounded good to help top off our dinner.
Phil ordered the Pasta VIP which was awesome as well. It consisted of some linguini, cherry tomatoes, a nice white wine and garlic sauce, and a well seasoned bit of chicken and shrimp. I would have liked to have had a bit more for $10 dollars though.
From my two visits to Metro Grill I firmly believe Chef Michael has the Midas touch when it comes to food. Everything I have had is amazing and he is probably making some of the best food in the city right now. I think the Metro Grill II has the chance to become a destination restaurant once more people find out about this little gem. Hopefully over the next several months some of the kinks will be worked out at the new place. I would suggest changing the ordering system, doing away with the plastic silverware at least, and maybe adjusting prices or portion sizes. Chef Michael is the perfect combination of entertainer and cook and I hope that he is able to smooth out the edges and enjoy long years of dishing out bad ass food.