Greek Unique: Playful, Creative New Takes on Traditional Greek Cuisine

 

Greek Unique offers up playful, creative new takes on traditional Greek cuisine

Quietly tucked away in the corner of an anonymous industrial park in Ashburn, is Greek Unique, a fun and exciting new restaurant featuring playful and remarkably delicious fresh takes on traditional Greek dishes.

Once passing through the restaurant’s doors, you’re hit with a blast of Mediterranean blue, a calming, welcoming contrast to the uniform grey of the building’s exterior. The dining room is full of natural light, open, spotlessly clean, and tastefully appointed (be sure to check out the variety of Zeus-themed objects).

The kitchen, which runs along the length of the restaurant, is manned by a constantly moving, ever-frenetic, but friendly and highly approachable owner who simply goes by “Chef Pete.”

“That’s what my customers have always called me so I go by it,” he says, laughing.

Originally from New York City, Chef Pete grew up around traditional Greek food and diners run by his father, who at one time had ten restaurants throughout Manhattan. While the cuisine was, and remains, the sentimental food of his youth, he explains, “Our food is authentic to our Greek Heritage, but we’ve taken it to a new level, what we call, ‘Greek Fusion.’ It’s a new twist and our customers seem to really enjoy it.”

Indeed they do.

Al “Buddah” Goldenberg, a Leesburg resident, has been a Greek Unique regular since it opened four months ago. He loves the creative experimentation and willingness to listen to and take customer requests. He recalls talking to Chef Pete about a treasured dish he used to order from a famous Greek diner on Long Island. Not only did Chef Pete know the dish—a plate of thick, beer-battered onion rings covered with juicy slices of gyro meat—but he actually had worked in the restaurant. With that knowledge, he was able to successfully re-create the dish.

Goldenberg loved it.

“It was a taste of home,” says the New York native.

While all the Greek classics are available and executed to a delicious standard, one can also explore a menu of fun, creative takes. Take the usual gyro platter, for example. Chef Pete tweaks his “All American” gyro with traditional American tastes, including barbecue sauce, French fries, caramelized onion, and melted American cheese. His “Tex Mex” includes such untraditional gyro components as crispy onion straws, cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and chipotle barbecue.

His customers love the twists, Chef Pete says.

But one gets the feeling that Chef Pete’s adrenaline truly starts pumping when he’s designing his signature sandwiches, which are enormous (they can easily feed two), outrageously delicious, and reasonably priced. With names like Zeus, Poseidon, Medusa, among others, one gets the obvious tribute to his Greek heritage, but they’re also where he breaks away creatively, testing entirely new taste combinations and bold flavors, which he says was inspired by his love of New York street foods.

Take the Artemis, for example. It features delightfully crispy and super-flavorful chicken, bacon, feta and cheddar cheese, all covered with homemade chipotle barbecue sauce in a freshly made roll. While that may seem an odd combination, it results in a delicious symphony of bold flavors, tastes, and textures.

It just works.

On any given day, Greek Unique has young families (the menu is extremely kid friendly), local business executives, construction workers, a steady stream of foodies (excitedly gathered around dishes snapping photos), and the staff of and visitors to Old Ox Brewery, which is just a stone’s toss away. Greek Unique also does a bustling take-out business with the many businesses dotted throughout and nearby the Ashburn industrial park.

So, whether you’re looking for a classic Greek dish, or one that bursts with creative new flavors, Greek Unique has something delicious for you. Be sure to bring an appetite!

Greek Unique is located at 44632 Guilford Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147, Unit 107; 703-723-8645 

 


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John McNeilly

John McNeilly, a resident of Leesburg, has over two decades experience as a professional communicator, including holding media and public relations positions at The Washington Post and Discovery Channel. Since 2008, he’s written extensively about area food trends, farmers markets, restaurants, wineries, craft beer, and distilled spirits, local politics, and high school sports for a variety of community newspapers and magazines in the Washington metropolitan area.
Category: Eat, Featured, News