The name Greek Unique tells you that the restaurant, hidden in an Ashburn industrial park, will be Greek. In most cases, the word “unique” would be a throwaway. Just there for a cute rhyme. But I defy you to find gyro mac and cheese poppers anywhere else. The same goes for most of the menu at the unassuming restaurant.
That’s thanks to owners Pete Kontoulakos and his longtime business partner and friend, George Marino, who seem hellbent on healing hangovers with their appealingly greasy creations. The restaurant is currently takeout only, but has two picnic tables just outside that make it possible to eat before the cheese congeals. And in the case of the Moussaka-wich, that would really be a shame.
A traditional moussaka is somewhat akin to lasagna Bolognese, with eggplant standing in for the noodles. The rich casserole dish is stacked with the nightshade, as well as meat sauce and béchamel. But the Greek Unique team would never be satisfied to simply stuff those ingredients into a sub roll. They need to take them further over the top. In the case of the Moussaka-wich, that means the eggplant is fried and paired with French fries for even more crispiness. The dish is creamy, aromatic with cinnamon from the meat sauce and thoroughly overwhelming. I defy you to finish half.
For those who want to eat both Greek and Unique, but also have the potential to possibly eat their whole sandwich, the Gyro French Dip might be a better choice. Is it still several degrees of madness away from a French dip? Yes, of course, but that’s just the Greek Unique way.
The first thing that stands apart is the fact that the meat is the same tightly packed lamb you’ll find in a gyro. It’s stuffed between three strata of toasted garlic kaiser roll that are also spread with creamy horseradish sauce. There are brown-sugar-cured caramelized onions too, although “caramelized” might be a bit of an overstatement when referring to the crunchy onions. It’s all held together with mozzarella, which is particularly important when dipping in the cup of herbal broth that comes on the side. And yes, there’s plenty of grease too, or, as my dining partner called it, “love from the griddle.” And you’ll be feeling the love too, one flavor-packed bite at a time. //44632 Guilford Drive, Unit 107, Ashburn
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