Terry and I were going to get lunch at Otto's today, but when I saw that Pesto Mediterranean Grill was now open on the other side of the parking lot, Terry agreed to try it out.

At first we ordered the Gyros, but their machine hadn't arrived yet. Grr. So Terry ordered the souvlaki platter and I got a falafel sandwich. They've got a huge menu, mainly Greek and Italian foods. There are plenty of tables and chairs, but it's counter service.

I thought the prices were awfully high for counter-service in Crozet. Like New York high. Sandwiches with fries were around $8 and the platters were in the $13 range. I think those prices would be fine for a table-service restaurant, but it just seems off to me for counter service. I suspect they'll be packed since they just opened, but will probably lower their prices within six months.

Terry didn't pick up our food when it was ready since he didn't understand the lady's accent when she called his name for pick-up. That irritated me since I thought she said, "Terry," but when I told him to go get the food, he said she didn't call his name. But he found out later, once my french fries were already cold, that she in fact did call his name when I heard it. I was surprised that she didn't just bring the food to our table when Terry didn't get up to pick it up right away. If they see you sitting there at Otto's, they'll bring your order out to you at your table if you're not standing right at the counter. So I'm not thrilled with the service. But let this be a helpful tip-- if you're not good with accents (Terry can't understand any accents other than NY) then pick a name for them to call that won't be mispronounced (really, just pronounced with an accent, it sure sounded to ME that she was calling Terry). For example, in addition to the rolled "r's" and weird syllable-stress in "Terry", a woman named "Theresa" also didn't immediately recognize her name when it was called. Although "Matt" was completely recognizable. No matter your real name, I recommend you tell them your name is "Matt" when you order, it will save confusion later.

But once I started eating, I was hooked. The falafel sandwich was delicious. I didn't try Terry's souvlaki, but it looked good. The rosemary baked potato he got with the platter was just average. The fries were good. The salad that came with the platter was enormous, we wound up just taking that home, we'll share it as our dinner salad. Since the food was so good, it kind of made up for the high prices. I think it's certainly worth what they charged for it, but Terry and I are used to dropping big cash at restaurants. I just don't know how many people in this area will pay that. I think they'd do better by reducing their portion size and lowering their prices. While the falafel sandwich was delicious, it was after all, falafel, and I can get a good falafel in downtown Manhattan for closer to $6. But I suppose I can't get a falafel anywhere else in Crozet at any price, so there's market forces at work. Is Pesto Mediterranean Grill charging high prices since they have a local monopoly on mediterranean prepared food?

One thing I'm glad the woman at the counter mentioned, is that they deliver! She was showing everyone who ordered their delivery map so they could see if they lived within the delivery zone. Fortunately, we do. After three years with no deliveries to the farm at all, once the Dominos Pizza started delivering our lives changed for the better. After years of living in NYC and getting ANYTHING delivered at pretty much any hour, it was rough having to either plan ahead, get in the car, or cook when we were in VA. Dominos gets the call from us at least once a month, sometimes more, when we just don't feel like cooking or leaving the house. But now we can order all kinds of Greek and Italian food for delivery, too! It's starting to feel downright urban out here! I love it!

The one glaring omission to the Crozet restaurant scene is a Chinese place. The first Chinese family that moves here and can cook could make a fortune, especially if they deliver. Everyone likes Chinese take-out.

So the bottom line on Pesto Mediterranean Grill, based on our one lunch there, is that the food is delicious. I recommend it highly if you're not on too tight a budget.

I did go back today-- I had

I did go back today-- I had to get some paint at Blue Ridge Builder's Supply, and was originally thinking I'd get a burger and onion rings at Otto's. But when I saw Pesto Mediterranean Grill, I was reminded that they were just as convenient, but they served a wider range of healthier foods, so I stopped in. They're gyro machine is in, and the guy at the counter said he's already sold 250 lbs of spit-roasted lamb in the past week. So I finally got the gyro sandwich I wanted last month. YUM! It was delicious, and I was very pleasantly surprised that I was able to sub out the french fries for a salad. The salad was the same as for the platter, but half as big (and is a more appropriate size for one person in my opinion). I was the only person in there at 5pm, and the order was ready very fast. This is getting to be my new favorite casual restaurant in Crozet. . .

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