Ashton Avenue Diner: A Hidden Gem?
Is the restaurant hidden for good reason?
Name: Ashton Family Restaurant
Cuisines: American, Greek, Italian, Mexican
Payment: Cash, all major credit cards
Location: 9920 Cockrell Rd., Manassas, Virginia 20110
Hours of Operation: Sunday-Saturday: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
I was surprised by how many people were in the restaurant. There were about five tables filled with people—always a good sign on a slow night.
When I first walked in, I had a flashback to Yorkshire Diner. The décor was very dated and mirrored my mom’s kitchen, circa 1987. Even though it looked dated, the atmosphere was very bright and cheerful. There were beautiful murals depicting windows looking over beautiful fields.
The menu is incredibly diverse. They serve everything; from southwestern cuisine to Italian to Middle Eastern. Unlike most of the other diners we’ve covered, they don’t serve breakfast all day. I was a little bit disappointed to see that when I picked up the menu.
I ordered the corned beef and Swiss cheese sandwich on rye. It came with a side of fries and a dill pickle. The sandwich was very flavorful. I usually don’t like rye, but it went perfectly with the meat. The bread was slightly buttery and toasted. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The fries, however, were a little too salty and were a little too mushy on the inside. It made me think the potatoes might have been a bit aged. The outside was perfectly crunchy and it was quite enjoyable.
While there was plenty of typical diner background music, it was exactly that—background—you could barely hear it. The waitress was incredibly friendly and not overly attentive. The restaurant was very clean. I would recommend the diner to a friend, however, it’s not at the top of my list.
Ashton Family Restaurant is certainly well hidden, I felt like my GPS was deceiving me by telling me to continue down the road. But soon, there it was, the hidden diner I'd never heard of.
After walking in and looking over the menu, I was faced with the dilemma of too many choices. While this should not be something one should complain about—I do.
The resturant's specialty is hard to find when you've got a bunch of stuff on the menu. If you spend time too much time wading through the not-so-good menu items, your taste buds may wither and die.
Since I wasn’t in the mood for anything in particular, I went with an old favorite— the chicken souvlaki. The souvlaki had gyro chicken, lettuce, tomato, onions and Greek vinaigrette. The lettuce was shredded and fresh, the tomatoes juicy and ripe and the dressing quite delicious. The downside is, there was not a lot of chicken and the meat was a little tough. But all in all, it was a very good souvlaki. Not as good as the ones found at Anthony’s, though.
The service was fast, the restaurant was clean and appropriately decorated and the staff was very friendly. While you don’t often associate items like steak fajitas or gyro salads with diners, this one certainly broke the barrier and made out well.
While the location isn't too convenient, I might be interested in returning to try out some of the other dishes. They also have a Sunday brunch and Thursday pasta bar night.
Since this is a place I’ve never heard of, I'm certainly interested in knowing if there are more diners hiding out in the back streets of town.