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Venus is a hidden gem for Greek food, classics

Hidden in University Plaza is Venus, a Greek restaurant serving all of the classics. Although there are bar stools for customers to sit at while dining in, most people grab their food and go after ordering at the counter.

The decor is a little quirky, with Egyptian black and gold statues placed around the room accent pieces and bright colorful walls. The Mediterranean restaurant offers everything from pita wraps, platters, and paninis to wings, homemade hot sauce, and chicken fingers.

The menu includes a variety of pita souvlaki wraps like chicken, veggie, gyro and beef ($5.59). The gryo was sliced thin, and well done. My co-workers enjoyed the gryo meat, but I always go for the chicken souvlaki. It’s incredibly juicy and intensified when drowned in creamy, flavorful garlic sauce and paired with feta, plump tomato, and lettuce. You can add a side order of thick, crisp fries and a drink to make it a full meal ($5 extra).

The shawarma ($9.99), topped with tender chicken or beef, is a dish made with shredded, roasted meat, doused in their famous garlic sauce and served over their crispy fries or rice with a side salad or extra meat. Mixing the salad right into the shawarma dish with your choice of meat over fries is a delicious way to go. It’s like a Greek version of the widely known Rochester Garbage Plate.

Shamsuddin Shams, left, and Miram Debes both of Buffalo, with Shawarma Pita Wraps at Venus. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

The veggie platters like the crunchy, fried chickpea falafel balls with crispy greek fries ($8.99) are seasoned and flavorful. The Greek fries loaded with the garlic sauce are an absolute must ($5.59) on their own or as a side to share. Dip your fries or extra pita in their hummus ($5.59) or smooth baba ganoush ($5.59), an eggplant based spread made with olive oil, fresh tart citrus, and garlic.

Surprisingly, they serve chicken fingers and wings, too. They even make their own homemade hot sauce to drizzle on the fingers and wings for a tangy, acidic kick. There are plenty of meal deals including three fingers and fries for $6.99, six  fingers and fries for $8.99, 10 wings (hot, medium, or barbecue) with fries for $8.99.

Top off your meal with a big slice of sweet, honey soaked baklava ($2.99), made from flaky phyllo pastry and stuffed with crushed up salty nuts.

For delicious souvlaki and the garlic sauce you absolutely have to taste, check out Venus in University Plaza.

Venus

3500 Main St. (831-8100)

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Price range: $2.99-$9.99

Wheelchair-access: Yes

Parking: Yes

Gluten-free options: Yes

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