VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — We all know Pungo for Strawberries and "all things summer." While you're in town, Blue Pete's Restaurant should be on the list of things to do.
"When you pull into the parking lot, like, you don't expect it," said co-owner Nicholas Cleanthes.
Cleanthes and his wife, Christina, run the spot together. They said though the outside doesn't look like much, just wait until you step inside.
The interior is a bright, fresh white oasis with a modern farmhouse feel. The decorations are beautiful, but where your eyes are immediately drawn to are the windows covering the back wall with a gorgeous waterfront view. Outside, tables line the waterfront, giving you a slice of heaven with your meal.
"We're the hidden gem. We're the local's secret," said Christina Cleanthes.
Blue Pete's Restaurant has been around since 1972 with a few different owners. Even though they're the "new" owners, Christina and Nicholas have a deep history there.
"Blue Pete's is actually where we fell in love," Christina said, smiling at Nicholas. "I was a server at the time," she said. "I was carrying two trays full of food, and he was singing 'Good morning beautiful.' It's a country song," she explained.
"I was walking out of the service station with the trays, and he looked at me and said in front of the whole restaurant on the microphone, 'Christina, if you would go out on a date with me, I would sing this to you every morning.'"
Recounting the story, she raised her hands to signify that the rest was history.
Years later, and married, they own and operate the restaurant, and that love radiates through.
"We just make the food with a lot of love," Nicholas said.
You'll find a head chef and a pastry chef in the kitchen that make magic happen.
Dishes like Mahi imperial, a lobster bowl, lemon-crusted salmon, crab cakes, the list goes on and on. The food is delicious and made fresh. They have a brunch and a dinner menu.
Want to order something that's not on the menu? Here's your 13NewsNow exclusive tip: order a breakfast quesadilla. It's a secret menu item that you can't find on the listed dishes.
If you want brunch or dinner heads-up, their hours change in the summer months, so check their Facebook page for those changes.
If you have a sweet tooth, try a pastry, a slice of cake, or a homemade donut. They're giant, fluffy, and perfectly iced, with an iced donut hole placed on top.
"I can't eat anymore donuts," the couple laughed.
The food is fantastic, fresh, and will leave you craving more, but it's doubtful your stomach will be able to handle it.
"There's one thing you won't do if you come to Blue Pete's, and that's: leave hungry," Nicholas said. "Amen," Christina echoed.
"Come be a part of the family. That's all we are. Mom and dad cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner," Nicholas nodded.
It could be for the food, the view, the fun, or the atmosphere. Whatever your reason, Blue Pete's is worth a visit.
The restaurant is in the Pungo area of Virginia Beach, at 1400 N Muddy Creek Road.