It was 40 degrees with a bleak outlook of several freezing rainy days ahead when I left winter coat clad for Austin last week.
As a young girl, I had dreams far too large for my tiny body.
A Moleskine sketchpad held all of my dreams and aspirations for when I became an “adult.” The places I would travel, experiences I would hopefully have, and a Blackberry.
Seriously, seven year old me had little to no chill and aspired to a now defunct piece of technology.
But one day as an adult I thought back and remembered all of my hopes I had placed in that book for inspiration, and for safekeeping.
I hoped one day my words would take me to new places, that my writing would have enough power to bring me amazing experiences otherwise unavailable.
Last week in Austin was the epitome of one of those pages. Being welcomed into a group of people so wonderful, conscious, and thoughtful that I could not help but leave inspired.
VERTS is a Texas born brand, the brain child of two German born hopefuls that arrived in the South wishing to find many things, one of them being delicious, authentic Mediterranean food.
When they found none, Dominic (29) and Michael (33) decided to create it merely two days after graduating from business school.
Working the way only passionate entrepreneurs do, they were cook, server, busser, and any other position needed for the survival of their budding dream.
Pulling my all too large for two days carryon to the front desk at Hotel Van Zandt, I had the typical Yankee experience where the nice young man at the front desk was baffled that Georgina was actually my first name.
My constant lack of direction found me fumbling for the hotel bar where we were set to enjoy post-flight drinks.
Adamant that I had been brought there for the memorable, I still somewhat nervously headed out with a group of ladies, half from Austin and few from Boston to see the very first VERTs location.
Sparingly do I eat every item from a menu. Rarely do I enjoy each dish enough to wish I could finish each bit.
Never is everything actually healthy (my favorite was Chef Kate’s Spicy Chicken Pita with grilled vegetables, pickled jalapeños, romaine lettuce, hot harissa sauce, and spicy red pepper sauce.
Please do not get me started on the heaven on earth that is their falafel.)
I learned for the first time ever VERTs was looking to expand outside of Texas. And they chose Boston.
The city they described to me as one that has dramatically transformed, and become such a cultured, diverse, startup scene.
Well educated, with an international feel, we were seen as affluent and interesting for this accessible yet elevated fast casual restaurant.
My experience was one that couldn’t have been achieved through that perfect curation that only the best PR girls can achieve (though I have seen few better than Talia.)
Dinner at Food & Wine’s Best New Chef of 2016 Chef Kevin Fink’s restaurant Emmer & Rye where Gordon Ramsey had just left, to local IPA’s and live music on Rainey St.
Breakfast tacos with an unforgettable hot sauce (no literally, I may be missing a tastebud or two) at Torchy’s, kayaking down Lady Bird lake under the famed bat bridge, an unbelievable lunch spread at La Barbecue and taking a tour from literally the most knowledgeable man in Austin.
Friday November 4th Verts opens it’s doors at 95 Summer Street with each guest receiving a free full-size entrée.
The first 200 guests will receive gift-bags containing VERTS tees, recipes, coupons, and more.
Can’t make it? You can still win via their contests on various social channels through the entirety of the day.
Finally, VERTS shows it’s commitment to our city in donating 100% of the sales of any additional sides, drinks or entrées purchased on opening day to a Boston based non-profit.
I hope you will join me in welcoming VERTS to the neighborhood and sampling their varied menu.
Thank you to the VERTS team, Talia, Fasten for getting us around town, and Austin Tours for showing us the town!