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New Neighbor: VERTS

The Flatiron lunch crowd gave a warm welcome to VERTS, an Austin-based Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant, with a snaking line outside its doors on 23rd Street when it opened January 13. Offering a selection of chef-inspired pitas, salads, and bowls, VERTS has opened 25 stores in five years and makes its New York City debut as part of an ambitious expansion effort to open over 200 restaurants by 2020.

Co-founders Michael Heyne and Dominick Stein conceptualized the restaurant in graduate school in Texas when they longed for their native German street food, the doner kebab. The sandwich, introduced by Turkish immigrants living in Germany, consists of shaved meat, roasted on a vertical spit, and served in a pita with toppings and condiments. They adapted this street food favorite to American tastes by emphasizing customization and a fast-casual dining experience.

“New York is the epicenter of the food world featuring restaurant concepts from around the globe that cater to a sophisticated and diverse clientele,” said Stein. “Our debut in the Flatiron District of New York City is exciting because we can now showcase our brand to new audiences, taking a very important step toward our expansion into new markets.”

VERTS’ menu boasts made-from-scratch sauces and toppings such as pickled jalapenos and marinated olives. Entrée options include roasted meat sandwiches, falafel wraps, and sides such as hummus and pita chips. Its concept has propelled VERTS to industry-wide attention as they were included on the top 25 fastest growing fast-casual restaurants list in 2016 by Restaurant Business.

VERTS is the third Texas-based restaurant brand to make its New York City debut in the Flatiron District in recent months, with Houston’s Pondicheri and SNOWFOX Sushi opening in the fall of 2016.

Hours are Monday through Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

VERTS, 24 East 23rd Street, at Madison Avenue, (646) 858-0609.

Image via VERTS.

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