Verts, the Mediterranean grill chain known for kebabs, launched a test kitchen to experiment with fresh new recipes within the original location on the Drag. It's part of the push beyond boundaries of fast-casual dishes and sauces, where customers will get the chance to sample treats ranging from fried olives to beet tzatziki.
Jason Donoho, the culinary director who was the former research and development chef for Alamo Drafthouse, calls the test kitchen "a place of passion." The enclosed and tinted glass kitchen means people can watch the the chefs in action. Diners may visit the space to sample both new dishes and original menu items alike—and occasionally, weigh in on complementary new items ranging from fresh-baked bread to grilled or braised meats to pickled vegetables and more, in the coming months.
With ambitious plans afoot—Verts will open its first East Coast location this summer, and plans to open 20 new restaurants in 2016—the test kitchen will be a place for experimentation to play out where it matters most: near the mouths of diners. The Austin-born chain is also updating restaurant interiors, packaging designs, and unveiling a new website.
Recent Dishes From Vert’s Test Kitchen
- Snacks - fried olives, lamb meatballs, beef and lamb tartare, and green falafel
- Mezze - pita, crudite, hummus, charred eggplant, beet tzatziki, green tahini pickles, and marinated olives
- Fattoush - with tomato, cucumber, radish, avocado, crispy pita, and sumac
- Lamb chops - with fresh za’atar and black garlic tahini
- Harissa carrots - with yogurt and cilantro chermoula
- Turkish coffee panna cotta - with orange and candied walnut