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Newcomer to fast-casual dining scene in Houston is Verts Kebap, the brainchild of two Austin residents who were missing the döner kebap they enjoyed in Berlin. The German capital became particularly famous for kebap because of its large Turkish immigrant population who brought this style of flatbread or pita sandwich filled with rotisserie meat from their homeland. Kebap (or “kebab”) refers to the assemblage of meats and vegetables grilled on a spit, while döner is derived from the Turkish doner (to turn around). And just as some consider chicken tikka masala to be one of if not the national dish of England, so, too, has been döner kebap been heartily adopted by the German people.

The expansion of the Verts Kebap chain in H-town was much anticipated by those (this author included) who have savored the succulent mingling of roast lamb, peppers, onions, and garlic sauce on the streets of Berlin. I remember döner kebap as a post-midnight snack consumed to ward off a hangover after a long night clubbing, but as my rave days are over I like to visit Verts Kebap significantly earlier in the evening.

Constructing your sandwich at Verts is an increasingly complicated and pleasant process. First, you select your carbohydrate base—Verts fresh bread (baked in Berliner tradition) is the obvious, though there is also a wrap version is also available if you’re still stuck in 1997. Next, choose your protein: grilled seasoned chicken or mixture of peppery beef and lamb, both shorn fresh off spit. (Can’t decide? Ask for both.) From this point forward, your filling choices increase exponentially in number. There’s vegetables (lettuce, cabbage, tomato, onion, cucumber, corn, onions, red peppers) many of which you also enjoy grilled (go for the latter whenever possible) and sauces (spicy red, garlic, dill yogurt, vinaigrette, hot, etc.).

If you are a neophyte to the world of döner kebap and cannot for the life of you figure out how to consume your warm savory sandwich brimming with vegetables, Verts has you covered via detailed pictures and instructions on the menu as how to properly fold and eat your pita. It’s especially to try to follow them after sampling some of Verts Kebap’s beers on tap.

“No matter how you stack it, the verts kebap is always 550 calories or less,” claims Verts on various in-store signs and promotional materials. Somehow, I don’t think that rule applies if you have two or more kebap sandwiches in one sitting—and you will be tempted to do so if only to try as many filling combinations as possible.

Verts Kebap
107 Yale St Ste 600
Houston, TX 77007

Joanna O'Leary

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