The sandwich: Tortilla Española Where to get it: Vert Kitchen (704 South Pearl Street, 303-997-5941, www.vertkitchen.com) What's on it: potato omelet, aioli, manchego cheese, lettuce and tomato How much: $8
It takes a lot to open a new eatery and even more to offer menu items far from the norm. But Vert Kitchen seems to have pulled it off -- and in an absolutely tiny space.
The owners, Noah Stephens and Emily Welch, met in culinary school in France, and that shows on the menu, in the decor (a modern take on a European-style cafe) and with the black button-up chef's shirts that les sandwicheres wear to construct their sandwiches. One of my favorite touches is a giant mirror with the menu painted in white lettering.
The French influence also shows in the name. Vert means "green" in French, and the restaurant also uses green as its mantra, buying local and organic produce and products for its salads, sandwiches, soups and sides.
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I had my choice of unusual combinations, including a turkey sandwich with figs, chèvre and pine nuts; a skirt steak sandwich with walnut mustard and arugula; and a lemon tuna confit with albacore, cucumber and yogurt. But I went with the Tortilla Española because it didn't sound like any kind of sandwich I'd had before.
The potato omelet was a thick potato pancake ("a carb-bomb, for sure," as the cashier said, "but really good"), smothered in a delicious, garlicky aioli and bolstered by thin slices of manchego, lettuce and tomato. Although the bread had a mouth-rippingly savage crust, the roll itself tasted great. It reminded me of a small baguette or possibly a bolillo, which is a sort of French-style roll made in Mexico and Brazil.
This summer, Vert plans to open a patio in the back. Très bien.
For previous sandwiches, see Our Weekly Bread archive.