Posted on 06 / 30 / 2013
I've frequented Vertoris quite a few times in the past two years as I've been working in Sarasota in the summertime. The food is usually pretty good - my staple has been the eggplant parm and while not the best I've ever tasted, certainly well done for a non-veggie restaurant.
The fact that they have a vegan menu is definitely appreciated, but my first issue was that during one of my most recent visits after specifically requesting vegan food, my meal was served with focaccia bread. Since I'd never seen it before I was a bit suspicious, so I inquired, and sure enough it had eggs in it. I do expect that restaurants that have separate vegan menus know what that means.
My real issue is with their pricing. I visited this weekend to celebrate Vegan Pizza Day. Non only am I vegan, but gluten-free as well. I ordered a 10" pie with banana peppers and olives. It was on a delicious, thin, crispy crust and unlike the eggplant parm, had a generous amount of Dayia. I was only able to eat half, and was happy to take the rest home for later. Then I got my bill. They don't have a combo menu, just a vegan one, and a gluten free one. The vegan menu said $11 for a pie. I was expecting some sort of up-charge, but it was double. DOUBLE.
I feel this is unacceptable, but I paid my bill rather than argue with the waiter who I'm sure doesn't set the pricing. I didn't see the owner around so I left and dropped them an email stating my displeasure.
To my pleasant surprise, the owner got back to me very quickly and explained that they go through great lengths to ensure their Celiac customers can eat safely, including a separate oven which increases their costs - which they then pass on to the customers. I understand all of that but find still find it completely unreasonable to charge that much without posting prices anywhere or warning your customers when they order. Could I have asked? Certainly, and for that I take some responsibility, which is another reason I paid quietly, but I'm still very disappointed in their lack of information available to the customers.
All in all, it's a good option in an area of the world where there aren't many vegan-friendly places, but use extreme caution if you're vegan and gluten-free. No one deserves the kind of surprise I got when looking at a restaurant bill.
Updated from previous review on Sunday June 30, 2013
vegan and gluten-free options, Small, family-owned, Tasty pizza
Pricing, not careful about vegan options, slow and inattentive service