Cafe Verde: Not just burritos
By Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | April 22,2013
Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo
Café Verde recently opened on 136 Strongs Ave. in Rutland. From left are Alexandra Dansereau, Casey Harnett, Yadah Simonelli and owner Gary Maravalli.
With some extra time on his hands, Gary Maravalli is back in the food business, making the transition from bagels to burritos.
The founder and former owner of the Vermont Bagel Café has just opened Café Verde at 136 Strongs Ave.
Maravalli said he felt there was a need for a place that specialized in burritos. But he also said Café Verde shouldn’t be confused with a Mexican restaurant.
“We do burritos, but you can also get a wrap here,” he said. “If you don’t like the Mexican concept, rice and beans and salsa and guacamole, you can still come here and get pulled pork, shredded meat, chicken … and get it in a wrap.”
When Maravalli started the Vermont Bagel Café on Woodstock Avenue in the early 1990s, he and his wife were kept busy raising a family. He sold the business about 10 years ago.
Maravalli has a day job as a pharmacist; Susan, his wife, is a registered nurse.
But now that his children are older, Maravalli said he had the spare time and the urge to get back into business.
Café Verde is adjacent to the Stewart’s Shops convenience store, where South Main Street and Strongs Avenue converge at a triangle.
It’s located in a renovated, two-story building owned by Joe Giancola. In recent history, the building was home to a paint store and later a carpet store. Many years ago it was a hotel or rooming house.
Inside the brightly lit and airy space, there is a large, open counter to place orders, and several tables covered with green and white checked tablecloths. To pass the time, there’s a flat screen television on one wall. Hanging from another wall are a few black and white photos from Rutland’s past.
The take-out or dine-in menu offers burritos, bowls, wraps, tacos and salads. There are a half-dozen signature items like the Pico Teriyaki burrito with caramelized onions, broccoli, carrots, brown rice and a choice of meat or tofu in a sweet Teriyaki sauce.
Customers can also make their own creation with a choice of salsa, sauces or dressings. There are gluten-free options as well.
Burritos and wraps are $6.95 for a large, $5.59 for a regular, and $3.97 for a mini.
There are side dishes to choose from, including guacamole, tortilla chips, rice, beans and coleslaw.
For refreshments there’s a lineup of smoothies made with nonfat milk or nonfat frozen yogurt, cold drinks and coffee.
“We just think that doing fresh food that’s healthy and quick, people will appreciate it,” Maravalli said.
He said getting a meal without waiting is important for someone who only has a half-hour lunch or dinner break.
Whenever possible, he said, Café Verde will source its food locally.
Maravalli also said he’s considering opening for breakfast.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. But Maravalli said he’s likely to extend the hours as the warmer weather arrives.