Verve in Orono: A Sweet (and Spicy) Symphony

Back when we were students at UMaine, Orono felt like a college town that didn't want a college. There were a grand total of three bars, four if you counted the tap room at Pat's Pizza, and three restaurants any student would actually want to eat at — and that's being generous.

What this town needed was a little verve. And now, Orono has it.

Verve burritos and smoothies, the latest venture from Abe and Heather Furth (UMaine alumni and two of the three partners in Woodman's), is exactly what Orono needed. It's long overdue, but the wait was worth it. In recent years, a handful of young business owners (including the Furths, their business partner in Woodman's, Mark Horton, and Horton's wife, Mary, who owns Harvest Moon Deli) have breathed life — verve, if you will — into downtown. We couldn't be happier.

We could tell Verve was going to be good long before its doors opened — the Furths did a much-needed overhaul of the building's facade (Verve is located in the towering brick Mason's hall at the corner of Mill and Main), slapped a gorgeous sign on the side and set up sidewalk benches made from recycled skis and snowboards. The decor — high celings, bold artwork, cozy couches and walls painted electric green and chocolate brown — is college town chic. But the real draw here is the food.

These burritos are tasty. Really, really tasty. You get to watch as the crew assembles your meal from — gasp! — fresh ingredients (as far as we could tell, nothing came from a can, jar or mix). During a recent visit, we tried the chorizo burrito and the steak burrito, both of which were phenomenal. There are plenty of vegetarian options — including a fajita stuffed with beans, rice and fajita-style veggies — and we're dying to try the Huevos Rancheros breakfast burrito.

Verve is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Breakfast offerings include bagels from Bagel Central in Bangor, a selection of pastries, smoothies made from fresh fruit and Stonyfield Farm yogurt, a menu full of gourmet breakfast burritos and coffee from Maine's own Carrabasset Roasters and Rock City Roasters. Lunch options include burritos and burrito bowls. If you're on campus, you can also check out Verve's cafe (no burritos yet) in the Collins Center for the Arts, which is open to the public.

We'll post a link to the menu as soon as one is available. In the meantime, get yourself to Verve, which, true to its name, has brought energy and life to Orono.

Verve is located at the corner of Mill and Main Streets in Orono. For more information, visit Verve's Facebook page. A Web site is coming soon.

2 Mill Street
Orono, Maine
(207) 866-4004

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KevinMc said...

Great info! I look forward to trying it, soon.

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