Vero Italian Kitchen Owner Les Lemmons opened the original Conroe restaurant in 2010 with the intention of creating authentic Italian cuisine in a casual yet classy eatery.
After operating and managing restaurants for more than three decades, Lemmons decided he wanted to open his own concept in Conroe.
“I love Italian food—very passionate about it—and I did not see an Italian concept out there that was quick [and]casual but done really well,” Lemmons said.
Lemmons practiced his menu for two years on his children—who he said quickly became tired of having pasta for dinner every night—as well as on some of his Italian friends to make sure he had it just right.
Lemmons opened the Conroe kitchen in September 2010 serving homemade New York-style pizzas, pastas, salads, desserts, beer and wine. To create real—or “vero” in Italian—cuisine, Lemmons said the restaurant prepares handmade dough and roasted marinara sauce for pastas and pizzas as well as other sauces and dressings.
Moreover, all pizzas are prepared in a coal-fired oven, which Lemmons said adds a unique flavor to the pizzas.
“If you go order a sit-down Italian meal, it’s going to take you 30 minutes to get your food, so I wanted to be able to do everything in under
10 minutes,” Lemmons said. “We were able to accomplish that with the help of that oven because we can cook [pizzas]so quickly.”
Vero Italian Kitchen has also been franchised with a Spring location—not owned or operated by Lemmons—that opened in mid-2016. At the original Conroe restaurant, Lemmons said he continues to focus on creating quality cuisine that other franchised locations can mirror and implement.
For example, the kitchen has initiated buffet night within the past year on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, which Lemmons said is gaining attention in the community.
The eatery also began including healthier plates as limited-time specials in mid-January, including cauliflower pizza crust. Lemmons said Vero Italian Kitchen plans to offer other gluten-free and ketogenic-friendly menu options in the future.
“It’s easy to go out and find premade stuff and put a menu together with it, but [I wanted] to come up with something … unique … and as authentic as possible [that]… taste[s]very good and appeal[s]to a broad spectrum [of people],” he said.
Vero Italian Kitchen
1301 W. Davis St., Conroe
Hours: Tue.-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Mon.