The story of the Gertz Girlz begins with Fran and Jerry Gertz, high school sweethearts married almost 60 years.
Beginning around 1999, Fran had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, and Jerry spent the last ten years of her life as a full time caregiver. His unwavering devotion to her was heroic, but in the summer of 2016, she had to be placed into long term care. Jerry visited her almost every day, bringing snacks, beverages, and changes of clothes, fixing her hair and making sure her teeth were clean. On January 4, 2017, Fran was mercifully released from the ravages of the disease and though he was heartbroken, Jerry looked forward to having some time to enjoy his family and, quite frankly, his freedom.
But it wasn’t to be. Just five months after Fran left us, Jerry left to join her.
Fran was the matriarch foodie of the Gertz family. She loved to entertain, was a phenomenal, fearless and innovative cook, and the celebrations we had–both large and small–are among our most cherished memories. As a family, we loved dining out, and did so as often as we could. Whether it was the entire clan, or just Fran and Jerry, or often a combination of various members, we thoroughly enjoyed the dining experience. It’s a cliché to say it brought us together, but food and dining was our common ground.
After Fran and Jerry died, they left behind three heartbroken girls (and one guy, Stu Gertz) who were looking for a way to process their grief, to honor Fran and Jerry, and for a reason to get together on a regular basis, as Fran and Jerry would’ve wanted. So their daughter Deana (Dee) Gertz Short, their granddaughter Eva Gertz, and their daughter-in-law Lisa Gertz decided to collaborate on a food and restaurant blog. To honor her “Gaga” and “Papa,” Eva came up with the name Gertz Girlz. What could be more fitting?
As the Gertz Girlz, we are excited about this blog project and know that Gaga and Papa would be, too. Though they can’t be with us, we hope that you will join us on our journey, as we visit various restaurants in the New England area, reporting on our dining experience, while offering kudos and constructive info on the food, atmosphere and service. We will also blog about family remembrances, recipes, cooking experiences, and whatever food-related situations come along.
The Gertz Girlz are not–and do not intend or pretend to be–food critics. We understand that food service is a tough business. Therefore, you will find no nasty complaining or yelping on this blog. This is simply about our experiences…the Gertz Girlz dishing on dining!
Meet the Gertz Girlz
Lisa Gertz – the mother of Eva and a bonafide foodie. Her passion is feeding people, reading cookbooks and cooking from said books. She also loves writing about food and, in addition to Gertz Girlz, dabbles in a food blog called Eating While Reading.
Eva Gertz –a typical teenager who has loved eating out ever since she could sit up in a restaurant high chair. She’s the “salty” kid who prefers a bowl of olives over dessert. With a preference for high-end restaurants (so she can dress up a bit), she will still order chicken fingers and fries in the best steak house.
Deana (Dee) Gertz Short – a graphic designer and writer with experience on the marketing side of the food service industry. She has an affinity for comfort food, particularly anything with cheese and/or butter. And she has yet to meet a bad carb she didn’t love, but wishes those bad boys would love her back.