I’ve thought about featuring more healthy food options on my blog. However, there were a few hurdles in the way. 1) I don’t cook unless I’m following a recipe and would prefer to feature something original. 2) Food photography is an art that requires great skill and camera lenses. Rather than share my own food, I’m starting a monthly Real NYC Eats series to feature healthy restaurant options around the city. First up is Dig Inn. If you have a November suggestion, I’d love to hear it!
Dig Inn was founded in 2011, when Adam Eskin transformed an existing restaurant into a group of eateries that would serve up real, good food for all. Dig Inn has nine Manhattan locations that serve a locally sourced and conveniently priced farm-to-counter menu. They specialize in proteins with a side of seasonal vegetables. In fact, Dig Inn is out to democratize vegetables and change the way people eat. They’re teaching customers to enjoy dishes like kale and Brussels sprouts, one dish at a time.
Last week, I visited a Dig Inn at 80 Broad Street to have dinner with a team member. I had heard wonderful Dig Inn reviews from friends and was hoping the food would live up to the hype. One of the most popular options as Dig Inn is a Marketplate, where you choose one protein, one grain, and two sides. I went with Charred Chicken, Bulgur, Pan-Sauteed Kale, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes. I was also given a few pints of side dishes to go–Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas, Roasted Beets with Pumpkin Seeds, Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas, and Couscous with Butternut Squash. If my mom is reading this, she is probably shocked by my choices. I far preferred fruits to vegetables growing up. However, if Dig Inn is out to change the way people eat, then I’m all for trying new vegetables.
I mentioned that Dig Inn’s food is conveniently priced. The Marketplate that I ordered costs $11 or less depending on selections. Dig Inn also offers sandwiches for $7-9, salads for $7-10, and juices for $8. You might be wondering how it’s possible to source and serve healthy food at an affordable price. There are two keys to making it happen–a seasonal menu and relationships with local farmers. For example, Dig Inn works with a farm called R & R Produce to source all of its kale for the restaurants. The Food Team, including Chef Daniel Angerer and Chef Stephen Lyle, works to refresh the menu a few times each year to cater to what people are craving and what produce is in season. Many of the side dishes I chose are currently on the seasonal menu.
All images via Dig Inn
I was pleased to find that the food definitely lived up to its hype. The chicken was flavorful and paired well with the bulgar. The vegetables were fresh and perfectly seasoned. The tastes of the vegetables were transformed by spices and cooking styles. Some were even more sweet than savory. I recommend Dig Inn for a healthy lunch option or to grab dinner on the way home from work or the gym. You can even order your meal online or on the rewards app to pick up in the store. Dig Inn hopes to have 16 locations by the end of 2015. And, Boston, they might be coming your way!