Pump’s “Street Meat” is a Terrifying Taste of a Healthier Future


I see a trend developing here.  A few months ago I was enticed by “chinese crunchy things” and “Thai peanut sauce” into trying something at Just Salad for the first time, and more recently Pump started offering their healthier version of “Rafiqi’s street meat”.  Like the Thai crunch wrap at Just Salad, it was enough to get me to enter a place that I would have never considered eating at before.  Clearly it’s a smart marketing strategy.  How else are they going to expand their business?  They already have the mindless, boring, Midtown masses eating their “healthy” less flavorful lunches (I don’t care what they say, fat=flavor people), so the only way to get to us (the real eaters) is to offer stuff like this.  And what can I say?  I couldn’t resist.


The new Pump is completely redesigned from the older locations, with a menu and set up that is more Chipotle than Lenny’s.  You move along a conveyor belt picking a protein, a delivery method, and condiments. But there are a group of 9 pre set options, one of them being the Spicy Dilligan- which is brown rice, spicy bison, cucumbers, tomato, pepper and onions, yogurt dill sauce (white sauce), and a “hot” hot sauce (red sauce).  The first semi-disappointment is the “Spicy Dilligan” is not a platter, it’s a wrap.  So the direct street meat comparison loses a little bit in the transition.  They make platters, so I’m guessing you can order it as a platter if you press the issue (or just put it together yourself on the conveyor line), but when I asked, they didn’t offer… so I just took the wrap.


Unsurprisingly, the bison meat was dry and lacked the strong flavor you get from gyro meat (is Pump low sodium as well?)  But the hot sauce was very hot (as advertised.) And overall the flavor wasn’t terrible to the point of not being edible.  It just tasted like a low fat, low salt, low flavor version of the real thing.  (With the hot sauce being the one saving grace.)  But that’s the sacrifice when eating food that’s been engineered to be healthy.  There’s a reason street meat tastes good, and it has nothing to do with carefully crafted recipes with quality ingredients.  It’s about grease.  And fat.

Oh, and the wrap (which admittedly is filling because of the brown rice, and bison meat) costs over $9- or as I like to call it: “a big kick in the balls”.  Clearly I will not be added to the list of regular Pump customers anytime soon, but like the Thai spicy crunch wrap at Just Salad, I will say this.  If I was forced by co-workers or friends into a situation where I had to eat at Pump, I could resign myself to the lunch a little easier knowing at least I could order this thing and be mildly satisfied.  But if I ever start talking about replacing XPL w/ the Spicy Dilligan in an effort to “get healthy” or “lose weight” you have permission to shoot me.

The Spicy Dilligan is available at these Pump Locations:

  • 52nd btw. Lex+3rd
  • 275 Madison (nr. 40th St.) 212-697-7867
  • DOWNTOWN LOCATION: 80 Pine St. (at Pearl) 212-785-1110


  • “costs over $9- or as I like to call it: “a big kick in the balls”

    Lmfao, thanks for taking one for the team big guy.

  • That looks and sounds f’ing disgusting! Pump SUCKS!!!!! Nothing they make will ever be good…save yourself the trouble….avoid it at all costs….just b/c they call it “street meat” does not make it so….I had their falafal 5 yrs ago, and after one bite and one dry heave later, off the balcony it went!

  • XPL FTW! No way they can’t beat the XPL truck across the street from them. I need some REAL strete meats for lunch today.

  • It should read “No way. They can’t…”

  • If the Situation can get ripped on Ron Ron Juice and cutlets, there’s no reason to eat that crap..

  • It’s intresting how the die-hard fans of Pump are keeping quiet… guess they just don’t want to offend your fatboy sensibilities Zach. I’ll speak up: truth is Pump really does a great job offering healthy options when we need a break from shovelling lard down our throats. (Actually Zach, I once recall you giving them props for how well they grill their chicken… yikes, caught ya!)

    What i’m curious about is how this new location openned when a long-time Pump location exists just 3 blocks away.. like 5os and 3rd Ave.. in that food court with Sophie’s (or is it gone?) Are the new style (Chipolte-style) Pumps competing with the old style? They really are two different food joints.. interesting.

  • I still defend THE PUMP. If you want low-fat, low salt, no grease (and YES, some people really DO want that), they do a great job. I LOVE THE PUMP. Their Dionysus platter is my go-to meal when working late. I repeat, I LOVE THE PUMP.

  • “low fat, low salt, low flavor version of the real thing”

    very rarely can i think of a reason to settle for the low fat, low salt, low flavor of anything…

  • The Pump in the food court closed….thus making my decision to eat at Pompano effortless.

  • I don’t mind healthy food on occasion, but when I ate Pump, I found it utterly revolting. I’d sooner go to a diner and get the “health salad” or something lame, but at least not foul tasting….

  • I agree with Goats: Pump sucks! For a real tasty ‘healthy’ alternative, check out Energy Kitchen’s bison cheesesteak wrap. That is really good. I dare anyone to eat one (with their hot sauce, which is tasty) and then say that Pump offers a better/tastier option. Didn’t think so.

  • I actually tried the bison cheesesteak wrap w/ hot sauce (2nd ave location) and thought it was passable, but not something I would order again. Actually, other than a weekly chopped salad lunch, I really can’t stomach most “healthy” food. I guess I am doomed to become fat like Zach as soon as my metabolism gives out on me. (given my genes though, that may never happen)

  • @Stevenp, I’m a fan of Energy Kitchen as well.. again, nice that there are some quick and easy healthy quasi-fastfoot alternatives out there. But careful, you’re kinda fooling yourself with that bison cheesesteak wrap (which i coat with their BBQ sauce.. sweet and tangy!).. it’s not super healthy. They do have leaner options which are nice. Pump seems to take is healthiness a bit more seriously with all their menu.

    PIGIRON knows where it’s at.. the Dionysus is power on a plate with great flavor (i sub the pasta it comes on with brown rice.. just easier to work with). I encourage the lard-lovers to give it a try at least once before their massive coronary.

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    I am a HUGE Pump fan. I don’t think it’s fair to compare it to the full fat version, but the Pump does an amazing job of making food flavorful, healty, and enjoyable to eat. My only complaint with the new store is that a lot of my favorite menu items are off the menu (like the apple pie — amazing and non fat!). But I urge all of you who say you hate the Pump to try the new stores — you will be pleasantly surprised. The CEO puts a lot of effort into creating delicious, healthy food, and I thank him for providing an option where people who actually care about what they put in their mouths can eat without worrying about what ingredients were put into their food.

  • For a while, I liked the Pump, too. I personally think that it was pretty tasty . . . but for health food. Health food is a different standard. If you sacrifice fat and salt, you get nothing but bland. That’s why they have their different sauces. I personally like the Hercules with their Tahini sauce. The lentil soup part fills you up really well. If you think that it lacks savoriness, then add tahini. If it’s not salty enough, put on the low sodium soy sauce. And the hot sauce is actually really hot. But these are meals for people who regularly work out and are watching calorie and protein intake. But you might as well buy the cookbook and make the stuff yourself.

  • People rely entirely too much on trying to limit fat intake while ignoring the other half of what it takes to stay healthy: exercise.

    You know what you can do with a little bit of common sense? Eat all the shit you want and balance it all with the proper amount of exercise.

    Stop eating boring disgusting food just because its labeled as healthy because you’re too lazy to get your ass into the gym and do something about it.

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    People, this is not “boring disgusting food!” I am eating some of the new Pump chicken now, and it is incredibly moist, delicious, and flavorful. Throw some yogurt dill sauce on there and it’s a great meal that rivals any other joint out there. Plus, it’s hormone and antibiotic free! I ask everyone to give the Pump another try. Oh, and by the way I have no stake in the Pump, other than wanting it to stay in business so I have somewhere to eat that I trust.

  • The Pump’s concept of healthy is flawed and gives real healthy food a bad name. They eschew butter, fat, and flavor and offer up dry, unseasoned crap touted as ‘good for you.’ Well, this low-fat, high-carb junk is not good for you and it’s certainly not good.

  • if you go once and never go back, are you deemed, “a one Pump Chump”?

  • Love the Teen Wolf Avatar, Bephf

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