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