Dig Inn Makes Me Want to Do the Opposite

Pump Energy Food on 55th Street has undergone a lot of changes in the last year or so. In addition to a complete renovation back in January, they just changed their name to Dig Inn, which is a pretty lame pun and doesn’t really say much about the food or the atmosphere.¬†This type of healthy food is rarely on Midtown Lunch’s radar, but Brownie visited it before the name change and, most recently, I found myself walking by one Friday afternoon so figured I’d check it out to see if anything was worthwhile.

I had only been to Pump once many years ago and it was for a smoothie, so I can’t speak too much about how the food has changed. From what I gather, most everything has stayed the same with just a few additions. I did find the menu a little confusing so instead of creating my own Marketplate, I decided to go with one of their suggestions. I thought the turkey looked rather good so I chose their first suggestion: the Turkey Slim.

Bad choice, in retrospect. This was a colorful hodegpodge of items that don’t necessarily make sense together. Five different sides were thrown in the small container that reminded me of an indecisive visit to the Whole Foods salad bar. Baby spinach supported some tender carrots, a broccoli quinoa salad (this is a new addition to the menu), tofu, and rosemary turkey. According to the menu, this was supposed to be topped with a spicy pineapple sauce.¬†Whatever sauce was mixed in was overwhelming. It tasted more like a tangy ginger dressing than a spicy pineapple sauce and didn’t allow any other flavors to come out. The pulled turkey was bland, dry, and lacked any rosemary flavor. I have no idea why the tofu was thrown in here in the first place and the quinoa salad was flavorless. In a surprising discovery, the carrots were the tastiest part of the dish.

To compensate (and to try something else), I ordered a side of the sweet potato casserole. I threw most of this away as it tasted more like cardboard than anything I’ve ever had on a Thanksgiving table. There was no flavor whatsoever. It could have used salt, pepper, butter, something to give it some life. And the pecans that were added to the mealy mashed potatoes only made the dish taste even drier.

This meal just didn’t do it for me, but I heard Brownie liked their spicy meatballs, so I’ll have to wait for her assessment of the new digs and food before I consider giving them a second chance.

Dig Inn, Multiple Locations


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    Oh man, this place is getting so much hate on the site this week! I had a similar fail, but Brownie’s right that the spicy meatballs are the way to go.

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    I have no problem with the taste here (braised beef is as good as any of the other fast-casual places), and I do like some of the options for toppings (sweet potatoes, the baller cucumber salad, etc).

    The problem is the price. If you get double meat (and you have to with these absurd portions), it comes to like $13 with tax. Just too much for this kind of meal.

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    This is pretty unfair… it’s like reviewing a 4 star restaurant for a cheap eats column. If you’re into midtown lunch, you’re probably not going to like a health food shop. I’d rather see efforts focused on finding food we’ll have a chance of liking.

  • Well……how much was it?

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    I never ate at Pump 2.0, but this model Pump 3.0 seems to have similarities to the business model of Sensebowl (applied to American comfort food).

    Sensebowl attempted to apply the Chipotle assembly line business model to healthy Asian food.

    The interesting thing is that Chipotle is right next door.

    Another similarity is that both Sensebowl and Dig Inn hired a consulting chef that worked at a Vongerichten entity.

    All told, I enjoyed the meatballs at Dig Inn, but felt rushed and pressured when having to pick sides to go along with the meal. I think I had the carrots, quinoa and something else topped with the pineapple bbq sauce.

    The value to taste just wasn’t there for me, but I’ll eventually give it another shot if they stick around.

    Sensebowl was one place I enjoyed the food at even though I could only eat there about twice a month.

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    I’m really disappointed in this place. I was a huge fan of the Pump, but when the Pump changed their entire menu and went to the Chipotle-style service, I was completely turned off. Gone were most if not all of their great dishes and combos. Instead I go there and have a mismash of flavors none of which seem to go together very well. And one time my turkey had a weird pinkish color to it that the employees swore was due to the marinade. This place needs to be completely revamped and the old Pump needs to come back!

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    The Pump rocked back in the day when your food was made to order and the walls were covered with pictures of bodybuilders. Dig Inn makes me sad.

  • dig’in their own grave it seems. I liked the meatballs…tried several other things and they all ranged from meh to bleh.

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