Lunch At Dig Inn: A Glimpse Into The Lives Of How The Healthier Half Eats

A couple of weeks ago The Pump chain changed its name to Dig Inn and changed its menu after bringing a winner of Iron Chef America on board as its new chef. I had mentioned that I would go check out the new version if you lunchers wanted me to and after a couple of endorsements I decided to head over to the store on Pine (at Pearl) to see if healthy, protein-filled food could also be a Downtown Lunch.

I had been underwhelmed the one time I ate at The Pump and since it is definitely not cheap I never went back. As I stood in the line that wrapped around the store a guy behind me remarked that the inside looked the same and only the menu had changed.

One of my main beefs with the chains that try to be healthy is that the food is generally bland and I end up having to dump on a bunch of condiments to remedy the situation. I tried to be optimistic as I walked by the line snaking out the door at Chop’t next door.

A recommendation I got was for the “local hero wrap” ($9.18) which is one of the suggested items on Dig Inn’s otherwise build-your-own-meal menu. This bad boy involves spicy meatballs, spinach, brown rice, guacamole and pineapple barbeque sauce all snug in a whole wheat wrap. Sounds (and looks) an awful lot like a burrito with meatballs, right? I had been torn between getting a plate instead of the wrap since you get more variety (and you don’t feel the shame of ordering a wrap) but I stuck to my guns. I’d have to say that the sweet potato casserole looked pretty good, though.

First, I’ll give you the pluses of my lunch: It was filling and the first few bites were tasty with the meat intermingling with guac and the pineapple BBQ sauce. While the meatballs weren’t exactly spicy, they were good. Now for the minuses: Halfway through the wrap, its contents were separated into three distinct layers of rice, guac and meat. This was fine if you got a meat bite, not fine if you got the other two elements since the guacamole was both plentiful and bland as could be.

My other quibble here was with the price which was exactly $10 for what was essentially a burrito. I’m not even sure you’d pay that much across the street at Chipotle for a burrito and both places source their meat from higher-end farms.

It’s possible I could eat here at some point again if I was on a health kick, but I don’t know if I could live with the shame of the words “I’d like the wrap” escaping my lips again.

Dig Inn (formerly The Pump Energy Foods), 80 Pine St. (at Pearl), 212-785-1110



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    Work in that building. Never went to The Pump because it seemed like terrible, tasteless food that cost $10+. No thanks.

    Decided to give Dig Inn a try last Monday. BAD DECISION. I was defaulted to a large plate ($$$) (without realizing there were 2 options) and had the lemon chicken with brown rice, kale and corn salad, cabbage slaw and broccoli and quinoa salad. The most edible part of the dish was the rice. The corn was fine, but there were trace amounts of kale. The chicken was dried out, had a lemon oil-type flavor and was tough to the teeth. The broccoli and quinoa salad was flavorless. And finally the cabbage slaw tasted as if it had been rinsed in rubbing alcohol before being served. I requested a side of the red pepper sauce, which to the eye appeared mealy and congealed; I didn’t even taste it.

    I got to the counter after being rushed through the line and was told I owed $11+. In shock, I handed over my debit card and felt terrible about myself.

    Never again. Never.

  • This certainly is disappointing to read. We may still give it a try, but we’ll certainly have your advice in the back of our mind. We’re still interested in an apple green shake! The fact that you’d return means there’s still hope!

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    I used to hate the Pump and only walked into Dig Inn (40th and Madison) because I thought it was a new place and not just a rebranding. I was actually pretty impressed. It was way better than I remember the pump being. There still are a few lackluster veggie sides which I don’t like too much, so I just stick to a few that I know are always good.

    These are my go-tos:
    Meatballs or braised beef/tomato rice/Brussels sprouts/yams or candied carrots with figs

    The meatballs are super tasty as is the braised beef. These beef dishes aren’t bland and flavorless at all. I absolutely love the Brussels sprouts. I usually get more than one helping of them. And it’s really hard to screw up yams or candied carrots. Dig Inn won’t absolutely blow you away, but it’s pretty damn tasty and much healthier than most options. I’m always satisfied with my meal. My only complaint is that it’s a couple dollars more than I’d like to pay($10 for the large portion).

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