There are plenty of veggie-focused restos in Center City, a nexus for eateries of all kinds, and there’s no shortage of farm-to-table either. Both these concepts are ones that hip diners are really focusing on these days, and, for the most part, downtown delivers. Still, there’s something exciting about the Philadelphia edition of a well-known from-scratch fast casual eatery, beloved in its flagship cities of New York and Boston, coming to Rittenhouse Square.
More than just your “build a bowl” typical, Insta-worthy green restaurant, Dig offers both variety and excitement to its guests. Completely without microwaves, can openers, or freezers, the focus is very solidly on “fresh.” Four stations are available, at which eaters can build a meal of veggies, proteins, and sides both hot and cold. It is both vegan- and Whole30- friendly. The menu is seasonal, showcasing the bounty of each time of year. For example, right now the “Classic Dig” meal is, from their website:
Charred Chicken (thigh), Charred Broccoli with Lemon, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice with Parsley, and Garlic Aioli dressing
All the produce is sourced directly from 100-plus small-scale and minority-owned growers rather than distributors. This keeps accountability and quality high, as well as prices low. Dig also operates its own farm in upstate New York. Altogether, the chain went through 8 million pounds of veg last year, all of which was sustainably and locally grown. “Local” is defined as in within 300 miles of the restaurant, and most food is served within 48 hours of being harvested. That’s why the food can be served so simply, perhaps with just a dash of olive oil and salt – it needs no enrichment on its own earthy, pure flavor. Chefs at each Dig location are brought out to the New York farm to hand-pick vegetables, learn about organic fertilization processes, and connect to the food that they are about to serve.
Dig is due to open later this month.