BITE-SIZED

You'll Dig These Meatless Meals

Vegan venue offers organic, locally sourced dishes

The potato gnocchi with a flavorful tomato sauce is topped with strips of roasted butternut squash and fresh basil. For Web:
Caron Streibich
Leafy grilled kale and roasted carrot atop protein-packed fluffy quinoa make for a unique salad. It’s drizzled with a light parsley vinaigrette.
Caron Streibich
Inside Downtown music venue Underbelly, Dig Foods is centrally located just over the Main Street Bridge on East Bay Street.
Caron Streibich
After months of temporary gigs, Dig Foods finds a permanent home inside Downtown music venue Underbelly.
Caron Streibich
Chick pea pie, with tahini and herbs, is paired with a side of roasted potatoes for a filling entrée.
Caron Streibich
In the colorful beet, grapefruit and basil side salad topped with a divine dollop of cashew cream that looked just like crème fraîche, the grapefruit segments were tart and complemented the earthy flavors of perfectly cooked red beets. Thin ribbons of fresh basil completed the dish that was simple but packed a lot of flavor.
Caron Streibich
The roasted balsamic cauliflower has a tasty tanginess.
Caron Streibich
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113 E. Bay St., Downtown

885-1495

digfoods.tumblr.com

Caron Streibich covers dining out throughout Northeast Florida. If you have information about new restaurant openings, menu changes or other food-related news, contact her here. Streibich is also the host of our regular Folio Weekly Bite Club gatherings. Follow the Bite Club on Facebook or Twitter to learn more about it.

It's 2013, and times are changing. To some, meat is out and vegetables are in. Hoping to cater to this growing demographic, Dig Foods opened its doors Downtown in mid-April.

Dig Food's first permanent spot is inside music venue Underbelly. Previously, Chef Sean Sigmon crafted his popular vegan fare on-the-go at already established venues like Intuition Ale Works, Bold Bean Coffee Roasters, CoRK Arts District and Downtown's First Wednesday Art Walk. For a while, it was rumored that Sigmon might start a food truck featuring his vegan offerings.

Sigmon's ever-changing menu focuses on organic and local ingredients. Even the bread is made locally by Community Loaves, and since everything is vegan, that means no meat, dairy or animal products are used.

At a noon Tuesday lunch, almost all of the tables were filled. You place your order, pay and seat yourself. Your food is brought out to you by a server, but it may not arrive at the same time as your companions' orders, as it's all made-to-order.

My lunch was surprisingly filling, despite being meatless. And for $13, I was able to try three different menu items. The first was a grilled kale and roasted carrot salad atop protein-packed fluffy quinoa and drizzled with a light parsley vinaigrette. I'd never had grilled kale and found it interesting in both texture and flavor. My second item was a generous portion of roasted balsamic cauliflower, which had a slight tanginess that I enjoyed. My third choice was the half-sized portion of potato gnocchi with a flavorful tomato sauce and strips of roasted butternut squash. It seemed more like a fall item than spring, but it worked.

I had a few bites of the colorful beet, grapefruit and basil side salad topped with a divine dollop of cashew cream that looked just like crème fraîche. The grapefruit segments were tart and complemented the earthy flavors of perfectly cooked red beets. Thin ribbons of fresh basil completed the dish that was simple but packed a lot of flavor.

I washed down vegan goodness with an iced jasmine green tea served in a Mason jar.

Dig is still working out its menu and experimenting with new items each week, so there aren't any dessert options yet. My sweet tooth (OK, teeth) eagerly await the addition of a few treats.

Dig is currently open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays. There's plenty of street parking nearby, so bring your quarters. If you're in a hurry or have only one quarter, call ahead to place a to-go order. 

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