The snow had fallen, leaving the city streets wet, slick and cold. After a long workday, my old pre-plant-based self would have picked up or ordered in hearty cheesy penne pasta, a with chicken or turkey meatballs to add protein to the meal. I would have not thought about the health effects of the comfort food as I sat down with a glass of Pinot Noir and checked out the latest Washington news or turned on a Netflix drama and "treated" myself to unhealthy dinner.

Instead, as a plant-based eater, and trying to be healthy even when I crave "comfort" food, I emerged from the subway and spotted an old favorite spot: Dig (formerly Dig Inn). The menu offers hearty grains, vegan sides, and a helpful menu signposting to knowing which ingredients are fully vegan, which contain gluten, meat or other "to be avoided" ingredients, so I knew I could take home comfort food that is fresh, healthy and wholly satisfying.

I ordered the organic Maine Farro and mixed greens, sweet potatoes and broccoli with a side of tofu and when I got home, it hit the spot. The comfort food also made me feel better in the morning since I didn't have that bloated, puffy feeling from eating the old way. Dig is on a mission to make fast-casual be fast, casual and healthy, and the chain is now in New York, Boston, Ryebrook and Philadelphia.

Dig founder Adam Eskin started his restaurant career as an investor and executive chef at a fitness-oriented chain called the Pump, which offered both calorie counts and nutrition facts to diners looking to avoid carbs.

A self-proclaimed "chubby kid” Eskin had spent time in finance and when the model wasn't growing they changed it over to a more whole-food concept of freshly prepared food delivered to fast-casual diners who want to avoid the bad stuff, whether they eat meat or not, and know that this food is "sourced from farmers with whom we could have a conversation," Eskin explained to Edible Manhattan when he first re-fashioned the business. “People are becoming more educated and they’re learning more, and as they read and learn and watch, the idea that this food is something they should be consuming is becoming more prevalent, and so more and more people are lining up to try it.”  Dig Inn sets out to create food that is fresh, delicious and affordable and offers vegan or plant-based choices so you can eat your comfort food and know that it's also healthy.

More From The Beet