Darrow’s Farm Fresh Takeout is the latest addition to the local, healthy eating scene. It is right around the corner from Union Square on 18th street, and its proximity to the Union Square Farmer’s Market is no coincidence since the main mission is to serve locally sourced food. The restaurant opened in early January and will begin accepting Campus Cash and Tapingo this week. For a limited time, there is also a 10% discount for NYU students.
If you are still not convinced you should check this place out, then let us walk you through the Darrow’s experience.
There are two sections in Darrow’s. If you are looking for a quick bite to eat, the downstairs section is Chipotle-esque – perfect for grab and go. Upstairs, it is more of a sit down restaurant style. There are iPads on the tables for quick and easy service, but you can also choose to order from a waiter. The mood changes in the evening, when the iPads go away and the bar opens to serve cocktails, beer and wine.
As for the food, there are smoothies, brunch options and larger entrées. There is also a ‘create-your-own’ plate option. Desserts will also be on the menu soon. According to the manager, Jim Switzer, more menu items will be local as the weather gets warmer. From the lunch menu, we tried the Stress Relief Plate ($13.75) with avocado toast, rainbow chard and smashed sweet potatoes, as well as the Protein Plate ($13.75) with quinoa, amaranth, edamame, butternut squash cakes, sautéed kale and roasted Brussels sprouts. Of those items, the sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts emerged as standouts.
Peter Darrow is the founder and owner of the restaurant. His inspiration for the restaurant came last summer when his father passed away from cancer. It was then that it occurred to him that his passion is for providing healthier and unprocessed food options to New Yorkers who want to make positive lifestyle changes. He recalled his father telling him that you will only be successful if you do something you’re passionate about. “I’m really passionate about helping people, and this is the only way I know how to do it,” said Darrow.
Another key point in the concept behind the restaurant is taking away the emphasis from different labels, with Darrow even banning categorizing buzz words like “raw” and “macrobiotic.” For Darrow, “the emphasis is on plant based, clean, pure food. It’s not about labeling people.” To him, opening this restaurant is about offering more options in an optimal environment for New Yorkers—whether that’s a quick lunch or a place to sit and stay.
“It’s about building bridges—not building walls. It’s about providing New Yorkers with better options.”
Address: 115 E 18th St (bet Park and Irving)
Hours: Sun-Thu 11:30am to 10pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am to midnight