INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - How often do you leave your desk to take a lunch? A whopping 83 percent of Americans typically ‘desktop dine' in an effort to save time and money, according to a survey by The American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods.
"There's a whole segment of the dining population called the ‘desktop diner' and that's really who we're trying to cater to," says Chef Neal Brown , creative force behind Brown Bag – a first of its kind weekday lunch service with locally sourced, chemical-free foods delivered to downtown Indianapolis offices.
Brown Bag launched in January 2013 as a lunch delivery service. It offers a seasonally set menu with two daily meal options: omnivore ($12) and vegetarian ($11). The Brown Bag meals are prepared daily in The Libertine kitchen by Sous Chef Paul Haveck, just before the lunchtime rush.
"Today we have a Cochinita Pibil Taco – it's slowly roasted pork with chilies and a lot of citrus," says Haveck as he organizes restaurant workers to assemble meals. "Our vegetarian option today is a roasted, wood-fired mushroom and we add roasted poblanos to that as well."
Brown describes the process of creating the menu as a chance to think about "lighter fare that takes a little longer for your body to digest." Instead of putting a traditional burger on the menu, the Brown Bag team chose a Bison Sloppy Joe, for example.
"It's a leaner cut of meat, same level of protein, less fat, and it just doesn't weigh you down like a traditional cheeseburger would," says Brown. "Lunch should energize you. People don't want to have to lay their head on their desk at 3 o'clock because their meal was too heavy."
Lunch orders must be made by 10 a.m. each day, then bicycle-bound couriers from Indy Couriers pick up the meals to deliver to downtown businesses.
The Brown Bag concept has proven popular with businesses not only for the food quality, but the presentation as well. The meals are loaded into chrome tiffins – a type of lunch box used widely in India—instead of brown paper bags, as the name suggests.
Indiana Humanities has become a frequent Brown Bag patron, ordering about thirty meals at a time for its "INconversations" at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMoca) .
"Every time we (order the food), it's something different," says Brandon Judkins, Director of Programs for Indiana Humanities. "We have yet to not have people consistently blown away by the quality of food once they open their beautiful little tiffin."
Indianapolis food blogger Sara Croft of Solid Gold Eats ordered the vegetarian Brown Bag and was impressed with the flavor.
"The roasted mushrooms are fantastic for vegetarians," said Croft. "If you're not interested in vegetarian food, then this is definitely something to try."
For more information on Brown Bag or to place an order, call 317.987.6866 or go to their website: http://brownbagindy.in/ .
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