Looking to try some new, local fare?

by Angelica Leicht

Looking for a new spot to grab a bite in Durango? Or, are you looking for a place that isn’t inundated by tourists year-round (yet)? You may want to keep your eyes on the old Zia Taqueria spot on North Main.

When the Zia North location moved to its new location at 2977 Main, it left a prime spot for a new restaurant in its wake. If you were hoping a hip new eatery would open up there, well, you’re in luck. A new hip eatery is opening there. Surprise!

Say hello to Sage Farm Fresh Eats, which is taking over the old Zia spot. This new joint will feature a fast casual menu filled with all of the uber-healthy dishes Durangoans love to nosh on, including salads, sandwiches, grain bowls, and soups.

And, even better? Most of the food will be sourced from local agriculture so you can eat local while, well, eating local.

This new concept is the brainchild of Carly Van Hof Thomson, co-owner of both Zia and Sage.

Sage’s ties to Zia don’t stop there, either. This new fast casual spot has plans to operate much like its beloved burrito spot cousin down the road, with counter service and a rotating menu of deliciousness.

That lineup is slated to offer a slew of new soups, which will include both vegan and vegetarian options for you meat-free folks. There will also be gluten-free options on the menu for those who need or want to go gluten-free.

The soup menu will rotate from day to day, but some of the options include classics like Mulligatawny, Broccoli Cheddar, Roasted Tomato Bisque, Curry & Sage Butternut Squash, Chicken & Dumplings, and Sweet Potato Corn Chowder.

There’s also room on the menu for more unique options, like Shrimp & Duck Gumbo, Peach Gazpacho, and Chilled Melon & Mint. What you can find each day at Sage will depend highly on the season.

And, as you may have guessed, there will also be plenty of sandwich options to pair with the six daily soups. The plan is to offer a number of different grilled cheeses and even a grilled PB&J.

Some of the more unique sandwich offerings include things like the Smoked LuvBox tempeh, a lettuce, tomato and basil aioli on toasted sourdough focaccia made with locally-sourced tempeh. There’s also the Steak & White Cheddar, which features local grass-fed braised black angus beef, sauteed mushrooms, house made pickled fennel-jalapeno slaw and horseradish sauce on toasted sea salt ciabatta.

But while the menu will change from day to day, one thing will stay consistent: the items you can choose from will be based on local seasonality to take advantage of Durango’s unique agricultural offerings, like local produce.

That will include a push for utilizing produce that is either in abundance or may not be a big hit at farmers’ markets or other outlets, like bruised tomatoes or an oddly-shaped zucchini.

The plan is to work with the same farms that Zia currently sources from. Those include Adobe House Farms, Fields to Plate Produce, Twin Buttes Farm, and Beet Street Farm.

“One of the things we’ve seen, and I think the local agriculture community would say the same thing, is the growing season is short in this area. And when crops come up, they’ll often have a lot of it,” Van Hof Thomson told the Durango Herald.

“It’s like, I have zucchini, and I have tons, right? And there’s only so much the local restaurants can use, right? I mean, maybe they’ve got one dish they’re featuring zucchini in and how much can they really go through. At Zia, we’ve been really heavily focused for a long time on buying local produce and buying really high volume. And this concept plans to do a similar thing, but take it a step further because we’re hoping that we can be nimble and adjust the menu and the offerings in tune to what’s coming out of the fields,” she said.

Ready to nosh on some new local fare? Sage Farm Fresh Eats will be open starting in late March. You can check them out at 3101 Main Ave, Suite #5, in Durango

Angelica Leicht


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