Executive Chef Ype re-invents the diner with new vegan, vegetarian, and healthier items including meatless miso burger, Asian brown rice bowls, avocado toast, and more!
Silver Diner’s Executive Chef Ype Von Hengst has completely revamped the new Silver Diner menu. It’s the first major menu remake in ten years with more than 25 percent changed. “It was ten years ago that we extensively changed menu items and implemented a large number of farm-to-table items. This year, we’ve shortened the menu to increase quality and have added a lot of new items,” said Von Hengst.
It’s all part of Silver Diner’s work in reinventing the diner. The company took a major step ten years ago when they began sourcing in a big way from area farms—something some traditional suppliers did not think they could accomplish with fourteen restaurants and high-volume traffic. “It was initially a challenge to locally source given our volume,” Von Hengst admits.
Silver Diner has made changes along the way including the addition of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lower calorie items but the entire menu has not been edited this drastically in ten years. The changes have been customer tested over the past few months and have received positive customer feedback and input.
“We’ve learned from our research on the industry trends and from our customers that shorter menus with higher quality food are more popular,” Von Hengst added. The Silver Diner executive team takes regular food research trips to specific areas of the country—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc. Recently, they traveled to LA where they spent three days at the most popular restaurants evaluating their menus and speaking with owners, wait staff and diners. “Through these trips we get a good sense of new trends that are working,” Von Hengst explained.
And from this recent trip, comes some of the most popular new menu items—Asian rice and grain bowls, meatless miso burgers, burrata avocado toast, roasted vegan dishes, acai yogurt bowls, additional brunch items—to name a few. The bar at Silver Diner now adds bloody Mary’s and mimosas to its line up of wines and beers. “Customers asked for more sophisticated menu items for brunch,” said Von Hengst.
And for those who are worried that the diner is venturing too far from of its roots, the most popular classics remain. “We’ve learned over the years that, as customers eating habits change, we must too,” added Von Hengst. “We are still tied to our flexitarian philosophy however—it’s all about choice and we have lots of choice for our customers.”
Over the past years, Silver Diner has received high marks for its healthy kids’ menu as well. To the point where it garnered attention from Childhood Obesity180 and Tufts University who ran a study of children’s eating trends at the restaurant and concluded that Silver Diner is a national model that other restaurants should emulate.
To learn more about Silver Diner, visit www.silverdiner.com.