Mod market has been in the denver area since 2010; they specialize in delicious, affordable food from simple, whole ingredients within the fast-casual dining scene. They were one of the trailblazers to put nutritional information on their menus in addition to, sourcing seasonal ingredients for their recipes. Over the past couple of years they have been a leader in providing accessible healthy meal options under $10. Simply put, mod market fills the void for ‘fast food’ and ‘healthy eating’ in one.
Denver’s newest mod market just opened downtown on the 16th street mall. This location used to be a mcdonalds so you can imagine why the owners, anthony and rob, stripped everything down to the studs to remodel the space. Now, clean lines, a wall of live plants, bright pops of color and wood accents make this place feel fresh and clean.
Two weeks ago, mod market hosted a press event during their grand opening and I was invited to attend along with about 40 other local bloggers and food writers. We tasted our way through the menu which included sandwiches, salads, pizzas and homestyle plates. The sandwiches were filling and chalked-full of fresh ingredients like the arugula mozz sandwich; fresh mozzarella, basil, basil aioli, arugula, tomatoes and a balsamic reduction. There are also tons of great salads on the menu including the superfood and farmer. The salads have tons of texture and flavor that pack a punch without a ton of unwanted calories. I would pass on ordering the pizzas though, as they are a bit of an afterthought and sadly, I was not impressed with the steak on the homestyle menu or flatiron salad.
(clockwise from top left: the farmer salad / fresh plant wall to enjoy while in line to oder / wood accents and thomas edison lights / tofu and cauliflower homestyle plate / bright yellow chairs)
However, the dish I loved most was from the homestyle menu; sesame and ginger spiced tofu over a bed of mediterranean quinoa with roasted cauliflower. I was most apprehensive of this dish but after one bite, I was hooked. The sauteed tofu had a firm outside but silky interior and the cauliflower was seasoned with garam masala, an indian spice mix of clove, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom and peppercorns. For me, this dish felt like something you would order in a sit-down restaurant which shows the thought and time put into many of the recipes at mod market.
I have eaten at other mod markets before but had never heard about the values and goals behind the brand. Throughout the event, the owners and staff talked candidly about their love of scratch-cooking, healthy eating and making environmentally conscious decisions. I was equally impressed to learn mod market sources their bread from udi’s (another locally based bread company) and their menu satisfies nearly every dietary restriction, vegan, celiac, paleo, raw, low carb and many more. Every order is made from scratch and the staff are gracious and excited about the product they are putting out. I know I will be going back to mod market soon and with the knowledge I gained on the brand, it makes me feel even better to support a company who is consciously putting it’s diner’s health first.