When we first heard about restaurants being required to post calorie counts, we figured they’d run from the requirement, not toward it.
Well, one enlightened, growing chain has figured out how to accommodate the calorie count in two ways: 1) they print the nutrition and calorie information right on your individual receipt; 2) they create healthy food that also tastes good. In fact, if you read the Yelp reviews, it tastes great.
That’s how today’s modern market—branded as Modmarket—has addressed America’s need for informed, healthy eating that accommodates food sensitivities and allergies head on. The concept started in Colorado in 2011, quickly moving into eight locations in that state (with more coming) and spreading now into Texas. The founders are Anthony Pigliacampo and Rob McColgan, who left their worlds of engineering and finance to create a place where they personally felt good about eating.
The pitching points of Modmarket include farm fresh, seasonal, quick, and affordable. The restaurants have clean lines similar to what Rick Bayless has done with Xoco in Chicago, or David Chang’s Momofuko Noodle Bar in New York, where the food is the focus and it’s presented in an environment that doesn’t detract from the idea of fresh and sustainable.
What’s more, the menu caters to vegan, Paleo, and raw food diets, along with many others, making it easy for those with dietary needs to be satisfied without having to ask for special treatment. It’s real food made from scratch, cooked with old fashioned methods, with few ingredients. Salads, for example, include the Wintergreen, with spinach, goat cheese, roasted potato, walnuts, apple, dates, and agave herb vinaigrette (596 calories, if you were wondering). Sandwiches offer an Arugula Mozz, or go with the Thai Chicken to be completely on trend. Brick oven pizzas are popular choices, with a Bacon Corn at the top of the list–complete with creme fraiche, roasted corn, nitrate free bacon, and a whole grain dough.
If you look at our 2015 Food Trends, you’ll see that we’ve noticed more restaurant operators taking over control of their menu rather than leaving it to the guests. That’s the type of philosophy you see at Modmarket—where they even offer to refer you to other restaurants if you don’t like their style!
For all those reasons we’ve identified ModMarket as a “Restaurant to Watch” in 2015. Perhaps we’ll see you there.