Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mod, but not post-Mod

Up the road, formerly known as the "turnpike," from quiet suburban Arvada is Boulder. And, in Boulder is the neatest little eatery, Mod Market. It's our third lunchtime encounter; each one has been delightful.

Photo by Rita

What do they specialize in? Flatbread brick-oven pizzas and salads. Rita always orders the half-salad/half-pizza; I go for the full pizza. This time Rita had the Mongolian salad and Greek pizza. I had the M'Pizza (basically a margherita) -- the red sauce is thick and spicy without being too spicy; the other two times I had the steak pizza. One of the nice bonuses of Mod is the $ 2 wine (in stemless glasses); Barefoot is Mod's primary choice. In addition to the simple water fountain, soda water (without the soda pop) is available, plus lemon wedges. (Unfortunately, the soda water doesn't take out margherita red sauce stains.)

Order from the counter (watch the salad being prepared), take the salad and pay, receive a number (placed on top of a combo condiment holder on your chosen table), and have your wine and pizza delivered. Six white-coated chefs/servers take care of your order from beginning to end.

The clientele is quite diverse, from suit-and-tie to spandex. Parents with young children are common. Background music is jazz, from electronic to Take Five.

Mod Market is located within the newly rebuilt 29th Street (now outdoor) mall. It's full of eating places, many of which offer the same kind of service as Mod. Most are chains: Rumbi's (Hawaiian-Tropical), Daphne's (Greek), and Islands (California burgers), each of which we've enjoyed; we've visited other locations of the three, including Westminster, Denver (now apparently closed), and Encino. More upscale is Cafe Laredo. Rita, speaking about Mod: "It's worth the trip to Boulder."

"Mod, put not post-Mod?" Everything about Mod Market hangs together, from the food to the decor to the pizza plates; nothing is deconstructed. The curve on the north wall-to-ceiling is visually extended by the outside patio cover to the west. The single entrance-to-patio bench possesses the same, mirror-imaged curve, while the facing chairs have the same white finish. Green grass "sprouts" from a narrow box the full length of the wall, illuminated by bead-lighting, while the bench is back-lit from start to finish. One's first entrance into the clean, white, and bright, with circular curves and cylindrically-repeated space can be intimidating. It's interesting to watch first-timers attempt to get their bearings, especially as they step inside and back to take-in the hanging menu. Friendly chefs/servers answer questions and offer suggestions. It's easy to imagine that local residents are quick to join the Mod squad of regular diners.

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