Due to the short growing season in Colorado, locals are only granted the luxurious proximity to fresh ingredients for a few months of the year. As snow begins to fall and the temperature drops, we forget the feeling of strolling through a farmers market on a Saturday morning, interacting with farmers and sellers who are passionate about fresh produce and sustainable farming practice. We forget how good it feels to buy fresh breakfast from a small stand and know exactly where each component of that meal came from. Just a 15-minute drive from campus on 1765 Briargate Parkway is the closest thing we have to a farmers market, and it’s open year-round.
Modern Market Eatery makes nutritious eating feel accessible and wonderfully simple. Light wooden floors and walls give the restaurant an earthy and casual feel, and a large seating area is lined with cute booths decorated in colorful stripes. Almost immediately upon entering, customers are expected to walk up to a small counter at the front to order their meal of choice before finding a spot to sit.
Within 10 minutes of ordering, fresh, warm, and intricately designed food is placed on the table in front of you. Modern Market sources basic produce from local farmers, ranchers, and suppliers with sustainable practices, to create beautiful and creative meals for customers to enjoy. Walking into Modern Market feels like a beautiful combination of strolling through a local farmers market and dining at a quaint and contemporary café. The space is filled with a vibrant energy that seems to explode straight from the food they serve.
The Modern Market website reads, “We obsess over the details of everything we do. That chicken we serve? Took three years to find, and two more to perfect the seasoning. Our tomatoes? We tried 30 varieties. We often do things the hard way because we think it tastes just a little better. Little details matter to us, a lot.” This relationship to food is inspiring to customers in the way each meal on the menu presents itself as a dish anyone could create. The restaurant encourages customers to remember the source of our nutrition and the ease in which we can fuel ourselves with colorful, delicious, and healthy food. The farmers market feel of the restaurant enables a welcoming space for everyone.
The menu offers a simple selection of fresh salads, including a Thai coconut salad made with mixed greens, roasted chicken, sweet potato, toasted coconut, cucumber, pickled onion, cilantro, toasted peanut, and a peanut-mango dressing. This salad is an example of the way in which Modern Market combines everyday ingredients to create an unique and flavorful meal; who knew salad could taste so complex? The menu also offers a selection of grain bowls, including a lemongrass pork bowl, made with fresh pulled pork, jalapeño, and a chili vinegar dressing. The restaurant offers homemade soups that are seasonal and fresh, brick oven pizzas — including a very unusual bacon and corn pizza — toasted sandwiches, and hand-carved plates. The hand-carved plates are composed of a selection of meat or tofu, all antibiotic-free and farmed as sustainably as the restaurant can source, with two sides open to the customers’ choosing.
“The space was so open, but it still included a number of more private booths,” said Jackie Bonasia ’19. “The overall vibe was airy and organic. It made me feel like I was in a fresh mood market.” The Modern Market website talks about “food that moves you forward,” and the quick, unprocessed, and personalized quality of the restaurant and their food feels just that way: energizing and inviting.