A slew of health-themed restaurants have opened in Dallas recently, including True Food Kitchen, LYFE Kitchen and Modmarket, all focused in various ways on “clean” eating.
But up to now the boom had largely passed Tarrant by, although with Spiral Diner and Righteous Foods, Fort Worth has some worthy homegrown originals.
So I’m cheering the arrival in Southlake of Modmarket, which opens Monday in Park Village, the new shopping center that’s also home to Fresh Market and REI.
Modmarket has opened Denton and Dallas County locations in the past year, so I made a trip to Flower Mound to check it out.
The restaurant offers fast-casual service, an appealingly modern and minimalist decor, and very reasonable prices ($2 house wine!). I found good meatless choices on every section of the menu, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are all clearly labeled. There are enough options here that those of us with special diets don’t have to peruse the meat dishes and think about asking for substitutions.
There’s always a vegan and a vegetarian soup (curry yellow split pea and broccoli cheddar, respectively), and three of the eight hearty salads are vegetarian. I started with the smaller version of the Superfoods Salad ($5.60), and was actually excited by it, though I’m usually a grump about restaurant salads. It’s a spinach-kale blend topped with quinoa pilaf, feta, carrots, almonds, red grapes and a perfect champagne vinaigrette. In the larger size, this would be a full meal I could eat every day.
If you look at Modmarket’s online menu, you can click on any dish and get an almost comically detailed list of ingredients. I learned that the greens in the Superfoods Salad are “teen spinach leaves tossed with a freshly shredded blend of 3 raw baby kales,” and the vinaigrette has champagne vinegar, raw shallots, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and a 75/25 canola/olive oil blend.
I also like the kale and mushroom pizza, which is vegan ($7.75 whole, $4.50 half). Modmarket’s default crust, cooked in a brick oven at 700 degrees, is whole-wheat, but a gluten-free version is available. This pizza had great kale flavor (from red Russian, lacinato and curly green varieties) and high-quality mushrooms (cremini and shiitake). I didn’t miss the cheese, but there are several vegetarian pizzas here for cheese lovers.
Modmarket also offers “homestyle plates,” starring chicken, steak or tofu and a choice of two vegetarian sides out of five. The ginger-sesame tofu was beautifully seasoned and satisfying (and I’m also not usually a tofu enthusiast), as were my two sides, rosemary sweet potato mash and rainbow balsamic carrots.
Thankfully, Modmarket doesn’t hit you over the head with health claims, but those details are there if you care to look. The sales receipt includes a little nutrition chart covering everything you ordered. It tells you calories, carb and protein grams for each dish, plus what percentage of a 2,000 or 2,500 daily calorie allowance you’ve just blown.
And I loved seeing a famous Michael Pollan quotation on the side of my to-go pizza box: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
If this is the future of fast-casual dining, sign me up.
Modmarket opens Monday at 1161 E. Southlake Blvd.; modmarket.com. Timed slots for the soft opening this weekend are sold out.
Cafe Modern has announced details for its Meatless in Cowtown wine dinner on July 23. The five-course menu features everyday vegetarian recipes from local author Laura Samuel Meyn’s new Meatless in Cowtown cookbook, each paired with a different wine from Lubbock’s McPherson Cellars. Dishes include a potato, onion and egg torta with tomatillo-avocado salsa verde; mixed mushroom risotto with parsley and truffle oil; and Texas peach cobbler. Meyn and winemaker Kim McPherson will speak, and a signed copy of the cookbook is included in the price. Tickets are $120, $99 for Modern members. Call 817-840-2157 for reservations. www.themodern.org/cafe.