When driving down Austin’s Jollyville Road recently, I noticed a sign for a new eatery called Modern Market. And very shortly after, I began seeing people I follow on Instagram post insanely delicious- looking food shots from Modern Market. I knew I had to get there, and quick, so I did. And? Well, let’s just say that the Instagram posts weren’t exaggerating.
Modern Market has something for everyone: It’s perfect for vegans, Paleos or folks just trying to be a bit more health conscious when dining out. What I love about the menu is the way it lists the nutritional statistics for each item, which you can then sort by diet preferences on their online menu. A quick “gluten-free” filter, for instance, showed me that almost ANY item can be made gluten-free here. HURRAH.
Modern Market serves breakfast and brunch until 11am, so while my 6pm arrival time counted that option out, I most certainly will be back to try the eggs, prosciutto, waffles and coffee I spied on that menu.
Since we did arrive at dinnertime, we chose from the lunch and dinner menu, which consisted of salads, sandwiches, soups, homestyle plates and pizzas. Upon first glance, so many delicious-looking options was a bit daunting: Do I go for the Tenderbelly Bacon BLT+A, made with nitrate-, hormone- and antibiotic-free bacon? Or the Fiesta salad with a red pepper vinaigrette? Or the Green Chicken Chili? Lucky for me (and anyone else having a hard time deciding what to order), the eatery does a half-and-half option.
I went with a half-order of the Thai Coconut Salad, which consisted of mixed greens, roasted chicken, sweet potatoes, cucumber, grated coconut and a peanut mango dressing—the dressing was not Paleo, but there was an option to substitute if desired—and a cup of the Curry Yellow Lentil Soup—again, not Paleo, but gluten-free, and made with a coconut milk broth. I loved the flavors in my salad; the chicken was insanely moist and tender. I could have gone for a full size of this for sure, but I did have my soup waiting. And the lentil soup was delicious, maybe a bit light on the curry flavor, but yummy nonetheless. (I may be biased here: I live for curry, so the more curry flavor, the better.)
My husband (A.K.A. my lucky dining partner) got the full-sized Pesto and Sausage Pizza (six slices) on a gluten-free crust. (Heads up: Some items, like sandwiches and pizzas, require an up-charge for gluten-free, as is often the case in most places.) And that pizza? Well, they nailed it with this one. The crust was light and soft and slightly crispy around the edges, a perfect device for getting all of that garlicky, pesto-cheesy goodness into our mouths.
The relative speed it took to make our food was impressive, especially as we saw them bake the pizza in a huge oven right in front of us. The serving size was also impressive: My half-salad was a generous portion, and my cup of soup was more like a small bowl.
We spent about $25 total, which was a great value for the food we (REALLY) enjoyed. The receipt even included the nutritional information for the items we ordered. At most quick eateries this could be alarming (think cheeseburgers and fries!) but here it was nice to see that I was getting such a great amount of protein in my dinner—and that their pizza didn’t contain 5,000 calories.
I love that Modern Market embraces seasonal produce, and works to provide the best quality meat and vegetables for their dishes. I noticed Vital Farms eggs are used for their egg dishes, which is super exciting to me because it’s a brand I know and trust. All of these little extras—the quality of the proteins, the options for customizing your meal to fit your dietary restrictions or preferences, the speed of service, the value—leave me thrilled that this spot has opened up so close to my home. I can already tell that this will become one of my go-tos.
The verdict? Without a doubt: Head to the Modern Market closest to you. Like, right now.
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