Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Good Eats: modmarket

Before I get to modmarket, first I have to say – wow! Wasn’t yesterday’s Boston Marathon just insanely inspirational? While it must have been an incredibly disappointing day for Shalane Flanagan, who said in a post-race interview “I just love Boston so much… I just wanted my love for Boston to be portrayed through my race today.” Well, Shalane, it did. It was obvious from the start that she was going to give it all she had and the look of determination on her face as she crossed the finish line showed that she had. Unfortunately it wasn’t her day to win, but the streets were still hers. I’m also feeling for Desiree Linden (ne Davila) who quickly fell back from the lead pack but she too, ran an awesome race – a PR for her – 20 seconds under her second place finish time last year. That just tells you how fast Shalane pushed the lead group through the first 19 miles. Crazy. And of course, big props have to be given to Rita Jeptoo who ran an incredible race. “She’s faster than the T!” On the opposite end of the spectrum Meb Keflezighi absolutely rocked the day! He is doing amazing things for distance running in the U.S. and on top of that – he’s nearly 39 years old!!

One last thing…. I have to say a big CONGRATS to all the Oiselle Team women who ran Boston on Monday! There are some seriously fast birds on the team! I hope they celebrate all week long, cause they deserve it!

And now to the regularly scheduled post…

There’s a local restaurant chain that I’m getting hooked on: modmarket. Based in Boulder with 7 locations in the Boulder/Denver area, with more on the way, the chain goes by the tagline: farm fresh eateries.

I’ve enjoyed modmarket three times, the first last September during a late night at work when a colleague ordered in from the Boulder location, and once in March with Woody not long after this latest location opened on the 16th Street Mall and again for dinner on my own the other week while Woody was out of town. The chain is known for fresh, local, and healthy foods. Which is right up my alley.

Modmarket 16th St

Their values and beliefs seem to be a driving force behind the company:

  • We care about people
  • We spread health & happiness
  • Every ingredient matters to us
  • We embrace transparency
  • Healthy is our lifestyle

You can see these values and beliefs come to life – whole, natural ingredients that can be traced back to the source; they really pay attention to all the details, the design of the restaurants, marketing, and how dishes are plated; and one thing that’s incredibly important to me is that they tell you what you’re getting, in that you can see the nutritional values for each dish and what exactly is in it to the point that the online menu provides details on each ingredient.

modmarket receipt

While the menu lists all the nutrition facts, they’re all printed out on the receipt too. Okay, so we know the beer and bread aren’t calorie free – unfortunately – like this looks, but it was great to see what was on our plates.

Modmarket interior

The modern and clean design is a perfect fit with the brand and makes the space bright, cheery, and welcoming. A place where you’ll want to hang out, enjoy the food on your plate and the company you’re with. I love the little details like the bag hooks at the end of the tables – any restaurant with bag hooks gets bonus points from me! At modmarket you’ll find a well thought out, high-quality, fast casual restaurant.

modmarket details

modmarket salad

The Thai Coconut Salad – mixed greens, roasted chicken, grated coconut, cucumber, roasted sweet potato and peanut mango dressing. It was insanely delicious and a pretty generous size, which was perfect because there was enough to take home and enjoy the next night.

Of note, they serve local beer and a few wines (not local) – with a few options as low as $3 per glass! Can’t beat that.

So far my only unfortunate thing I’ve found about this place is that breakfast is only served till 10:30am, even on weekends. Woody and I were hoping to eat there after bootcamp the other week but we were denied having arrived at 10:49am. Major bummer.

Last but not least… this Saturday is the big day. Moving day. We’ll see how this whole house ownership thing goes. I’ve been living in apartments for a decade so it’s going to be a big adjustment.

Have any favorite Boston Marathon moments? * Are you a marathon runner or have you been inspired by this year’s race? * What makes a restaurant a favorite for you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Today and Every Day

We Run

Today it’s impossible not to think about our fellow runners and their families whose lives were changed forever one year ago. Their stories and dedication won’t be forgotten. We stand and run in solidarity with runners around the world as one thing is for certain, no one can take away our love of running, our love for a challenge and our love for tradition. In the face of adversity we come together and are stronger than ever.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Running Tour of Downtown Denver

If all goes as planned, in less than two weeks we’ll be moved out of our Downtown Denver apartment and into our very own house. While we’ll still be in Denver, we won’t be as close to the downtown core where we’ve been running, eating and exploring for the past nine months. So, before we pack up our things again, I thought I’d take you on a little tour of downtown Denver – a typical Sunday morning run.

It starts at the park…

commons park west

Didn’t know Denver had a beach, did you?

Confluence Park

On warm days this trail is packed with tons of people running, walking, and riding bikes.

Cherry Creek Trail2

I haven’t yet figured out why this one block is called a square, but it’s filled with great restaurants, bars and shops.

Larimer Square

Arts Complex

Blue by mistake, the name of this 40 foot tall bear is “I see what you mean”

Convention Center

Civic Center Park is a pretty impressive area lined with governmental buildings (local and state), museums and other stately looking buildings.

Civic Center Park

City & County Building

Denver Art Museum

Colorado State Capitol Building

View from The Capitol Steps

5280

Uptown is a popular neighborhood with great restaurants like Steuben’s and Ace.

Uptown

The Brown Palace, which reminds me a little of the Flatiron Building, opened in 1892 and has been operating as a hotel ever since. Two interesting facts: every President since Teddy Roosevelt has visited the hotel except for Calvin Coolidge and it was recently purchased for $103 million.

Brown Palace

The 16th Street Mall runs through the heart of downtown Denver and is open only to pedestrians and the (free) mall bus. While there are some great restaurants and shops, the overall collection is slightly odd but it’s still a great place to enjoy on a warm sunny day.

16th St Mall

Home of the Rockies.

Coors Field

Wynkoop St

Colorado is known for its growing craft brewing industry and downtown Denver has no shortage for breweries. Co-founded by our current Governor, Wynkoop is one of the oldest and most well-known.

Wynkoop Brewing

Union Station is currently undergoing a huge transformation and will be re-opening soon – filled with restaurants, shops, and the new hub for Amtrak and local public transportation. It will be a great new addition to the city.

Union Station

Millennium Bridge

And the tour is complete. Thanks for coming along. If you visit Denver, I’d be happy to take you on this tour by foot!

Commons Park West2

Do you prefer running in urban areas or along quiet streets and trails? * What’s keeping you busy this week?