MOD Pizza offers mediocre food at a good price

Max Sundberg

Last month, the nation-wide chain MOD Pizza opened the doors to its sixth Colorado location in Fort Collins. The restaurant offers fully customizable thin crust pizza in a fast, casual atmosphere.

Located at 1013 Center Ave., the restaurant is the newest of Fort Collins’ over 40 restaurants specializing pizza.

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Outside of MOD, visitors will notice a large patio with ample seating. Inside, a familiar assembly line style and open kitchen can be seen, reminiscent of Chipotle or Subway. The restaurant has a simple, industrial décor and a visibly clean dining room and kitchen. A large decoration reading “Fort Collins” is displayed across one wall.

MOD's pizza assembly line
You can choose any number of toppings on your pizza for a flat price. Photo credit: Max Sundberg

On a Friday night at around 7 p.m., the small restaurant was about half full, predominantly with college-aged customers and small clusters of families.

A worker is seen behind the assembly line feeding pizzas into a large stainless steel oven marked with the company logo. Another flattens dough with what looks like an industrial tortilla press.

MOD’s menu might seem a bit confusing at first glance, but the gist is that you can choose between one of their signature pizzas or create your own. Other menu items include garlic strips, cinnamon strips and customizable salads.

Beginning with choice of sauce and moving toward meats and vegetables, customers are able to create a highly personalized pizza. Some of the more unusual topping choices include roasted corn and whole cloves of roasted garlic.

Using their oven to cook the pizzas at 800 degrees Fahrenheit, MOD is able to turn one out in a matter of three minutes.

After the pizza has finished cooking, friendly employees offer what the restaurant calls “finishing sauce” to be drizzled on the pizza. Options include sauces like barbeque, pesto or balsamic fig glaze.

MOD's garlic strips, chocolate milkshake and sea salt toffee milkshake
The "srirancha" was good, but the marinara was disappointingly cold. Photo credit: Max Sundberg

Their standard 11-inch pizza sits at a reasonable price of $7.67 with your choice of any toppings at the flat rate. A milkshake, garlic strips and a pizza will set you back no further than $15, which is a tempting prospect for hungry college students.

Though reasonably priced at only $2.97, the garlic strips were an underwhelming appetizer. The flaccid strips of bread were about a quarter inch thick and tasted like an greasy tortilla baked with a lot of garlic. The dish was served with a side of cold marinara and the restaurant’s tasty “srirancha” sauce.

When the pizzas came out of the oven, they looked gorgeous. Attention to detail in the disbursement of toppings, golden-brown bubbly crust and the shimmer of finishing sauce lent a look of superior quality.

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Unfortunately, the pizza was mediocre at best.

MOD pizza
Pineapple, jalapenos, black olives, roasted corn, onion, grilled chicken and feta. Finished with BBQ sauce. Photo credit: Max Sundberg

The sauce, cheese and toppings were all what you might expect of a typical pizza restaurant­. It was nothing remarkable but nothing awful. The spicy Italian sausage was notably delicious.

The pizza’s crust, however, was deceiving in its attractive appearance. Similar to the garlic strips, it had the floppy, crispy and dry texture of a grilled tortilla on all but the very edge of the crust.

The restaurant’s advantage in quick cooking times derived from the super-thin, uniformly flattened crust results in an overall lackluster pie. Because the dough is pressed instead of tossed, a dry and crunchy crust seems to develop. Tossing a pizza helps to retain the moisture needed for a traditional pizzeria’s balance between crispy and slightly chewy.

MOD Pizza also offers milkshakes in classic flavors like chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Add-ins like cookie dough and sea salt toffee are available.

Should you try it out?: Maybe

For the price, MOD is an okay place to get a modest pizza in a hurry. Though, with so many pizza options available in Fort Collins, the restaurant falls short of even the top ten.

Friendly staff, a clean atmosphere and a quick meal can only go so far in a town so severely drowned in pizza and fast-casual restaurants.