/ Greeley

"Welcome to MOD!"

"Welcome to MOD!" the pizzaiolos shouted from behind the counter, however pizza is not the only meal choice this restaurant can make-to-order.

The reassuring crowd of others - who were looking up at the menu hanging on the wall deciding what peaked their interest - gathered near the entrance and congested the line to place an order. No worry, though, as most let the more confident patrons through after a short scuffle.

MOD Pizza, situated near other recently-developed restaurants along Centerplace Drive in south Greeley, might be hard to find for those unfamiliar with the area. It's 4365 street address is also home to two other restaurants.

The aroma of pizza cooked in a wood oven filled the establishment's rather tall ceilings. It was intoxicating and relieving: a pizza establishment should smell like pizza. A vintage-esque marquee arrow lit the way to the front of the line. The man behind the counter said that all the toppings were included in the price and proceeded to take orders.

Because over half of the human population has difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar present in milk, it was nice to see three standard and one seasonal salad option on the menu.

January's rather dry weather kept the floors clean, but they might be covered in a gritty layer of ice melt within the next 24-hours. The lack of a vestibule caused a wave of cool air to sweep through the dining room with each entrance or exit.

Turn your back from the line for one second to observe those coming in, and you immediately notice the phrase: "We make pizza so we can serve people. We call it spreading modness. Welcome to MOD." Its location might seem out of place as those who are most likely to notice it are the ones leaving, but the line moves quickly. The warmth of the drink display case radiating near the floor warms your feet as you approach the cash register.

Its maximum occupancy certificate (118 persons) hangs near the entrance and attracts attention while trying to find a table, but there is not an abundance of seating: just a handful of tables with metal farmhouse chairs and a booth along the length of the back wall occupy the space.

The MOD sized, 380-calorie Caesar salad was just as crisp as any romaine-based salad should be, but the lack of lemon distinguished it from a true "Caesar-tasting" salad. But this can be forgivable as MOD Pizza does not specialize in salads.

The fake brick and reclaimed wood shows just how much of a chain MOD Pizza really is. The MOD Squad (as they call themselves) were more than happy to help regardless of the d├ęcor and carried smiles on their faces as closing time was fast approaching.

The compostable utensils and cups from Boulder-based Eco-Products, unbleached napkins and dedicated bin for recycling show their commitment to the environment. The lack of packaging was easy to overlook but greatly appreciated.

"Thanks for coming in!" one woman shouted over the sound of pans clanging together and the drone of unrecognizable music. The door briefly opened only to be sealed again, waiting for the next customer to come or go.


Image courtesy MOD Pizza