No. 70: Curried split pea soup from Modmarket
Laptop geeks? Everywhere. Colorado-centric surfaces, most of them reclaimed, recycled or re-purposed? Definitely. A futuristic, fashion-forward restaurant design? Yes, that, too. Bubbling brick-oven pizzas, housemade sparkling waters, organic iced teas and leafy salads mixed with good-looking, mostly organic ingredients? Check. A vegan, gluten-free soup that's thronged with strong, vibrant flavors that's the object of my unrequited love?
Shockingly, yes. Modmarket, with locations in Boulder and Denver, is known for its pizzas, but each day, the fast-casual emporium pimps a trio of soups, and on a whim, on a cold, blustery day, the curried split pea spoke to me -- and once the first spoonful slapped my tongue, I acquiesced, shelving all my preconceived snobberies of things that are vegan. The soup, a gigantic bowlful studded with yellow split peas, aromatic with bay leaves, curry powder and garlic, and thick with tomatoes and carrots, giving it a subtle sweetness, rocked my carnivorous world, and rather than using cream to lend richness, the kitchen uses coconut milk, one of my favorite ingredients in the world. Vegan fantasy achieved.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our countdown are linked below:
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No. 100: Italian wedding soup from the Squeaky Bean No. 99: American Classic Burger (and fries) from Tarbell's No. 98: E's clam linguini from Mangiamo Pronto No. 97: Queso a la plancha taco from the Pinche Tacos wagon No. 96: Prosciutto-wrapped jalapeño poppers from Tony's Market No. 95: Fried chicken from the Pinyon No. 94: Seafood soup from Farro No. 93: Posole from The Porker No. 92: Breakfast Burrito from the Taco Wagon in Lafayette No. 91: Hummus from Shish Kabob Grill No. 90: Albondigas meatballs from Solera No. 89: Lemon-ricotta doughnuts from Olivéa No. 88: Döner kabob from Shondiz No. 87: Roasted cauliflower salad from Euclid Hall No. 86: Beef cheek enchiladas from El Diablo No. 85: Fried Brussels sprouts from Panzano No. 84: Pork osso buco from Osteria Marco No. 83: Cazuela Colombiana from Cafe Brazil No. 82: Chicken potpie from Devil's Food No. 81: Sichuan braised beef noodle soup from Zoe Ma Ma No. 80: Larb nua from Taste of Thailand No. 79: Pork shank from Argyll No. 78: Truffo panino from Shangri-La Cafe No. 77: Pig-snout tacos from Guadalajara Authentic Mexican Buffet No. 76: Speck and maple ice cream from Pizzeria Basta No. 75: Tom yum goong from Thai Flavor No. 74: South African black ruff from TAG No. 73: Gumbo from Bistro One No. 72: New England clam chowder from Bittersweet No. 71: Celery and lime popsicle from Spuntino
In late 2009, we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- one hundred, to be exact -- as a precursor to the Best of Denver 2010 issue. Now we're back with round two, counting down (in no particular order) a hundred more of our favorite Denver dishes in a list that, by our imperfect calculations, should be wrapped up by the time the Best of Denver 2011 hits the streets on March 31. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.