I received a complimentary dinner at my local MOD Pizza in exchange for sharing my thoughts. I was not otherwise compensated, and all opinions remain my own.
A MOD Pizza opened up near me late last year, but it wasn’t until a friend of mine mentioned that she thought it was somewhat allergy friendly that I visited myself for the first time.
Little Miss has a dairy allergy, so pizza places aren’t generally our first stop when eating out, but not only can they handle her allergy with no issues, they make a fantastic pizza in no time flat that pleases any palate out there.
And yes, they can handle not just a dairy allergy but gluten intolerances and other food restrictions, as well.
MOD Pizza is growing quickly, so if you don’t have one nearby, you may soon.
The cool thing I learned when talking to Allan – my local manager – last night? When they do their soft opening, they choose a local charity and 100% of the proceeds from all pizza sales go to that charity on the first day they’re open, usually between $2,000 and $5,000.
How does MOD Pizza work?
What’s the appeal? Where to start?
When you first walk into the pizza shop, you can see the “set” menu of options that range from my dad’s favorite of the Mad Dog (mozzarella, pepperoni, mild sausage, ground beef, and MOD red sauce) to the Caspian (mozzarella, gorgonzola, BBQ chicken, barbecue sauce, and sliced red onions) to what feels like countless more.
But you are never limited just to what’s on the board. You can modify (get it? MODify?) your pizza in any way you want.
That includes changing up the sauce from the traditional red sauce to Little Miss’s favorite garlic rub with olive oil or a white sauce or even pesto.
There are more toppings than I can count, and you can add as many or as few to your pizza as you choose at no additional charge.
This means Mister Man and Little Miss can create their own pizzas for a reasonable cost and I don’t have to play bad cop questioning whether they really want one more topping for yet another $1.50.
While there are the traditional pizza toppings, there are also plenty of others that you don’t see every day that make for a fantastic pizza. Some toppings are seasonal, so you see them rotate on and off the menu.
My personal favorite is a MOD size pizza with a light white sauce topped with sundried tomatoes, ricotta, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, and kalamata olives that gets baked then topped with a pesto drizzle and fresh arugula.
This pizza – whether you top it like I do or make your own version – is $7.87 at my location, and it’s filling enough that I eat just half my pizza then grab a box and save the rest for lunch the next day. My husband and kids and eat a whole pizza in one sitting without feeling overly stuffed, however.
How is MOD Pizza allergy friendly?
One of my favorite features of MOD Pizza is that is it allergy friendly.
Little Miss has a dairy allergy, but they can accommodate that easily. They offer Daiya cheese, and they change gloves before preparing her pizza to ensure that it’s safe for her.
Many pizza places offer a dairy free pizza, but they just omit the cheese. Here, you can enjoy dairy free cheese to make a safe pizza.
The traditional red sauce no longer contains dairy, and the garlic rub and barbecue sauces are also dairy free. Only pesto and white sauce have dairy.
And the topping possibilities she can enjoy are endless. She usually goes for a few different meats and some pineapple before getting that dairy free cheese.
She absolutely loves her pizza – and the fact that she can order “like everyone else” here, something that usually isn’t so easy.
Is there a gluten free crust?
For those with gluten issues, there is also a gluten friendly crust option, as well as a cauliflower crust (which contains milk and eggs that the gluten friendly crust does not).
While MOD Pizza doesn’t recommend this for those with celiac disease and other gluten allergies, from personal experience, I have several friends who have been safely able to eat the pizzas with no ill effects. And yes, they’re ones who have immediate and severe reactions to gluten.
The staff is always knowledgeable about allergies and what items do and do not have dairy or gluten, and they are careful about avoiding cross contamination as best they can.
It isn’t a dedicated facility, but I love that the options are there – and we’ve brought many a friend to MOD Pizza for these reasons alone.
What about nut allergies?
Along the same lines, the entire restaurant is nut free. Even the pesto is made without nuts, so those with nut allergies can relax completely.
And yes, the pizza dough is vegan, as well. The awareness and sensitivity towards allergies is yet another mark that sets MOD Pizza apart.
Have an allergy or food sensitivity? Check out the allergen information menu online or ask in store, as every store keeps updated and detailed information on hand.
What other changes is MOD Pizza making?
Allan also let me know that they’re is moving towards making their meats antibiotic and hormone free, in addition to removing nitrates from those that have them. The pepperoni has already been replaced with a nitrate free version, and the chicken has no antibiotics or hormones.
As they finish finding sustainable and long term sources for the remaining meats that provide the same great taste customers require, MOD Pizza will be making a much bigger deal about this, but I applaud the strides they’re making already.
What happens after you order your allergy friendly pizza?
Once you place your order and pay, you are able to choose a seat to wait for your name to be called at the counter to pick up your pizza.
They are ready in a matter of minutes – their 800 degree ovens cook the pizzas in about 3 minutes, and if you’d like to add something to finish it, you can always ask for it to be added if you forgot when you started your pizza adventure.
In addition to my favorite pesto drizzle, you can also choose BBQ swirl, hot buffalo sauce, red sauce dollops, ranch, balsamic fig glaze, and sri-rancha. These are fancy pizzas for not a fancy price!
Does they offer anything besides pizza?
In addition to the standard MOD size, there are three other options when ordering.
You can get a Mini (a smaller version of the pizza), a Mega (a double decker pizza fused together with sauce and cheese – something I’ve not yet been brave enough to try myself!), and pizza salads (which is a salad ON your pizza crust).
They’ve also expanded to have “just” salads, which you can order in the same three different sizes.
MOD Pizza also offers cinnamon sticks and garlic strips as a side to round out your meal, another option that I’ve still yet to try but ohhh they look delicious. They also offer cheesy garlic bread and more, as well as a no name cake that’s reminiscent of a famous snack cake.
And yes, the menu keeps expanding with more fun offerings from a quinoa bowl to a snack plate (both have limited availability).
Of course, there are also beverages.
For the adults who choose, there are beer and wine offerings, and my husband and mom can attest to their complementary nature to the pizza. My dad almost always orders a milkshake, something I wouldn’t have expected to be a good foil to a pizza but one that he enjoys and that works surprisingly well.
Just like the pizzas, you can order a straight milkshake and add mix-ins to it at no charge ranging from sea salt toffee to cookie dough to cappuccino crunch and more.
Me? I always order the lemonade. It’s served at a fountain (with traditional pop also available) and has not just regular lemonade and iced tea but a marionberry lemonade that is to die for.
I could go on and on about why MOD Pizza is my kids’ request anytime we have a plan to eat out for dinner, but this may be something you need to experience for yourself.
If you haven’t been yet, check to see if there is a location near you or opening near you soon. With the rapid expansion they’re undergoing, in all likelihood, you’ll have one close to your home soon!
How would you top your MOD Pizza?