America’s fastest growing restaurant chain, MOD Pizza, opened its second UK site this year, in Brighton marina. The first UK site opened in Leeds in 2015 and there are plans to expand throughout the UK. The appeal of the food is in the ‘build your own’ nature of the pizzas (MOD stands for made on demand).
Visited: November 2016
The friendly staff
Being able to see into the kitchen and observe the pizza oven
The garlic strips with ranch dressing
The condiments on the table (including crushed chilli flakes)
This venue is very child-friendly, and this will appeal to lots of families but if you’re looking for a quiet lunch be prepared for the fact you may be seated alongside a children’s birthday party
The food is by no means expensive but I personally prefer some of the reasonably priced sourdough pizzerias in Brighton and Hove such as Franco Manca and Morelli Zorelli, having said that it’s a great choice for food if you’re at the Marina
We visited on a Sunday lunchtime and were greeted by friendly energetic staff who explained how MOD works. You choose the size of your pizza (cost is based on size of pizza, regardless of topping) and then pick from the list of the ‘top ten’ pizza combos, or you can freestyle and choose your own toppings. Once you’ve picked your pizza, you take a seat in the diner-style venue until your pizza is ready to be collected from the kitchen.
The counter setting with boxed toppings bared a resemblance to a Subway counter with one welcome exception, the offering of alcoholic beverages.
There were lots of appealing pizza combinations, and so I opted to use one of these as a base and then add extra toppings to it for more flavour. I like my pizza flavours to be quite strong so I selected the ‘Mad dog’ (mozzarella, pepperoni, mild sausage, ground beef and MOD red sauce) and I pimped it up with additional blue cheese, olives and jalapenos and washed it down with a cold rose wine. Tim went for seasonal favourite ‘Petra’ (pesto, rocket, mozzarella, bacon, artichoke, jalapeno and feta) accompanied by a glass of red. We also opted for a side of garlic strips, which were extremely garlicky and had a nice comforting crunch to it.
We had just long enough to admire the back wall photo collage of people enjoying their pizzas before our food was ready.
Our first impression of the food was that the pizzas were well topped and quick to arrive. Mine arrived much quicker than Tim’s but that allowed him to sample mine before his arrived so he wasn’t complaining.
I was pleased with my topping combination, it was full of flavour and with the variety of toppings each bite tasted slightly different. The pizza dough had a good crisp bite to it and there was a good heat from the jalapenos. I did find however that I had to add additional chilli flakes to get the pizza hot enough for my taste but I tend to favour a lot of heat in my food.
Tim found his pizza to be less intense in flavour, but pleasant nonetheless. I think the key at MOD (and I’ve heard this from others who’ve visited) is to pick a pizza from their ‘top ten’ menu that is closest to what you would like but add extra toppings to personalise it to your own taste. Otherwise you may find the topping combination a little bland.
I can see this place being popular with teenagers with its diner-style feel, and also with families as children can pick and choose the flavours they would like. Indeed, when we visited there were many families and a large children’s party that were clearly enjoying themselves. This could be off-putting if you’re looking for a quiet meal but that’s usually not what you’re looking for if you visit Brighton Marina. For us, personally the marina doesn’t excite us, overloaded with generic chain restaurants with little personality, but when we do visit – usually as a pre- or post-cinema meal – this is the venue we’ll be visiting for cheap casual dining.
Overall verdict: 7.5/10
Cost of food: Very reasonable, prices vary according to size, pizzas come in mini (£4.47), MOD (£7.47) or mega (£10.47).
1 The Boardwalk,
We were lucky enough to be invited to MOD pizza on a complimentary basis. The views and opinions in this article are all our own.
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