Market Street Kitchen |

Market Street Kitchen

story by Jeanne McGovern photos by Anna Stonehouse
Details: 499 A Market Street (in the corner  of the Element) • 970-510-5820 • Prices: breakfast, $9.55 to $13.95; lunch, $5.95 to $15.95; dinner, $12.95 to $19.95 Ambience: Modern, clean café with inviting patio and bright indoor seating Signature dishes: Mawa’s Green Crepe, with avocado, baby spinach, basil pesto, fresh mozzarella and a free-range egg sunny side up; fresh mango with chili-lime salt; “In Guac We Trust,” freshly made guacamole in various variations, served withcorn tortilla chips; watermelon chia aqua fresca, with watermelon, chia, lime and min Not to Miss: To-die-for Mexican  street corn. One of the valley’s largest selection of sweet and savory breakfast crepes. Taco Tuesdays: $2.95 for the taco of your choice

Mawa McQueen had no intention of building her booming catering and locals’ favorite Aspen restaurant business, but the forces behind the Element Hotel in Willits wouldn’t relent.

And, recognizing the potential to share her culinary philosophies — fresh, healthy offerings with little foodie fanfare attached — to a new market, she finally embraced the offer. And like all things Mawa, she charged forward with passion, professionalism and a knack for pleasing the palate.

“This place chose me,” Mawa says. “And why not? It’s been a chance to branch out a bit.”

With that statement, Mawa — an Ivory Coast native who was raised in France and opened her first Aspen business in 2007 — took her signature cuisine and changed it up.

“Healthy and fresh, that’s my ingredient for success in everything we do,” she says. “But here I decided to do more of a street
foods thing.”

Indeed the menu – from breakfast to lunch to dinner — is rooted in themes of Mexican and Parisian food stands.

Cases in point: the mouth-watering Mexican street corn, grilled to perfection on the cob and smothered with the perfect balance of lime, cotija cheese, smoked paprika and cilantro, or the “Tacolicious” menu of tacos ranging from roasted cauliflower and Portobello mushroom to pork “mojo” and braised beef shortrib.

And then there are the crepes.

“These are not your ordinary street crepes — these are healthy, rich and delicious crepes,” says Mawa, who attributes her ever-expanding culinary prowess to her continued travels abroad. “For breakfast, lunch, whenever … crepes are great food.”

On the must-taste list at Market Street Kitchen (and we’ll let you do the guessing on what treats lie inside): the Parisian, an Argento and, of course, Mawa’s Green; try them in the organic, buckwheat — and gluten-free — variety for an extra $2.

Enjoy all of this, and more — from rice bowls to guacamole tastings to fresh sides like fried banana plantain — on the outdoor patio or in the sleek indoor seats at Market Street with a fine glass of wine, aqua fresca or housemade mimosa and you’ll agree Mawa made the right move by branching out to the midvalley market.