Monday, September 19, 2011

Mellow Mushroom [3.5/5]

Mellow Mushroom

When we first moved to Huntsville, the hubby and I were amazed to see that the vast majority of pizza places were delivery/take out only. Pizza being one of the hubby's favorite foods, we were thrilled when Mellow Mushroom opened a few years back promising eat in dining and novel flavor combinations. Over the rainy Labor Day holiday, we found ourselves out in Providence looking for a lunch spot, so we stopped in.

The holiday and the rain meant that there was a light lunch crowd and we were seated promptly. However, once seated we were left to our devices for so long I began to wonder if our server knew we were even there. Just as I started looking around for someone to flag down, she appeared, apologized and promised to be back in "just a minute". In slightly longer than that, she did reappear and take our order of a 14 inch (medium*) Melloterranean pizza and a couple of soft drinks.

Mellow Mushroom tells you up front that food can't be rushed and the 30 minute wait time for our pizza was actually shorter than most of our previous visits. In the meantime, we chatted as well as we could--even with a light crowd the lack of sound dampening made the place loud--and watched football highlights on the TVs overhead.

Once our pizza arrived we happily dug in. The crust was a wonderful thin/thick crust hybrid--thinner in the center and pillowly tall around the edges--with a deliciously light bready flavor and a light crunch. Olive oil and garlic, used in place of a traditional marinara sauce, lent some zip and complimented the crust well. The cheese, generously applied, provided a thick and gooey base for the other toppings. The toppings themselves were a bit of mixed bag. The green onion provided color, the white onion was sweet and the chicken tender and flavorful. The tomatoes, however, had a bit of an odd taste and olives offered only the metallic tell-tale sign of having been canned.

The Parmesan sprinkled on the crust was delightful and a small amount of the taziki--creamy,tangy, bursting with dill, bits of yogurt, and small pieces of cucumber--added some pizzazz.

Taken together the pizza had a nice balance of flavors, though I found the taziki sauce a bit superfluous.

This visit was fairly representative of our previous visits to the Providence Mellow Mushroom--well put together, but slow, food and flighty service from overloaded servers. (On top of the wait to get  our server's attention, our drinks were never refilled.) This summer, they opened a second Huntsville location on Cecil Ashburn in Jones Valley and, based on my one visit there so far, the service and food are both superior to the Providence location. Unfortunately, it's just as loud.

Total for the meal: $25.41 (Included one 14" pizza and two soft drinks)

*A 14" pizza was enough that we got lunch out, plus 2-3 single lunches from the leftovers)

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  1. I've never really been impressed with Mellow Mushroom... personally I like Tommmy's or Big Ed's (ok... I love Big Ed's...). Something about Mellow Mushroom just rubs me the wrong way... maybe its the atmosphere or the servers or the fact that I think its a wee bit overpriced ... I dunno... I'm with you though, I like the Jones Valley location a lot better (and the view is nicer)

  2. I haven't tried Big Ed's yet, but I'm not too enamored of Tommy's. That may be my preference for thick crust pizza talking. : ) Mellow Mushroom is a bit overpriced, especially considering how LOUD it is in there. Install some sound dampening and solve whatever issue it is that causes servers to ignore tables for unreasonable amounts of time and the price wouldn't bother me. The pizza though, it is tasty. : )

  3. Providence Mellow Mushroom we experienced all the things you and the commenter express here BUT it was not even busy! Food took forever, drinks came after a long wait, forgot silverware and napkins, couldn't get drinks refilled till our kids were about to melt down, tried to get bill/check our waitress was on smoke break or something. Food was good, but for a family of four with young boys at 430 in afternoon it was too much for such lousy service. I think these young "adults" were ON some mellow mushrooms!


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