One of the most important things that has happened in recent history happened at The Mellow Mushroom. On a wet, cold Sunday night Bill and I stumbled into the restaurant and I got Bill to put his promise never to build a house again in writing – on a napkin at The Mellow Mushroom – and yes, I do still have that napkin!
Weird Place with Good Pizza
You know the kind of day I’m talking about. The kind of day that only comfort food will fix. We were very tired and very dirty after spending the day at the build, but we were also starving.
The interior of the restaurant is a throw back to those funky pizza joints you went to back in college. There’s the slightly naughty suggestion that someone on something came up with the decor. Odd colors, bare floors, bargain seating and tables. Oh and big cutouts of strange things that look like they showed up during a bad acid trip. Not your basic slick-looking, up-scale pizza joint.
When I tell you the waitstaff has a lot of tattoos and odd hairstyles, I’m not being judgmental, I’m just trying to describe the place to you. Our second visit was actually on Mother’s Day and I had a nice conversation about mommies with the girl whose hair was purple/orange. She had a nose ring and tattoos, to boot. The uniform is jeans with a white t-shirt and of course, they roll up the sleeves on the t-shirt so you can see the tatts better.
Weird Crust, But Tasty
We had the Special or whatever you call the pizza with a little bit of everything on it. I thought it was good. Bill thought it was marvelous. So marvelous that he asked about the crust. We got a lesson in flours and molasses. Truth be told, pizza doesn’t exactly fit in my South Beach Diet, so I have no business eating it. I try to forget pizza, not cherish my memories of it. Bill doesn’t feel the same way. The Mellow Mushroom became his go-to pizza joint.
Above and Beyond
Even if I try to pretend that pizza does not exist in the same reality that I do, one thing I can’t overlook is service. Bill and I have made return trips to the big MM and Bill is very intentional about telling folks to go try the delicious pizza with the molasses crust. I just enjoy the ride whenever we go. It’s like a short time-travel vacation that makes me want to wear go-go boots. You do know what go-go boots are, don’t you?
On our most recent visit we were snickering over the indifference of our waiter . One thing he was not indifferent about was his hair. It was gelled into a very exact line down the center of his head. However, he couldn’t have cared less that the kind of beer I requested from the menu wasn’t exactly what they had in the frig. He wasn’t abrasively indifferent. I think indifference was the tool he used to keep rudeness at bay.
The table next to us was having pretzels and several pizzas and several dishes of pasta. I was beginning to worry that their carbs were going to migrate over to my hips. One of the tween-agers spilled her soda all over the table. We rejoiced at our childlessness and I thought maybe the waiter’s indifference sprang from a need to deal with the craziness of tween-agers at all. He seemed as if, in other circumstances, he might eat them for tapas.
Suddenly, out of nowhere a manager showed up with an apology. Seems our pizza was overcooked. I mean they figured it out before they brought it to the table and were courteous enough to let us know why things were taking awhile. I hadn’t actually noticed that it was taking any longer than usual, but I did appreciate the cheese bread they delivered with the apology. Of course, I could only eat a small corner I tore off, but it was gooey and on the house.
The pizza came out right behind the cheese bread. In the meantime the tween-agers left. The waiter was much more pleasant, so maybe I was right about the tapas. And in chatting with him we discovered that he was the one who blew the whistle on the pizza. I must have had him all wrong.
Should you go to The Mellow Mushroom? Certainly! You really need to experience the decor and waitstaff. Bill says the pizza is wonderful – but I wouldn’t know, because pizza does not exist in my reality.