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May 18, 2008 01:25 PM

Mellow Mushroom - Delray Beach

Wife and I visited the Mellow Mushroom, just yards south of Atlantic Ave on Federal Hwy northbound. We went in Friday evening around 6:30 PM. I know there are others in FL but this was my first visit to any one.

The place was packed. Bar scene was hopping with lots of 30-somethings and others taking advantage of the 50+ beer selection on tap, many of them excellent microbrews and on special from 4 to 7 for $3.50 a pint, IIRC.

The restaurant was also packed in and out. We had a short wait of about 15 minutes for a table. It's noisy and high energy, and the open kitchen contributes to the fun.

Folks who sat outside at this time of year and day were unfortunately in a very bright sun - as this store faces directly W without any shade - so if you get an outside table before sundown, keep this in mind.

Wife ordered the "build your own" salad which we thought was a great idea. She can be picky and this is a picky-person' delight. I ordered jerk wings. We ordered a small pizza to share.

Salad was excellent, vinaigrette dressing very very flavorful. This was a nice surprise.

I'm a jerk afficianado so I was skeptical about the wings, but they were also very good. Initially, they did not have too much jerk on them, so I asked for some on the side and it was brought promptly. I could then burn my mouth out to my heart's content. Next time I might also ask for them to be "well done" as they skin was not as crispy as I like. But overall, pretty darn good. There was a nice touch of sweetness to the jerk. Definitely not Walkerswood (my usual favorite) but something a bit different.

The pizza, I was not all that excited about, it's just not my cup of tea with the huge crust. Considering that huge crust is on the outside perimeter of the pie, I'll bet it takes up some huge percentage of the pie overall - perhaps 1/3 or more.

It's funny, there's never been good pizza in Delray and now in 3 months we get Anthony's, Carolina's and Mellow Mushroom all within 2 blocks. Personally I'll stick with the coal-fired from Anthony's or Carolina's. Your mileage may vary.

The service overall was excellent. The two owners or managers were all over the place with eagle-eyes, checking on individual tables, watching the food come out, talking with customers, servers & bartenders, etc. Our waitress, "Casey" was superb. Drinks refilled quickly, special requests handled, check delivered on time. etc etc.

I predict this location will be a big success. The Ave is screaming for more low-cost, fun places for eating and drinking. Rotelli is really just food... Elwoods is a bit TOO downscale for many... that really just leaves Bru's.

Up until now, that is.

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  1. Excellent review, thanks...
    We have a location nearby in Tampa on Sheldon Road, and I've never popped in...
    I like jerk chicken/wings a bunch too; and I didn't know about the '50+ beer selection on tap'... Nice...

    I don't drink as much beer as I used to, but I'm thinking about dippin' my beak a little more frequently, trying new and odd things...

    Sounds great...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mild Bill

      My SO and I ventured to the Brandon location a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The garlic pretzels were a tasty starter and after them, we ordered a small pizza margarita and had leftovers for snacking purposes. My test of a good pizza is whether it holds up as leftovers and this place fits the bill. If I want pizza at home, I can do that. But this place does have a fun vibe and a great selection of beers.

    2. thanks for the thumbs up, I drove by it a couple weeks ago and wondered. And yes, Delray does need some reasonably priced places.

      1. Mellow Mushroom is from my previous resident city of Atlanta. I have eaten there too many times to count and was a favorite of mine before and after obtaining "foodie" status around 1990. For pizza, I'd have to say it's about average on the scale for what I am used to. Spring water dough is probably not what most are used to, although I really liked it.

        MM is where the cool people worked at...hippie types, college students, etc. It sounds like their Midtown Atlanta pilot resto with large draft selections is making it's way down south. it's a fun place to eat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: freakerdude

          I also loved MM when I was in grad school in Atlanta. We were so excited when one opened in Orlando about two years ago. We go there a lot. Great pizza, salads, beer selections, and patio.

        2. We have one nearby in Winter Park. The service is usually pretty slow (I attribute that in part to the laid-back hippie style of the place), but I like their pizza and love the spring water dough pretzels. Highly recommend those with their Esperanza sauce, which is kind of like a tangier, spicier Caesar dressing. Their tempeh and jerk chicken hoagies are great too.

          1. Great review, thanks! I fell in love with Mellow Mushroom in Boone, NC and have visited it in many locations through the years. I am a huge fan of the dough! If you are a bread lover, I think you'll like it. Everyone I have sent there said that the pizza lived up to the hype I gave it so that's a good sign. Try it! It is definitely worth a try. Oh and it FINALLY gives Atlantic Ave a "family friendly" place that is great for a "thirty something" like me to drink and be merry -- THis place get a big A++++ from me! GO AND ENJOY!!!