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Oct 22, 2011 08:16 AM

Mellow Mushroom, (new) pizza place in Adams Morgan

After a disappointing meal, my gf and I headed over to 18th St to find somewhere to eat to satisfy our hunger. Initially, I was thinking of checking out Jack Rose, but it was a bit far, and then was just going to go to Amsterdam Falafel, but then stumbled across Mellow Mushroom, and saw they had a good beer list, so we walked in. The beer list was pretty good, but they were out of a couple of the beers I wanted (why does this always happen?). We did not like any of the choices for pizzas (they all seemed like some weird, bad combo), so we built our own (red sauce, pepperoni, caramelized onions, jalapenos, roasted red peppers, and mushrooms). When it arrived, I lowered my expectations. It looked like a Round Table or Pizza Hut pizza. And pretty much tasted like one too. The crust was awful - thicker and soggy. We had to eat it with a knife and fork. It was also way to saucy. And when we got the bill, the pizza (a 14") came to about $24, I believe, for a medium. They charged like $2 or $2.50 for each topping. Unreal.

I think this place is aimed for stoned or drunk people with no taste buds or options.

Atleast the service was good.

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  1. Thats pretty bad considering they just open not to long ago - Thanks for the heads up

    4 Replies
    1. re: agarnett100

      I think the fact that they just opened explains why there may be not some kinks, rather than being more damning. As many have noted, Mellow Mushroom is a chain with the original by Emory University in Tampa. However, I have always enjoyed the pizza.

      I am assuming that in training the staff, they focused on getting their known popular pizzas right, and may have limited experience with customized ones. Places like Mellow Mushroom are usually best with the pizzas off the menu - those are the combinations that they know how to make, have been tested and perfected, and are popular. Plus, if you look at a gourmet pizza place's menu and nothing looks good to you, there's a good chance you aren't going to enjoy the place at all - not only will you probably not be getting their best with a customized pizza, but it seems like you don't like the style/flavors of the place.

      I have not tried it yet, but I have always enjoyed the "funky" pizzas at Mellow Mushrooms I've gone to (Atlanta, Tampa, Asheville), particularly the the Magical Mystery Tour and Kosmic Karma. The pizzas can get a little soggy, but I find that is common when toppings are loaded on.

      Mellow Mushroom isn't aimed for stoned or drunk people - it's aimed for people to come grab interesting pizzas and beers with friends. While we have several good options aiming for the same or similar demographic, we can obviously use another place like that, especially one that could take larger groups (see regular 1.5 hour wait at Pizzeria Paradiso).

      Pizzeria Paradiso
      3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

      1. re: J_DC

        At $24 for 14" pizza it needs to be more then interesting.

        1. re: agarnett100

          I certainly agree with that. What I meant by "interesting" is that I would not go to Mellow Mushroom for a plain cheese pizza.

          The prices for pizzas off the menu are $24/$25 for 16", not 14". That said, the price does seem to be quite high even for our DC prices, as the specialty pizzas from Pete's Apizza are $25 for 18 inches (and, in my opinion, are both very interesting and delicious).

          Pete's Apizza
          , Washington, DC 20001

          1. re: J_DC

            Thats going to be a tough sell to the market demographic on most nights in Adams Morgan especially if your a chain pizza shop charging gourmet pizza prices. I wish them luck and hope they are successfull lots of new competition in restaurant biz lately

    2. It's a big chain in the Southeast. I went to one in Pigeon Forge, TN.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Steve

        That's fairly accurate. They now have locations as far away as AZ and CO, but mostly in the Southeast. They started in Atlanta. I've never tried one, but haven't ever read anything that suggested I should have.

      2. not ripping on you mdp, but a place in A-M called that name? well I just can't imagine what one might expect outside appealing to the drunk/stoner demographic and I'm not ripping on them either (God knows I have no fingers left from the old days to point or shake).

        1. Mellow Mushroom is/was a southern pizza place that had the "big" idea of just slowly opening up restaurants in each SEC college town. It is definitely targeted at the drunk college kid, usually ones that are just trying to be/learning to be "foodies".

          I laugh now thinking back to when I ate at mellow mushroom about 8 years ago, on a regular basis, because I thought the pizza with sundried tomatoes, spinach, and feta was the most gourmet thing in the world. Oh how life changes :)

          1. I saw some photos of pizzas from their opening night and the pictures I saw of the pizzas looked just like your description. DC has ended up with some real improvements in the pizza scene lately, so I'm surprised they'd put the money into opening something so meh.