Mellow Mushroom Pizza Review

We tried a new pizza place yesterday – the new location of Mellow Mushroom in Dublin, OH. It’s one of the few sit-down get-waited-on pizza restaurants that I know of, but it also has carry out. There are locations all around the country, from Florida and Texas to Colorado and Arizona to Indiana, Virginia, and the Carolinas. The decor seemed pretty unique and ‘groovy’, and they have a Beer Club for those who want to try all of their beers to get some discounts and prizes. Their website seems pretty neat, but it’s all flash which can be annoying.

Mellow Mushroom - Large size house pizza

Large size house pizza

Mellow Mushroom - Personal Size House pizza

Small size pizza

Unfortunately we were not impressed with the food… we may forgive them this time since the location is so new. We ordered a large House Pizza (16″ for 8 slices, $25), garlic bread, and 5 hot wings. We got there at the lunch hour and the place got pretty busy. It took maybe 25-30 minutes before our food came out. The garlic bread and wings arrived just a short while before the pizza. The pizza seemed OK at first, but the crust was a little burnt. It was hard to cut a slice into pieces. The manager came out to check on it and apologized and offered another one — we ordered a small (10″) of the same pizza. When it came out the color was nice but it had anchovies on it! The House pizza was not supposed to have them, so it may have been a different pizza. But besides that it tasted OK. The manager gave us the meal on the house and also gave us a gift card for next time. Some of our friends say Mellow Mushroom pizza isn’t bad, and I’ll still go again, but probably not in the near future.

Have you tried Mellow Mushroom?

Homemade Pizza in March

I’ve attempted a few more homemade pizzas so far this month. The latest ones I tried using a greased pizza pan rather than the stone and the dough was too soft and doughy. The stone allows much more moisture to escape, making the crust crisp and slightly crunchy. The crust also becomes browner with a pizza stone I think.

pizza cooked in greased pan
Pizza cooked in greased pan
(transferred to stone after cooking)
pepper shaped pizza
Pizza cooked on stone

Cooking on a pizza stone is definitely the way to go. But the only problem is figuring out how to roll it out. The elasticity of the dough makes it shrink back whenever you try pressing or rolling it out, hence the weird, non-round shapes (a pepper shape may be desired in some circumstances, but I prefer my pizza to be as round as possible). It was much easier to press out the dough into a greased pizza pan:

Raw dough rolled out
Raw dough pressed out

So I guess I have some more testing to do to find the best way to roll out and cook a pizza! Do you have any comments, tips, advice? How do you roll out a pizza?

Pizza Paradise Around the United States

The other day I watched Pizza Paradise on the Travel Channel. Apparently it is repeated throughout the year. They describe the type of pizza found in several popular pizza cities across the nation. Basically I would consider three distinct types. New York has a thin crust that you fold in half. Chicago has a thick, pie-like crust that you may need to eat with a knife and fork. California is all about the exotic toppings on a smaller personal sized pizza. It’s neat to think about the pizza places in each area that were the birthplace of each distinct type. And the first pizzaria in the US was Lombardi’s Pizzeria in New York in 1905. Of course there are variations in pizza within each city, and there can be fierce loyalty by the patrons and fans of a particular type. I think most people have a preference of either New York style or Chicago style. I like a thicker crust, but not necessarily so thick that you need to eat with a knife and fork and get full after one or two slices. I didn’t realize that there was a pizza in New York with caviar that costs $1000! Wild stuff.

A lot of the customers preferred their particular pizza joint not only from the food but the atmosphere as well. Most of them were small, cosy and intimate places. I think it would be great to own a pizzeria where people come with their families and friends for fun and conversation while they eat.

Here’s a link to a summary article on the Travel Channel.