How Mellow Are Those Mushrooms?


While BBQ sauce is something I didn’t grow up with, and it took until approximately 15 years after college to find one I like, mushrooms are another story. I did grow up with them.

And I hated them.

However, they were the canned kind. The slimy ones that have that distinct smell. Ewwwwww! Whenever we’d have frozen pizzas in our house, my mom would amp one of them up, even if it was already a pizza with “the works” on it. She’d add fresh onions, fresh green peppers, canned mushrooms and extra thick slices of cheddar cheese on top. It was for this reason that I always thought I hated mushrooms! Although, thinking back, adding that fresh stuff and extra cheese was such a creative and easy way for a full-time working mom to better a frozen pizza. Too this day, I love fresh onions, fresh green peppers and thick slices of cheddar cheese!

I’m not sure when in my adult life that I discovered that I absolutely love mushrooms. All I know is that the discovery was made when I had fresh ones… when they were sauteed in olive oil and imparted such a wonderful earthy, sometimes even meaty, flavor. To this day, I’ve been known to ask that they’d be added to pasta dishes, even if they aren’t already in the dish. They happily oblige at Sul Lago, a fave local restaurant of ours, where they stock more than just your average button.

And when I order pizza now,  I always order mushrooms as one of the toppings. But I always ask, first, if those mushrooms are fresh!


Side note: A couple of years ago, at a local pizza place, I asked if they had fresh mushrooms. The server said, “Yes, we can do that!” When my pizza arrived, it had raw mushrooms on the top. The server was so proud. She said, “Good. They put the mushrooms on fresh at the end for you!” I didn’t have the heart to tell her what I really meant. 😉 Now I ask if the mushrooms on hand are fresh or canned.


So, when we were visiting friends in Charlotte, North Carolina, last weekend, and they mentioned that their favorite pizza place was called Mellow Mushroom, Rob and I were on board! Yes, this place is a chain, but mostly in The South and nowhere near where we live. Anyone want to sponsor us so we can open up a franchise hear in the Midwest? 😉

Mellow mushroom

Mellow Mushroom has a sort of psychedelic feel, even though they don’t serve that kind of mushroom!

The first thing that was of note to us was their extensive beer list:


I first tried the Triple C Brewing Cajun Stout. I liked the little kick of cayenne in the finish. It was unique, but not overpowering. There were a lot of new-to-us beers to try that night! In fact, I learned something new. Check out the note on the side:


We soon learned about all of these craft breweries in North Carolina! Stay tuned next week….

There were also unique-to-us southern cocktails on the menu:


Cocktails with Moonshine? If I wasn’t too busy trying beers, I would have tried the Reggae Moon or the Bloody Moon!

The four of us started with an appetizer:


Muffaletta Cheese Bread – French bread topped with freshly made three-olive tapenade, melted mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and baked.

We decided we would also try share two medium pizzas. To decide, Tay and Brendan told us that their latest favorite was the Holy Shitake Pie. After we read the description, it was a no-brainer that that one would be our favorite too!


Holy Shitake Pie – Olive oil and garlic base with Shiitake, button and Portobello mushrooms, carmelized onions, mozzarella and Montamore cheeses and drizzled with garlic aioli and black truffle oil, garnished with fresh chives and shaved Parmesan. Duh!

Brendan also suggested that to even things out that we order our second pizza with protein. Good idea. We decided on:


The Mighty Meaty – Red sauce based with mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham and Applewood smoked bacon.

Oh. Dear. God. Were these pizzas delightful. Tay had mentioned that the crust was out-of-this-world. However, when she said that it was a whole wheat, I knew Rob would be skeptical. In fact, if I’m using whole wheat pasta, I don’t tend to tell Rob, because he’ll have the preconceived idea that he won’t like it. So I was ecstatic when he agreed with me that this is probably one of the best pizza crusts that either of us had ever had! We can’t stop thinking about that Holy Shiitake Pie.

We thought back to what our favorite pizza place would be in the Twin Cities and nothing in particular crossed our minds! Isn’t that sad?

We want more! (I keep thinking of that AT&T commercial where that little girl wants MORE!) All I can say… is that Tay and Brendan have great tastes and really know where to take out-of-town guests!

What is your favorite local pizza joint?

Name something you eat now that you didn’t like as a kid.


7 responses »

  1. Oh my gosh…I love love love Mellow Mushroom!!! It’s been awhile since we had pizza but if we were to have some it would be from there for sure. We don’t have one near our house but there are some in Jacksonville and Orlando which are both an hour from us.

    I never liked veggies on my pizza when I was younger but now I love them.

  2. Favorite local place is my kitchen when we have “make your own” night – I try to offer as many toppings as possible and family and friends know to make requests. My problem is I pile on so much stuff (spinach, basil, kalamata olives, onions, pepperocinos, etc) that I usually have to eat it with a fork when it is done!

    Two adult favs are kalamata olives and (spicy/brown/horseradish) mustard, neither of which I would eat as a kid.

    Thanks for sharing – it looked yummy!

  3. We are actually going out for pizza tonight – woop! Okay, this comment would be PAGES long if I told you all things I didn’t eat as a kid that I eat now. Namely, the only vegetables I ate were carrots and cucumbers because they weren’t cooked. The reason? My Mom overcooked vegetables as a child so I just avoided them like the plague.

    Fast forward, I am now in my early 30’s, dating my now husband and we are at a steak house and he orders asparagus as his side. I just crinkled my nose and said “no thanks!” He said “you didn’t even try it!” To which I too a “Biz Bite” which is the tiniest bite imaginable, and guess what? I loved it! It was crisp, slightly tender. Now I am lost if I don’t have baby spinach, zucchini, spaghetti squash .
    And I like mushrooms now too – hope to try a marinated portabella mushroom burger soon!

  4. Yes, we are obsessed with Mellow Mushroom! We got there on vacation, the crust is unbelievable. As is the beer list. Mmmmm.

  5. What can I say…the South rules 😉 I’ve actually not eaten at a Mellow Mushroom, but I’ve heard fabulous things about them…need to try it out asap! Of course, I don’t like mushrooms – but my husband loves them.

  6. That food looks heavenly! I’m hungry again, and I just ate dinner! I tolerate mushrooms, if they are mixed in with other food, that’s fine, but I won’t eat them on my own. They always have to be fresh, not canned!

  7. Pingback: Charlotte Breweries | Season It Already!

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