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Mellow Mushroom

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Mellow Mushroom's Funky Q. Chicken pizza.

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Christina Ruotolo

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

For six years, Mellow Mushroom, 2020 Charles Blvd., has been cranking out fun and inventive food in a wide and welcoming space with an eclectic hippie vibe.

Mellow Mushroom was started by two college roommates in Atlanta who wanted the food to be fun and delicious. They came up with unique and catchy menu names like Magic Mushroom Soup, Kosmic Karma pie, Enlightened Spinach Salad and Mary Jane’s Triple Chocolate Brownie. Behind those fun names are quality ingredients, delicious food and great drinks worthy of their names. The prices on the menu range from $4.99-$24.75.

The local restaurant, located behind Greenville Mall, provides ample parking and a bright and open patio area for meals al fresco during warm months.

Inside, the walls are painted bright purple and gold, and hanging from the ceiling are old books that have been turned into sculptures, including a large octopus over the bar area.There are cozy inset booths, high-top tables and plenty of space for large parties.

Scott Boyd is general manager and has been working at Mellow Mushroom for four years.

The restaurant specializes in specialty and build-your-own pizzas and salads, calzones, hoagies, munchies, lunch specials and several sweet options. Mellow Mushroom offers all-natural salad dressings, house-made pizza sauce, gluten-free pizza dough and all-natural chicken and steak. There also are lactose-free, vegetarian and vegan options. There are eight types of cheeses to choose from including a dairy-free vegan cheese. Specialty options for salad and pizza toppings include dried cherries, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, anchovies, artichoke hearts, avocado, banana peppers, pineapple, tempeh and tofu.

The bar area is spacious with six flat-screen TVs and seating for 30 people. It’s a perfect place to hang your hat and drink a beer while watching sports. Enjoy one of the 24 beers on tap or the wide selection of beers from North Carolina, as well as numerous domestic and imported canned and bottled beers and ciders. Mellow Mushroom offers a gluten-free beer called Red Bridge, which is made with sorghum, and two reduced-gluten beers: a pale ale called Omission or an IPA by Stone called Deliciousness.

Now let’s get to tasting! Let’s start light and healthy with the Greek Salad, which features freshly chopped romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, red cabbage, red onions, cucumbers, green peppers, mushrooms, feta cheese, kalamata olives, roma tomatoes, pepperoncini and banana peppers. It’s fresh, healthy and has a complex array of tastes and textures. The house-made dressing is the Signature Esperanza,  a creamy dressing that tastes like a cross between a creamy Italian and Caesar dressing. I loved the salty cheese and olives, the crisp lettuce, sweet peppers mixed with the slightly hot pepperoncini and onions and the “mellow” cucumbers and carrots. The small salad is $5.50, and the regular size is $8.99.

I sampled the popular steak and cheese calzone — plenty of food for two people to share. Inside the chewy, buttery crust is grilled, shaved, all-natural ribeye steak, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, seasoned ricotta, mozzarella and provolone cheese. When you mix three kinds of cheese, steak, peppers and onions, it’s pure culinary perfection. It’s served with rich marinara sauce and is priced at $12.50. 

One of Mellow Mushroom’s famous specialty pizza pies is the Funky Q. Chicken. Start with topping pizza dough with barbecued chicken, mozzarella and cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and applewood smoked bacon. Finish it with a swirl of barbecue sauce. The crust was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. It tasted just like biting into a barbecue chicken leg but without the bone. A large pie has eight slices and costs $24.75, the medium has six slices for $20.75, and the small has four slices for $11.50.

Mellow Mushroom offers daily specials on Mondays-Thursdays. Monday is trivia night, with $3 kids’ meals, $20 large specialty pizzas and $12 N.C. craft beer pitchers. On Tuesdays, one-topping small pizzas are $5 and house margaritas are $6. On Wednesdays, craft cans and bottles are $3.50 and on Thursdays you can enjoy $3 draft pints.This month, you can order the Chicken Capri pie with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The March of Dimes.

Mellow Mushroom also offers catering. For more information, follow the restaurant on Facebook or Instagram, visit  www.mellowmushroom.com or call 565-8220.

Bone Appetit

The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina (HSEC) will host a Bone Appetit fundraising event from 4-9 p.m. Wednesday at Villa Verde, 2601 E. 10th St. Ten percent of all food and drink sales will be donated to HSEC. Write “for HSEC” on the receipt and alert the server. Visit www.hsecarolina.org.

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