Sunday, November 14, 2010

RESTAURANT REVIEW - Mellow Mushroom, Austin, TX

Mellow Mushroom
2426 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX 78705
(512) 472-6356
Mon-Thurs 11AM-Midnight
Fri-Sat 11AM-1AM
Sun 12PM-Midnight

Upon entering Mellow Mushroom, I am struck by the mixture of old and new, and also by the feeling that I've just accidentally stepped into someone's rather groovy trip. My mother would really dig the brick-colored tin ceiling tiles, my dad would love the wooden plank tables sparingly decorated with vintage coins, and my inner hippie is impressed by the murals, bright colors, and three-deminsional Willie Nelson in a canoe.
Mellow Mushroom - Austin, TX

Mellow Mushroom's menu boasts healthy ingredients, including "tofu, tempeh, artichoke hearts, broccoli, spinach, and fresh basil, just to name a few." They have lots of hoagies and salads. According to the menu, the "pizza crust is basted with garlic butter and sprinkled with parmesan", but they'll do a vegan crust upon request. The "Munchies" section includes hummus dip and pita bread as well as salted soft pretzels which are vegan. Unfortunately, the garlic bread is not vegan.

This visit was the first time I'd been here since they started carrying vegan cheese, so I decided to get the "Mega Veggie" pizza (sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, black olives, roma tomatoes, broccoli, feta, banana peppers, artichoke hearts, and tofu) with no feta and tempeh instead of tofu. It arrived with a ton of toppings piled on it (yay!) and they were all fresh and flavorful. The tempeh was really outstanding on the pizza, with a superb texture and lovely savory flavor. The crust was soft and slightly chewy, and tasted good dispite the slight structural problems of not *quite* being able to support the toppings. (This was a multi-napkin pizza!) I'm not positive, but I think they use Teese cheese on their pizza, which melts pretty well and has a very gooey texture. My omni dining companion mentioned that he would have enjoyed the pizza just as well without the cheese, since it didn't have a lot of flavor, just texture. I think I could go either way; I love the fact that Mellow Mushroom is one of a handful of Austin-area pizza joints that offer vegan cheese, but I agree that this particular pizza would have held its own just as well without the cheese.
Mellow Mushroom - Austin, TX
Mellow Mushroom - Austin, TX
Mellow Mushroom - Austin, TX
(Additional pictures are in my Flickr stream, including art featuring aliens destroying New York.)

Mellow Mushroom also has free internet (yay!) The music is constantly rather loud, and if it's crowded (even partially so), the overall noise level can be quite high. Conversation with one's dining companion(s) can be a bit difficult. Of course, on this visit they played several songs from Weird Al, so I give them bonus points for that.

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous of that pizza! I usually have to get no-cheese pizza if we happen to order in. I would just love a vegan cheesy pizza. And Willie Nelson on the wall would be cool, too.