With the Mellow Mushroom opening a franchise in Fort Lauderdale, I wanted to get the full experience as a preview of what might be to come. Mellow Mushrooms are franchise operations, and the people that own Delray are not the owners of the Fort Lauderdale store. So there may be serious differences, although 80% of the menu is likely chain-driven.
This place is quite handsome, with a bar with lots of taps on the North side and funky but clean-looking decor.
Mellow Mushroom Interior
I asked to be seated in the back room, as there's a bit more privacy. They don't give out booths too easily; they even tried to seat 2 women with kids at a regular table with booths available; a table in the corner was fine with me.
Mellow Mushroom Delray Back Room
The dominant feature is a big Abbey Road mural painted on the back wall; this appears to be some sort of signature, as the West Palm Beach store has the same mural, and is run by the same owners.
Mellow Mushroom Delray Mural
It took a server a few minutes to come by; she offered to take my drink order without having much interest of telling me the specials. I got the soup out of her but she didn't tell me the "Hoagie of the day" that was one of the lunch specials. I ordered tea and considered the signature mushroom soup.
Mellow Mushroom Iced Tea
Some guys at the next table had chicken wings, and I noticed that jerk was an option, so I ordered a small greek salad and a 1/2 order of jerk wings. One good thing here is that they offer most things in smaller sizes. Small salads for $6 instead of a 1200 calorie monster is a good idea; and encourages you to try something else with it.
My server asked the obligatory "Do you want the salad first", and I made the usual mistake by being honest; I told here it didn't matter; whichever is ready first. Whenever I say this, they ALWAYS come out together. It seems impossible that wings and a salad would be ready at exactly the same time, but that's what happened.
17 minutes later, the wings and the salad came out together. One really wasn't ready sooner?
Mellow Mushrooms 1/2 order of Jerk Wings
My first impression of the wings were that they were way too saucy. Jerk is nasty stuff, and I don't like wings sitting in a puddle of the stuff. The salad was much bigger than
I expected; I even asked if this was the small. This is $12 on Las Olas, and they'll cheat you on the dressing.
Mellow Mushroom Small Greek Salad
I ordered the wings with ranch; and it was a good version. They make their own dressings here; this ranch was thick and zesty, a great pair with jerk. The jerk was too sweet and not spicy enough; not awful but not what I was hoping for either.
Mellow Mushroom Jerk Wings
The "greek" salad had pepperoncini and banana peppers, which add crunch but not the usual flavors for a Greek Salad. I liked that they pitted the olives; I don't like having to spit out pits when I eat a salad. The dressing was also more creamy italian than Greek. I enjoyed the salad but it was more like a hybrid than a true Greek.
Mellow Mushroom Greek Salad
One thing here is the inclusion of raw mushrooms in many of the salads and dishes, for obvious reasons. In theory they have nutritional value, but I don't think of fungi as being good for me.
My first impression of the build your own salad was that to get everything I wanted into it, it would be too expensive. But if this is a small, a full sized salad must be a family-size affair.
My server seem to lack some common sense; she didn't seem to know when to come to check on me. She delivered an iced tea refill when I was almost done with the salad (she took the wings plate), but she didn't think to come back to see if I was done. I was waiting, then went to the bathroom, and then had to physically get up to flag her down. A good server should notice when you're almost done and not let you sit there when you want to leave.
The interiors of Mellow Mushrooms seems to vary widely from pretty cool to psychedelic 'shrooms to plasticky juvenile designs, so I don't know what we're getting here in Fort Lauderdale. The place is basically a brewhouse that serves salads, sandwiches and Pizza, so it should be something different downtown, which is always welcome. As long as they keep the prices down; there's no reason for the Fort Lauderdale location to be any higher priced than downtown Delray Beach.
The Mellow Mushroom is a popular chain restaurant that specializes in Pizza. They have a Bar on one side, a dining room on the other side and a busy take out station in the middle. It's a combination pizzera / bar and it's very popular with the lower-end element on the Delray strip.
Mellow Mushroom Delray Bar Area
For me the place is a bit too crowded to be comfortable. There's a narrow entrance, and there's always people hanging out in front of the door. You know, the kind of people who think that the world exists just for them; the kind who don't move even when you ask them nicely.
A lot of people like this place; they have some interesting menu items. Pretzels are a big thing. They have pretty good dough here; pizza and pretzels are their specialties.
I decided to take a pizza home (I was in the store), and ordered one at the register. 30 minutes she told me. I was thinking would I really have to wait 30 minutes for a 10" pizza if I ordered at the bar or at a table? That seems a bit too long to me.
Mellow Mushroom Small Pepperoni Pizza
$10.40 for a small pizza. The pizza has a great tasting crust, but there's a lot of it in proportion to the sauce and cheese. Some of their pies are pretty expensive: $23+ for a large "specialty" pizza, which if you add tax and tip you're looking at $30 for a pizza. But a large regular pie is $14.99, which is in-line with other pizza places.
The pizza is a lot better than most "bar pies", and it seems like a cool place to hang out.