Report Card: Mellow Mushroom

Mellow Mushroom on Polaris

Mellow Mushroom on Polaris

Mellow Mushroom on Urbanspoon

http://mellowmushroom.com/store/columbus-oh

Report Card:     Mellow Mushroom

Overall GrubGrade  B+

 

The Breakdown:

Atmosphere:  Grade C+:  If you walk into the Mellow Mushroom on Polaris Parkway, you are not going to be confused by any strange décor.  With the exception of the plentiful, almost phallic cartoon mushrooms, the décor very plainly announces “pizza joint.”  And more specifically, a pizza joint in Columbus.  As par for the course for any establishment in Columbus with a wide screen television, the walls of Mellow Mushroom are adorned with lots of Ohio State memorabilia, especially commemorating the 2002-2003 national championship season.  We stopped by our Mellow Mushroom at around 4pm on the Saturday of the Big 10 football championship game.  Amazingly, the place was pretty much dead.  We’ve stopped by on other football Saturdays and couldn’t even find a parking spot.  The restaurant was clean and tables were nicely spaced.  Even better, the host/hostess didn’t seat us right next to the only other patrons in the place.  Here’s the odd thing, though.  Almost all of the chairs in the area we sat in were wobbly.  Swapping out the chairs with the adjacent table only resulted in other chairs with variable degrees of “wobbliness.”  While certainly not a deal breaker, it provided a somewhat distracting and slightly annoying dining experience.

High marks:  Clean, good use of entire seating area by host/hostess

Low marks:   Wobbly chairs were quite annoying

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Service:  Grade B:  This category always perplexes us when we go to a more casual place.  It is hard to ding a server or a restaurant for not providing those special touches that make a service exceptional.  Our server, Aaron, did a really nice job with the service.  Our drinks were brought to us in a timely fashion, and we had a wait for our pizza that was not unexpected.  You’re not going into a pizza place and getting served food as fast as you would in say…a Mexican restaurant.  The service was accurate; there just was very little opportunity for Aaron to strut his stuff, so to speak.  We think it would be pretty hard for a server in this type of casual eating establishment to score higher than a “B.”

High marks:  Accurate, reasonably quick service

Low marks:   Nothing memorable about the service

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Food/Spirits:  Grade A:  We have never tried to hide our love affair with Massey’s Pizza.  While pizza is not perhaps our favorite food, it is pretty high up on the list, mainly because the entire family will eat it.  We have tried a lot of different pizzas and found most of them lacking.  One particular exception is Blue Moon Pizza in Atlanta, Georgia.  They have perhaps the best pizza we have ever eaten.  Locally, no one has really come close to Massey’s, until now.  This visit to Mellow Mushroom was not our first, but we do not remember the pizza being as wonderful as it was on this particular visit.  We selected the Mighty Meaty Pizza, which is decked out with red sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham, and applewood smoked bacon…you know, the major food groups.  The crust was light and airy, and even though there seemed like a metric ton of meat on the pizza, all of the ingredients were well balanced.  Each bite provided a taste of each of the meats, and we didn’t leave feeling like they might have left the sausage off because we didn’t seem to encounter any.  The only criticism that we had was that the pizza could have been cut better.  It was difficult to separate the pieces without running the risk of launching the pie from our table to the floor, and the pieces were not uniform in size.  But these are really minor complaints.

High marks:  Great crust, lots of meaty toppings with great balance        

Low marks:   Needs to have a better cut with more uniform pieces

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Value:  Grade B:  This isn’t going to be the cheapest pizza you can find.  For that, call Little Caesar’s but make sure you have a bottle of Imodium handy…you’ll probably need it.  That being said, we ordered a large specialty pizza, a medium pepperoni pizza, and a build your own salad and escaped spending about $66.  Not too shabby considering the quality and how much we got to take home (the large pizza is really big).

High marks:   Great quality, big portions

Low marks:  A little pricey

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