Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mellow Mushroom

A pizza joint, Mellow Mushroom, recently opened up a location in downtown McKinney.  It is a chain that has been opening locations in Texas over the last year.  Several coworkers have had high praise for this pizza joint, so I decided that I must give this place a try.  On a recent Saturday, my brother and I made plans to go to lunch and decided to give Mellow Mushroom a try.

As you first walk into the restaurant, you notice a very Austinesque (Texas word for hippie-like) feel to the restaurant.  The front of the restaurant is open air when the weather is nice, thus allowing patrons to enjoy the sights and sounds of Louisiana Street.  There is a large bar area in the middle of the restaurant with an enormous selections of brews on tap.  When we arrived, we were seated in the back of the restaurant towards the kitchen.  I was surprised by how big the restaurant was, because it looked like a small space from the outside.  
Kitchen and Dining Area (note the totem pole made from kegs)
Mellow Mushroom has a rather extensive menu that includes several appetizers, salads, sandwiches, etc. in addition to pizza.  Our waiter was very helpful in giving us advice and explaining the menu to us.  We decided to start with an order of the Muffeletta cheese bread, which is french bread that was topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  It was served with a side of red sauce to dip your bread in and I thought the combination of bread and sauce was very good.  
Muffeletta Cheese Bread
Although the cheese bread was delicious, we were here to try their pizza.  Mellow Mushroom has an extensive selection of specialty pies, but they also have over forty toppings if you decide to build your own pizza.  My brother decided to order the Mighty Meaty, which was topped with pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham, and applewood-smoked bacon.  I built my own pizza with ham, applewood-smoked bacon, and fresh basil.

About twenty-five minutes after we ordered, our pizzas finally arrived.  My pizza could have won a prize if there was a pageant for beautiful looking pizza.  The pizza had a thick crust on the edges, but was somewhat thinner towards the middle.  What really made this pizza stand out was the fact that it included whole pieces of apple-wood smoked bacon.  Most places just have tiny bacon-bits on their pizza, but you get your money's worth at Mellow Mushroom.  It looked so good, I almost hated to eat it.  From the first bite, I knew this was going to be a great pizza.  The crust was fantastic and the toppings were absolutely delicious.  The apple-wood smoked bacon tasted as good as it looked.  The ham was good too, but not as delicious as the bacon.  My decision to top it with fresh basil also paid off, because the added flavor made it one of the better pizzas I have had in 2013.  
My Creation With Ham, Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon, and Fresh Basil
My brother gave me a slice of the Mighty Meaty pizza and it was a carnivore's dream.  Mellow Mushroom does not skimp on toppings and I ingested protein on every single bite.  By the time we finished our pizzas, we were both ready for a nap.  
The Mighty Meaty
Even though I had heard good things about Mellow Mushroom, I was skeptical because it was a chain.  It turns out I had nothing to fear, because the food was delicious.  Although we had to wait a long time for the pizza, our waiter and the rest of the staff were very attentive.  Cadillac Pizza Pub has been the undisputed champion of pizza in downtown McKinney, but they now have some legitimate competition with the addition of Mellow Mushroom to the Square area.

Mellow Mushroom
http://mellowmushroom.com/store/mckinney
Livin the Good Life Rating =7

Mellow Mushroom on Urbanspoon