Tuesday night, I paid a visit to the new Mellow Mushroom at the corner of Park and White Station, which opened September 30th.
This new Mellow location has a sci-fi theme that fits perfectly with the restaurant’s funky ‘60s architecture. The building once housed a bank, and the restaurant’s builders revamped some of the location’s unique features, turning the former bank drive-through into a covered, heated patio and the spacious domed atrium into a space-y circular seating area that makes you feel as though you are patronizing a diner in the cosmos. A 20-foot model rocket ship hangs from the ceiling, and lighted movie posters advertising fictional pizza-themed space odysseys align one wall.
But the highlight of the night was, of course, the hand-tossed pizza, which you can watch being made in the open kitchen. The menu boasts 16 specialty pies or the option to build your own. They also offer salads, calzones, and hoagies for those who are too hungry to wait for a pizza to bake.
I ordered a Holy Shiitake Pie, which was topped with various mushrooms, caramelized onions, garlic aioli, and freshly shaven Parmesan cheese. I’m drooling just thinking about it again. The pizza does take 25 minutes to cook, but that gives you time to sample some of the 50 draft beers available.
On the Mellow Mushroom Memphis Facebook page, some customers have complained about long wait times and a shortage of staff, but hopefully that is an issue that will be resolved as time goes on. At 6 p.m. on a Tuesday night, I was seated immediately at a patio table, but there was a 15-minute wait for interior seating.
While I wouldn’t recommend choosing Mellow Mushroom if you have a limited amount of time to dine, the friendly, funky atmosphere and delicious pizzas and beer make it a worthwhile trip.