Dining review_ mellow mushroom

When Mellow Mushroom opened in Atlanta in 1974, pizza wasn’t what it is today: artisanal, wood-fired and often wrapped up in the whole farm-to-table assault. How to chicken parmesan Back then, the biggest movement in pizza was Pizza Hut’s decision to use those signature red roofs.

Mellow Mushroom, according to a company story, was created out of the free-wheelin’ hippy culture of the time.

Chicken parmesan recipe uk That explains the whole mushroom obsession (which, on a side note, is the reason I ignored the Magic Mushroom Soup on the “munchies” menu). Cooking chicken parmesan in oven The restaurant has brought itself into the current century, but frankly if a hacky sack game broke out in the kitchen to a ska song, I wouldn’t be surprised.

The bohemian vibe doesn’t seem to keep anyone away from the Asheville location, where all walks of life stand in line next to the paint-splattered Ronald McDonald planted on an outside bench.

So what’s the draw? Maybe it’s the fact that Mellow isn’t afraid to have fun. Chicken parmesan cheese Sure, our local Mellow just underwent a remodel and grew up a little. Easy chicken parmesan recipe rachael ray But a mobile of fish and an enormous colorful disco ball remain, confirming it’s still a little left of center. Chicken parmesan bake recipe Though the Alice in Wonderland vignette on the ceiling appears smaller, it’s still a little creepy in a way only Lewis Carroll could find pleasure. Parmesan chicken alfredo At least there isn’t a Jabberwocky, because I would lose my pepperoni over that.

What about the eats? Mellow Mushroom is a carb-lover’s Shangri La with appetizers like garlic bread, cheese bread, and pretzels on the menu. What is parmesan chicken Sure, Mellow Mushroom has meatballs and wings, but why go to the house of gluten and not sample the goods? With that in mind, I ordered the pretzels. What sauce do you use for chicken parmesan These aren’t your typical Bavarian style, but are thick twists of pizza crust. Parmesan crusted chicken hellmans I had no complaints with our version, which was basted in garlic butter and dusted with enough Parmesan to send Italy on a three-day weekend. Cheesy chicken parmesan Factor in the side of indulgence in the form of Turbodog beer cheese and a side of marinara and I forgot all about how the Mad Hatter was eyeballing my beer.

If beer is your beverage du jour, Mellow has plenty of it. Parmesan crusted chicken breasts In fact our server, surprisingly better than most I’ve had at pizza joints, brought several beer samples matched to our preferences. Classic chicken parmesan Once the beers were picked and the Enlightened Spinach salad, full of Applewood bacon, dried cherries, apples, candied pecans, feta and balsamic vinaigrette, was devoured (our only item sans carbs), we moved onto the pizza.

Is it New York style? No. Chicken parmesan in oven Neapolitan? No. Chicken parm recipe rachael ray The pizza here is … well, a style all its own. Chicken parmesan recipe gordon ramsay The restaurant doesn’t flaunt it as much as it used to, but one claim to fame supposedly is the spring-water dough. Best baked chicken parmesan recipe Really? Are they in the kitchen with bottles of Deer Park? While it’s true more minerals in water can aid in gluten development and produce stronger, chewier dough, it hardly seems enough of a well-known fact to use as a marketing strategy.

Ordering up a couple of mediums, we kept our first basic with pepperoni and mushrooms (we had to throw mushrooms in somewhere). Parmesan chicken food network So maybe the pizza doesn’t come with the seal of approval from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Chicken parmesan with panko bread crumbs But you know what? It’s enjoyable. Easy chicken parmesan in oven Possibly, the large disco ball is hypnotizing patrons, but you can’t deny the crust has a chewy yet crisp texture. Parmesan chicken sandwich In no way does it lack flavor either, but then, with as much Parmesan as the crust is dusted in, it had better not.

For the second pizza, I figured when in an establishment with statues of mushrooms on legs, you need to let your hair down a little. What cheese is on chicken parmesan And, that’s what we did with an order of the Funky Q Chicken pie.

The Funky Q reads like this on the menu, “BBQ Chicken, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Caramelized Onions, Applewood Smoked Bacon and a BBQ sauce swirl.” All the flavors worked well together, but the swirl seemed executed by the Exxon Valdez, so thick it drowned out any other flavors.

The question remains, when you live in a town that actually has true artisanal pizza, when do you eat at Mellow Mushroom? My answer is when you don’t want to have to take things too seriously. Chicken parmesan with spaghetti When you want a pizza that actually is large when you order a large. T g i friday’s parmesan crusted chicken When you want to drink a beer and look into the eyes of the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Chicken parmesan recipe kraft Droves of tourists and Ronald McDonald lookalikes can’t be wrong.

Dish to try: Pizza, of course. Chicken parmesan bake There are endless toppings, but keeping it simple worked best for me, showing off the restaurants signature Parmesan-dusted crust. What to have with chicken parmesan The Enlightened Spinach Salad offers an enjoyable way to start your menu sans carbs. Parmesan chicken olive garden Note: MM does offer a gluten-free crust.

The bottom line: Mellow has turned into quite a large regional chain and there is better pizza in town. Best sauce for chicken parmesan There are two things that Mellow has going for it, their take on pizza is original (pretty tasty too) and so is their dining experience. Chicken parmesan receta Add to that a sizable selection of draft beer and all the Parmesan you can handle and you have yourself the ingredients for an occasional, but unique, pizza outing.

Matthew DeRobertis is a chef, instructor and gastronomically obsessed writer who’d rather eat than sleep. Contact him at ChefDeRoWrites@gmail.com .