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Maybe it is because we are pizza snobs — loving every thing from the huge thin crust pies in New York City to the deep dish delights of local Chicago, but the Mellow Mushroom chain branch we tested in Iowa City didn’t blow us away. Don’t get me wrong, Mellow Mushroom In Iowa City is a Tasty Treat, the place was just a bit overdone for our tastes.
Boasting the fact that they are the only Mellow Mushroom in Iowa, we were excited to try it out. I had talked to the local convention and visitor’s bureau and this seemed like a neat fit for our visit to the area. I was told the inside was very “spaceship like” and that Miss Sarah would probably have a blast there.
We entered from the mall parking lot door and instantly found ourselves in the firing range of people playing a dart game. After walking through the entire restaurant, we realized that the “real” entrance was from the inside of the mall. You can get the gist of the place from this picture – even the “beaming up cow” spaceship over the general dining room.
We ordered the “Mighty Meaty” as I am working on more protein and less carbs, I ate the super cheesy topping off the crust. This pie had their mellow red sauce with mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham and applewood smoked bacon, for a tad over twenty bucks with a medium pie.
I’d give it a 4 out of 5 — the crust really needed a little more to it as it was basically soggy and couldn’t hold up under that many toppings. It was either a fold in half to eat or use a knife and fork on the plate.
That applewood smoked bacon? It really needed to be pre-cooked before going on the pie – it was way to raw and fatty for our tastes. We picked it off.
The service was friendly and fast, but we knew our pie would be a bit of a wait when we saw our server sit down on a bench over by the heat lamp table. The place was about half full and it took 40 minutes to get our pie.
I have never waited that long for any pizza – including Europe.
Miss Sarah had a small cheese pizza to herself and loved it.
I will say that the menu had a nice selection besides pies. There were sandwiches and salads like their Enlightened Spincah Salad that boasted fresh spinach topped with dried cherries, apples, house-made candied pecans and feta cheese. It comes in two sizes: “lil” and regular. My mouth literally watered just reading that description.
They have a full sports bar built in to the place, right next to the open area dining room. With the industrial sheik high ceilings, you could clearly hear the excitement of those watching the game.
This is a fun place for the kiddos. The 50+ crowd who hates background noise and would love to be able to hear each other across the table for conversation? Not so much. Mellow Mushroom In Iowa City is a Tasty Treat, but I am not sure it is a great value for your time or money…it isn’t a place we would make a point of stopping the next time we drive through the area.
If you want to try it out for yourself, see more HERE on their website.