Friday, November 12, 2010

Have It All

Magnet # 392:  Hilton Head Mellow Mushroom Pizza Advertisement

Material:  Plastic

Purchased By:  N/A - given to me, free

Dial up your favorite pizzeria and place an order, everyone - this is National Pizza With the Works Except Anchovies Day!  I have no idea how this one came about, but it sounds like a good excuse to me.  Of course, I tend to think less is more with my pizza toppings - maybe I should have posted on September 5, which is Cheese Pizza Day.  Still, there's nothing wrong with trying some unusual additions to your pizza, and this is a great day to do it.

For those of you who've never heard of Mellow Mushroom, it's a pizza chain that's mostly found in the South.  Two Georgia Tech students and one from the University of Georgia started it back the the 1974, opening the first location in downtown Atlanta near the Yellow Jacket campus, and it became very popular with the college crowd.  While it's no longer there, the chain still has plenty of other restaurants for its customers to choose from - in fact, it has over 100 in 15 different states.  It's even gotten as far as Denver, Colorado and Tempe, Arizona.  What sets this chain apart from its competitors is its fun, eccentric style.  It has a very laid-back atmosphere and when it went into franchising, its owners hired a local Atlanta artist to produce a psychedelic design scheme a little reminiscent of the 70's and Grateful Dead artwork.  It's been featured on everything from the walls to the menus.  He also created some cute characters for the restaurant, like Dude Shroomington, Melody Mushroom, a trio of tiny mushrooms known as "The Funguys," and Mel O. Mushroom, who appears on this magnet.  In fact, the chain is rather generous in giving away free magnets - this is one of three different designs I have. Of course, their pizza is also pretty tasty.  Their dough is made from top quality wheat flour, spring water, and no sugar.  It has a great texture and taste.  They also have a wide variety of selections for sauce and toppings, so you have no shortage of choices for your pizza.  Even if you don't like pizza, they have other offerings like salads, calzones, and hoagies.  I've been to several locations and run across the Mellow Mushroom in places like Asheville, North Carolina, Birmingham, Alabama, and Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  But both my folks and I agree that the best Mellow Mushroom we've eaten at is the one in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  There, they really don't skimp on the ingredients - in fact, they often put so many toppings on that it's almost tough to see the pizza underneath them.  We once mentioned how impressed we are with it to a waitress there.  She really appreciated the compliment - in fact, she got teary-eyed and said that she'd worked at other locations, and this one is by far her favorite.  So if you're in the neighborhood, stop by and give it a try.  But you can also check out to see if there's one closer to you.  If you're a fan of pizza and you've never sampled this unique chain's offerings for yourself, you're missing out.

Even if you don't want the works - minus anchovies - on your pizza, perhaps this might be a nice opportunity to try one that differs from the norm.  There's Barbecue Chicken, Southwestern, Buffalo Chicken, Thai, Cheeseburger, Greek, Jamaican Jerk Chicken - the possibilities are almost endless.  One of the best pizzas I've had recently was at Bottoms Up Pizza in Richmond, Virginia's Historic Shockoe Bottom district.  There, I tried an ingredient I'd never had on pizza before - crabmeat.  It came on the Chesapeake pizza with sweet onions and a white sauce and was delicious.  And the crust was particularly good - it was almost closer to french bread than regular pizza crust.  The restaurant is located not far off I-95 so if I'm passing by again, I'll definitely stop by.  Regardless of what you order, this is definitely one celebration that's too good to pass up.  So head out or order in and support your local pizza place - I'm sure your taste buds will thank you.


  1. Oh yes, we really love the Mellow Mushroom but unfortunately there are none near us. I did just pick up some pizza for tonight and I'll do my best to get by with what I can get here.