Monday, February 16, 2015

Mellow Mushroom Food Review

Oven Roasted Wings (Hot)

I've been meaning to review Mellow Mushroom for quite some time; but I had two previous invitations fall through (poor marketing.) I ventured out today in search of a holiday brunch; but nearby Roofers Union and Smoke and Barrel DC were closed (on a Federal Holiday, duh.) Their loss (have you seen the price of brunch nowadays?) was MM's gain; and for most of today's lunch, mine too.

The words charming and cozy leap to mind, once you step inside. It's dark (like a pub) and I asked the hostess for a quiet seat if possible. No dice on that request, but I did have a table of four all to myself. Considering it was just before noon (and the temperature was in the teens) the dining area was almost full. The restaurant has a cool vibe with great music (Erykah Badu, Estelle) played at a comfortably low volume. I can easily see myself "hanging out" here on a regular basis.

Half-Order Pretzels

That feeling was reinforced with a quick visit from my servers (Ted & Will.) The latter was in training, and did a very good job overall. For starters, he brought a tall of glass of water without my having to ask. I asked for two half-orders of Pretzels (salted) and Oven Roasted Wings (hot) to start (referred to as MUNCHIES, instead of appetizers.) Unfortunately, neither server asked me if I wanted a drink. I was able to sneak in an order for a 10" Small Pizza with sausage and onions. I specifically asked for the pizza to arrive 10 minutes after my apps (more on that later.)

10" Small Pizza with Italian Sausage and Onions

Minutes later, Will returned to warn me that the pretzels were being made fresh, and might take an extra minute or two to come out. Good job Will: You're a fast learner, and I really appreciated the heads-up. A few minutes later, my wings arrived (all 10 of them... a FULL order, not the HALF I ordered.) Turns out, I was charged for a FULL order too ($8.95 vs. $5.95.) Upon first glance, I had low expectations. The wings were downright tiny, and overcooked. They also weren't HOT as advertised, much closer to MILD in fact. So imagine my surprise, when I couldn't stop eating them. The meat literally fell off the bone, and was surprisingly flavorful (yet mild.) Close to delicious; and good enough to forgive their small size and subsequent lack of meat.

The pretzels were equally good, although two of the three were slightly underdone and doughy. It's the same dough used for the pizza, and it makes for a tasty pretzel. Mine were buttery and salty; and the third one was absolutely perfect (less doughy, cooked all the way through.) The trio of good-sized pretzels came with mustard sauce; but I didn't need to dip them at all... They were plenty tasty on their own.

Sadly, my pizza arrived as I was finishing off my wings. Keep in mind, I hadn't even started on my pretzels yet. Also, I made a point of asking that the pizza come after my MUNCHIES. That's a major miss, if you ask me. When I finally got to the pie, it was predictably cold. The crust was thick and flavorful (and well-done.) It reminded me of the pizzas at Maggie's (from many moons ago.) Gooey cheese, and zesty sauce too; but the sausage left a lot to be desired (almost zero flavor, and tiny crumbles = bad idea.)

Will checked in on me often (I don't complain during reviews... What you see is what you get) and Ted was kind enough to box up my leftover pizza. My order came to $25.19 (not including tip) but I never received a detailed receipt, which doesn't happen often (if at all.) One other oversight... Only 1½ napkins and NO moist towelettes (wings = messy.) Lucky for me, I was literally a few feet away from the restroom (individual stall, very clean.) Even luckier, they had extra paper towels.

Service was quick (too quick) and for the most part, attentive. Some misses (no drink order, wrong amount of wings and stacked arrival of food) but not enough to drown out the good tunes, and tasty food. Bonus points for being open (Adams Morgan keeps odd hours) and for a warm welcome/farewell. They'll definitely see me again.