A Slice of Happiness
Evidently, a year without Mellow Mushroom in Boone was almost more than area pizza lovers could stand.
Since reopening on Aug. 1, the new Mellow Mushroom pizzeria on King Street has been packed, and it is not uncommon to see dozens of people waiting outside for an available table.
"We've got a lot of the menu items and restaurant touches that are common to all of the Mellow Mushroom locations, but we've also got a uniquely 'Boone' feel to this location," restaurant owner Chase Luddeke said. "We used a lot of local craftsmen to create the stonework and woodwork. We used local materials and recycled as much as we could from the existing building."
Located in the building that once housed Heilig-Myers Furniture, and more recently an antique mall, Mellow Mushroom can be found on the corner of King and Water streets in downtown Boone.
Luddeke opened the new restaurant after successfully running the Blowing Rock Mellow Mushroom for many years.
Fans of the old Mellow Mushroom in Boone will find all of their old favorites, such as the Kosmic Karma pizza and the steak and cheese calzone on the new menu. There are also new items, such as the Mellowterranean pizza (olive oil and garlic base with chicken, onions, roasted red bell peppers, black olives, chives, mozzarella and feta with a side of tzatziki sauce) and the Capri hoagie (mozzarella, tomatoes, spring mix and basil, served with herb vinaigrette and pesto mayo).
Another new twist to the restaurant is the build your own salad menu. Much like the ingredients on a pizza, a salad lover can pick a base (romaine, salad mix, spinach or spring mix) and add as many ingredients as their heart desires. Dressings include the popular house dressing (esperanza), herb vinaigrette, spicy ranch, bleu cheese, 1,000 island, light ranch, Caesar, honey mustard, ranch, balsamic vinaigrette and oil and vinegar.
While the Caesar salad has been a perennial favorite, it is now being contested by its namesake's murderer, Brutus. The Brutus salad is similar to the Caesar, but with kalamata olives, grilled Portobello mushrooms basted with garlic butter, roasted red peppers, tomatoes and feta. It can also be ordered with jerk or teriyaki chicken for an additional $3.
"The menu has been expanded, and we now feature locally made desserts by Stick Boy Bread Company," Luddeke said. "Those will be rotating on a seasonal basis."
Another local aspect to the new restaurant is the artwork adorning the walls. With its hip, college-town feel, Mellow Mushroom rivals some area art galleries when it comes to having interesting things to look at, the centerpiece being a chandelier made out of lava lamps.
While the old Mellow Mushroom on Rivers Street had a small bar area, the new one boasts about twice as many seats at the bar and many nearby tables. The new restaurant also has full ABC permits, while the old one only sold beer and wine.
One of the popular features of the old restaurant - pizza by the slice - is available daily at the new Mellow Mushroom from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Slices are $2.50 each, with each additional ingredient costing 85 cents.
According to Luddeke, the new Mellow Mushroom is currently employing approximately 100 workers and will be adding more in the near future when Appalachian State University officially begins its fall semester.
With the amazing popularity of this new restaurant before the semester has even begun, one has to wonder how long the line will be to get into Mellow Mushroom on the first ASU football Saturday.
Got restaurant news? Contact editor Frank Ruggiero at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (828) 264-6397.