Mellow Mushroom (Asheville Brewery)

Well, for those of you following up on my post about the Asheville Brewery for our dinner excursion last night, I have some bad news. We went to the Asheville Brewery for dinner, and couldn’t get seated. We made eye contact with several bartenders and waitresses, and tried to flag down a couple, but no one would come over and seat us! We waited over 5 minutes and decided that, aside from feeling a little insulted, figured if the service was this crappy to get seated, what chance did we have to get decent service to get food!

I feel like I have been uber-critical of service in the last week, as I have had several crummy experiences, but I don’t really think that’s the case. Yes, I am critical, just ask my wife. Things can always be better, and if you’re not looking to idenfiy ways to improve, then you’ll never be able to make smart choices regarding the use of resources TO improve. Being critical isn’t necessarily being mean, it’s identifying shortfalls between current performance and ideal performance. Point being, this week, the service HAS been bad, far worse than any other time I recall; I’m not just being hyper-critical.

So, we left the Asheville Brewery and went looking for somewhere else to dine. Amanda had seen a jovial place as we had cruised town in the morning, and thought it might be a fun place to try, in light of our recent dissappointment. We found ourselves eating at the Mellow Mushroom.
My recommendation: Try it. Aside from the fun environment, they had a great beer selection, and a “crunchy” menu.
Overall: It was a good experience. I would go back, for sure, but I would order something completely different, both to drink and to eat. The food was good, but just wasn’t what I was into. The service was good, but a little out of place for a restaurant decorated with so many neon mushrooms.
Ambiance: Certainly one of the biggest draws of the place. It had a huge outdoor seating area, but temperature was in the low-50s with a quiet breeze, so we sat inside. There was a stuffed-moose mounted on the wall, a wooden grizzly bear, a disco ball with appropriate lighting, all the Christmas lights you could want, even in April, and a 54″ x 42″ dance floor that my wife and I couldn’t figure out. It was a fun looking place, and the servers generally seemed to be in the mood.
Menu: Subs, salads, pizza, and calzones, again. Nothing really all that inspired, for a meat eater like me, but if you were a vegetarian, you were set! I had never seen so many tofu and tempeh dishes in my life. Basically, if they had a meet product, they had its equal in tofu, and again in tempeh. They had a great beer selection, again, with probably 15+ draughts, mostly of local descent.
Something you won’t find on most menus: Aside from the huge assortment of tofu and tempeh, they had a mushroom pizza with portabello, shittake, and button mushrooms which looked great.
Service: Our service was professional and attentive, which seemed almost out of place in this very free-spirited restaurant. Our server was not particularly bubbly, which I would have expected, but was fast, effective, and friendly. We were amazed, after our non-run-in with the Asheville Brewery, how quickly people were acknowledged at the door, and if the hostess wasn’t RIGHT THERE, a server would immediately seat a waiting party. Once again, the efficiency seemed almost out of place, but was much appreciated.
Food: After the large lunch (I was still tasting my chili a little bit), I decide to go with a simple Chef’s salad. It was a little disappointing, really. I think I was analytically in the mood for a simple salad, for all the right reasons; calories, density, etc, but when I got it, it really didn’t hit the spot, and I was looking for something else. Fortunately, Amanda had another calzone (she really likes calzones), and she offered me some, and it was excellent. It had tomatoes and spinach inside, in addition to cheeses and garlic, and was encrusted with some parmessan cheese. It scratched my itch. I also had the Pisgah Pale Ale (Pisgah Brewing Company, Black Moutain, NC, certified organic beer). It was good, but honestly, it was served about 2-3 degrees too warm for me to REALLY enjoy it. It’s on my list to try again, though. It was my first organic beer, and while it threw me a little bit, it had all the makings of an excellent beer. Amanda had the Pyramid Apricot (Seattle, WA), which I hadn’t had in several years, and it was very tasty, too. All this, for another ~$25. Didn’t think we could complain about that!
50 Broadway
Asheville, NC 28801

Mellow Mushroom Pizza on Urbanspoon

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