Daily Slice: Mellow Mushroom, Marietta, Georgia
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
Mellow Mushroom started out small, with three college students opening a lone pizza parlor a few blocks from Georgia Tech's campus back in 1974. But love for their psychedelic pies expanded well beyond their Atlanta home, and the Mellow Mushroom mini-empire now boasts 100 locations across 15 states. (Check out Slice's full review from 2009.)
All of their hearth-baked 'zas feature hand-tossed dough made with spring water. Chewy, fairly dense, and dusted with cornmeal and Parmesan, the crust alone has an intense and loyal following. While the lineup of toppings include all the usual suspects plus a few far-out surprises (avocado, tempeh, jerk tofu), it's the trippy specialty pies that really blow your mind, with names like the Magical Mystery Tour, the Kosmic Karma, and the Philosopher's Pie.
I get particularly stoked about the Red Skin Potato Pie (formerly the Hot Potato Pie). Hearty red spuds are sliced thin and arranged across an olive oil and garlic base. Also joining the party are applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, cheddar and mozzarella, chives, and spicy ranch dressing. Finally, it's all "drizzled with sour cream," according to the menu.
"Drizzled?!?" (See the photo above.) I've previously seen this pie with a back-and-forth latticework of sour cream, as well as one continuous spiral that covers the whole 'za. But the chef at my Mellow Mushroom on this night opted for the "fist-sized-dollop" treatment. Personally, it was a bit much for me. A "drizzling" adds tang to the loaded-baked-potato-on-a-crust theme; I ended up scraping most of my piles off. What remained seemed just right.
Still love the Red Skin Potato Pie, don't get me wrong. But next time, I'm asking that they keep it more mellow with the sour cream, man.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers2421 Shallowford Road, Marietta, GA 30066 (Map)