1411 NW Flanders Street
Portland, Oregon 97209
Hours: Su-Th: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; F, Sa: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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Lunch Money: $$-$$$
Iâ€™ve been meaning to write this review FOREVERâ€¦or maybe it just seems that way since Portlandâ€™s Mellow Mushroom has been open since October 2011, and itâ€™s become the one of my regular pizza destinations in the Pearl District.
I really like the mellow-groovy vibe of the place. Itâ€™s sort of a â€˜60s-hippie-meets-Portland-hipster attitude. Iâ€™ve been to MM for lunch, happy hour and dinner, and Iâ€™ve never been disappointed. Great service, friendly bartenders and, of course, lots of yummy, cheesy options to pick from!
Fair warning: The portions are large. Even the smallest pizza size can probably feed two people at lunchtime, especially if youâ€™re starting with a salad or an appetizer. Likewise for their sandwiches and calzones. Come REALLY hungry, share or expect to have leftovers to take home.
On my visits Iâ€™ve typically stuck with the pizza menu (wellâ€¦and the appetizer, beer and wine menus, too).
During lunch hours (usually from open to 2 p.m.) you can order pizza by the slice. You start with a basic cheese slice and can choose the toppings of your choice. I like this because it means your slice is made-to-order, fresh and hasnâ€™t been sitting under a heat lamp all day.
While you can go with a build-your-own pizza (with tons of topping options), the specialty pizzas are probably my main draw to MM. Sure, there are your standard combo pies (the Hawaiian, the Mighty Meaty, the Mega Veggie types), but they also have some very creative options. The Caesar is actually topped with a Caesar salad. The Red Skin Potato Pie is like a deluxe baked potato on crust.
Speaking of the crust, the pizza crust at MM is pretty close to what I would call perfection. Iâ€™m not into deep-dish or anything too doughy, so the crunchy, crispy, yet still soft and chewy, crust is delightful. (Proof: I almost never eat the outer edge of my pizza crust, but MMâ€™s is so good I devour the entire slice!)
MM is also well known for their massive beer selectionâ€”they offer more than 100 options! Seriously, I think any beer aficionado would be more than satisfied here. Of course, if the enormous beer menu is a wee overwhelming, just ask your server…they know their stuff. Definitely donâ€™t be shy to ask for recommendations.
Some of my personal favorite things about MM are the appetizers, which are commonly discounted during happy hour.
The cheese bread is almost too good to be trueâ€”and huge! Itâ€™s a loaf of French bread smothered in cheese and served with a pot of marinara to dip in. Ermahgerd!!! So good.
My friends and I have also tried the fresh baked pretzels, which our server warned us would take a little longer than the typical app, butâ€”let me tell yaâ€”theyâ€™re well worth the wait. There are sweet or savory flavors to choose from (I personally love the garlic butter and Parmesan).
Overall, MM is a funky-fun place to grab a pizza and a brewski (especially in the pricey oasis that is the Pearl District). Itâ€™s great for groups and families, and on nice days there are a few outside tablesâ€”perfect for summertime people-watching!
– Good pizza with excellent crust
– HUGE beer selection
– Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options available
– Some outside seating in good weather
– Awesome cheesy bread!
– They only offer pizza by the slice at lunchtime
– No delivery serviceâ€¦yet
– As always, the parking situation in the Pearl District sucks (but the streetcar is close-by)