Restaurant Review: Mellow Mushroom

We had the opportunity to attend Friends & Family Night at Mellow Mushroom. I’ve known about the restaurant opening for a since last summer when we printed the blueprints for the owner at work. Mellow Mushroom is at Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville. In the spot that used to be a dark & dingy Bennigan’s.

1604914_10206071005323320_3869619752573494298_nMellow Mushroom is anything but dark & dingy! The ceilings are at least twice as high as Bennigan’s, the decor is full of bright colors, and the music is really fun! The bar has a large Herky statue, a large cow-shaped disco ball spins over the dining room and there are large Space Invaders cutouts on the wall.

If you’re not familiar with Mellow Mushroom, they’re a chain that started in Georgia with the mission of making good pizza to drink with cold beer. Speaking of beer, their beer list is quite overwhelming. There are pages of bottled beers to choose from and a long list of draught beers, too. I had a Fat Tire for the first time and was pleasantly surprised! As far as food, Mike and I ordered the Kosmic Karma pizza. It had feta and mozzarella cheeses, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and Roma tomatoes with a pesto swirled on top. Sound delicious? It was!

I would definitely go back! A definite thumbs up.

Restaurant Review: Augusta

The book club I’m in meets once a month. The person who picked the book for that month gets to pick the restaurant we meet at. Last night we ate at Augusta – owned by a couple of displaced New Orleans residents and a short 15-minute drive from our house. I had heard very good things about Augusta’s food and was looking forward to it.AugustaRestaurant

DECOR: Usually I really like the mix & match chairs/tables/decor thing. Last night I just wasn’t feeling it. Maybe it was because the table cloths were plastic and some of the chairs weren’t sized right for the tables. I’m not quite sure.

MENU: I’ve been on Weight Watchers – yep, counting my points! – for the last couple weeks and have been doing pretty good, so seeing almost everything on the menu being deep-fried or sauteed in butter was a little disappointing. I decided on a house salad and a cup of gumbo. At a restaurant with owners from New Orleans, the gumbo should be excellent, right? I was so sure it was going to be awesome I even ordered a cup to-go for Mike. It wasn’t like any gumbo I’ve had before. You can interpret that however you want. Mike’s opinion? He took a few bites of it and threw it down the garbage disposal. The mustard vinaigrette dressing on my salad was good, though!

SERVICE: Super, super slow. There were 3 other tables there besides our group of 6. It was the owner’s 40th birthday so she was chatting away with some friends at a table. The place is small so it doesn’t take much for it to get pretty loud. Someone in my group said they had been there on a night when there were more people and the service was faster. My theory: the staff had a lot of time on their hands with so few people in the restaurant that they because preoccupied chit-chatting with each other and not paying attention to the patrons.

LONG STORY SHORT: I was very disappointed in Augusta after all the excellent things I had heard. Glad Mike and I didn’t try it out for a special occasion.