|2426 Guadalupe St.
Austin, TX 78705
Having been a college professor for five years I’ve had plenty of opportunities to dine on or near the University on whatever street tends to be the main area for fast campus food. By and large, the dining experiences have been rather pedestrian. But at Guadalupe at 26th, across from the Communications Building at the University of Texas, there are some pretty decent restaurants coming on line. One of these is the Mellow Mushroom at 2426 Guadalupe.
The Mellow Mushroom name could imply something psychedelic to an old hippie like me but that’s really not the case. It’s just a neat spot for good pizza and Italian food that the UT community and those in the vicinity should be thankful for.
The appetizers comprise a small but not to be overlooked section of the Mellow Mushroom menu. I like the Stuffed Portobello which is a gigantic grilled mushroom cap stuffed with artichoke hearts, Sun-Dried tomatoes, Feta cheese and garlic butter. This is the ribeye of the fungi family! The Baked Wings also have a charm all their own. These are oven-roasted and it imparts a grilled smoky flavor that you just can’t get from the deep fryer. Try the mild. And the Bruschetta is good as well. The tomatoes are fresh and spicy and the bread is crisp. You wouldn’t expect a sidewalk campus joint like Mellow Mushroom to have a bruschetta but there you go!
The salads are both ample and original at the Mellow Mushroom. My favorite is the Greek. This is a massive salad with a variety of tastes, all of the interesting. The feta cheese of course provides the ultimate flavor direction but the esperanza dressing is dead on as well.
The Pizza is also way better than what you might envision for the average campus joint. I like the House Special. There is sausage and onions, mushrooms and peppers and a host of other goodies. Just hold the olives please. The crust is crispy on first bite and more importantly, has staying power. Another neat pie is the Mega Veggie. Suffice to say there are more veggies than space allows me to print on this pie. But they all blend well together imparting a very fresh flavor and crunchy texture.
The Calzones are also good at the Mellow Mushroom. Not to be confused with Stromboli, the Calzone is given a crescent shape of baked pizza dough and is filled with meats and cheeses. My favorite is the one I create for myself: sausages, mushrooms, onions and pepperoni.
And no self-respecting campus pizza parlor would be caught dead without some grilled hoagies. I love the Sausage and Peppers. This dish is set apart by the caramelized onions and has great flavor. And if island fare is your forte, then try the Jerked Chicken grilled hoagie. The spicy jerk chicken is just enough of a player in this cast of ingredients to give it a subtle yet tasty difference. Do try.
It’s hard to walk by Mellow Mushroom without just heading in. I did. Something about the aroma just kind of pushed me that way. Glad to say I followed my nose.