A Hairy Day at Mellow Mushroom (10/1/11)

Written by Miss Katie Bray, her very first blog attempt – she nailed it!  (The story was meant for Facebook but is too long…so we will just post the link to the blog there!)
Jennelle and I set out to pick-up some potentially excellent take-out. Mellow Mushroom has some of the best pizza in the country, in my opinion. (It’s no Chicago pizza, but Mellow Mushroom is a place that I was thrilled about when it opened up a Tempe, AZ location, as it has been a favorite restaurant of mine in Charleston, SC.) 
We ordered 1 mighty meaty, 1 half cheese/half Hawaiian, and 1 gluten-free garlic and olive oil…sounds like we are off to a good start. 

We arrive at Mellow Mushroom, where Take-Out Girl brings out our order. She starts by opening the first box to let us verify that it is right. Take-Out Girl and I both glance at the pizza and immediately notice a long dark hair weaving its way through the cheese – the hair making the sole topping of this sad-looking pizza. Meanwhile Jennelle is searching in her purse for her wallet, missing the sight of the adulteration to her dinner. Take-Out Girl gasps and slams the box shut. I look up at Take-Out Girl and we make eye contact. She knows I saw what she saw.  

Take-Out Girl runs away with the pizza. I quickly tell Jennelle there was a hair in the pizza. The look on her face tells me we won’t be taking this pizza home. (At this point I’m sure Take-Out Girl went to get the manager and to start on a new gluten-free garlic and olive oil and that all will be okay.)

Instead, Take-Out Girl slyly comes back over to the counter and slides the “hair with a pizza around it” underneath the stack of our mighty meaty and Hawaiian boxes. I look at Jennelle with surprise, not knowing what to say (seriously, I still don’t know how I would have dealt with this situation). Thankfully, J is calm. Take-Out Girl already looks very guilty. 

Jennelle (to Take-Out Girl): Was there something wrong with that pizza that you just took away?
Take-Out Girl: Yes.  (Take-Out Girl’s eyebrows are raising in fear. I can see in her expression that she is anticipating what Jennelle is about to say. Manager appears at the counter.)
Jennelle: Was there a hair on it? 
Take-Out Girl: Yes. (Take-Out Girl’s eyebrows seem to be lifting off her head.)
Jennelle: Did you just take the hair off and bring me back the same pizza?
Take-Out Girl: Yes.  (I think I’m witnessing this in slow motion. Take-Out Girly looks like she’s ready to sprint out of the store.)
Jennelle: Can you make me a new pizza?
Take-Out Girl: Yes.  
Jennelle: Can you give me some money back now that we are going to have to wait for you to make me a new pizza?
Take-Out Girl: Yes. 
Jennelle: Can you keep these 2 pizzas warm while you do this? 
Take-Out Girl: Yes.  (Take-Out Girl now looks like she’s wilting in defeat.)

Manager assures us that it will only take 10 minutes to make a new gluten-free. We stand in the tiny take-out area making occasional awkward eye-contact with Take-Out Girl. She gives Jennelle $3.65 back for the hair and encourages J to fill out a survey for an additional $5 coupon for more. 
Wow. Nice performance Mellow Mushroom. I had higher hopes for my first trip to the Tempe restaurant. The more Jennelle and I went over this scenario on the way home, the funnier it got and the more offended we became by Take-Out Girl’s attempt to disguise the hair pizza. 

I kinda want to send this story to Mellow Mushroom of Tempe, AZ, but I know all I will likely get in return will be a survey opportunity for a $5 coupon for more hair, I mean pizza. 

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