Jackson Creek Pizza Co. has expanded its reach across Medford with a new location at 1590 Delta Waters Road.

Jackson Creek Pizza Co. has expanded its reach across Medford with a new location at 1590 Delta Waters Road.

By taking over a former Quiznos location, this local chain, born in a strip mall in west Medford, has pushed its number of pizzerias to three.

The father and son team of Tom and Tim Stone started the business in 2002 in a tiny storefront at 2372 Jacksonville Highway. That restaurant moved to a larger location in the same shopping center about two years ago and still handles all the deliveries to Medford and Jacksonville.

The flagship downtown location, at 317 E. Main St., opened in October 2005.

The latest location still looks exactly like a Quiznos, but with Jackson Creek Pizza stickers slapped over old logos. Quirky local art, plenty of neon beer signage and a flat-screen television have been added, but it's still more of a strip mall spot to grab lunch or takeout than a groovy neighborhood hangout.

There were, however, a few tables filled by college football fans watching a game on the TV perched above a beer cooler when my husband and I stopped in for a late lunch on Saturday. Manager Jason Puls said it's even busier for weekday lunches, when workers from surrounding businesses stop by. It is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

My husband and I often split a foot-long sub, a bargain at any Jackson Creek Pizza at just $9.99. I recommend the meatball sub if you're feeling carnivorous, or load up Aunt Sis's veggie sub with all your favorite vegetables if you're not. Jackson Creek offers 17 subs, but if you see some combination of ingredients on their pizza list, they are usually happy to throw them on their hearty, house-baked rolls for even more options.

On this visit, though, we were hungry for pizza. With 42 different combination pizzas to choose from, Jackson Creek has something for everyone, whether you're a traditionalist when it comes to pizza ingredients or the kind of eater who is willing to try a pizza that's topped with turkey, broccoli or a drizzle of honey.

Don't worry, those slightly odd toppings aren't all on one pie. Individual pies are generally well thought out and pretty mainstream, with even the more unusual specialty pizzas featuring familiar flavors such as buffalo wings, cheeseburger, tacos, barbecue or alfredo sauce.

With so many options to choose from, we couldn't settle on just one, so we ordered one pizza that was half Popeye — a vegetarian delight topped with spinach, mushrooms, feta, swiss, mozzarella — and half Inferno — a tasty combination of fresh garlic, Italian sausage, onions, sweet red peppers, jalapeños and mozzarella that's moderately meaty and not too spicy.

Prices for specialty pizzas range from $13.99 for a small to $25.99 for a large, but there is a selection of value pizzas for $3 less. Any pizza can be made into a calzone for the same price as a small pizza.

Jackson Creek Pizza is a Medford classic: reasonable quality at a reasonable price. The crust is not too thick and not too thin, nicely balanced between crunchy and chewy. The sauce is mild enough to complement whatever toppings are piled on. There aren't any intimidatingly weird gourmet toppings that will scare off picky kids.

All locations offer beer and wine, including a good variety of microbrews from around the region.

— Anita Burke