We're no strangers in the Rogue Valley to unusual toppings — shrimp, steak, broccoli, refried beans, avocado, peanut sauce, even honey — on our pies, thanks to the likes of Kaleidoscope, The Grotto, Great American and Jackson Creek Pizza.

We're no strangers in the Rogue Valley to unusual toppings — shrimp, steak, broccoli, refried beans, avocado, peanut sauce, even honey — on our pies, thanks to the likes of Kaleidoscope, The Grotto, Great American and Jackson Creek Pizza.

But there's plenty of room for innovation, as a newcomer on the pizza-parlor scene proves in Talent.

Mystic Treats opened late last year on Highway 99 near the intersection with West Valley View Road. Entirely vegetarian, with the exception of a bit of fish, the menu is a fraction of the size seen at many local pizzarias but thoughtfully spans the flavor spectrum — no meat required.

Among the dozen pies listed are such double-take ingredients as creme fraiche, fig puree and buffalo mozzarella, all decidedly refined foods, the last almost unheard of in mainstream American pizzarias owing to its typically high price tag.

Paying just $6 for the 6-inch personal-sized pizza, customers like me may be tempted to sample several. So I ordered the Southern Oregon for its marriage of fig, pears, blue cheese and hazelnuts, as well as The Mac, just to say I'd tried the ultimate comfort food on top of pizza.

My fellow dining columnists indulged my desire for the unconventional and ordered Mystic Treats' version of the Hawaiian with smoked salmon, instead of Canadian bacon, and the Manchurian with broccoli, pineapple, almonds and an Asian-style sweet glaze.

Because the pizzas take a bit of time to cook, we grabbed a bag of chocolate-covered, nut-encrusted pretzel sticks ($2) from a canister on the counter. Multitasking as a bakery, Mystic Treats stocks a variety of cookies, tea cakes, scones, truffles and other chocolates. Seven-layer cakes in several flavors can be ordered in advance for $28, and slices of some are available daily.

Pizza by the slice is another option for $2.50 to $3.50. But only two pies are on the block daily, and I haven't seen the more exotic among them yet.

Customers can design their own pizzas from a list of toppings that includes, among others, anchovies, capers, black beans, roasted corn and "soyrizo." Soy cheese and gluten-free crust are other ways to personalize one's pizza.

Ours arrived hot and bubbly, the cheeses nicely browned on top. We pushed the Southern Oregon, with its sweet, fruit-based sauce, to the center of the table to enjoy as a quasi-dessert and started swapping slices of the others.

Teresa wondered if the red liquid oozing from hers was grease. But we soon confirmed that it was indeed the smoked paprika-infused oil, one of several flavors drizzled on pizzas and around the plates' edges.

Maybe it was the oil that made the Hawaiian easily the tastiest of the three. Smoked salmon with its strong flavor, I realized, is a much better match for sweet pineapple than salty, one-note ham.

After I'd opined that broccoli doesn't belong on pizza, Anita objected and ordered the Manchurian just to prove its appeal. Because the pie lacked a classic tomato sauce, I think its addition of broccoli to pineapple, almonds and green onions made more sense than other vegetarian pizzas I'd tried. Perhaps it was Anita's small appetite, but the Manchurian was the only pizza we didn't finish.

The least flavorful of the three, The Mac was a satisfying carbo-load on a cold, dreary day. Likewise lacking a tomato-based sauce, this was grounded in creme fraiche. If drizzled with the paprika oil, The Mac could be a new favorite.

The real stroke of genius at Mystic Treats, though, is turning figs into a pizza sauce. I've had figs on pizza. I've put figs on pizza. But I never would have thought to make them the base layer for otherwise obvious toppings of Gorgonzola, pears and hazelnuts. The sauce isn't a uniform paste, either, but retains chunks of fig that heighten the sweetness of some bites.

Sweetness is tempered, however, in Mystic Treats' housemade sodas. We ordered root beers and a cream soda ($1.50) and appreciated their fresh flavors and slight bitterness. Next time, I'll order a pitcher to go with my large half-Mac, half-Hawaiian. Maybe I'll call my version of Mystic pizza the Plate Lunch.

— Sarah Lemon