Jackson Creek Pizza Co. finds a new home for pies, wings and much more
For its 20th year, Jackson Creek Pizza Co. is going big in its new home on Medford’s Biddle Road.
Recently relocating to the former Sizzler, the locally owned pizzeria provides plenty of room for diners to spread out, even in large groups. For those preferring the comforts of home, Jackson Creek will bring the pizza there, free of extra charge. Check its online “pizza matrix” for cost comparisons with local competitors.
At first glance, the erstwhile corporate chain decor seems at odds with Jackson Creek’s former quirky digs downtown. But the move closely echoes Jackson Creek’s expansion almost a decade ago to Delta Waters Road and the site of a former Quizno’s. Last last year, the pizzeria birthed by father-son team Tom and Tim Stone in a tiny Jacksonville Highway storefront vacated longtime locations on East and West Main streets.
A number of years had passed since I patronized Jackson Creek, primarily for sub sandwiches, served hot on freshly baked bread. Both the essential Italian sub and “pizza hero” are favorites. Sizes range from 4 to 12 inches, priced from $7.49 to $13.49. Or try the new “famous chicken Parmesan sandwich” for $12.99.
But I promised my kids pizza and now had to lobby for something more satisfying than plain Jane pepperoni. Plenty of variety can be had among Jackson Creek’s 15 pies, including the “Sweetie Pie,” “Turtle Pie” and Taco Pie.” There’s the “Meatatarian” to counter Jackson Creek’s cheeky rebranding of vegetarian pizza. And that’s before factoring in calzones, which can be fashioned from any pizza recipe for medium-size prices, from $18.99 to $24.99.
Jackson Creek’s namesake pizza topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, pit ham, black olives and sliced mushrooms is about as classic as it gets. But my older son protests any interference with his protein, so I assured him I would request the pizza’s mushrooms and olives on half.
We ordered a small ($17.99) Jackson Creek to leave room for another small pie of my partner’s and my choosing. Sharing similar inclinations toward veggie-laden pizzas, we debated the “Ashland” with artichoke hearts and more mushrooms and olives versus the “Twisted Greek,” flavored with pesto and feta.
Because both pizzas rely on fresh spinach, and we were leaning toward the Greek salad, I advocated for the Ashland, although it lacked the Twisted Greek’s sausage. A similarly appointed pizza, “The Athens Delight,” combines wine-cured salami, Kalamata olives and feta.
The last two ingredients drew us to the Greek salad, which also advertised Roma tomatoes, red onions, cherry peppers and Parmesan cheese — all favorites of my younger son. To serve the table, we ordered the entree-size ($13.49) with Italian vinaigrette from eight dressing choices. Romaine lettuce made a fresh, vibrant canvas for the other components, curiously lacking cherry peppers. A few capers, however, added a bright, briny note.
Any salad can be made as a wrap for $7.99 to $9.99. Salad prices range from $5.99 for a half house salad to $13.49 for the chef with turkey, ham and Swiss cheese.
More meat beckoned from the appetizer section of Jackson Creek’s menu. From pork riblets or hot wings, my family clamored for the latter — mild for the kids over choices of barbecue or “hot.” A half dozen for $8.99 seemed appropriate, although we easily could have put away a dozen ($14.99).
Fat nicely rendered and skin caramelized and sightly crunchy, these were some of the best wings we’ve had locally in some time. Even their mild sauce had a pleasant tingle of spice.
If just a bit larger, they would have been well worth the price.
Large sizes only — pint and 22-ounce mug — for draft beer should have steered me toward sharing a few sips of my partner’s beverage. But his devotion to IPA doesn’t align with my preferences, so I ordered a pint of Stella Artois, which I struggled to finish. Paying almost $13 for two run-of-the-mill beers caused me to reconsider my choice.
Likewise, I would have urged my older son to just pick mushrooms and olives off his pizza if I’d known confining them to half came with a $2 charge, unspecified on the menu. A fee to add ingredients to half a pizza is understandable, but seems unwarranted for simply rearranging toppings. In hindsight, a large pizza split between two types — rather than two small pies — constitutes the better value.
Toppings otherwise were in ideal ratio to cheese and sauce, which was on the sweet and chunky side, rather than smooth and spiked with Italian herbs. Everyone commented they liked the crust, also an ideal thickness, crunchy and crispy around the perimeter with a toothsome chew.
The kids would have yearned for a house-made cookie ($2) or brownie ($4) if I’d mentioned dessert. But fountain sodas (Jackson Creek serves Coke products) soothed their sweet tooth.
Located at 700 Biddle Road and 1590 Delta Waters Road, Suite 112, Jackson Creek Pizza is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. See the menu at jacksoncreekpizza.com. Call 541-776-2888 to order for pickup or delivery from Biddle Road, 541-608-8885 for pickup or delivery from Delta Waters Road. Free delivery is available on orders of $15 or more.
A historic vineyard turned hospitality venue plans its first “Dinner Club” event of the year.
Vista 222 in the Applegate Valley has selected local, sustainably farmed ingredients for preparation by chef Kristen Lyon of Jefferson Farm Kitchen. The Feb. 3 event begins at 6 p.m. at 222 Missouri Flat Road, Grants Pass.
The menu features stuffed mushrooms and other appetizers, carrot soup, shredded Napa cabbage with Rogue Creamery blue cheese, deconstructed beef Bourguignon with creamy mashed potatoes and almond-pear spice cake with bourbon-rosemary whipped cream. Courses are paired with 2020 chardonnay and rose and 2017 pinot noir. Cost is $90 per person, or $75 for Vista 222 members.
Dinner club membership affords exclusive first access to events and special pricing, plus one logo keepsake wine glass or beer can glass. Membership requires commitment to attend two different dinners in Vista 222’s annual series as well as purchasing two bottles of wine. Each dinner in the series highlights a different menu, theme, local farm or experience, from formal dining to casual outdoor pig roasts. See vista222.com/about-2
Purchase tickets at jeffersonfarmkitchen.com/shop or by calling 541-450-9422.
Ashland’s MÄS is spreading the love for Valentine’s Day.
The fine-dining establishment that champions “Cascadian” cuisine announced it will celebrate 2022’s holiday twice — Feb. 13 and 14. MÄS’ “ocean-forward” multicourse menu will feature impeccably sourced, seasonally fresh seafood, according to chef-owner Joshua Dorcak. The cost is $225 per person.
Staggered seatings are available from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. both evenings. Reservations, prepaid for parties of two, can be made at masashland.com. Or call 541-581-0090.
Typically open Thursday through Saturday, MÄS is located at 141 Will Dodge Way. The restaurant is accepting bookings through June for dining room or chef’s counter seating, as well as semiprivate accommodations for parties of four to six in its cookbook library.
“Meatball cones” are back in Medford.
She’s Got Balls Meatball Truck announced its return this week to 325 S. Riverside Ave., in the post office parking lot. Citing a staff injury, the truck suspended operations in April.
SGB’s signature item is a loaf of French bread, its center hollowed out, packed with housemade beef and sausage meatballs — maybe some pasta — and topped with sauce, either marinara, Alfredo or meat. Search “meatball cone” at mailtribune.com to read the truck’s March 19 dining review.
SGB serves from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. See sgbmeatballtruck.com
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Sarah Lemon has relished the Rogue Valley’s dining scene for nearly two decades as one of the original contributors to Tempo’s dining column. Her palate has helped to judge some of the region’s culinary competitions and festivals. The former editor of A la Carte, the Mail Tribune’s weekly food section, she writes a biweekly column, The Whole Dish, and blogs and podcasts under the same name. Listen at mailtribune.com/podcasts and read more at mailtribune.com/lifestyle/the-whole-dish. Follow @the.whole.dish on Instagram, @thewholedish on Twitter or see facebook.com/thewholedish.