Sweet Swine, Outlaw Pizza and a state-of-the-art touch-screen soda dispenser made eating at Pizza Ranch in Jefferson more than just lunch — it was an experience.
Choosing the buffet, I picked out two new offerings in pizza and was pleasantly surprised with both. I’ve never been a big fan of pineapple on pizza, but Pizza Ranch has come up with a combination that I would eat just about any time.
The pineapple was good and sweet, and the ham tender. It was all arranged on dough that was crisp on the bottom, but soft in the middle, creating a tasteful combination.
I also tried was the Outlaw Pizza. Anyone who likes pizza with a good zip would appreciate a slice. The pizza includes pepperoni, sausage and a variety of sweet peppers that give the taste some spice.
To round out the lunch, I made myself a salad from the salad bar, which is included in the buffet. Sweet peppers were part of the salad bar offerings, along with a good variety of dressings. I chose a peppercorn ranch-style dressing that complemented the salad.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of lunch was the new soda dispenser. Pizza Ranch is one of the first restaurants allowed to test-market the new machine, said Rob Schultz, who owns the business along with his wife, Carla.
There is one dispenser controlled by a touch-screen. I wanted Dr. Pepper, so I touched the Dr. Pepper logo on the screen. That took me to a screen that provides a choice of several flavors. I chose a cherry-flavored Dr. Pepper.
If you choose Coke, the screen offers up six different flavors, along with regular or diet. If you choose Sprite, seven flavors are available, along with the regular or diet. The dispenser became a topic of discussion and approval over lunch.
If pizza isn’t your thing, the lunch buffet also includes sesame, barbecue or buffalo-style chicken, potatoes, gravy and corn, breadsticks and dessert pizza.
I decided I better try a small slice of dessert pizza. Called “Cactus Bread,” the piece I tried tasted like apples and cinnamon, a taste I enjoy. There were other varieties of dessert pizza as well.
It was nice to see pizza slices cut to a decent serving size. All would have been well if I had left it at two slices and a salad, but last sweet slice put me over the “too-well fed” edge.Pizza Ranch
206 N. Wilson St., Jefferson
Hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily