Most American cities have a casual brick-oven pizza place with fresh pasta options. What makes Jackson’s Corner unusual, and better, is that it started as an artisan bakery. Jackson’s Corner’s aspirations to make of “natural leavened” (sourdough) hearth breads have fermented into something bigger. As the popularity of the bakery grew it expanded into two Bend locations and slowly developed an expanded restaurant menu. Today, it operates as a bakery and is open for three meals a day.
The pizza is a newer, hipper style than parlor pizza, New York pizza, or Neapolitan. It’s wild-ferment, brick-oven pizza that features blackened bubbles on a sour crust. It is a great base for the classic Margarita pizza, which is further enhanced by tangy sauce and thin shreds of fresh basil.
What blows us away is the fresh pasta, including mac & cheese with house-extruded elbows. The pasta itself is excellent, the cheese sauce equally impressive. It smells like Kraft, but tastes like rich cheddar. It’s enriched with freshly shaved Parmesan and crunchy crumbles of cheddar tuile.
Since we got pizza and mac & cheese, we only felt it appropriate to finish with another delight from childhood, a chocolate chip cookie. The cookie has a nice outer crunch that makes seem as though it would be crunchy, but once bitten, it reveals a nice soft middle that is subtly salty.
What about the hearth-made breads? They’re great. If you don’t have time to stop for a meal, at least grab a loaf to snack on as you continue down the road.
There are two locations in Bend, so no matter what side of town you’re on, you won’t be too far from excellent bread and pasta.