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Add a Little Shine to Your Life with a Visit to Soulshine Pizza Factory

It’s hard to say with any degree of certainty which restaurant first brought gourmet pizza to the Jackson area, but this I can safely report: Soulshine Pizza Factory was definitely on the scene before many that now dot the specialty pizza landscape. Along with its location on Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland, the restaurant has popular eateries in Flowood and Oxford. I first sampled Soulshine’s stone-baked crust topped with fresh ingredients a few years ago in Ridgeland and have been a fan ever since.

One of my favorite Soulshine creations is The Carnivore topped with four meats and a plethora of sauce and cheeses. I try to eat healthy most of the time, but when it comes to pizza, here’s one question: why? Topped with Italian sausage, ground beef, pepperoni, marinara, and mozzarella, it’s a treat for which a splurge makes really good sense.

I usually start with the appetizers when describing a restaurant, but in this case, I can’t wait. Soulshine’s pizzas are the main draw, so it only makes sense that I dive right in.

One of the things I admire about Soulshine (besides delicious pizzas and calzones if you desire) is that the list of selections is not so long that sorting through an endless list of flavors and ingredients becomes tiresome. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of pizzas from which to choose. But after glancing at the menu, it’s easy to quickly pinpoint your favorite crusts and toppings. After that, relaxing while listening to music and viewing colorful artwork makes waiting for your pizza an easy, enjoyable process.

The Marley, named for reggae singer Bob Marley, is topped with pulled and grilled chicken, sun-dried tomato, mozzarella and Jamaican jerk seasoning.

Now to those famous pizzas, which come in small, medium, and large pans. Selections include the Alfredo ($10, $15, $25), topped with everything you’d expect to find in a chicken alfredo dish; tomato and basil ($9, $14, $21), filled with the freshest vegetables and mozzarella; and another of my favorites, the kitchen sink ($10, $15, $25). This one looks just like its name, albeit in an appetizing way. It’s topped with marinara sauce, Italian sausage, pepperoni, chopped tomato, onion, bell pepper, mushroom, black olives, and mozzarella.

If none of these are your favorites, scroll down to a familiar name – the Mississippian ($10, $15, $22). As an ode to our state’s chicken capital status, it’s topped with both pulled and grilled chicken, smoked bacon, and cheeses.

Other favorites are the Wild Bill ($9, $14, $21), composed of chicken, garlic ranch and Buffalo sauce, and cheese; the Marley, named for reggae singer Bob Marley and topped with pulled and grilled chicken, sun-dried tomato, mozzarella, and Jamaican jerk seasoning ($10, $15, $24); Boss Hawg ($10, $15, $23), filled with an intriguing combination of pulled pork, barbecue sauce, pineapple, onion, and cheese; Sicilian ($10, $15, $24), with shaved prosciutto, cheeses, sauce, and spices; and Mediterranean ($10, $15, $24), topped with pesto sauce, shrimp, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomato, cheeses, and vegetables.

The menu lists a few others, but you get the picture – if you crave a specific style or flavor of pizza, chances are Soulshine serves it. If you don’t find it on the menu, you can create your own by combining your favorite six toppings, cheese, and sauces for $11, $17 or $26, according to size.

If pizza is not on your mind, you can try one of Soulshine’s signature entrées, including spaghetti and meatballs ($10) and red beans and rice ($12).

Or, select an oven-roasted sandwich, ranging from a whole, half, or quarter New Orleans-style muffaletta ($16, $12, $8) to a Mama Mia ($10) filled with a variety of meats and meatballs to a classic French dip ($11), to name a few.

Every now and then, we all have to eat lighter and, if your visit coincides with that time, a fresh salad filled with your favorite greens, meats, chopped vegetables, and dressings will fit the bill. Included in the lineup are the Caesar ($8), Greek ($8), and roasted chicken ($10), among other fresh selections.

If you think you’ll have room for an appetizer, by all means, order one from the full lineup that includes cheese and garlic breadsticks ($5-$9), nachos ($8), hot wings ($8-$12), and even a separate serving of meatballs ($8), among others.

Soulshine has a separate menu of daily lunch specials (5 days a week, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) offering oven-roasted sandwiches with a side salad and soup for $12; individual pizza or calzone with a side salad, soup, and beverage for $12; and red beans and rice for $10.

As mentioned, my go-to Soulshine location is at 1111 Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland. Hours are Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. and until 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Also check out the other Mississippi locations in Flowood and Oxford.

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