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Legend has it Rafferty's is more than pizza

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Its pizza is legendary.

Meaning there is a legend as to how Rafferty’s Pizza was created. The legend has grown each year as the pizza at Rafferty’s is recognized and rewarded for its excellence.

But Rafferty’s pizza fame is almost a Catch 22. Often times people will decide what they crave before choosing where to eat. If pizza isn’t an option than neither is Rafferty’s.

That’s a shame, because there is more than just delicious pizza at any of the four area Rafferty’s locations.

For instance, the Tuscan chicken sandwich is a warming and filling alternative. The chicken is smothered in melted mozzarella and cheddar cheese on a toasted French roll. The herbs pop despite the gooey greatness of the cheese. There is also the Italian lovers pizza, Philly cheese steak, chicken Parmesan, tuna melt and cheese sandwiches from $4.99 to $6.89.

The chicken wraps will set you back $6.49, but there is a variety of flavor — buffalo, Caesar, crispy, Santa Fe and barbecue.

Salads are an option with single and family sizes to choose from. The cashew chicken salad is $6.89 or for a little spice try the jerk salad — think Jamaican not Steve Martin — for $5.99.

With all these chicken sandwiches and wraps of course Rafferty’s would offer a quarter ($6.89) or half ($8.19) chicken. There is an extra charge for all white meat. The chicken dinners include garlic toast, potato wedges and coleslaw.

A fun and mouth-watering menu item is Kirsten’s calzones. A traditional pocket pizza that customers can fill with three toppings to go along with cheese.

What Rafferty’s does so well is crust and the crust on the calzone is no exception. Basted with garlic butter and sprinkled with a Parmesan-oregano blend, the calzone crust was half crunchy, half chewy, but all good.

The topping choices, or in the case of a calzone, the filler choices, range from the usual meats like pepperoni and Canadian bacon to pastrami, anchovies, shrimp or crab. A few unique vegetable items include purple onions, Kalamata olives, roma tomatoes, zucchini, artichoke hearts and sauerkraut. A word to the wise: the jalapeno peppers are the fresh hot kind not the pickled milder version.

Before diving into Rafferty’s dinner menu one can indulge in an appetizer. Cheese and pepperoni bread is a popular choice as are regular and boneless chicken wings. Try the plain, barbecue, hot or teriyaki flavors. The jojo lightly breaded wedge cut potatoes are served with sour cream. Appetizers range from $4.39 to $8.99.

Rafferty’s does do dessert in the form of dessert pizza, but let’s face it, it’s hard to go to Rafferty’s and not order one of their regular pizzas. That, along with a calzone and the Tuscan chicken sandwich, is what I did.

I was feeling good so I went with the “Lucky Chicken.” The blend of Asiago, Parmesan and provolone cheese were topped with grilled Cajun chicken breast dipped in lingonberry sauce and accompanied with red onion and the oregano-Parmesan blend.

It sounds weird, but it was even more weird that it tasted good. Lingonberry with Cajun chicken on a pizza? It works. Just like Rafferty’s other specialty pizzas that range from $9.69 for a small to $21.49 for a large.

A few unique specialty pizzas include Nicholas’ seafood supreme, with shrimp and crab in a creamy Alfredo sauce. There’s also the chicken ranch and the Jamaican jerk. At the Nisswa and Crosslake restaurants try the steak fajita pesto pizza or the baked potato. Or you can choose your own toppings.

Either way customers have options, which is sometimes overlooked at Rafferty’s when the pizza is so legendary.

■ JEREMY MILLSOP, food writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Jeremy Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
(218) 855-5856