Ranch dressing is the condiment of choice with the new generation of American eaters who put it on everything from French fries to pizza. Since 1992, ranch has been the most popular variety of salad dressing, with more than twice the market share of its nearest competitor, Bleu cheese. The NPD Group, a global information company, calls it “the Swiss Army knife” of salad dressings because of its multiplicity of uses. It’s begun to branch out as a standalone flavor — there’s now a brand of soda that’s flavored like ranch dressing.
Here at Marzetti, we are unapologetic ranch dressing lovers, so we were thrilled to learn about the existence of a restaurant devoted to a celebration of this buttermilk-and-herb classic. Jim Hayden and Chad Allen are the owners of Twisted Ranch, an eatery in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis that serves up 27 different varieties of ranch dressing. Every single item on the menu is made with ranch seasoning or dressing. (They don’t serve dessert — yet. Ranch-infused ice cream, anyone?)
Two of Twisted Ranch’s most popular varieties are Cheesy Bacon and Ruffalo, a roasted garlic and buffalo sauce blend. Other versions include Kemowasabi, made with wasabi and honey and Sunny in Fetadelphia, made with sundried tomato and feta cheese.
“When you get right down to it, ranch just has a great, classic flavor profile,” says owner Jim Hayden. “It’s so simple — dill, garlic, onion, salt and pepper — and so universal.” That universal appeal is something Hayden knows all too well. Earlier this year, a 59-second Buzzfeed video promoting the restaurant and its menu items — ranch seasoning-rimmed drinks, ranch-infused vodka, ranch mac and cheese and loaded ranch fries — went viral, with more than 20 million views and counting. The 45-seat restaurant moved from “pretty popular” to “mob scene” almost overnight. “The following day [after the video], we were busy, and then all hell broke loose,” Hayden says. “Wait times increased to three hours.” Things have settled down a bit since then, but wait times can be as long as two hours during peak times — proving, as Hayden says, that ranch dressing has universal appeal.
You’re thinking about ranch dressing now, aren’t you? Don’t forget that Marzetti® Ranch Dressing is incredibly versatile for many items on your menu. Use it as a creamy sandwich spread, a panini schmear or a flavorful pizza sauce base for “white” combinations like Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Clam Pizza or Spinach Alfredo Pizza.
Looking for more recipe ideas and menu inspiration?
Make sure to check out our recipe section.