Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Mack & Manco's vs. Primo Pizza, PIZZA WARS!!!!
Pat’s vs. Geno’s. Mack & Manco’s vs. Primo Pizza. One of the biggest controversies on the boardwalk: who has the better pizza? People will swear to it that Mack & Manco’s has the best pizza in the world. It’s hard to dispute the success that they have had with 3 locations on the boardwalk each with endless lines. However, nestled on 8th and the boardwalk about 30 yards away from the Music Pier is an Ocean City secret: Primo Pizza. Primo’s is often regarded as being better than Mack & Manco’s by locals and those who spend a majority of their summer in OC. So which is really better? Is Mack & Manco’s just a shoobie destination or is it really that great? Does everyone just say Primo’s is better because they are sick of Mack & Manco’s long lines?
It’s our goal at the Ocean City, NJ Restaurant and Boardwalk Blog to solve this controversy once and for all. We have tried Primo’s and Mack N Manco’s back to back and are rating each on some of pizza’s essentials: wait time, service, price, sauce, cheese, crust/dough, and grease factor. Whoever has the best of these 7 traits will be crowned best pizza on the boardwalk!
Right off the back, Primo’s has the advantage. We got on the boardwalk at 6th street at about 7:30 and walked all the way down to the end of the boardwalk. We get to the first Mack & Manco’s location and there’s a pretty big line outside of it. Ok, so it’s still kind of early we’ll head to the other two locations on the boardwalk….no such luck there was still a 7 minute line to just grab a slice at 9:00 at night! Personally, if I’m waiting at 9:00 at night for pizza for more than a couple minutes, this truly better be the best pizza ever. If it’s not, then I’m wasting my time.
Primo’s had no wait time. We got right in and found two seats at the counter for us. That’s not saying there was plenty of space available; we really got lucky finding the only two seats available at the counter.
Least amount of wait-time: Primo Pizza
The service at both locations is very comparable. At Primo’s, they are extremely friendly to you and always smile when you come in. You’ll get your pizza right away. The same goes for Mack & Manco’s. I was surprised at how friendly the server was despite the fact that he had to work so hard with such long lines, even at 9:00 at night.
Best service: Draw
Mack & Manco’s has an advantage with the best price. Their slices are only $2.25 a piece compared to Primo’s which are $2.50 a piece. Both are comparable in size. Both establishments have the same price for a pie at $17.
Best Price: Mack & Manco’s
Now we’re getting into the real important traits of pizza: the traits of taste. We start off with sauce and we find that Mack & Manco’s has the better sauce, but it comes at a cost… Mack’s sauce is must spicier than Primo’s and seems to just have more of a kick to it. There’s much more flavor to it and compared to Primo’s. Primo’s sauce tastes like it’s missing some spices and tastes kind of bland.
However, Mack & Manco’s is too concerned with making their pizzas as quickly as possible so they can make as much money as possible. So you typically will just get a pizza that has blotches of sauces unevenly proportioned. It doesn’t make for an appetizing slice.
Still, the spice and flavor to Mack & Manco’s sauce is some of the best we’ve ever had. We’ll say it has the better of the two sauces.
Best Sauce: Mack & Manco’s
Both cheeses are equally as good. Mack & Manco’s may be a tad bit sharper, but they’re very comparable. Primo’s cheese always stays on the slice and is very good.
Best Cheese: Draw
This is where the two pizzas go their separate ways. Primo’s by FAR has the better crust and dough. Primo’s defines thin crust pizza. The crust and dough is thin and so crunchy, yet you can still fold and shape it in whichever way you want to be able to fit it into your mouth. It is perfect and the best part of Primo’s slice.
Comparably, Mack & Manco’s has a little bit of a thicker slice. They’re dough is much softer and the crust actually seems a little bit undercooked. We’re assuming that, again, they’re just trying to get these pizzas out as quickly as possible and they’ll sacrifice the pizza being completely cooked.
Best Crust/Dough: Primo Pizza
Nobody likes a slice of pizza that’s overly greasy. Nobody wants to take a napkin and blot the pizza to get all the grease off. Once again, the two pizzas are further apart in this category. Primo Pizza had only a little bit of grease, while Mack & Manco’s had a lot of grease on it.
If you look to the picture of Mack’s slice to the right, you’ll see that the plate is covered in grease and the grease went through the crust to make it so soft and damp that you couldn’t hold the slice together. Mack’s had such great sauce and cheese that we were pretty bummed about how much grease it had.
However, greasy food and the boardwalk is like America and apple pie. It goes together. Maybe that’s why so many people like Mack N Manco’s, but that’s why we made this blog. We don’t like the stereotype that the boardwalk and Ocean City only has greasy food.
Least amount of Grease: Primo Pizza
When we add up the results, Primo Pizza goes 3-2-2 compared to Mack & Manco’s 2-3-2. Therefore, we crown Primo Pizza as the best pizza on the boardwalk!
We know this post won’t come without controversy. Everyone has their favorite place and we realize that a lot of this is just our own opinion. However, it kills us to see huge long lines at Mack & Manco’s when their pizza isn’t as good as Primo’s. Don’t get us wrong, Mack’s pizza is awesome, it’s some of the best we’ve ever had, but it’s not worth it to wait in line for it. So we implore you to please try them both and decide for yourself!
To be fair: we asked for a guest opinion. We asked our friend Jon to give his opinion on what he thinks is best and we think he gives a good review of why some people may like Mack & Manco’s so much.
“For pure nostalgia, you have to love Mack and Manco's. But this is a food grading blog, so M/M's doesn't score too favorably. Their slices have become slimmer throughout the years and the sauce hasn't been used as much as I'd like. But who can blame them; I would try to make as much money as possible too. Primo's is ok; for the money it is a decent slice of pizza yet there just is something missing. There's never a long line because...well it's Primo's and that may be saying something. If the slices were thicker I'd personally enjoy it a lot more. BTW - make sure you get a birch beer with either slice.
Mack and Manco's and childhood memories: B
Primo's and no waiting for food: B-“
Once again, make the decision for yourself! Try them both and let us know what you think!
Just from some of the comments we have received from people and the more we think about it, we think we kind of forget the fact that most people don't spend the entire summer in OC like we do, so we forget that this is a vacation destination that people rarely get to go to. With that said, we realize that people may like Mack & Manco's based on the tradition of coming down every summer and eating it along with the fact that people will get "cravings" for it in the winter. Well, this mindset and tradition is exactly what we are trying to break. Is it actually Mack's pizza that you're missing or is it just summer and the shore that you're missing? That is why we BEG you to try Primo's pizza! It is excellent. Sure, the tradition isn't there, but try something new for a change and save yourself some time by avoiding long lines for a pizza that a lot of people say isn't as good. So don't say that Mack's is the best without trying Primo's first!