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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

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Marco's Pizza brings variety and a top-notch sauce to its pies.
Marco's Pizza brings variety and a top-notch sauce to its pies.
The garlic bread is just as good, and a great value.
The garlic bread is just as good, and a great value.

In search of the perfect pizza: Marco's Pizza

Marco's "World Famous" Pizza, 6234 S. 27th St., started in 1959. The first time I noticed Marco's Pizza was over 10 years ago, when I used to shoot pool at Romine's.

One of the current owners, Shawn Sankarsingh, worked there for around six years before he and friends Chris Rehorst and Terry Radtke bought two locations (8411 W. Lisbon Ave. is the other) from the original owner around 10 years ago. The original owner runs a location in Oak Creek.

One of my best friends lives near the South 27th Street pizzeria and orders from it often. He's a big fan of the sauce and recommended I give the pizza a try.

The lobby was painted in white and yellow. Menus, specials and "Marco's says ..." phrases were printed on yellow paper in a black font and mounted in black picture frames. Two chairs were available for guests awaiting their orders.

Marco's features three daily "Meal Deals" with combinations of pizza, garlic bread, wings and soda. I ordered Meal Deal #1: a large two-topping pizza, an order of garlic bread and a two-liter of soda for $18.50. I added mushrooms and onions to my sausage-and-pepperoni pizza for a small up-charge. Upon request, onions are always free at Marco's Pizza.

While I waited for my pizza, I explored the menus. Besides pizza, Marco's offers buckets of chicken, shrimp or fish, as well as pastas, sandwiches, burgers, wings and Marco's "World Famous" Rollos, its version of a calzone.

There are also various specialty pizzas, including The Mexican, with ground beef, black olives, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, onions and salsa, and the Bacon Cheeseburger. There is also a Chili Pizza.

Three pizza sizes are available: 12-inch, 14-inch and 16-inch crusts. All are hand-tossed and can be ordered thin, normal or double dough. Cheese and one-topping pizzas start at $13.50, $14.50 and $16, respectively.

When my pizza arrived in the paper pizza bag, it was heavy. I was anxious to get to my friend's house and rip open the paper to see what was creating all that weight.

I soon learned that the weight came from a lot of everything – the crust, the sauce, the cheese and the toppings. This pizza was generously prepared.

The crust was dusted with cornmeal and was crispy around the perimeter, which made those slices easier to hold. They were also strong enough to hold the cheese and toppings. It didn't take long to realize this pizza would be messy to eat, so my friend and I grabbed lots of extra napkins and kept them close.

The slices were cut as squares. The center slices were flimsy and struggled to hold the cheese and toppings. When I picked up one of the center slices, the cheese and toppings immediately slid off. I decided to cheat and use a knife and fork.

Unfortunately, I didn't care for the crust, which lacked the texture and flavor that I look for. At times, it tasted a bit overcooked. I was also disappointed that the mushrooms were canned. I prefer fresh mushrooms on my pizza.

However, I loved the sauce! It was thicker than most pizza sauces and had a nice sweet flavor to it. This was definitely one of the best pizza sauces I've tasted! I noticed on the menu that customers could buy extra sauce in four-ounce, half-pint or pint containers. I think this sauce is certainly worth buying more of.

The large chunks of Italian sausage and pepperoni were also flavorful, and the generous portions of cheese and sauce easily helped save my pizza dining experience.

The garlic bread was also among the best I've had. The half-loaf was heavily topped with butter, garlic and oregano. The flavors were not subtle. I thought this was a winner and a great value, regularly priced at $2.50!

I've always felt that the sauce makes the pizza. In fact, I feel that the sauce makes most dishes and helps me decide if I think the chef is the real deal. This sauce is likely a key reason Marco's Pizza has been around since 1959.

If you prefer a sweet pizza sauce and want to try Marco's, you have a couple of locations to choose from covering the southeast and the northwest parts of Milwaukee.

Talkbacks

PoppyDowns | Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:26 p.m. (report)

Was the written by an 8th grader as a school assignment? Great body of work!

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BOLDONE3 | Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:18 a.m. (report)

36165 Is the Marco's in Meno Falls the same/?

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