We had so much fun riding coasters all weekend but the thing living rent-free in my mind right now is all the glorious boardwalk pizza we devoured. Last year, we only had Mack’s pizza and I was totally sold on the hype. (Chooch went rogue that year and had Hot Spot though and loved it which doesn’t surprise me because Hot Spot is totally amazing, although when I used to eat there with my fam as a kid, I don’t think I ever had pizza – I feel like it was always a hot dog??)
Anyway, if you don’t know this about Wildwood, there is a long-running debate over who has the best pizza and the two that have garnered the most popular votes are Mack’s and Sam’s. I was determined to try a slice from each this time to see where my allegiance lies.
We stopped at Mack’s first on Saturday for a lunchtime slice. Last year, I had a slice of white pizza and still maintain that it was the best goddamn slice of white I’ve ever masticated in my whole entire life.
But this year, I wanted to go the olive route because that is my go-to topping like, when I die, if you feel so inclined to visit my grave, forget the flowers just bring a fistful of black olives to sprinkle on my tombstone.
Hoo-boy, Mack’s did not let me down. I was scared that last years’ experience was a fluke, but Mack’s secured their spot in my pizza palate for the second year in a row. I can’t explain it, but it’s the thinness that I love, a sweet-ish sauce, and SUPER GREASY. I love a greasy slice, I can’t help it.
Chooch was like, “It’s ok,” about his plain piece, because he rarely gets stoked for anything anymore (at least, not when he’s with his PARENTS).
I dunno even know what Henry got. Sausage probably. He liked it.
Almost immediately, we walked down to Sam’s for slice #2 (I wish I could say we ate our way down the boardwalk, but I know my finicky digestive system and gave myself a two-slice limit, sigh). Sam’s is much bigger than Mack’s and feels less intense – it’s hard to explain but with Mack’s you have to kind of shoulder your way past the crowded counter to the very small dining area and then you have pay cash after you order and I always feel panicked like we’re going to mess it up or something??
But Sam’s is larger and has a huge dining area, and it just felt way more calm somehow. Mack’s is CHAOTIC but so worth it.
Right off the bat, Sam’s lost points because they don’t have black olives as a topping. I got a slice of plain which was fine. I think though that I expected it to be difficult to choose which place I liked better, but I knew without a doubt as soon as I took the first bite:
It’s Mack’s for me, fam.
Look, I’m not going to hate on Sam’s because that pizza was fine! If I hadn’t already experienced the sweet, greasy glory that is Mack’s, I would have been completely satisfied with Sam’s. It was like your standard quick lunch fare, comparable to pizza I’ve had at various amusement parks.
But because I’ve had Mack’s and know of the super serious age-old MACKS v. SAMS competition, I was actually floored that anyone would choose Sam’s. I said this to Henry in my fanatical UP IN ARMS manner and he hesitated, like maybe he wanted to choose Sam’s but was scared??
Chooch opted out of second lunch, making me feel like a glutton. But he did try a bite of Henry’s and was not impressed because he’s suddenly a pizza snob.
However, he and Henry both had a slice much later that night at Olympic Flame, which was chosen on a whim. I noticed that they had a framed certificate in the front declaring them the 2022 winner of the best pizza award. Mu curiosity was piqued but I had too much cheese for one day and instead ordered a kalamata olive pita which was DELICIOUS, might I add. But don’t worry – that didn’t stop me from trying some of Henry’s green pepper slice and OK, Olympic Flame. I see you. That was a FINE SLICE, indeed, and in my opinion, worthy of that highest honor piece of paper.
It wasn’t as thin or as greasy as Mack’s, but still had a sweet-ish sauce, and the crust was sooooo soft and not the opposite of dry (M O I S T). I was a believer. Did I like it more than Mack’s? I DON’T KNOW! Probably not. I need to go back again next year and eat nothing but pizza. For science.
Chooch had been going on all weekend about the “corner piece” he saw but couldn’t remember where. We kepy saying, “You mean square slices?” and he would just say, “Corners.
” Um, OK. He kept running up to every place we walked by in order to ogle the pizzas at the counter, until he finally found his coveted corners at Franconi’s.
The corners in question.
Here he is on the move with his piping hot corner which he declared the winner. I tried a bite, much to his infernal resistance and disgust, and it was pretty good! I think I would rank it right below Olympic Flame and much higher above Sam’s. I think now I just want to hate Sam’s on principal. Like, what kind of person actually thinks Sam’s is the best, I’m so confused about this!
“You like Sicilian pizza, then,” Henry said to Chooch.
“No, I like corners,” Chooch argued.
“Yes, Sicilian,” Henry pushed, and really, why do we set ourselves up for this frustration?? We should know by now that you literally cannot tell Chooch anything without him turning into Riley, Riley, Quite Contrary. Disagreeing with us is what gives him life, I’m convinced.
It’s now Tuesday and they’re still arguing about Sicilian pizza.
“I used to like Sicilian pizza a lot when I was a kid,” Henry mused on our nightly walk and I called him a cunt because I had no other response.
I gotta get back to Wildwood next summer because now I regret not also trying a slice at Hot Spot, ughhh. And if you’re wondering why I didn’t have any on Sunday, it’s because I had a boardwalk smoothie bowl for lunch (listen Linda, I love me a fucking smoothie bowl and I had to put a moratorium on the grease intake until an hour later when I had some Curley’s fries.
Vacation, amirite. Now I’m back on that oatmeal and exercise grind!