Mack’s Boardwalk Pizza South Philadelphia Review
Mack’s Boardwalk Pizza is located at 10th and Oregon in South Philadelphia, PA. Mack’s is run by Joey Mack, the son of one of the original owner’s of Mack and Manco’s boardwalk pizza. That pizzeria, along with the famous Sam’s pizza, has helped to create what is called boardwalk pizza.
Before I give my review of Mack’s I would like to acquaint you with Mack’s pizza history. It all started in 1956 when Anthony Mack and Vincent Manco opened up their first pizzeria called “Mack and Manco’s” at 918 Boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey. A few years later they opened up another store at 7th street and boardwalk. Mr. Mack and his three sons (Dominic, Vince and Joseph) eventually expanded their business onto the boardwalks of Atlantic City and Wildwood, NJ. Vincent Manco continues to operate the original Mack and Manco’s in Ocean City with his son and his wife. Mack’s Boardwalk Pizza is run by Joey Mack, one of the sons of the original owner, Anthony Mack. Joey Mack moved his operation from the Jersey shore to South Philadelphia.
Now that we have the history out of the way, I can release my review. Mack’s Boardwalk pizza is deeply rooted in history with its original pizza recipe. The owner of this South Philly branch is not affiliated with the other Mack’s any more but he still has the family recipe. Joey Mack claims that this family pizza recipe was from 1950 and that his pizza is the best of the best.
Before I start my review I want to make you aware that I think the owner is a nice person but I am here to review the pizza and some things stood out that needs to be addressed. I did not like the pizza at all and I will elaborate on why. I ordered a full 16 (Joey claims they are 17 inch) pie. Joey’s famous pizza is a thin crust recipe American style pizza (cheese on top).
I didn’t like the pizza for several reasons. First, the amount of grease that was on this pizza could have set me up for a future heart attack. I put three napkins on top of a slice and there was still a shiny glitter from all of the grease. This definitely took away from the taste and caused me to have indigestion days later.
The thin crust pizza cracked when folded. This in combination with the gallon of oil on top led to mass spillage and a large mess. The cheese was cooked well. The sauce was not that tasty at all. There was minimal sauce used in proportion to the cheese which appears unbalanced in taste.
The crust was decent for thin crust as it was slightly blackened with a small lip at the edge.
I did not like how the pizza was placed in the box without a wrapper. This is not a good sign of cleanliness as those pizza boxes sit on the floor of the warehouses they are stored at.
Joey Mack’s Boardwalk Pizza is in a small shoebox store. I actually liked the set up of it as it has a small appearance of a boardwalk pizza shop. Mack’s has several patio chairs outside his shop for outdoor seating. This is a one man operation (plus the delivery people). This must be Joey Mack’s retirement job as the operation is very slim lined. There is nothing wrong with that as extra employees are not needed. I am just preparing you for what kind of pizza place this is. It is on the opposite side of a fancy pizzeria.
Eating at Mack’s led me to some questions. First, I can understand why New Yorkers may think Philly pizza is bad. If they base their impressions off of places like Mack’s Boardwalk pizza then that may lead them to believe that Philly doesn’t know pizza. Of course New York is the pizza capital of the world other than Napoli, Italy (read about the history of pizza) but Philly is a very close runner up.
I find it interesting that a place like Mack’s pizza who claims to have the best pizza in Philly would know what a Margherita pizza is. Considering that they are halfway there on the recipe (thin crust) I am not sure if they ever put the other half of the equation together. Let’s face it, most pizza experts will agree that you don’t even stand a chance of being considered the best pizza if you can’t make a thin crust Margherita pizza. Just off that fact alone I am sure that if a New York pizza critic ate one slice of Mack’s pizza they would laugh. If that was the only place they ate in Philly and they were told that this is the best pizza here then they would think this city is a joke.
That is why this pizza blog was created. There are many really good pizza places in Philly but you just have to look a little harder than New York.
I didn’t like Mack’s pizza because it was too oily, too cheesy, no foil paper under the pizza inside the box, the pizza ovens were not good pizza ovens (I doubt they get hotter than 500 degrees (you need about 800 for the best pizzas)), and their lack of variety of pizza. If you tell the public that you have the best pizza in Philly that you better offer options and one of those options should be a thin crust Margherita pizza.
Overall, I do not recommend Mack’s pizzeria to any of my readers, which is a similar conclusion to the Mack’s that I have eaten at on the boardwalk of Atlantic City and Wildwood.