"Ah!thentic Italian Pizza is our own spin on our pizza," said a spokesperson for Marco's. The aim is to prepare the freshest Italian pizza on the market. The history of Marco's Pizza sounds familiar to that of many immigrants who have ventured to America searching for a better life.
The Marco's founder, Pat Giammarco, arrived in the States from Italy with his parents when he was only 9. A few years later his family opened a pizzeria where he began learning the family business, using his father's family recipe.
Marco's Pizza locations have been opening across the country, with more than 160 stores. Now, Oklahoma welcomes the pizzeria to a strip shopping center just east of 81st and Garnett.
It seems the "Ah!" in authentic begins with the freshest ingredients used for baking Marco's pizza. Marco's Pizza has two crust types: Thin and Classic. The Crispy Thin Crust is bought rather than made in-house; the Original Classic Crust is made fresh from scratch each day.
Also, a three-cheese blend of Mozzarella, Provolone and Munster makes this pizza stand out. The spokesperson (he requested I not reveal his name) said the difference is that they use fresh cheese--it is never frozen. According to him, the result is a pizza that is fresher, a difference customers can taste.
And then there's the sauce. It is the same recipe used by the Giammarco family for years.
A friend and I were out to put these supposed differences to the test. The menu offers four sizes of pizza (10", 12", 14" and 16") and 15 topping options. Specialty Pizzas include: Deluxe (cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, Italian Sausage and extra cheese), All Meat (cheese, pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, bacon and extra cheese); Chicken Club (cheese, grilled chicken, bacon, onions, tomatoes and cheddar cheese), Hawaiian Chicken (cheese, ham, chicken, bacon, pineapple and extra cheese), White Cheezy (butter garlic sauce with three blended cheeses, bacon, onions, tomatoes and Feta cheese) and Garden (cheese, mushrooms, black olives, onions, sliced tomatoes and Feta cheese).
My friend and I settled on a large Deluxe and White Cheezy, each at $17.99. We also wanted to sample one of Marco's Subs (Italian, Steak & Cheese, Ham & Cheese, Chicken Club, Veggie, Italian Sausage). We went with the Steak & Cheese ($4.99). To end the meal on a sweet note, we asked for one order of CinnaSquares ($3.49).
The packaging of the take-out pizza is in a colorful cardboard box, the bottom of which offers suggestions on how to reheat the pizza if needed. (I always find that a toaster oven is the best way to reheat pizza, allowing the crust to return to its original crispy state.)
The Deluxe pizza was loaded with all the stated ingredients and was very tasty.
We selected the Original Classic Crust for this pizza, which was a good choice to hold up all the ingredients. The ingredients were all very fresh with the Italian Sausage being the dominant flavor. As the spokesperson said, it was chunky and very flavorful.
We chose the Crispy Thin Crust for the White Cheezy. This was a great selection. It's a round pizza cut into squares, reminiscent of one of my favorites, Imo's. The pizza had an excellent taste with a perfect blend of ingredients. There's no doubt the cheese made it a hit. It was delicate, in a refined way, with all flavors well blended. Our friend at Marco's said that this pizza has won awards in California. He explained that it is probably the butter garlic sauce that sets this pizza apart.
The Steak & Cheese sub also included mayo and mushrooms on a freshly toasted bun. My friend and I enjoyed the sub very much; the steak was sliced thin and tender and the cheese was fully melted. One suggestion I would make is that Marco's might be a little more generous with the ingredients. I have had similar subs before and the ideal for me is a fuller sandwich.
The CinnaSquares were delightful. They were freshly baked and buttery-topped with cinnamon sugar. Adding a little of the accompanying vanilla icing was perfect for this already warm and cozy treat.
Other items at Marco's include CheezyBread, Marco's Chicken Wings, Chicken Ranch Salad and Marco's Italian Salad.
Opened just more than three months, Marco's is making a name in the area. Dine-in, delivery (within a 3-mile radius), and catering are all available. Ah, the American dream!
4650 W. Houston
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