Visitors returning to the Jersey Shore this summer may get a bit of a what the wha? when grabbing a slice at Mack & Manco's: All three locations on the Ocean City boardwalk (as well as Mack & Manco's Too in Somers Point) have changed their name to Manco & Manco.
Word of the name change first came in late December 2011, after what a Manco partner described as an amicable split with the Macks in June 2011—that was just slightly before Slice visited last summer.
As Caroline Russock noted during her summer 2011 visit, "more saucy than cheesy, it's a slice that tastes like summer."
As she also noted, the sauce is swirled over the pie in a spiral, which is a signature of many a New Jersey boardwalk–style pizza. Another major hallmark of a boardwalk-style pizza is the use of a mozzarella–white cheddar blend, which gives the slice a sharp, salty flavor. I used to consider cheddar on pizza an abomination (as do many others), but I've grown to like it in recent years.
Back to the sauce swirl: Manco & Manco achieves an easy spiral with a sauce hose apparatus that's pretty much identical to the one Mack's Pizza uses (yes, that's Mack's in the photo above).
Which brings me to this: Where did the Mack in Mack & Manco go? Don't worry about them. The Mack family has two well-regarded pizzerias on the boardwalk just down the shore in Wildwood.
I tried three other pizza joints on my recent visit to the Jersey Shore (Prep's, Mack's, Sam's Pizza Palace), and the slice I ate this trip at Manco & Manco's was the best among them, thanks largely to the crust. It was thin, crisp, chewy, and flexible. I was in the mood—and prepped for—the cheddar, and that unique flavor knocked the whole thing over the wall.