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Oak Creek, Wisconsin: Marco's Pizza

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[Photograph: Adam Kuban]

I wasn't planning on eating anything from Marco's Pizza in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, last Thursday. But, heck, it just kind of showed up.* And I'm glad it did.

My go-to old-school Milwaukee pizzeria has long been Maria's on the South Side. But given the gooey goodness of Marco's, I think I have a new option in these parts.

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Marco's crust is more substantial than Maria's, with some nice crunch and enough sturdiness to stand up to all the stuff going on on top. I mean, this is the Dairy State: Look at the amount of cheese on this thing. There's probably an udder and a half's worth of the stuff on there. And that's before you factor in the sausage, onion, mushroom, and peppers — they're hard to see, because in typical Midwest fashion, they're buried beneath the cheese.

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The sauce is maybe a touch too sweet — one of my cousins there, a Chicago transplant, pointed out that most Milwaukee pizzas suffered from this trait, but it had plenty of the typical pizza-sauce herbage to balance it out a bit. And, really, you're not going to taste sauce on this thing until you get to the edge of a pizza piece.

This is not pizza for people who subscribe to the less-is-more aint'y-dainty school of slicedom. It's crazy-ass, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fatten-you-up-for-the-harsh-Upper-Midwest-winter pizza. And it's pretty damn good. I wish I had had enough room in my carry-on to take home the leftovers.

Marco's Pizza

111 East Forest Hill Avenue, Oak Creek WI 53154 (at Howell Avenue; map)
414-764-3330

* Girl Slice and I were visiting my grandmother at the house she shares with one of my aunts. Aunt Mary called while we were chatting with Grams, telling us not to eat and that she was bringing home a take-out pizza. We didn't have the heart to tell her that we had already popped into Classic Slice and had sampled three different pizzas at Transfer Pizza Café earlier in the day. Oh, well. There's always room for pizza. Especially one as good as Marco's.

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