Love 'Za? Marco's Pizza Is Now Open
It’s a nice, cozy spot that we enter, just off Teasley. Cute quips and contemporary style mark the style of the pizza chain’s arrival in Denton, with promises of tried and true recipes, fresh ingredients - and some fresh twists, too. Check out a taste of what Marco’s Pizza has to offer.
This classic style is done here with no frills and honest ingredients - namely, the real, no-filler cheese that they use. It pulls away perfectly with that unspeakably minute change in texture and flavor that, nonetheless, speaks for itself.
Now, this is where they shine - and they know it. They’ve taken a classic and very simple recipe and making use of old world pepperoni, a special “Romesan” crust topping, and a three-cheese blend, this aptly dubbed “local delight” is something rarely seen, but in need of immediate recognition. The old world pepperoni is slightly spicy, with a nice back of the mouth heat, but the real triumph is in the crunchy texture that these variants add to the normally chewy pepperoni. The grease has delectably puddled into the upturned edges of each crispy bowls of pepperoni, giving a nice liquid heat to the already textural bounty of the ‘za. The crust is a perfect crispiness, and yet retains a bit of volume so as not to be shy - and with the special Roma seasoning and Parmesan cheese blend that they top it with, you’ll be gladly the spared no expense. This is the star of the show, Denton - check this one out.
The garlic on this pie immediately hits the palette with a welcome zest, with an actual body to the sharp flavor that is in no way sheepish. The tomatoes are whole and full of that fresh hydrating burst that brightens the whole earthy affair. Feta cheese - one of the recurring motifs of Marco's special brand of pizza - is a delightful addition to a bounty of flavor, and I’m glad to see this delightful cheese making its way to many slots on the menu. It adds a nice creaminess to match the sharp garlic and savory bacon. Garlic Parmesan sauce - not alfredo, as many white sauce pizzas often use - is yet another subtle twist on formula that puts this shop above the rest.
As the name intends to suggest, it’s a great bouquet of flavors. The only non-fresh ingredient on the lineup is, believe it or not, perhaps the best: the mushrooms. These canned little delicacies are specifically chosen by the eponymous owner of Marco’s, who insists that in Italy, fresh mushrooms are considered cheaper and less quality, whereas the canned are considered the “real deal” when it comes to pizza toppings. They work well with the olives, tomatoes, Parmesan, onions and garlic: unlike fresh mushrooms, which might stand out on the palette, these have a nice soft texture and a deeper earthy flavor that adds to that garden feeling. Again, as with the White Pizza, the addition of feta adds really ties it all together.
Sides and Desserts
We also got to try some of the sides offered at Marco’s; naturally, we kicked it off with the wings. They're twice baked, and that adds an amazing crust to each wing, upping the basic meaty texture that most buffalo wings go for, without overdoing the breading or batter of other styles. As weird a comparison as this might be - the textural combination here resembles those chocolate shells with liquid chocolate in the middle: an initially thin shell of texture that quickly gives way to a creamy center. The meat very much so falls off the bone - if you can't clean one of these bones all the way, you really had to try. After that initial crunch, the sauce and meat practically falls into your mouth..
The Cheezybread breadsticks are a perfect cleanser from the spicy tang of the wings - but make no mistake, they're anything but bland. Nor are they overloaded; the ingredients blend well with a nice cheese blend, garlic butter and seasoning.
The croutons, though - y’all, these are another hidden gem that Marco’s offers. They're handmade from scratch and they are something else. Unlike your average storebought crouts, they're not dry, seasoned crunch-cubes, mere bready vessels for texture in your average salad. No, these are rich, buttery, crispy perfections, with a gradient of flavor that ranges from everything between savory smoke and decadent buttery cream. When you throw these into the carefully prepared chef salad that we got to try, it really pushes this salad over from average to interesting. It’s a great blend of flavor, a hearty helping, and a lovely presentation all in one.
The CinnaSqaures and a take on the classic sweet accompaniment to the savory pies - they’re sugary little palette cleansers and a nice rich finish to a lunch or dinner. The triple chocolate brownies really take the cake, here - and what you’re presented with is about the size of a small cake, too. It’s topped with white chocolate chips that bring this decadent cocktail into bliss, and it’s so good, it’s served right out of the pan they baked it in.
Overall, this is another great addition to the Denton food scene, offering a better alternative to other pizza chains in the area, with equal to better variety in delivery service. With so many subtle spins on classic flavors and recipes, this is a place that does not boast or puff its chest in show - this is a place that knows what it’s doing, and one that will surprise you with unassuming confidence.
Photos by Garrett Smith
Header image layout design by Mateo Granados