Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pizza Mart: Jumbo Slice with a Smile

It's hard (impossible?) to differentiate between Adams Morgan's jumbo slice competitors... especially after hours. That's why I'm making a point of visiting each between 7 and 8, right after work and way before things get "interesting." Tonight's entry is Pizza Mart (2445 18th Street, NW) winner of the Travel Channel's Food Wars vs. Jumbo Slice Pizza back in 2010.

On looks alone, Pizza Mart's slice looks almost identical to Pizza Boli's (reviewed here last month) right down to the curl at the bottom. To be honest, it tastes pretty similar too. Pizza Mart has a few more pieces of sausage, and its crust was cooked a bit longer. Cheese and sauce were interchangeable; but I preferred the crust and sausage on Pizza Boli's slice. The big difference is price (Pizza Mart charges six bucks... 50 cents more than Boli's.)

Sausage jumbo slice from Pizza Mart

Pizza Mart gets points for superior atmosphere and service. Not only is Pizza Mart cleaner and more spacious; but the guy behind the counter was engaging and kind (that's a first.) That's worth a lot in my book, especially when you consider both slices probably taste the same after you've had a few drinks. The battle for best jumbo slice remains close. Next up, Jumbo Slice Pizza.

Atmosphere: B- (Best on the block... by a wide margin.)
Service: B+ (The cashier even walked my slice over to me. Classy.)
Crust: C- (Had a nice char, but a bit doughy and bland.)
Toppings: C (Plenty of sausage, but I prefer a zestier sauce.)
Value: B (Six bucks is more than its competition, but you get a really BIG slice for your money.)
Overall: B (Neck and neck with Pizza Boli, but better service wins a photo finish.)