The ultimate endurance test: a Jumbo Slice marathon
When I set out to find the best Jumbo Slice pizza in Adams Morgan, I forgot one key part of the endeavor: I would have to try an entire jumbo-sized slice of pizza from each of these places. It wasn’t easy, but it needed to be done, so I sacrificed my health and waistline for the good for the general public. You’re welcome.
My first stop was at Pizza Boli’s, a traditional pizza place with two basic options: cheese pizza for $5.50 and pepperoni for $6.50. You definitely get your money’s worth with a slice so large it takes two paper plates (none of that fancy china nonsense) to hold it. If you’re going with a group of friends, this is probably your best bet, as it has more seating than most other pizza places. The service is quick as well, and the manager on duty, Walter Perez, said that it is known for its space.
“Customer service is good and we try to make them happy,” said Perez, who has been working there for the past couple years. “We always have people, always, all the time, especially on the weekends...So we have a lot of competition, but we have our own secret.”
The pizza itself was good, but nothing to write home about. The crust, however, was a whole different story — thick, chewy and fluffy. Pizza crust is a way of life - either you live for it or you throw it out - and if you’re the former, this is the Jumbo Slice for you.
Pizza Boli's. Photo by Anagha Srikanth / The Eagle.
Just two doors down stands Pizza Mart, but the owner, Mike Chisti, who opened the place with his family in 1996, said he doesn’t consider anyone to be competition.
“Many [Jumbo Slice places] in the past five, six years, came and gone,” Chisti said. “What makes us successful is what we serve to our own children, the same thing we will give to our customers.”
I’m not sure whether Chisti’s friendly but confident attitude towards his pizza influenced my taste test, but I have to admit this was my favorite of the three Jumbo Slices I tried. Although this one had a thinner crust than the last pizza, the cheese was thicker and less oily as well. The sauce, however, was spicy and bursting with flavor, making this the clear winner. Chisti said the original spice blend is a house secret and sets the shop’s pizza apart.
The prices were the same — $5.50 for a slice of cheese pizza and $6.50 for a slice of pepperoni — but Pizza Mart also offered a supreme pizza for $8 and a buffalo chicken pizza for $7.50. With such diverse pizza flavors, it’s obvious why this has remained in the neighborhood for so long.
Pizza Mart. Photo by Anagha Srikanth / The Eagle.
If you’re willing to walk a little farther to save a couple bucks, Duccini’s offers Jumbo Slice pizzas for $4.99 (or $5.99 if you add one topping). But for that little of a difference, this pizza isn’t worth it. It was the greasiest and the crispiest - but not necessarily in a good way (more of a burnt way actually). The sauce overwhelmed the pizza, but wasn’t nearly flavorful enough to warrant the generous proportion.
I’ll admit, as the last stop on my Jumbo Slice marathon, Duccini’s was at a bit of a disadvantage because my stomach was already so full that I could hardly enjoy the final destination’s slice. If you’re willing to give them a second chance, they have an extensive menu of other food options (even dessert). If you’re not necessarily going for the pizza, this might work just fine for you.
Duccini's. Photo by Anagha Srikanth / The Eagle.