DiCarlo’s Pizza (Northern Panhandle)

This entry will likely set Missy free.

DiCarlo’s is a small chain of pizza places in and around the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia (it started in Stuebensville and now has one location outside of Phoenix) that has a rather unusual take on the traditional slice of pizza.  They start with squares of thin-crust pizza and flash bake it in a traditional pizza oven with a small amount of sauce.  When you order your slice (or square to be exact), they heat up the sauced crust, take it out of the oven, top it with handfuls of shredded provelone plus whatever other toppings you want and serve.  The result looks something like this:

IMG_00000025

Yes, the cheese and pepperoni is still cold in that photo and that is after about a minute or so of warming in a to go box.  You can actually buy the cheese “bagged to go” so you can top your pizza at home with a minimum amount of melting.

There is no such thing as bad pizza, but DiCarlo’s might challenge some people to disagree.  I think the crust is really good:  it has a nice, satisfying crunch and has more flavor than many chains I could name.  On the other hand, I found the sauce to be pretty bland.  Not bad, just not much more than tomato paste.  I read reviews that discuss the “tangy sauce,” but I don’t see it.  Of course, the divisive part is the cold cheese, which I think makes for a nice change of pace.  The cheese is a good provolone (not mozzerella) that isn’t too aggressive.

DiCarlo’s isn’t my favorite pizza, I still much prefer a good NY style slice, but on occassion it’s fine.  You have to admire DiCarlo’s for finding a different pizza and sticking with it.  I can definitely see where it would be taste you would grow to love (or, being completely honest, hate).  But, for slightly more than a buck a square, you should find out for yourself.  Just spring for the extra cheese, it makes a difference.

They have other food, but I’ve never ordered any.  To find their locations, check out their website:  http://www.dicarlospizza.com/.  And if anyone can tell me why some locations are labeled “original,” some are “famous,” and still others are both, I would love to hear it.

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