Elm Grove Edition: DiCarlo's

By Candace Nelson - 8:00 AM

I'm well known for espousing my love for DiCarlo's pizza. It was a childhood favorite. It was a special treat on payday. I have very fond memories of Wellsburg's DiCarlo's from the old-school Italian feel to the amazing squares of pizza. It's a Northern Panhandle thing, as there are small locations sprinkled throughout. And each person's favorite depends on what they grew up on.

However, I have heard many times that Elm Grove's DiCarlo's is the best. I believe it's the original location, from which others in Wheeling, and Warwood and Wellsburg and Follansbee and Weirton spawned from.

Since I was heading back to Morgantown, I figured I could stop through to get an idea of what the original location is like. I had never seen it before, but luckily my dad gave me excellent directions. It's located right along National Road, and there's a sign out front, so it's hard to miss.

A dark building with a sign on the front, in addition to a tall sign in the parking lot, alerts you you're in the right location. There's more parking here than at Wellsburg's location, which is good. Wellsburg's is like a free-for-all. As soon as we walked up, I just saw the wall lined with people. I wasn't sure if that was the line to order or they were waiting or what. So, I asked. That certainly set me apart. Most of them were just waiting, so I walked up to the counter.

I located their price-per-slice sign on the wall and figured out how many pieces I wanted. I forget how many slices a tray is, but I got 10. I saw a few people get bags of extra cheese. They have tickets they give you with a number, and they call our your number when your pieces are done and you can pay at that time.

I think I waited for a half hour or more, awkwardly finding a space along the wall to wait. But finally, my number was called. I rushed up to the counter to retrieve my 10 squares and paid. I waited for my friend, who had ordered right after me. For some reason, his number must've got lost in the shuffle. he didn't want to bother them by asking when he was next, so he waited quite a while before it was clear that he had been skipped - folks who were coming in after us were getting their pieces before him. And people called in orders, had their numbers, and they still don't really start making it until you walk in the door, and they were getting theirs. After he asked them, he quickly got his pieces and we left.

There aren't any dining spaces inside. In fact, there's barely enough standing room inside. So we took our carboard boxes full of goodies outside and placed them on the trunk of my car. I was too excited and wanted to try this pizza as soon as possible.

Opening the box, it's the same familiar scene. That crust, flash-baked in their brick oven, topped with a tangy sweet sauce comes out of the oven to be topped with tiny specks of provolone all across the top. Add a few pepperonis, and it's perfection.

I noticed the sauce was slightly sweeter and pepper-y than what I'm used to. Is it still fantastic? Absolutely. Better than my hometown? I don't think so.

P.S. this location seems as if it ships pizzas!

Grade: A
DiCarlos Pizza Shop on Urbanspoon

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  1. As a north-central WV'ian I never really got DiCarlos. People up there love it so much but I don't really care for the sauce and that just ruins the experience for me. Waiting around in a hot crowded corner of a kitchen is kitchy when you like the food, but it's just a pain in the ass when you don't. I guess it really is a panhandle thing.

    1. The sauce is one of the best parts! Waiting is part of the experience. Everyone I've made try it has loved it. You must be an exception. Try Wellsburg's ;)


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