It takes a mere nanosecond to convince yourself that it’s a good idea.

As quickly as the mission is mentally established, you’re already dialing the number. Speak clearly, loudly, and repeat the number aloud after it’s issued.

May I have 4 extra cheese, please? #47? Thank you.”

The deed has been done. It doesn’t matter how you got to this point, but it sure matters how you navigate the experience. There is too much culinary joy in the near future for you to have any negative thoughts or skip any important steps that might affect your joy.

As an expert, you know that you won’t plan to arrive for another 20 minutes (I choose to only go after 9 p.m.). You might drive around and listen to music while the excitement starts to build.  Once you arrive, you clearly articulate your number in a rather smug manner, as you exude the confidence of someone with the focus and vision to have actually called your order in advance. Will it be one of those nights when the super efficient DiCarlo’s drones immediately box your order, or will it be one of those nights when #6, 19, and 46 all come in seconds after you to claim what is rightfully theirs, as you watch all of the fresh trays be broken down into pieces, wondering if there will be enough to complete your order, as you mentally break down? You do the smart thing–you take a breath, clear your mind, pay your cash, get your 75 cent Mountain Dew, and grab a clump of napkins, then monitor the variety of processes on the table. Scooping up excess sauce and returning it to the pan, checking the condition of the crust by using the big fork and spinning the pan, or cutting the tray using a surprisingly sharp knife into 28 wonderful squares. The process that you appreciate the most is the final one: the regal boxing of your order.


The staff at Elm Grove DiCarlo’s.

If you eat Elm Grove DiCarlo’s three times per week like me, you usually get an extra slice. Your extra cheese is spread like a comforting blanket of dairy. Your pepperoni is distributed at two slices per square. Never more, never less. Your order is called, you receive your box, and now things begin to get good. As you walk out of the building, you fight off the overwhelming urge to smile, trying to walk slowly and not make eye contact with anybody. As you exit the building, you instinctively take the lid off of the box to slow down the cheese melting process. You have, of course, left your car unlocked to prevent a potential box drop (traumatic) while searching for keys. You get in the car, turn on music, open your Mountain Dew, spread out your napkins, and start to black out. By the time you have remembered that you need a three-second chug of Mountain Dew and a two-napkin wipe, you’re on your third piece.

Time to drive home and eat one on the way home. You offer your wife the last piece when you get home, and it makes her extremely happy as she acts like she’s not sure if she really wants it. As you fall into an inevitable guilt-ridden, calorie-filled mini coma, you reflect on yet another enlightening DiCarlo’s experience.

17 Responses

  1. Diana Williams

    I love the whole process in Elm Grove, and if you order by phone, the wait isn’t so bad! As a matter of fact, for the first time in my 64 years, I called to order at 3:00 sharp and my number was ‘0’. ZERO! No wait when I walked in the door. It was an auspicious occasion. Always the best at Elm Grove 🙂

  2. Sandy

    We are in SC we get Dicarlos every time we come back which was 5 times this year
    It’s an 8 he drive. We recently got a Dicarlos in Myrtle Beach so it cuts the time in half what better excuse for a beach trip. We get pizza to eat then we get a half bake to take home
    They bake it with the first sauce then box it up give you enough sauce cheese and pepperoni to finish the job at home
    And yes it is as good as the ones in the valley
    But they ask if you want it Ohio Valley style now that’s a dumb question is there any other way to eat Dicarlos

  3. TboneDeluxe

    NEVER AGAIN!!!!! Went there in 2016 for 12 slices, finally got the pizza an hour and a half later. I ordered at the counter, I didn’t take the lazy way out and order by phone. Many people who ordered Fedora me placed their orders by phone, some several hours before I placed mine in person. Those people walked in, gave their number and left while stood there waiting. Been hurting pizza for many a year and ever seen such a screwy system. So, I’ll just settle for purchasing my Di Carlos at another shop. Elm Grove is good, but compared to downtown or any other Di Carlos shop in the valley, it’s not any better or worse. Bit that ordering and fulfillment system in elm grove is horrible.

  4. Barry D

    I think each phone order should have a catchy password, so that someone off the street doesn’t Grinch your order. My family, who still live in Wheeling, have become so frustrated with the whole order system, they go elsewhere for pizza from time to time. But when I come in from Philly, I got to have me some DiCarlos. And, I do miss Patsy.

    • Cari

      Barry, I live in Lancaster PA now and we have a DiCarlos as does York. In case you don’t want to drive all the way home for it!

  5. Susan (Accrocco) Bruce

    My husband and I drive from Barnesville to get Patsy’s pizza. Aside from the absolutely best taste, cheese and that fantastic crispy crust is that is the same every time we get our pizza.
    Thank you so much Patsy and crew.

  6. Rochambeau

    I think some of the magic of DiCarlo’s is the difficulty in getting it. If you could have it delivered to your door, it would be too easy. The system requires you to have some skills- good memory so you don’t forget your number, patience so you don’t storm out in a huff when the order before you is for three trays, and above all, good planning so you’re not standing around waiting for an hour. Successfully getting pizza is a triumph of skill, and triumph makes stuff taste better.

    • Lynne Moyle

      Every time I come home from Philadelphia I have to have to Carlos pizza. I’m not sure the rest the world would understand but it is part of home.

      • Karen Hastings Perko

        My sister and I do the same thing. I come from southern Ohio, and she comes from Virginia. I always take 3 or 4 boxes home to freeze and enjoy a bit longer. No pizza like Di Carlos.

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