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DiCarlo's ... The Rest of the Story

April 13, 2009 - Phyllis Sigal

Sometimes our blogs get a lot of comments; others not so much.

But the one I wrote titled "Had a Piece Lately" — about DiCarlo's pizza — probably racked up the most comments. And along with the comments on our Web site, there were additional comments made on my Facebook page, where I had posted a link to the blog.

So let me share the rest of the story ...

Jimmy Porter, formerly of Shadyside but now of Tampa, Fla., commented on my Facebook page, "You've made me hungry and I'm 1,000 miles away from the closest DiCarlos!! We get it from Moundsville when I'm in Shadyside."

I reminded Jimmy that he'd be in town soon, and his sister, Kathy Shapell, was having people at her house. Let's do a DiCarlo's tasting, I suggested.

In the meantime, a friend, Jo Ellen Henderson, who coincidentally also lives in Tampa emailed me:

"Whenever I get to Wheeling, I stand in that sardine can waiting for my few slices with extra cheese. So I can fully appreciate the experience. It is definitely an opportunity to catch up with folks you have not seen in a while. It was a very rare occasion that I would not run into someone I used to know when I lived in Wheeling but would not regularly seek out on my return trips. So DiCarlo’s provides a service, a networking opportunity and a great pizza. OK, maybe great is a stretch but those of us that were raised on that slab of dough with sauce, cheese & uncooked pepperoni. Oh how I wish we had one in Tampa!!" I told her if I ever get to Tampa, I'll bring her some. But, then it occurred to me that Jimmy would be in town. Maybe he'd be willing to deliver!

Saturday night was party time, and I was in for a tray of downtown DiCarlo's .... Kathy's and Jimmy's parents brought Moundsville while Kathy's husband Irv picked up a few boxes of Elm Grove.

We arrived with our bounty and the tasting games began.

Jimmy brought a handful of friends from Tampa, friends who had never before tasted DiCarlo's.

Their perspective was interesting. They got into the fun, but I'm not quite sure they really comprehended! (I still believe you must have been born in Wheeling to 'GET' DiCarlo's Pizza. It's genetic.)

We drew hash marks on the boxes for our votes.

When I first arrived for the evening, I asked Jimmy if he knew where Jo Ellen's office was — 15 minutes away, he said. Would you be willing to take her some pizza? "SURE!" he responded ... with no hesitation!

So I packed up a few pieces in a folded white box, secured with a rubber band.

That little box flew to Tampa the next day, and landed at Jo Ellen's office on Monday.

Jimmy told the receptionist he had a "special delivery" for Jo Ellen Henderson. When she came to the front desk, she saw a stranger standing there, but holding a very familiar box.

She was floored. They both cracked up.

"We DiCarlo fans are a crazy bunch when it comes to our native Wheeling pizza," she said.

So, who won the taste-off?

Well ... I hate to admit it, but it was Elm Grove.


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