Pizzapocalypse: Can DiCarlos Top Christian’s?

by Seth Birkenmeyer

Pizza is quintessential part of pretty much every college student’s diet. We as a group are usually strapped for cash, frequently intoxicated and always hungry. Those are things that go great with pizza. But there are so many options to choose from, and at a certain point it becomes an ordeal. Today, a successful, established pizza joint battles an intriguing newcomer for total pizza supremacy.

DiCarlo’s Pizza just opened on Broad Street near Goshen Market. The location is convenient. It is only a couple of blocks from the dorms, although if you live in the Fan like me, it has nothing on Christian’s Pizza in this regard. I placed my order online with ease and it was ready when I got there 20 minutes later. The service was as friendly as it was fast.

The inside is not flashy but there are a few seats if you and your friends decide to dine in. I opted to take my pizza home. That way I could sit on my comfy couch, watching The Office and softly crying because Jim and Pam have given me unrealistic expectations for a relationship. Nobody at DiCarlo’s wants to see that.

The pizza itself was pretty good. The cheese was a little too chewy and it didn’t taste like much. The sauce was plentiful—perhaps too plentiful—and robust. The crust was easily the best part. It was thin and satisfyingly crunchy, but far from burnt. If that is your preferred style of pizza, you are in for a treat. I played it safe and just topped it off with pepperonis; they were standard fare but plentiful without being overwhelming.

They serve Coke products, a welcome relief given the fact that VCU’s campus is a Pepsi-ridden hellscape. They also have subs, wings, calzones and salads. Sides include bread sticks, cheesy bread, pepperoni rolls, veggie rolls, and cinnamon sticks for dessert. But you are going to have to drunkenly try those on your own. I came for the pizza.

Christian’s Pizza, on the corner of Harrison and Grace Streets, seems to have swept VCU by storm since it opened fairly recently. My friends talk about it constantly. Their late night line is often out the door. I have been there a few times myself. They just raised their post-11 p.m. slices from $1.50 to an even $2, which is a bummer, but it’s because they are good and people know it. It is still a deal. They have cheap, huge pizzas for groups as well.

DiCarlo’s is at an immediate disadvantage because of their hours. Online, there is mention that they close at 11 p.m. A sign on the door mentions “limited hours” currently; they close at 9 p.m. This means they are a solid option for takeout when your parents come to visit. But they won’t do much for your when you need sustenance for your Red Bull-fueled study session at some ungodly hour, or after a night of aimlessly wandering from one party to another with friends.

Both pizza recipes are delicious. The main different beyond personal preference is that DiCarlo’s bakes their pizzas in a square shape with square slices. This might mean you get a little more pizza for your buck and it may be a little easier to eat compared to a gigantic triangular slice. It is also more authentically Italian. Overall though, I fail to see much difference.

Both have their pros and cons. DiCarlo’s has online ordering, crisp thin crust in a square shape and sketchy cheese. Christian’s is open late, with huge, cheap slices and sometimes long lines. Ultimately, both are quick, painless and worth checking out, but I would still give the advantage to Christian’s proven recipe. So if you feel like indulging in a pizza pie, there is more than one worthy option.

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