DiCarlo’s Pizza Wants You To Know That They, and They Alone, Are Responsible for All Awful Ohio Valley-Style Pizzas

“Please remove my company from your website. I don’t want my company listed on your page.”

Management of DiCarlo’s Pizza, sent to our staff at 8:30 AM on a Sunday

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Eight years ago (!) we wrote a pretty obviously troll-y post about the worst pizza styles in America. Was this a flimsy excuse for us to dunk on St. Louis-Style pizza, a thing we’ve written about enough you’d be fair to wonder if we caught a St. Louis-Style pizza having sex with our wife? Yes.

If we’re being completely honest, we started that article with St. Louis pizza locked in at the number one spot (it’s a cracker covered in sugary-as-fuck sauce and fake cheese that only is sold in St. Louis) and just sort of scrambled around looking for other “meh” styles.

We landed on California-style (don’t put healthy shit on pizza please), Tomato Pies from Jersey (it’s just….bread with cold sauce), Quad City-style pizza (the word “spice jam” should tell you enough about that one) and Ohio Valley-style pizza, a type of pizza where, we should absolutely note, we referenced exactly zero specific businesses behind its creation.

We said that Ohio Valley-style pizza is a thing, which cooks a pizza and then tops it with cold, un-cooked cheese and toppings, and also, what the fuck?

Anyway, as you can see from the above email, nearly a decade after writing this jokey article, one of the owners of a DiCarlo’s Pizza location, the apparent creator of this bullshit Lunchables approach to pizza, got up on a Sunday morning, googled “Ohio Valley Style Pizza”, found our article, and decided to fire off a super angry and thirsty missive to our staff via their iPad.

And as you should all know by know, if you don’t want us to write an article making fun of you, maybe don’t send us angry emails where you scream at us for talking about your brand. Especially when we had never heard of you before today.

So let’s thank whoever is in charge at DiCarlo’s marketing for giving us a fun topic article.

Di Carlo’s Pizza Is Almost Hilariously Angry, All the Time

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The above is not only a slice of pizza from DiCarlo’s, founded in 1945 in Steubenville, Ohio, but it’s literally their Twitter banner. That’s the one they chose to really “sell” the product. We’ll let that choice speak for itself.

They claim to be the first family in Ohio to be granted a pizza shop license. And they are, as you can also tell from their email, incredibly sensitive about any and all digs on their pizza, while also being surprisingly egotistical and proud in a way where it doesn’t seem like they earned it?

In our brief “discourse” (read as, unsolicited email), DiCarlo’s made the following claims and demands.

  • We at AFFotD are “very fucking rude and low class” because we wrote about DiCarlo’s as if it was a joke. (For the record, we never mentioned the brand, because we were unaware of it. People in the comments of the article, who were very upset at our staff for writing off this style of pizza, mentioned DiCarlo’s themselves, almost always with some positive nostalgic notes. If anything, before today, you could only find positive things about the brand itself on this website.)
  • Ohio Valley Pizza isn’t a style, it’s DiCarlo’s pizza, and everyone is imitating it, and that is some BULLSHIT. This will be a theme you encounter a lot in this article.
  • Ohio Valley Pizza has nothing to do with Cleveland. Which is fair. It’s not like our article had a Cleveland joke, and then said, “We know that Ohio Valley is nowhere near Cleveland, but when we talk about Ohio we can’t stop ourselves from making Cleveland jokes” or anything.
  • Ohio Valley Pizza has nothing to do with Buddy’s, a famous Detroit-style pizza place. In fact, they started making pizza before Buddy’s (we never once mentioned Buddy’s in our article. We did include Detroit-style pizza as one of our favorite types of pizza, and off-handedly commented that Ohio Valley Region pizza is square, “like the delicious Detroit-style pizza.”)
  • If DiCarlo’s was a joke, they wouldn’t have 17 locations since 1945, and their brand manager would absolutely not be sending us profane emails from their iPad while eating breakfast right before going to church (we added that last part).

Here’s the part of the article where we should say, we find this entire situation to be absolutely hilarious. Like, this was such an unforced error by DiCarlo’s we’re almost impressed. When they emailed us saying, “DeCarlo’s Pizza isn’t invented by a chef and it certainly wasn’t a joke. I find your page a complete joke because it’s clear you didn’t do any research,” we literally had to ask ourselves if this person had any idea of what sarcasm is.

(As far as we can tell, that was referencing us saying, “This seems like something a chef made up as a ploy to make pizza joke in a region” which, yeah, you got us, NO RESEARCH went into the writing of that JOKE).

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We know it seems like we’re just looking for the most unattractive pictures of DiCarlo’s Pizza and posting here to drive home our point that they’re trash, but these are all from Tweets they’ve posted or re-posted themselves.

Now, to take a step back from the sarcasm and jokes-that-apparently-people-assume-is-research, we’ll say this. The main reason they found our site is that a lot of people mentioned their style of pizza as “good” and were “mad at us” for talking shit on Ohio Valley-Style pizza, so there are people out there who not only enjoy this pizza, but are fans of it. Sure, that’s fine.

We, however, share the mindset of the other people on the internet who think of DiCarlo’s as a “weird hot crust/sauce, cold cheese” pizza. And we stand by our Lunchables digs,

But in the course reading DiCarlo’s angry email to us, over and over again (Seriously we might get it tattooed on our backs, it’s high art) we discovered something…odd about this angry display.

This was not a one-off account. DiCarlo’s pizza is ANGRY, and is on a CAMPAIGN. And it is deeply weird.

The DiCarlo’s crusade centers around a few points of “misinformation” they want to “correct.” That information includes-

There Is No Ohio Valley Pizza

This seems to be a big point of contention. The main point is, DiCarlo’s made pizza their way first (which, to clarify, involves cooking a square crust with tomato sauce, adding a touch of cheese once the pizza rises, and then adding hand-grated aged provolone and toppings to the finished project. Basically, uncooked cheese and pepperoni, on top of a cooked pizza. Like a Lunchable.)

Our stance in our article is, that idea is trash. We don’t care if the “toppings warm up because of the heated pizza,” we’ve yet to see a slice of this that looks appetizing. Everything is “why is there a bunch of un-melted cheese on pizza, a food famous for its melted cheese.”

But the issue you’ll see from who we suspect is a rogue operator out of one of their West Virginia locations (more on that in a bit) is not that the style is a bad idea. It’s that everyone else blatantly copied DiCarlo’s, but made it worst, and that’s why people are insulting Ohio Valley Pizza.

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Which seems batshit insane to us? While we love Chicago-Style Pizza, we do know that there is a population of (wrong) people who try to dunk on it. But have you ever seen Lou Malnati’s blowing up someone on social media because “all others are an imitation or rip off that are either good or bad quality”? No, because they’re confident enough in their product to not try to flex on anyone writing snarky online articles.

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God that just looks depressing.

Fuck You, It’s NOT Lunchables

When you’re given a cooked pizza that then adds cold/uncooked shredded cheese and sliced pepperonis after the fact, you might make a joke about how it reminds you of assembling your own Lunchables growing up. You can see how many people would come to that conclusion, because it’s eerily accurate, and you can see how lazy writers can make jokes about that, because we’ve already made that joke like four times in this fucking article that we’re idly writing on a Sunday afternoon.

They seem to know about this joke because they accidentally make it about themselves all the time.

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DiCarlo’s Has Been Around Longer Than Buddy’s Pizza

DiCarlo’s was founded one year before Buddy’s Pizza, a completely different type of pizza chain whose closest location to DiCarlo’s is about a five hour drive away. The only similarity between Buddy’s Pizza and DiCarlo’s is that it’s “technically pizza” and that it is cooked as a square.

That’s…it. Buddy’s pizza was first baked (as the story goes, that is likely somewhat bullshit) in square industrial auto manufacturing part, resulting in a somewhat thicker crust that notably has crispy edges where the cheese caramelizes on the corner. We love it. DiCarlo’s, however, demands constantly that you do not confuse the two pizzas, because they opened a year earlier, and you don’t see Buddy’s Pizza mentioned online with “compliments” like, “Edit 2: It’s not a take and bake pizza.

They Don’t Use Mozzarella, It’s Fucking Provolone

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“There’s a lot of misleading information on the Internet.

Also we don’t use bacon, never used bacon, will never used bacon. It’s fucking bandaids.

~JR”

Midway Through Writing This Article, They Sent Us an Email From Our Moms[sic] Asshole

So we, with a bit of attitude, responded to their email, saying, A- lol this email was the funniest thing we’ve ever read, B- also lol, who are you, we literally never have written about you once (though that obviously changed today). And midway through writing this piece, we got this, just, fantastic response.

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If you’re curious as to our response to that fucking gem, it was simply “mom’s*”.

But let’s unpack this. This is a masterclass. We are but a humble, cheap blog site who still gets almost 50% as many monthly visitors to our page as them, despite their 75 year history and 17 locations. But do we Google references to our brand and send angry “shut the fuck up” emails to any snarky blogs that we find? Alas, we do not.

And even if we did, would we be nimble enough to go from, “If we’re a joke, how come we have 17 locations since 1945”, pirouette that into a swing-and-a-miss Mortal Kombat joke (…who among us thinks “This Johnny Cage joke towards a clearly fictional presidential pseudonym is going to really KILL”), then duck and dive with the double-whammy of “Maybe go back to school and attend English class” before failing to realize how possessives work in a honestly-the-closest-thing-they-have-to-a-decent-insult mom joke to close things out? Folks, we can admit we would not.

And here’s the best thing—we low key thought that the whole “sent from my iPad” thing was hilarious, but we didn’t even make fun of them for that in our initial email! That means they, independent from any input from the “audience”, looked through their email and said, “Okay, they might be able to poke fun at us for this iPad thing…I got it! moms asshole. No capital letters, no apostrophes, I think this is perfect. Sure, it means that I’m saying this email is, at best, a fart, but fuck it, this will really show these guys who is boss.”

DiCarlo’s Wants to Be Edgy, but Doesn’t Have the Guts to Stick to it (Also Their Pizza Looks Like Trash)

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So here’s a basic rundown of what happened with this brand that, we cannot stress this enough because it’s hilarious and insane but true, has 17 locations and can be found in multiple states. They saw an article written eight years ago that did not mention them even once, saw the comments section saying, “Actually this style of pizza is good, try Dicarlo’s.”

Instead of being a normal fucking business and shrugging and moving on, they decided to blow our shit up, and demand we take their name off our blog, an incredibly ironic move since their name really wasn’t on our blog, but it sure the fuck is now.

They then doubled the fuck down and started tossing in mom jokes, which is par for the course from a message board, but pretty fucking out of left field from an actual restaurant.

As far as we can tell, despite this brand manager bragging about their seventeen locations, they’re not all owned by the same people, and do not have the same control over their branding. There is a Facebook page that only accounts for three of the locations, while their Twitter seems to be run by some of their West Virginia locations, who likely were the same people to reach out to us, since they’ve proudly retweeted posts that sound…eerily similar in tone to the emails we got.

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Their pinned Tweet simply states “it’s f’in provolone.”

Ultimately, they’re trying to be “gritty” while half of their locations are saying, “NO that’s not us!” Either way, we don’t really care, it’s just pretty embarrassing to see a business get this worked up about an old article that never even mentioned them.

As we end this little tirade of ours, you might be saying, “But AFFotD staff, you just wrote a few thousand words complaining about this company sending you, like, two dickish emails, one of which you probably were at least a little bit responsible for. Isn’t that the same as what they are doing?”

To which we say, no. We’re not a fucking business, this takes up a LOT less effort on our part than all of you all seem to think, and it’s been a while since we’ve posted an article so we were glad for the topic landing in our fucking laps.

Meanwhile, these messages are coming from the owner, or someone high up in management, of a restaurant, someone who right now is probably at work and took time out of their Easter Sunday work schedule to write a snarky response email to us, while making the conscious choice to crawl down to where it says “Sent from my iPad” to change it to say “sent from your moms[sic] asshole.” This is a person who is in charge of employees! Pay roll! There are people whose livelihoods depend on this particular individual! How fucked up is that!?

Shit, the only people at risk here at affotd.com are our editors, who for reasons we came up with while drunk have to let at least 5% of our typos and grammatical errors slip through. Because we have a little thing called “dedication to our brand.” Unlike DiCarlo’s Pizza, apparently.

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