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Benny DiCarta’s

October 30, 2020

  • 232 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 903-2828
  • Website
  • Menu

If you’ve followed this blog for the last ten years, you know that one of the things I’ve really pushed for is a pizza-by-the-slice place. I love those in college towns and was really excited to move so close to Western Michigan University just for the thought of late night slices.

We finally got that slice place in 2015 with Hot Slice. Unfortunately, they were insanely slow and not very good. Sometimes it was actually quicker just to order a whole pizza from Cottage Inn. Hot Slice closed a few years ago and was replaced by D. P. Dough.

This spring I noticed signage start popping up on a vacant storefront in downtown Kalamazoo. It appeared Kalamazoo was once again getting a slice place.

Benny DiCarta’s opened up earlier this week to little fanfare on West Michigan Avenue just to the east of Portage Road. The building is pretty familiar to me because it was last Kelvin & Co. Urban BBQ.

There was definitely some work done in the small restaurant before this space became a pizza joint. The floors and the walls up to the chair rail stayed the same but new paint and the addition of booths round out the new look.

The kitchen was opened up so you can see what’s going on. There’s an order counter up front then that counter wraps around the kitchen. Once COVID goes away, there will be a lunch counter type bar where you can sit and eat.

The menu at Benny DiCarta’s is actually pretty small. There are only five choices of pizza. They always have sausage, pepperoni, and cheese. There are also two other premium slices which will change monthly. You can order a whole 28″ pizza if you want but all five options come in large individual slices.

I wanted to try a couple of different things so I got a pepperoni slice and a Buffalo Chicken slice. The cost was just under $11 for the two slices.

The pizza is pre-cooked but the slices are slid back in to the pizza oven before they’re plated up on two paper plates (per slice) then placed in a brown paper bag for transport.

I started with the Buffalo Chicken slice and the very first thing I noticed was the crispiness of the crust all the way out to the point. Every bite had a little bit of a snap to it. The Buffalo Chicken slice was topped with chicken, buffalo sauce, and cheese. The slice is a little greasy from the sauce which made it a little difficult to eat without making a mess but it was worth the challenge. The pizza is so enjoyable to eat because the firm, crispy thin crust requires so much less work than flimsy, weighted down crusts that require two hands.

I was really pretty stuffed after eating this slice but I still had the pepperoni one sitting on the table. I could have saved it for later but I knew it was going to be better warm. I forged ahead and just like the other slice, the firm crust balanced the awkwardness of the large slice. Even this simple pepperoni slice was really delicious. There is a good balance between the sauce, cheese, and the amount of meat on top. It’s not a messy pizza but it’s full of flavor.

This is the only Benny location in Michigan. They’re mostly on the East Coast with a home base of Virginia. Each location has a different name after the “Benny’s.” In this instance, DiCarta means “paper” in Italian…and Kalamazoo used to be known for it’s paper mills.

I’m pretty stoked about a pizza-by-the-slice place returning to Kalamazoo and even more stoked about it being close to work. Hopefully people find Benny DiCarta’s downtown and it sticks around longer than the last slice place we had here in Kalamazoo

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