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THE DISH: Dagwood's Pizza

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Staff Photos: Meghan Kotowski Dagwood's serves, from left clockwise, pizza with your choice of toppings, burgers, including the Dagwood shown above, and Greek salads.

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The dining room walls are covered with knickknacks, trinkets and gifts from patrons.

On the menu

• Antipasto salad — Salad covered with salami, ham, provolone, black olives and artichokes, $4.79

• Club Dagwood — Turkey, ham, bacon, cheddar and swiss cheeses, mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomato and onion served as a triple decker sandwich on toasted wheat bread, includes chips, $7.19

• BBQ chicken pizza — Barbecue sauce, grilled chicken, red onions and cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, $18.49 for a medium

• Bomber sandwich — Cheesesteak smothered with mushrooms, onions, banana peppers, green peppers, tomato and marinara, includes chips, $8.05

Map

Dagwood's Pizza

Dagwood's Pizza

7746 Spalding Drive, Norcross

770-441-7773

dagwoodspizza.com

Open since: 1982

Owners: Steve Lembo, Chris Hughes and Fred Laskovics

Location: Dagwood's is located at the intersection of Holcomb Bridge Road and Spalding Drive next to the Publix shopping center. The restaurant is in between the UPS and the liquor store.

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 10 p.m. Sundays

Atmosphere: When you walk into Dagwood's, you will feel like you've stepped back into your childhood when your parents would buy you a slice of pepperoni and cheese or when your little league baseball coach would bring the entire team out for celebration pies. It's homey, warm and smells like fresh baked dough.

There is a treasure trove of lost knickknacks on the walls given to the restaurant by past and present patrons. The decorations range from Coca-Cola signs to the Tom Glavine and John Smoltz autographed Braves Budweiser tomahawk.

"I tell people it's kind of like your basement rec room," owner Steve Lembo said. "It's not fancy -- it's a comfortable place."

A velvet image of Elvis is hidden in the back room -- and it's not for sale.

"I've had like three people ask to buy it and it's not for sale," Lembo said with a laugh. "The problem wouldn't be the sale, but then I would have to find something to go in its place."

Dagwood's has seen two expansions over the years. With the growth, there was a need for more booths, which were hand crafted by the owners.

"We never expected it to get as big as it is," Lembo said.

Since the establishment has done so well, the owners have decided to franchise the company to those who qualify.

Menu: Pizza, pizza and more pizza is on the menu, hand tossed with homemade dough and pizza sauce. The two most popular pies are the Dagwood deluxe and the carnivore, but the main attraction is the "Big Fella" -- a 24-inch rectangle pizza that could feed a small army.

"On Saturday morning, we get a lot of phone calls ordering two or three Big Fellas for birthday parties or games," Lembo said.

Dagwood's doesn't just serve pizza -- the menu has pasta, deli sandwiches, calzones, salads, wings and more.

"It's been the same for 30 years," Lembo said. "It's traditional, it's comfort and it works."

The sandwiches are also very popular because the restaurant doesn't cut corners on quality. Each breaded creation is made with Boar's Head meat or something equivalent, real Swiss cheese (when ordered) and the bread comes from a local bakery called EPI de France.

If you are craving anything on the menu, Dagwood's offers delivery in the neighborhood, plus catering for any event.

Things you might not know: Dagwood's has trivia at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays.