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DiFara Pizza


Pan
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It might be useful to point out that DiFara's is physically an unpreposessing place.  It looks like your ordinary by-the-slice pizza joint.

You are being kind - it looks dumpy and that's after a recent paint job!!

But - BUT - THE PIZZA and food (as pointed out especially when Maggie's cooking) is amazing and so is Dom. It's an experience unparalleled.

I think a regular large (and it's really large) round pizza is either $12 or 15 and the toppings are about 3-5 extra. Sometimes if we remember we order a pie on the way over and then don't wait as long when we get there to start eating - while waiting for some pasta or other goodies.

We really like their pasta with clam sauce - either white or red. Both have some tomato in anyway and when available have delicious baby clams in the shell too.

Of all the kids Maggie is the best cook and the son with the ponytail is the worst (relatively) Now a days if he's there we just order pizza. And try to go during the week when it's not as crazy - even the pizza can suffer a bit on the weekend (though still in a different league of its own)

Nina = do you know what days Maggie usually works?

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...

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The calzones were unlike any I have ever had.  I wonder what is the origin of the shape, Is this Dom's

creation or might it be derivative of Sicilian pastry.  Does anyone know about this?

I've seen Sicilian-style semolina bread in fanciful shapes with bear claw cuts on the edges.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I really like the clams and linguine in red sauce when Maggie makes it. It isn't really red sauce, more like chunks of stewed tomato with lots of roasted garlic and clams and if you are lucky clams in the shell. About $11-12 for a large bowl. Yum

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...

www.cuisinetc-catering.blogspot.com

www.cuisinetc.net

www.caterbuzz.com

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had my Di Fara baptism last night. What I liked about the Sicilian slice was that I kept coming across new flavors and textures. He builds it up in a remarkable way for just a slice of pizza. The regular slice came with delicious freshly sauteed artichokes. Best crusts I've eaten in NYC - the right kind of crispy. And guess what - pizza stays warm on paper plates!

I sampled some of the home-style dishes too - chicken cacciatore, spaghetti with either sausage or meatballs (chopped up) and a hearty salad. Good, but it's the pizza that's worth the journey.

With thanks to my knowledgeable escorts. :wub::wub:

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Jason and I were in Brooklyn on other business and decided to check out DiFara's for a mid-afternoon snack. We were planning on going to Peter Luger's for dinner, so we just wanted to get one slice to taste. We quickly settled on artichoke as being the most highly recommended of our memories of this thread. I'm sure glad we did. Amazing artichokes -- the slice was completely covered with wedges of roasted fresh (I'm sure) baby (I think) artichokes with nicely frizzled edges and crisp tender bases. The base of plain pizza seemed good (especially the sauce and crust, the cheese seemed like regular pizza cheese), but not extraordinary, 'it must be the toppings and other food that makes this place special' is my initial impression. I didn't get to go inside because we couldn't find a legal parking space, so Jason will have to post his impressions of the interior and owner.

Question: Does the whole artichoke pie have as much artichoke on it as the slice? What is the cost of a whole artichoke pie? (The slice plus a small bottle of fancy imported soda was $5.50.) I ask because at some places when you order slices the topping is added to a plain slice in an overwhelming manner, as if an entire pizza's worth of topping is added to one slice. This seemed to be the case with our slice of artichoke pizza yesterday -- not that it wasn't appreciated. :laugh: Seriously, there must have been 3-4 baby artichokes on that slice. But, it made me curious if the whole pie gets the same treatment or if the topping is more scattered.

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I didn't get to go inside because we couldn't find a legal parking space, so Jason will have to post his impressions of the interior and owner.

Its as I remember it being, in the 5-10 years or so since I had last been there maybe 2 times. Beat up, dusty, yellowed, antiquated pizza shop that would have been fairly typical of a Brooklyn, Queens or Manhattan pizza store of 25 years ago. Narrow space, tiny joint. He's got a cash register there that looks like its been through a few wars.

The owner, a nice old greying Italian guy in his late 60's (if he's 70+ he's in real good shape, God bless him) seems a bit taken aback by all the attention he's been getting lately.

In addition to the slice we had, I had a really good Italian coffee soda called "Brasilio" made with sparkling spring water that he carries -- This stuff is stronger and not as sweet as Manhattan Special. I asked him where one could buy it, but he said supermarkets in the area don't carry it. I guess I'll have to contact the importer directly.

The artichokes I think are what definitely make this pie. Otherwise the pizza is good, but I wouldnt schlep all the way from Manhattan or Jersey or Queens for it. Most definitely if you're in Brooklyn, go.

I'm curious about how many artichokes have to die if you order an entire pie made with it. Thats gotta be pricey. Rachel and I are going to try to duplicate the fresh artichoke effect at home on top of a french bread pizza or something, we'll let you guys know how we do.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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  • 2 months later...

I went back to DiFara's today (Sunday) around 5 P.M. with a friend who hadn't been there before. He got a slice of the Sicilian (square) pizza and pronounced it "great." I asked Dominic if he had porcini. He did, but they had to soak for another 30 minutes, so instead of getting excellent regular mushrooms, I decided to get two slices of baby eggplant and onions (red, as always). It was a fine choice, and I recommend that you all consider the baby eggplants as an option. All in all, a wonderful, very satisfying supper. Oh, also, it was very civilized today and not very crowded at all, unlike the time I went there at about 4:30 on a Saturday. Of course, I still had to wait a while, but waiting for such sublime food while sitting at a table with a friend is not at all unpleasant. :smile:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've had many of both. They're both excellent. The Sicilian is more uniquely good in terms of the gap between it and the next best thing than the regular slice is, but that's only because there are a lot of good regular slices out there in the world but not a lot of good Sicilians. Still, when you start adding toppings like the fresh artichokes to the regular slice it develops a massive uniqueness gap as well. The best move is to have both.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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  • 9 months later...

It was too busy to ask, so I snatched what I thought was a new menu which reflected the new prices. It wasn't.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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  • 3 months later...

Nice oratory from Domenico Demarco in today's New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/18/nyregion...ity/18pizz.html

I eat once a day, after I close. With wine. But I have one piece of pizza every day, to see if it comes out all right. Then, after I close, I sit down with my bottle of wine and I eat. When I eat, I like to sit down. There's no way I can sit down once I open the door in the morning.

I don't intend to retire. But I want my kids to take over the place. They've got to follow me. They've got to follow my idea. Like I said, I don't take the shortcuts.

Pizza has become considered a fast food. This one is slow food. Anything you do, when you do it too fast, it's no good. The way I make a pizza takes a lot of work. And I don't mind work.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Thanks for the link, Jason. It's a beautiful soliloquy by Dom. This is my favorite part, which says so much about this great pizzaiolo:

I do this as an art. I don't look to make big money. If somebody comes over here and offers me a price for the store, there's no price. There's no money in the world they could pay me for it. I'm very proud of what I do.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Yet another example of an inadequate citation by The New York Times:

Fame has come late for Domenico DeMarco, who for 40 years has operated Di Fara Pizza on Avenue J in Midwood, Brooklyn. Since 1999, the year that a favorable review in a city guidebook put his pies on the map, Mr. DeMarco has graced the cover of The Village Voice (the "Best Italian Restaurants" issue in June), and his restaurant has topped the Zagat list of the city's best pizzerias in 2004 and countless other guides to slice-related nirvana.

Name the guidebook, people. Chances are, the Times is talking about Jim Leff's The Eclectic Gourmet Guide to Greater New York City. So why not say so?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Chances are, the Times is talking about Jim Leff's The Eclectic Gourmet Guide to Greater New York City.

Especially when the caption to the picture reads:

"Domenico DeMarco insists on no less than three different cheeses on each pizza, and chowhounds line up. "

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Oh see that just ain't right! Jim Leff, the Chowhound community, and the New York Times's audience deserve a proper citation.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I come over here at 8 o'clock in the morning, sometimes 7, because I use fresh dough. I come from Italy, and I go back there every once in a while to see how they do it over there. They don't throw it in the icebox. It's not supposed to be cold dough. The fresh dough bubbles when you put it in the oven, and the bubbles get a little burnt. You see the pizza, and it's got a lot of black spots, it's Italian pizza. If you see pizza that's straight brown, it's not Italian pizza.

We make the dough three or four times a day, because I believe in fresh dough. Besides, when you use fresh dough, the pizza comes out thin, not thick.

The History of DiFara's (as told to Jeff Vandam)

Soba

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  • 9 months later...

All i know is.. Not only does this man hold the answer to pizza, but life as well... And thanks to watching him pull his pizzas out of the oven bare handed, obstatrician like, my fingertips will never be the same... A peel is for putting pizzas into an oven..Recognize

Edited by Daniel (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...
So, I am heading to Di Fara soon and have a few questions...

1) How do I get there via subway?

Q train to Av. J. DiFara's is on the corner of 15th and J.

2) Do they serve slices?

Yes.

3) What is the optimal time to go on a Saturday?

Get there before 1:30 if you're going for lunch. If you're going for supper, I'm not sure I could give you reliable advice on when to go, but just do it. :biggrin:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Granted, I've only been twice (I know, a shande for the neighbors), but I liked the time we went midafternoon - kind of between the lunch and dinner rushes. Gave us a chance to talk to the pizza maestro and it wasn't sooooo crowded.

K

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Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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Got to DiFara's this afternoon:

Let me say, I have the utmost respect for Dominic's craftsmanship, and to be fair, the flavors were both subtle and complex. (More so than most if not all pizza's I've had). But was it worth the 1.5 train ride from the Bronx, and the higher than average price? For me, I'm afraid not. I'm glad to have tasted it - but this is not a slice that I'll dream about. There are only two slices that have yet affected me in that manner - Manetta's in Queens, and Nicky's (the Bronx, my neighborhood - specifically, the chicken and onions slice.) Sorry. :sad:

--Janet (GG)

Mochi, Foi Thong and Rojak - what more can a girl want from life?

http://www.frombruneiandbeyond.com

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