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#31 ranitidine

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 05:09 AM

Visited the real place for the first time ever this evening. I went with three other members. I didn't need advance permission to eat with other members because one of them was a moderator.

It is not very often at all that one has any kind of experience that has received nothing but unqualified raves and finds that it lives up to its billing. Well, DiFara actually exceeded my expectations. The round pizza was topped with broccoli rabe and shitake mushrooms. The crust was the chewist and the sauce and cheese were in perfect proportion. And that cheese: Buffalo mozzarella that we also tasted uncooked. The crust on the Sicilian squares was thick and delicious. The calzone was as if I have never tasted one before. The cost is so little, it made me feel guilty. And all in a little hole in the wall next to a subway station in Midwood. Thank you Omni.
"Say not the struggle nought availeth...."
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#32 omnivorette

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 05:16 AM

My pleasure indeed.

The mushrooms are actually porcini - he gets them fresh, boils them a little bit, and then marinates them in olive oil and oregano at room temperature. Daisy and I had a few on a plate before L & R arrived.

Dom gave us a plate of cheese to try - grana padana, and the buffala mozzarella he uses, from Caserta. Man are those cheeses good.

In all the years I've been going there, I have never, not once, had a bit of pizza that wasn't superlative. It really is unbelievable.

The broccoli rabe half - my god that is one delicious thing.

And his calzones never ever cease to amaze me. When it came out of the oven, huge crescent with "turrets" cut into the edges, another patron said "that's a work of art." And it was. Filled with cheese, sausage, and peppers. Dom gave us a dish of sauce (the cooked one, made with pork) to dip our calzone bites into.

We finished with a plate of warm zeppole, dusted with lots of powdered sugar.

And Dom, that twinkly man - it just doesn't get better than that.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#33 beachfan

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 05:35 AM

I'll add a counterpoint. I lost my DiFara cherry on Monday.

While it was the best pizza in NY, driven by the superb ingredients, I thought it could clearly be improved by having a better crust. Maybe a better oven is in order.

I have a test that has stood me well all the years: Pick up the slice, it should point out. If it points down (and especially if the cheese then slides off), if fails.

DiFara's did not pass this test.

So how can I bitch about the best pizza in NYC? Well, I'm from Howard Beach, and my brother still lives there. A couple of the neighborhood places are mentioned in the articles DiFara has clipped up. It's not worth the schlep from Howard Beach.

If only New Park (in Howard Beach) used DiFara's ingredients.

I will give DiFara's props for staff stability as well (what an understatement). That's what causes uneven pizza at New Park.

As a concluding comment, the square slice was absolutely perfect. If I valued square above regular, I'd also be worshipping at DiFara's altar.

#34 omnivorette

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 05:38 AM

I think the crust at DiFara's is marvelous. I never leave a single bite behind. The pizza comes out of the oven very hot, the cheese is still gooey. I always leave it sit for a minute or two, the cheese firms up a little bit and the slice stays straighter.

I don't understand this "test" of yours, beachfan. So what if it bends? Doesn't detract from the wonderful texture or tast of the crust or the slice...

On another note, I'm going to Una Pizza Napoletana tomorrow, so we'll see about that.

As I said this evening, I am WAY overdue for a New Haven pizza crawl.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#35 omnivorette

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 05:41 AM

Another thing about crust - if the piece is totally straight and firm right when you get it, by the time you finish, the end part is hard as a rock. DiFara's slice is perfectly chewy at the tip, and when you get to the end, it's firm and toothy and perfect. I've never seen another place where people leave so little crust behind.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#36 beachfan

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 06:05 AM

I don't understand this "test" of yours, beachfan. So what if it bends? Doesn't detract from the wonderful texture or tast of the crust or the slice...

Big minus on texture. I don't like it soooo soft. And there's the intergrity of the slice to consider. One of my DiFara's slices (porcini) totally fell apart into a glop.

For me, the most imporatant part of the slice is the part with sauce and cheese.

#37 omnivorette

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 06:11 AM

I think the sauce, cheese, and crust are all equal players.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#38 macrosan

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 10:06 AM

And his calzones never ever cease to amaze me.

I don't think it's right to discuss S di Fara's personal attributes in this way :rolleyes:

Is it a good idea to go here for lunch ? What times is this place open ? I really gotta try diFara on my next trip.

#39 ngatti

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 02:28 PM

And his calzones never ever cease to amaze me.

I don't think it's right to discuss S di Fara's personal attributes in this way :rolleyes:

Is it a good idea to go here for lunch ? What times is this place open ? I really gotta try diFara on my next trip.

It's a pizza joint, Macro. It's open all day. I reccomend it.
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#40 Ron Johnson

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 02:50 PM

I love Di Fara's.

The regular pie has perfect crust. Slices can be folded.

The sicilian pie is perfect as well. Twice-baked glory.

Never had the calzone. :rolleyes: But, I am not a big calzone fan.

I am definitely going there on my next visit.

#41 Daisy

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 02:52 PM

The calzone was awesome, and I am also not usually a fan. The crust on the calzone was a thing of beauty---and those porcini on the pizza and the broccoli rabe studded with soft chunks of garlic---oh my. And I don't usually love Sicilan pizza---but this was superlative.
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#42 scamhi

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 02:54 PM

to the out-of-Di Fara's-towners. When you visit make sure it is still cool out.
The joint gets really hot in the summer. no AC.

#43 Wilfrid1

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 03:02 PM

I agree with Beachfan about the gloop test, but DiFara's certainly passed it when I visited.
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#44 ngatti

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 03:09 PM

I agree with Beachfan about the gloop test, but DiFara's certainly passed it when I visited.

I grew up with all sorts of Brooklyn pizza. I know one of those joints that beachfan uses as a reference point and my own was in Rockaway Beach. But those reference points were 40+ years ago. So let me say that *for me*, Difara's is *currently* the best I've tasted. There's other excellent pizza out there. There's other very good pizza too; but if you're on a quest; Difara's deserves a stop and many will be gobsmacked at how it currently tastes head and shoulders above much that exists.
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#45 omnivorette

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 03:32 PM

Macro, I am soooo going with you. I love going to DiFara's with Difara's virgins.

Ron, since you are not a DiFara's virgin, you should try a calzone.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid