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Guest Aaron T

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Everytime I read someone saying that the wait is the whole point of the experience, my laughter is only suppressed by my vomiting.

 

Because it's a Friday during the Silly Season I did a search on difara+zen. It returns 193,000 results. Just for fun lets read the first 6. (By all means if someone wants to quote 7 to 12 feel free.)

 

Serious Eats -

 

Robyn Lee, Serious Eats editor, A Hamburger Today editor in chief

 

Robyn LeeMy favorite part of the experience was watching Dom make the pies. It was almost zen-like; he made pizza-making look like the easiest thing in the world (of course, he's had enough practice), impressive considering the hot and humid atmosphere and the plumes of smoke whirling around the room.

 

 

Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome

 

As we walked out the door, wiping our chins and hands with the flimsy paper napkins I turned to watch him one last time. DeMarco hadn’t looked up the entire hour we were there, so zen-like and concentrated was his pizza making. “Arriverdci and grazie per la pizza” I called out. He looked up,finally, and gave me a huge smile, “Prego!”

 

 

Village Voice

 

Half a century ago, Domenico DeMarco opened the doors to Di Fara Pizza, a petite Midwood pizzeria in an unassuming corner storefront where Avenue J and East 15th Street intersect. New York's patron saint of basil-snipping works with enlightened Zen, kneading dough into imperfect shapes and taming the flames that roil beneath his metallic beast of an oven.

 

Excuse the interruption but I have a comment. Metallic beast of an oven? Are you fucking kidding me??? It's a standard gas pizza oven. There are thousands of them around the city. Metallic beast? My fucking ass.

 

And now, back to the Zen musings.

 

 

Snackish.

 

As a pizza lover, the trip out to Di Fara in Midwood on the Q feels like a pilgrimage. Located deep in Brooklyn, just after the subway creeps above ground into a strangely suburban landscape, this unassuming corner pizza parlor churns out some of the most celebrated pizza in the city. Pizza zen-master Dom DeMarco, who’s over 70 and has operated Di Fara for 40 years, makes each one himself (all day, seven days a week), from shaping the dough and spreading the sauce, to snipping fresh basil and swirling olive oil over the finished pie.

 

 

Off The Broiler. (Sorry Jason. I have to call them as I see them.)

 

It probably comes as no surprise that one of our all time most popular posts on Off The Broiler has been my previous trip to Difara Pizza in Brooklyn. I’m not sure if it was the photos or the four minutes of Zen-like video watching the master at work, but we got an awful lot of hits.

 

 

Spocool.

 

Watching Domenico De Marco prepping pizzas in slow, zen-like motions should be as big of a part of a New York trip as seeing Times Square, riding the Staten Island ferry, or rubbing shoulders with Maggie Gyllenhaal at Gorilla Coffee.

 

 

Behold. The Cult of Dom.

 

It doesn't mean the pizza isn't good but that cult sure gets in the way.

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For years, Dom has quietly tried to discourage slice orders. He's a good businessman so he, at first, kept the pie price at $24 or so but raised the slice price to $5 (yes, there are 8 slices/pie).

new park in howard beach, but i've only had it as take out. i don't wander around howard beach without an armed detail. i also like la rondine and dani's in kew gardens. 3 very different slices.

I was just about to say that same thing. Time flies, indeed.

Of all the pizzaiolo in NYC, I'm sure there are others who work with the same focus as Dom. Certainly, plenty of stoned teenaged and adult pizzaiolo make pizza as slowly as he does. But very few of them make pizza as well as he does. We can argue over whether the hype (and the lines/wait driven by that hype) make the experience worth it, but the product on its best day is, I think, indisputable.

 

ETA: I have no idea if Suzanne says YMMV often.

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By paying much more attention to the product than other slice producers do. By using a different compositional method.

 

I'm not saying that Dom is Eric Ripert, but don't you think you'd pay a skill premium if Eric Ripert cooked supermarket-level fish with supermarket-level produce?

Not if he's buying the fish at my supermarket.

 

<snip>

 

Me neither. He (Eric) can't make miracles, good as he is.

 

I don't doubt that Dom applies considerable attention to his materials.But they are still commodity-grade materials, at least the ones that can make a big difference. And he applies some skill, although not necessarily more skill than any other careful pizza maker; very likely more experience, but that does not always translate into greater skill. All the skill in the world can't turn cheap materials that lack flavor into something delicious.

 

 

Bullshit doesn't make a bad product good.

 

But it doesn't make a good product bad, either.

 

Bullshit can make anything taste bad if applied directly.

 

 

Of all the pizzaiolo in NYC, I'm sure there are others who work with the same focus as Dom. Certainly, plenty of stoned teenaged and adult pizzaiolo make pizza as slowly as he does. But very few of them make pizza as well as he does. We can argue over whether the hype (and the lines/wait driven by that hype) make the experience worth it, but the product on its best day is, I think, indisputable.

 

ETA: I have no idea if Suzanne says YMMV often.

I'll have to take your word for it that he makes pizza better than others. As I have stated before, I prefer not to wait on line to get into restaurants, at least not much beyond a short line to order something that will be made immediately, as at Craftwich. To wait as long as an hour? No f-ing way. Especially not for as commonly available a food as pizza. Which, btw, I am making tonight: whole wheat crust, pistou, sheeps' milk ricotta, and roasted cauliflower. Would I have to wait while Dom roasts the cauliflower?

 

As for YMMV: I don't use it all that often. But I was referring to other people liking (or not liking) Dominique Ansel's creations, which I find much too sweet.

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I'm not saying that Dom is Eric Ripert, but don't you think you'd pay a skill premium if Eric Ripert cooked supermarket-level fish with supermarket-level produce?

 

 

When Ripert was flipping salmon fillets at the Lehman Brothers cafeteria they weren't charging any premium over usual cafeteria prices. (although in retrospect maybe someone was paying the premium)

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