Having time on my hands this summer and spending most of it in and around Ditmas Park and Midwood, I made a point this week to visit Difara each day, Tuesday through Friday, for a slice or two. My thinking was to spend a week (four days really) eating the pizza and developing a deeper understanding and appreciation of the pie as a regular customer so to speak. I wanted to demystify the experience of Difara and focus on the pizza.
I’ve had over a dozen pies during the last five or so years. Square, round, with toppings, without. I know the protocol (as well as anyone can I suppose) and have always been a pretty passive Difara customer but always in awe of the process and finished product. Whenever the suggestion of a Difara trip comes up, I feel a slight sense of dread. The slice is worth it but can I justify a trip to an alternate reality right now is the question I have to ask myself.
With my experiment, my aim was not to get too psyched up or make a big production of the visit thus alleviating the anticipation, anxiety and aforementioned reality jumping concerns I have sometimes associated with a visit to Difara. I think that all of these distractions interfere with the experience of eating the pie. The cause of these emotions aren’t rooted in the line or wait, but the general sense I’ve developed over the years that Difara is a vortex with it’s own sense of reality. It’s a surreal place where social norms are suspended and rules of nature don’t exist as we know them in our modern civilized society. It’s not a time warp – it’s another dimension. It’s Difara Peaks.
The experiment went off without a hitch and the end result in terms of the pizza is not an epiphany. Simply stated, Difara’s plain round and square slices are unmatched in how through the synthesis of all of the elements of creation result in the perfect pizza eating experience, more so when you add the peppers. This is not new, this is just the truth.
-Thursday @ 2:45 and Friday @ 1:30 there were no lines and slices were served up when I walked in. Tuesday was 2 regular for $8 and Thursday was 2 square for $8. Even with the price increase, I didn’t feel overcharged or ripped off. The only financial concern is that a round pie is $20. Splitting a pie is so much more cost effective - 4 slices each for $10 – that’s the deal.
-Wednesday was bizarre. I went earlier and that was the downfall. It was around 12:30 and there were three customers when I got there they seemed to have different familiarity with the process. Guy one was at the left side of the counter at the counter watching Dom and chilling. This guy obviously knew what he was doing. Standing dead smack in the middle of the area in front of the counter was a lady on her cell phone. She created a physical barrier that made it so no one could either line up behind her - to walk in front of her would have been rude, but she was about two feet from the counter. Third dude was a meathead clocking everyone’s digits but again standing back from the counter. If I were either of those people I would have moved to the counter. After about ten minutes, Dom asked what people were waiting for and all there responded they were waiting for slices. Dom began a slice pie. I walked to the right side of the counter and looked down and saw two slices below the counter. I said to Dom, “I’ll talk the slices you have.” He plated them up and I paid. I guess I didn’t think about it much because a) the dude waiting knew there were there because he was at the counter for at least ten minutes. The cell phone lady or meathead could have easily walked up to the counter to see if there were any “older” slices. I thought it was all fair game. Meathead freaked out and said I cut the line. I gave it back and said “you’ve been standing at the front of the line for 10 minutes and didn’t think to see if there were slices?” I offered meathead the slices but he was too agro. Dude at the counter stuck up for me and said “they’ve been there for fifteen minutes, you should have spoke up.”
Tuesday was interesting. Around 1:00 PM. I walked in and the first thing I noticed was a lady returning her pie because it was burnt. I thought to myself “silly lady, it’s called char and it’s good for you.” But she was right, it was black and sooty. Dom brought it back as a slice pie but removed five pieces and brought them to the back. I had two slices from that same pie that were not burnt. They were delicious (I was too proud to ask for the burnt ones at a discount). Another anomaly was a round pie for pickup clearly had a hole in it. The pie was boxed up and there was a hole about the size of a quarter in the middle. Dom used the old pizza trick by cutting through it and added basil to cover it. Even the master makes mistakes.
So I don’t really know what I accomplished. Maybe it’s that one bad run in with a meat head at Difara can ruin it (not the pizza, the experience). And the eternal question remains, what is worth enduring to eat the best pizza in the world? I’ll draw the line at weekends.