Yesterday my partner and I went to DiFara for the first time. Were it not for Chowhound.com, I never would have heard of DiFara (somehow I missed the Eric Asimov review), and I would have missed this truly delicious pizza and a wonderful experience.
First, I will say that the pizza was absolutely divine. The sauce is so rich and flavorful, the crust is paper-thin, light and crunchy, the cheese is out of this world. It is certainly one of the best pizzas I've ever eaten.
We ordered a whole plain pie - which I gathered from previous posts was a good way to go - and washed it down with that amazing root beer and Italian citrus sodas. When we were finishing up, we ordered a potato and egg hero to go.
But for me, there was more to this experience than the delicious pizza. Here, in this unassuming little corner pizza joint, much like any other, is this man keeping alive an age-old craft with the utmost care and attention to quality. I hope I don't sound too heavy handed when I say I was honored to be around him and eat his fine food.
While we waited for our hero, I complimented Dom on the pizza, and I was so glad he wanted to chat. He showed me the mozzarella he imports from near his hometown in Italy, and talked to me about why it is special. I also asked to use the rest room (such as it is!), and I was so glad I did - because I got to see the huge baskets overflowing with plum tomatoes and the giant cast iron pot of sauce bubbling on the old stove. Dom's son was making our potatoes and eggs in a cast iron skillet. It was like stepping into a time machine - no giant cans of tomato sauce here!
When our hero arrived, it was HUGE. Later that night, we split it for dinner, and it was just perfect. For me, it needed a little salt, but that is inconsequential. The roll was wonderfully soft and chewy, and the eggs and potatoes were done exactly right.
And by the way, if I had not read the controversy about DiFara's decor and ambience, I never would have noticed it. It's just a little neighborhood place, nothing more, nothing less.
So I thank you, Chowhounders, for all the discussion about DiFara, which piqued my curiosity to the point where I just had to get on that Q train and see for myself. Please, folks, don't limit your discussions because someone is tired of this topic. Hopefully those people will simply read the subject line and skip the thread. But for people like me who drop by irregularly and mostly lurk, those discussions are gems.
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