Have been following the discussions/reviews for many years now with great interest, and finally got my big chance this past weekend. I was laying over in the city for a few days on my way back from Ireland to Buffalo (where I currently live). Based on what I had read here and elsewhere, I obviously had very high expectations going in. As a "post-game analysis" all I can say....is OH MY!
Got there about 12:30 this past Friday and was primed for the experience. The subway ride turned out to be unbelievably easy and pretty quick (although I grew up in Long Island, I never got to Brooklyn all that often...a pity really, especially 'cause I was born there and lived of all places, right on Ave. J!) Turning left out of the subway onto Ave. J, I was immediately taken with the multicultural sights and sounds of what looks like a really neat neighborhood. Would love to explore some time. I was so taken by the sights, that in fact I walked by DiFara's before I had even realized what I had done. I've seen the tern "unassuming" used pretty regularly to describe the spot, and I'd have to say that's incredibly accurate.
Walking in, the first thing I noticed was Dominic hunched over the shredder, grating cheese. I had forgotten, no pre-pack here, Dominick grates his own. I smiled. My plan was to go for a couple of "simple" unadorned slices, one plain and the other a square. Seeing several folks hovering around the counter, I figured it would probably be a bit of a wait. I was right. Fortunately, there were plain slices available, but was told it would be a few minutes before squares were ready. The woman at the counter somehow must have sensed my hunger and excitement (or perhaps it was the sight of me salivating)and asked If I wanted a regular slice while I waited. "Absolutely" was the only reponse which seemed appropriate . So there it was...finally...in front of me...all hot, gooey, bubbly, dripping with oil...I reared back, folded and took a bite. It was quite simply the best slice I can remember ever having since my childhood. It was everything good and pure I remembered about NY pizza . The cheese and sauce were tremendous, and in perfect proportion. The crust was (to me) perfectly done...crisp with just a hint of char. The oil was tasty and...everywhere! I was smitten.
As I stood there,stuck in my pizza reverie, I saw Dominick take the square from the oven. My first impression was that the slice was gonna be tough to beat, because A) it was so damn good and B) I'm not even that big a fan of sicicilian style. Shows what I know. I got my square and headed to the back counter as I figured a just out-of-the-oven square might be a bit tough to navigate standing up. I had to let it cool a bit (lest I add to the shards of flesh already hanging from the roof of my mouth courtesy of the slice). So, finally it cools enough to pick up and taste. All I could think was WOW! (that's the clean version of what I was actually thinking). So here it is approximately 75 hours later, and I am at this moment still thinking of that first (and subsequent) bites. As has been reported here lately, it did seem like a different sauce used on the square, and it was just incredible. It tasted almost a bit smoky. Don't kniow what it was, but the sauce just blew me away. The crust was crispy, oily, and sufficiently charred around the edges, while the combination of cheeses was tangy yet not overpowering. I kid you not, as I sit here thinking and writing about it, I am once again salivating! It was like no other slice I have ever had. It seemed like when I was finished, I should have rolled over and lit up a cigarette (and I don't even smoke!) I am saddened by the fact that I live so far away, but I'm already scheming my next trip back. My first trip to DiFara's will always be quite a memory for me.
Anyway, thanks to all the Hounds who have contributed to the lively discussion/debate about this place over the years. I have enjoyed all past posts, and will continue to read new ones with relish. I know not everyone agrees and is as taken with DiFara's as I was (and hey, I live in Buffalo, so what do I know?) But IMHO, DiFara's is truly a gem. For those who are fans, I hope you know how lucky you are to have Dominick spinning his magic so close by. I am truly envious! Take care, and thanks for listening.