DiFara's Again This Weekend
Went to DiFara's yesterday afternoon around 3:00. It was really busy as opposed to last Saturday. I had two slices with the artichokes and it was completely different than the heavenly slice I had last Saturday. The artichokes were fried to the point that I was choking them down. It felt like I was swallowing razor blades. I was disappointed.
I also went to DiFara's Saturday and had an entirely different experience. I went by with my daughter after a soccer game. At 11:30 the gates were still down but we could see someone inside. We went for a little drive. Sad to observe that the pickle man on Avenue M is out of business. The guy -- an ex-employee of Essex Pickles in Manhattan -- set up shop half on the sidewalk selling every variety of pickled vegetable. A major loss.
11:45. Back to Avenue J. I park at the plastic-bagged meter right in front. We peek through the gates which are still padlocked. I think I see the son. Around the corner at the side door is Dom the owner. I ask at what time he's opening. "Right now," he says. My daughter and I help him open up his gates and take the chairs off the tables. I ask for three slices, and make a selection from the soft drink cooler -- sophisticatedly stocked with exotic flavors as if by some Italian soda sommelier.
As we wait for him to make the pizza others start filing in -- an ethnic cross-section always including cops or mailpeoples -- putting in their order and waiting patiently or as patiently as possible.
Dom goes into a transcendental flow state and starts knocking out round and square pizzas as a crowd gathers hungrily.
We get the first three slices. World class pizza.
As I pay I stare longingly as a molten sicilian is pulled out of the oven. The crowd stirs. We leave.