Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
May 7, 2001 01:38 PM

Great Metro Pizza

  • &

I am disappointed in the praise heaped on DiFara's Pizza in Brooklyn, and I'll tell you why.

I grew up around the corner, in the 1970's and 80's, and then, the pizza was very good. But steadily since then, the quality declined, and the service became, well, temperamental, to be fair.

I LOVE pizza...the thicker and chewier the better. In my multi-national 'za test tastes, I have come across better in Vermont, and even nearby on Avenue J in Brooklyn. Do not mistake DiFara's newer (and less generous) thin and burned pizza for post-modern gourmet pie...that is NOT how DiFara's served it years ago.

I recently came across a reliable place that I heartily recommend, very much because it reminds me of the (Old) DiFara's--Romano's in Jersey City (West Side Avenue). Try a piece of their 24 inch pie and step back into the golden age of NYC metro pizza !

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. But DiFara's pizza is very good. He uses the best quality San Marzano tomatoes (although he mentioned recently that he's having trouble getting them now), and all the other ingredients are great too. The end result, to me, is marvelous. What was better about it before? You say it was thicker. Is that it? What about the square pie. Has that declined also?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Peter Cuce
      "Bob Brooklyn"

      Unfortunately, a 1999 sampling of DiFara sicilian showed that it, too, was not as good as it once was.

      It seems like cost-cutting and managed care has come to DiFara's, and taken quality with it...

      1. re: "Bob Brooklyn"

        I was there yesterday and had the best pizza I'd ever eaten there...or anywhere else.

        But tastes vary, and if you don't love his pizza, that's ok by me. And if you think it's declined, I can respect that opinion as well. Different strokes, etc.

        But I can't let your "managed care and cost-cutting" remark go unchallenged. Anyone who's spent any amount of time with Mr. Demarco knows that he is a man obsessed, consumed, with quality. The idea of cutting corners could not possibly so much as occur to him. It's almost inconceivable to me that someone would suggest this.
        Mr. Demarco may have trouble getting his preferred ingredients on a given day, or he may run out of stuff. Or he may simply have a bad day and make merely splendid pizza. But if there's one single artistic holdout left in this increasingly efficiency/profit-minded world, it's him. Sorry, I don't often summarily dismiss opinions on these boards. But this accusation is just flat-out wrong.
        The place is not beyond reproach, however. I wish he'd get rid of the #3 chef (the sneering biker-looking dude), whose work is spotty. His daughter and son cook like angels, though.

        1. re: Jim Leff
          David Edelstein

          I just wanna say that Jim's post above is the reason I will read these boards forever--so much heart.

          I'm still wondering, however, if it's possible to tale up a collection to buy DiFara's new tables and chairs. Anyone got something to donate? No matter how ratty, it would be an improvement...

          David Edelstein
          Brownstone Brooklyn

          1. re: Jim Leff

            I just realized the above posting is confusing for people who don't know the place.

            Mr. Demarco makes the pizza, and a revolving cast of chef's (one of them spotty) cook the other stuff.

            the trick to eating here is: walk in, order pizza. Waft into bliss state. And wait till the chef comes up front (or use the bathroom, which entails a walk thru the kitchen). If it's a woman, order and order and order. If it's a guy with a bikerish sneer, stick mostly with pizza. If it's the OTHER guy (who I haven't seen in over a year and so I can't describe real well other than to say he doesn't have a bikerish sneer), order and order and order.

      2. b
        Barry Strugatz

        What's the other pizza place on Ave. J that you like?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Barry Strugatz
          "Bob Brooklyn"

          Go about two blocks up (J and East 13) to Jerusalem Pizza. Order a pepper-onion-mushroom slice. Enjoy. Repeat as needed.