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Jan 28, 2007 11:19 AM

Di Fara- Recent TERRIBLE Crust

Excuse me if this has come up recently, but I shared a pie with friends Friday and the crust was completely dried out like cardboard, flat, no chew to it, flavorless. I've lived ten blocks from Dom for over 20 years and have been going to his place for at least the last fifteen. Even the color didn't look right; it had a yellow tint. No good.

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  1. sicilian or round? I'm betting the former. He's making the sicilian crusts ahead of time, and they're a pale shadow of what they once were.

    1. Quite ironic that Chowhounders, Jim Leff no less, are posting on the downturn in DiFara's quality. You'd think that all the exposure its gotten in recent years ( on this site, the NY Times and other places) would contribute to the popularity exceeding the ability to deliver.

      A place can only retain its "local flavor" for so long. 100 fold the market and you lose it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Larry Brooks

        I've seen countless great places die from unpopularity. And I've seen a very few go downhill from over-popularity (Jackson Diner, anyone?).

        On the whole, I prefer the latter. It sets a precedent, encouraging people to open quality places (rather than just another Olive Garden) because they see the potential for quality-based success. That's good. And it means the good guys get rewarded. That's good, too.

        Difara's round pies are still the bomb.

        1. re: Jim Leff

          No disagreement that they are still one of the best if not THE best in all of NYC, if not the country. However, I would wager that if they did not have their recent (over) recognition, there would be shorter lines and more consistent pies.

          No diss on DiFara's. Not from me.

          1. re: Larry Brooks

            When I first went there, Mr. DeMarco was tired and jaded. Was talking about retiring. Now he has legions of adoring fans and makes good money. He has the credit he deserves. I'm thrilled.

            If the wave of attention hadn't happened, I'm pretty sure he'd have closed. And, to be fair, he's getting older, so cutting a few time intensive corners (e.g. making the sicilian crust ahead of time) is a concession that had to come sooner or later, popularity or not. He can't do it all anymore.

            1. re: Jim Leff

              Again with no disrespect to him nor his restaurant, I'm sure that without Chowhound and NY Times readers flocking to his place, the normal 45 minutes to 1 hour pie wait would return as opposed to the 2 hour wait, which is a -joke-.

              The best pie in NYC? Without a doubt. Still worth it? I dunno any more.

      2. I had a round from DiFara's myself on Friday (first time I've been there). The crust was actually very good ...

        1. Have been there about weekly for the past 2 months or so and pretty regularly before then. Jim's right about the square crust but he's actually gotten better with the rest of the square (or maybe just the times I've caught it lately)... deeper sauce, which would be counter intuitive since he can't possibly have the ability to simmer it longer with the huge # of pies he's turning out. Any ideas on this? More or better meat?

          The round pies are widely inconsistant. Today's slices had very thin crisp, almost burnt crust and he added oil and quite a lot of cheese at the end. Last week was thicker crust but thinner sauce.

          But both weeks he's been both more forgetful (too many orders just not put in... someone today was just forgotten for an hour and she didnt catch it till too late... major crowd w/another 1/2 hour wait till he put her pie in... i felt bad) and in a good mood (opera playing, him laughing w/customers and even fooling around with ingredients when they were watching).

          1. The original comment has been removed