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Di Fara's: How much is the best NY slice of pizza worth?

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Welcome to the $4 slice, up from $3, as of yesterday. Not only that, but the slice, which for a few years now, was coming in at about 75% the size of a standard slice is shrinking down to about 65 or 70% the size of everyone else's slice. Oh yeah, and $4 for my two cans of Pepsi, up from $2 for two cans.

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  1. are the whole pie prices the same?

    1 Reply
    1. re: TBird

      I think everything went up, across the board.

    2. Rumor has it that his ingredient costs are up due to the strong Euro and his energy costs up due to energy costs being up.

      Or perhaps it's a crowd-control measure.

      1 Reply
      1. re: meatme

        You know, this would not surprise me. I have heard that certain European food products have become more expensive for suppliers/distributors, and I bet that tomatoes are one of those products. Lets take this into account: everyone is crazy for San Marzanos lately, and we pay top dollar for them (up to $5 for a 28 oz. can). However, the D.O.P. area in which they are grown can only produce so much- at a certain point their market value will rise, never mind that the Euro is incredibly strong against our dollar these days. To make matters worse, I have also heard that US customs has been giving Italian imports a hard time getting through lately... which has led to delays and increased cost. So I can see him trying to recoup his costs, even if $4 for a slice sounds over-the-top. The soda thing is just greedy, though. Who charges $2 for a can of soda?

      2. josh...
        Phlueeeze. Gimme a break! I'm well aware that "Good things cost money"
        As Bob Martinez in his post below, very astutely points out, many restaurants use high quality ingredients and no one is raising their prices by 25%. Certainly NOT a neighborhood pizzaria in a middle class neighborhood. If Mr DiFara can get that sort of outrageous percentage increase, more power to him, but don't for a second try to rationalize the increase by throwing out some nonsense about the high cost of ingredients.. Are you going to explain the $2 can of soda by telling us that the ingredients are imported from...Atlanta?
        As for the "slop house in which I consumed the pizza referred to in my earlier post: I clearly acknowledged it was not DiFara'd caliber, but since
        you have no idea of the quality of the food I was served. To come up with a disparaging comment like that is both ignorant and rude. I was giving a very striking comparison of cost per person. DiFara's might be extraordinary pizza, but something is seriously out of whack when ONE slice of pizza and a 12 oz can of soda costs $6 and a pizza/salad/mozz/knot/soda dinner for 4, served by friendly staff in a nicely decorated, CLEAN establishment costs $21.50... Even some DiFara devotees should be a little put out at a 25% increase
        We all know you are a fiercely loyal fan of DiFara's, but so are many other who post here. They are able to state their opinions in a courteous manner. I have often stated that, while I don't understand the slavish loyalty, I respect those that do.
        You can just state that you are devoted to DiFara's and no amount of physical inconvenience or financial gouging will change the way you feel.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Tay

          I practically live there so it won't change how often I go or anything like that, but it's sort of a shame at the same time. I understand ingredients, quality, etc but this place is already a gold mine. I'll deal with it, but it was not neccessary. Oh well, at least Dom will forget to charge the higher price half the time for about two months. That happened to me so many times after the first price increase.

          1. re: JFores

            I hope you speak from direct knowledge about this place being a 'gold mine'. Maybe so, but from what I've read and seen, restaurants of any kind are anything but gold mines. I can't think of a faster/riskier way to lose money (and sleep) than opening a restaurant. Fortunately there are those with a much higher sense of adventure than me, so hopefully there will always be great places to eat, whether they make a fortune or not.

            1. re: JFores

              I don't know if "gold mine" is how I'd describe any job where I had to work 6 days a week, 363(?) days a year, for 1 to 12 hours, on my feet, in front of a 700 degree oven.

              1. re: Peter

                It's about 310 days now. DiFara's is closed on Mondays.

          2. Having just returned from Italy, it makes sense. I think almost everything in Dom's pies are imported, no?

            4 Replies
            1. re: NYJewboy

              Having tried DiFara's for the frist time a few weeks ago, the new prices, for me at least, are going to make it my last as well. Great pizza, but not worth the money. Especially to wait so long to spend it. I understand the rising costs, but I'd rather just grab a slice elsewhere

              1. re: NYJewboy

                "Having just returned from Italy, it makes sense. I think almost everything in Dom's pies are imported, no?"

                Lets use a little common sense. There are dozens of Italian restaurants and enoteccas around the city that also use imported ingredients. Are *they* raising their prices by 25%? The tip off is the doubling of soda prices. Is the Pepsi imported too?

                Dom wants to make more money. The price increases have nothing to do with the foreign exchange rate otherwise we'd be seeing them around the city.

                1. re: Bob Martinez

                  what i always wondered was why he didnt let his kids use the name 'difara' instead of demarcos for their manhattan place. lets face it, he has another 5 years of pizza making before its all over and im sure his kids will take over difaras but he never lets them make pies.

                  if i was him, id sell out and sell difara's inspired pizzas at costco.

                  as for the original topic, id pay $50 for a square pie if it meant that i didnt have to wait 2 hours for a pizza these days.

                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    Maybe you're right Bob M, but I still don't care about the extra buck. How many things are that good? Give Dom his extra buck, even for the drink. He deserves it.

                2. They finally figured out that they are a tourist trap, not a neighborhood pizza place. Good for them. I hope they make a fortune.

                  BTW, they are charging $4 because they think they can get it, not because of the euro, the price of cheese, or gas.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Geo8rge

                    Seems like a smart move. I dropped in on Tuesday evening, and the place was empty. Signor di Fara was in great spirits, slowly making his pies, but without a crowd of irritated people trying to cut the line before everybody else and breathing stress. He'll make a nice profit, and slay the beast he created.

                  2. PLEASE CITIZENS OF CHOWHOUND! You get what you pay for, and this is worth it if anything is. Be glad to have Dom here at all, and give him is extra buck. If not, then they line will be much shorter. I would rather pay $6 a slice and have most of you go somewhere else.

                    27 Replies
                    1. re: NYJewboy

                      i'm with nyjewboy. i'd pay double if it meant getting my pizza in half the time. i hope dom continues to raise the prices so the crowds thin out. maybe he is saving up for a nice retirement house outside naples. he's earned it.

                      1. re: josh L

                        This is just too much!

                        1. re: MoxieBoy

                          Hey, if you can't afford expensive pizza, sell some paintings!

                          Now that it's proven to be pretentious pizza, how about hanging the sign up at the store:

                          "Extraordinary Pizza for Ordinary People!"

                          It's good, but not if I have to take out a mortgage to grab a bite.

                          This has gone too far. I'm declaring that I am going on strike. No $4 slices for me! And let Dom see that he pissed us off this time! First him, then other pizzerias will see we accept that as the going rate for a slice. (If it'll work for the new EBay rates, it'll work for a small hole-in-the-wall pizza joint in a working class area of Brooklyn. It ain't Park Avenue!)

                          Fressers of the world unite!

                          1. re: Carl LaFong

                            You do that Carl, but know that there will be a counter-demonstration in support of Dom doing whatever he wants. Hail Dom.

                            The remark about selling paintings shocks me. Do I know you?

                            1. re: NYJewboy

                              Hi, NYJewboy. I agree. Dom can do anything he wants to. But this time, I also think he went too far. $2 for soda?

                              1. re: MoxieBoy

                                Yeah, the soda is not his creation. If there is a line it should be drawn at what he makes himself. However, I still don't care, because I often go restaurants that charge WAY more than that and the food isn't a fraction as satisfying or enjoyable.

                                1. re: MoxieBoy

                                  its byo, drink wine or beer instead of soda and share some with dom.

                                  1. re: josh L

                                    OK, I can see a soda boycott. But let the man charge whatever he wants for his pizza. I don't like to see someone with that kind of talent forced to charge regular market rates. It should be more, because it is not ordinary. That type of service should have its rewards.

                                    1. re: NYJewboy

                                      Of course, he can charge what he wants. That's his perogative. But, I think it undercuts the whole "he's just devoted to the creation of magnificent pizza" argument. He is clearly capitalizing on the fact that Difara's has now become a phenomenon and that people will continue to pay, even though he takes no steps to make it a orderly or timely experience.
                                      As an aside, Lucali does an excellent pie night in and night out in a pleasant atmosphere with pleasant staff for $19/pie (less than $2.50/slice). You may prefer Difara's, but I don't think you can argue that a very good pie can't be done for less money, and certainly Difara's could do the same.

                                      1. re: jdf

                                        OK, so that's true. But I still don't see why making some more money on a unique product is so horrible.

                                        1. re: NYJewboy

                                          Because it's PIZZA! Maybe it's good, but it's far from "unique."

                                          1. re: irishnyc

                                            I think not Irishnyc. The tastes blend in a way that I have never experienced before. I think it is unique.

                                          2. re: NYJewboy

                                            Fair enough. As I said, its certainly his perogative and time will tell whether people will be willing to pay those prices. If they do, more power to him. My only point is that sometimes it seems like Difara's devotees make excuses for the shortcomings of the place. Like, "he's so devoted to the making of pizza, so how can you expect him to remember what people ordered or stop people from cutting the line". In this instance, its the same. The man runs a business and he's trying to make money. And that's fine. But, lets say that's what it is, and not make excuses for him as some increase in costs which has forced him to raise prices.

                                            1. re: jdf

                                              Amen. There's no excuse for the poor service that is Dom's de rigueur. I'm frankly surprised most NYers put up with it. I won't, and I don't care how "good" the product is.

                                          3. re: jdf

                                            Huh? What does Dom charge for a pie now? Let's compare apples to apples here.

                                            1. re: scooter

                                              Well, I haven't been there since yesterday when the prices went up, so I don't know from firsthand experience. But someone already posted that they believe the pie went up. And I doubt that it would only apply to slices, anyway. And as for apples to apples, when was Difara's pie $19 like Lucali, even before this new price increase?

                                              1. re: jdf

                                                The photo I've got from my last visit there (April '07, man it's been a while) shows a $17 round pie.

                                                1. re: scooter

                                                  "The photo I've got from my last visit there (April '07, man it's been a while) shows a $17 round pie."
                                                  ________________

                                                  Does your photo show how much a slice cost back then? I remember the slice then going for about $2.50. There was a big price increase right after Dom came back from his month or so (ahem) "not-of-his-own-choice" closing, presumably to compensate for whatever income he lost from that shutdown. (That's when he came back with his new closed on Mondays policy). If so, that would mean that his slices went from $2.50 to $4.00 in a little more than half a year - a 60% price hike!

                                                  1. re: pizmet

                                                    It was $3 plain, $4 with topping.

                                                    I tried to upload here, but you can't see the board at that resolution.

                                                    http://flickr.com/photos/27551370@N00...

                                                    1. re: scooter

                                                      You're right. Dom's previous price increases came about a year ago, right after his first "not-of-his-choice closings". Last February, Dom was charging $2.50 for a regular slice and $2.75 for a square slice. (I was sure that the slices were under three bucks earlier in 2007) Here's the photographic proof:

                                                      http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bi...

                                                      http://www.alarmingnews.com/archives/...

                                                      (scroll down to bottom of last link)

                                                      1. re: pizmet

                                                        no biggie for me. $4 it is. and i don't drink soda.
                                                        :-)

                                                    2. re: pizmet

                                                      Okay, I don't usually chime in on DiFara threads (why bother?) but have to put in my 2 cents here.

                                                      Dom's pie used to be cheaper than Lucali's, and even if it isn't any more, it's certainly more filling, which means it comes out cheaper because a pie can feed more people than a lucali's or a totonno's pie.
                                                      And as for slices, the other pizza places frequently mentioned (lucali's, totonno's, franny's etc) don't even serve slices. Sure, $4 for a slice is outrageous, but at least he still sells them. I guess he could have chosen to go the whole pie only route instead.
                                                      Of course, i never get slices at Dom's, so perhaps I care less about the slice gouging.

                                                2. re: scooter

                                                  I went (for the first time) yesterday. A round cheese pie was $20, which works out to $2,50 a slice. A friend and I shared the pie and I have four slices in my fridge. I had a grape Crush in the bottle, it was worth the $2. Worth every penny.

                                                  1. re: Val55

                                                    The high per slice prices should discourage slice ordering. Perhaps he should eliminate slices all together like some other popular pizzerias; it sure would simplify the order fulfillment process and eliminate a part of the confusion.

                                          4. re: MoxieBoy

                                            I dont think he would even notice if you took your own drink in there - we certainly bring our wine/water in without a peep from him. The pie's the thing (square)

                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                              He's 100% OK with BYOB and he gives wine out to regulars sometimes for free. He's got quite a little collection in the back.

                                  2. re: NYJewboy

                                    Oooooh yeah. So true. It would be interesting to see if this ends up creating a measure of crowd control. I don't think the pie price sounds harsh at all. Drinks are another story. That's silly when you can just BYOB anyway.

                                  3. When I am in DiFara's I am one of those customers who is completely happy to wait over and hour for a pie. I just don't mind. I don't go there every week, it's a special occasion thing, so every once in while I wait an hour and a half for the best GD pizza I've ever tasted. During that time I always find plenty of people to chat with and laugh with.

                                    As for the price, I think $4 for a slice is a lot of money. But I today payed $4.25 for a lousy cheese sandwich at a souless deli near my office in union square, and thought, "Well this sandwich sucks, but what can I expect for a souless deli? At least it was only $4.25."

                                    I understand it is frustrating to have prices go up on you, but frankly I'm more upset that my monthly metrocard is gonna go up in price and I have a feeling I'll still spend half my life stuck on Manhattan Bridge or calling into work late because of rain on the tracks or my Q train suddenly started running on the R line and then stopped altogether at Chambers Street.

                                    1. I honestly dont see what the question is here. As one of the longest running customers of DiFara's, the answer is simple. Dom will continue to raise the prices as long as demand exceeds supply. He loves what he does but, believe it or not, beneath that exterior is a reasonably sharp business man. He wont start worrying about the "cutting in line", the "ambiance", the screw ups with the orders or the prices until he has to and then he'll do it as minimally as possible. Look at how he dealt with the Health Dept.

                                      At any rate, Bob Martinez is on the money on this, as are several other posters. Dont go looking for good reasons that Dom had to raise prices. He'll charge what the market will allow him to charge. If the product is worth it to you, then go. If not, dont. No different from Franny's prices or quirks or Lucali's or most restaurants. My guess is that I'll still have to wait for a goddamn slice. You all have too much disposible income :-)

                                      48 Replies
                                      1. re: Steve R

                                        Of course there's always the possibility that Dom will plow the additional revenues back into the business. New tables and chairs, carpeting, table cloths, along with subdued lighting. He will put in an advanced computerized reservation system to insure that orders are handled quickly and in the proper order. And then he will hire those guys in the tiny white jackets with the whisk brooms who will make sure that the tables are squeaky clean. Yes, this could be the start of a Golden Age.

                                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                                          A clean up would be interesting. No reservation system though! That would screw over my entire sneaky little pie grabbing ways.

                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                            Let's not leave out: video monitors flashing pix of various menu items, and perhaps horseracing results.

                                            As to the latest DiFara's "controversy", people are acting like there are absolutes here. There aren't. Do as you like, and leave everyone else alone, is what I say.

                                            DiFara's, at least on this board, has morphed into some kind of strange, comical and unpleasant microcosm of life within which lines are constantly being drawn in the sand. You're either the savvy tough regular who knows how to navigate/maneuver your way to the front of the line, or, lord help you, you're a newbie/tourist/outsider/ weekling who doesn't know pizza from a doormat and doesn't deserve to. Dominick DeMarco is either a celestial being, a golden shining pizza oven with wings in the form a man who is able to levitate things other than just dough, or he's an inconsiderate, oblivious, money-mad cynic. I remember a thread from a few years back - a very entertaining one, I might add - in which a poster wrote this long, judgmental soliloquoy about the evil people who have the audacity to take out their money while waiting in line. And now, of course, it's, once again, are you with Dom, or against him? People are actually posting apologetic threads: What did I do wrong at DiFaras? There's something about this place that really brings out this judgemental side to people, whereupon your level of character rests on what your take is on DiFara's, how you order, how tight you are with the master and whether or not you have what it takes to handle the long lines. Ridiculous. It's pizza. Whether you dig it or not is up to you. Whether you're willing to pay for it or not is up to you. It begins and ends there, as far as I'm concerned.

                                            Come to think of it, Seinfeld really missed the boat with the whole DiFara's phenomenon. He could have gotten at least two or three hilarious episodes out of it - a la the Soup Nazi - and no one would have believed it.
                                            P.

                                            1. re: Polecat

                                              Funny post Polecat - especially the part about it's just pizza! :)

                                              1. re: dark knight

                                                Never used the word "just."
                                                Hey, I think pizza is worth getting passionate about, especially when it's this good. But there's a difference between being passionate and being judgemental, snarky, exclusive and arrogant. When people talk about the pizza, these threads are actually helpful and educational. When it becomes a gigantic battle of egos, it kills the fun, and defeats the point.
                                                P.

                                              2. re: Polecat

                                                "There's something about this place that really brings out this judgemental side to people, whereupon your level of character rests on what your take is on DiFara's, how you order, how tight you are with the master and whether or not you have what it takes to handle the long lines."

                                                You're right on the mark about that. I get it that people have their likes and dislikes and it's certainly OK to get passionate about them. That's what we're here for. But there's something about DiFara's that changes the tone of the conversation.

                                                Contrast it with discussions of Thai food (excluding Sripraphai for the moment - more about that later) or Szechuanese restaurants. People have their favorites and exchange opinions. When there are disagreements things stay civil and the emotional temperature is a pleasant 72 degrees. Even discussions about pizza can be perfectly normal. People can compare the merits of places like Totonno's or Lucali's with no problems at all.

                                                Not so DiFara's. The level of emotionalism is higher about this single place than any other restaurant on Chowhound. Sure, I get it that people really like DiFara's pizza but people really like Sripraphai too. The thing is, those conversations about Sri never get overheated. Even when the occasional poster complains that they had a bad meal at Sri people roll with it. They agree to disagree and move on.

                                                DiFara's is different. I've come to believe that there's more at play than the pizza alone.

                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                  The cult of personality could have a lot to do with it. Threads dealing with Kebab Cafe and Mina's, for instance, do not quite approach the level of hostility and egomania that the DiFara's threads do, but they do get, as you say, "heated." When there is a Dom or an Ali or a Mina to focus on, there will always be those who rally around, create the legend, and those who debunk. What gets lost in the heat of battle is what supposedly brings us to this site to begin with: the chance to talk about the food.

                                                  With regards to Sri, you're right. No comparison. The average Sri thread is ripe with disagreements, yeah, but you can also come away with tons of good recommendations and a general consensus about what's good there and what's off the beaten path. My guess is that if there were one person there, as there is at the above-mentioned places, to focus on - you'd see a little more of what you see on the DiFara's threads.
                                                  P.

                                                  1. re: Polecat

                                                    We're thinking right along the same lines. It's the idea of the Kitchen Genius. People get caught up in the personalities. Alone behind the stove, doing things that one one else can do.

                                                    They've got teams of people cooking at Sri. The same is true at Spicy and Tasty or Little Pepper or the various outposts of the Momofuko mini chain. Now the people who are in those kitchens are really skilled but they have somehow been able to transfer those skills to other people. Obviously, it *can* be done.

                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                      I agree with both of you. As an objective observer (I've been to Di Fara's, thought it was great, never went back), I follow the DiFara's threads more out of curiosity than for anything else. And what I have noticed in these threads, having no personal stake or passion on the subject myself, is a relatively high level of ego, and a blatant "fanaticism"- not for the pizza, but for King Dom. It's almost as if people are competing for the status of "Most Loyal Customer, Closest Ally of Dom DeMarco and Foremost Authority". Does King Dom give out medals? Seriously, reading some of the arrogant, mean-spirited, and sometimes irrational posts that this topic inspires is troubling to me. This board is supposed to be about FOOD; DiFara's threads, on the other hand, have a tendency to disintegrate into popularity contests (and, apparently, arguments on economic theory).
                                                      I'd like to offer, if I may, my philosophical take on CH, which not only shapes my opinion on this subject, but also the way in which I strive to participate on the site: I believe that the fundamental spirit of CH, and the purpose of posting on these boards, is to share information as a "food-loving community". This includes the sharing of tips on local hangouts, sleepers, and under-the-radar treasures that we are all, theoretically, responsible for seeking out and reporting back on. We are supposed to want our fellow Chowhounders to share in and enjoy the food discoveries that we make, just as we appreciate what they have to share with us. Consequently, I respectfully submit that promoting the concept of soaring increases in price for the sole purpose of turning a classic institution of NY street food into an exclusive, "members only"-type of establishment (which is what charging a ludicrous $5, 8, 10 for a slice would do), is patently un-chowhoundish. It is a philosophy that is in the interest of no one, and is unworthy of these boards. Good food is more important than ego. Granted, there have been times when I have recommended places and hoped, at the same time, that it wouldn't eventually mean longer wait times, harder reservations to get, or worst of all, a decline in quality due to over-popularity. But the Chowhound spirit compels me to share.

                                                      1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                        Isn't the fanaticism (at least in part) a byproduct of the extrordinary level of delight that we get from our culinary heroes? I agree, it goes overboard (I was the first to start ending DiFara posts with 'hail Dom'). But I always thought that this humorous elements just served as testament to a cult following that arose because of the great pizza experiences we collectively had. I don't think that Dom's perspnality, or image, or whatever you might call it, really ever displaces the pizza. I'll put it this way: if the quality of the pizza began to decline, we would abandon him like rats off a sinking ship. I know I would. Hail Dom.

                                                        1. re: NYJewboy

                                                          "Isn't the fanaticism (at least in part) a byproduct of the extrordinary level of delight that we get from our culinary heroes?"

                                                          I don't think so. I understand that people really like the pizza but pizza is one of lots of different types of food discussed on the boards. People like the bahn mi at Ba Xuyen too, they like the pork belly with chili leeks at Szechuan Gourmet, or the sweet sausage salad at Sriphaphai. They like lots of things. The World of Good Things is not limited to pizza.

                                                          But all those other wonderful foods don't inspire the same level of devotion and boosterism that appears almost every time DiFara's gets mentioned.

                                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                            As is the case with everything you mentioned, pizza is uniquely delicious. But it is also tied very deeply into the root of street culture in NYC. Those of us who grew up here (I grew up in N.E. Queens) view pizza in ver intimate terms. I suspect people do the same thing with the local sports teams they endorse.

                                                            1. re: NYJewboy

                                                              "Those of us who grew up here (I grew up in N.E. Queens) view pizza in very intimate terms. "

                                                              I grew up in the Bronx and have lived in the city (Staten Island and Brooklyn) my whole life. It's not like I never noticed the New York/pizza connection. I just don't buy it as the source of the passion. I'll tell you one thing - Dom sure ain't turning out classic New York street slices, whatever the merits of his current style.

                                                              Again, I don't imply any criticism of the people who are profoundly passionate about DiFara's. I only point out that other superbly made examples of other types of food don't seem to generate this amount of heat.

                                                              1. re: NYJewboy

                                                                For my part, calling for the $10 slice of pizza, or even hailing the $4 slice, is very un-"street culture in NYC". Since it seems to matter for the purposes of this discussion, I will mention that, not only am I a native NYer, I am also of %100 Italian ancestry, and have eaten pizza all over NY and Italy. Pizza is important to me! However, the concept of raising prices on such a basic pedestrian food for the purpose of exclusivity is philosophically unsound. Pizza is southern Italian soul food. It's for the masses. And, especially here in NY, we should do all we can to support the rare pizzaioli who continue to care about quality. For that reason, I think King Dom deserves praise. On the other hand, from what I hear, some of his business practices are not only impractical (frustratingly disorganized system and uncaring personnel), but they are also unconscionable ($2 for a can of Pepsi?!). Ergo, I'd much rather hear about a US economic recession and the rising price of buffalo mozzarella as justification for apparent price-gouging than hear "Yes! Now lines will be shorter and the rest of you can content yourselves with inferior pizza!" Is that what we ultimately want? For fewer people to afford really good pizza? Is this economic theory (listed here somewhere) really true: that long lines mean that the price is too low? What about one- or two-month waits for reservations at fine restaurants that charge $250 PP? Are they a bargain because a lot of people will wait to eat there? Or is it because people are willing to be patient for a quality product? Doesn't that patience and appreciation count for anything? And, by the same token, in a capitalist society such as ours, doesn't a proprietor have a duty to show customer appreciation in kind? Would King Dom really be justified in charging say, $7 per slice, just because enough people would pay to turn a profit? Is that what it's all about?
                                                                I don't mean to single you out, NYJewboy, I am just expounding upon my theory here, and picking up where you left off :)

                                                                1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                  Not to embrace Jewboy's embrace of exclusivity, but ook at it from Dom's point of view -- dealing with the impatient hoardes and trying to keep all the orders straight was probably unpleasant for him. Now he can dawdle over his pizzas, not have to face such stressed-out crowds, and probably make as much money as he did before.

                                                                  1. re: guide boy

                                                                    "...dealing with impatient hoardes and trying to keep all the orders straight..."
                                                                    It's part of his (very simple) job. All business owners should have such an "unpleasant" time making $ hand over fist doing one thing all day.
                                                                    I think your statement deifies King Dom more than any I have read so far, which is certainly your right.
                                                                    I couldn't possibly patronize any business of which I suspected it's owner might consider me, their customer, as one of many impatient hoardes.

                                                                    1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                      Deify him? Nah, I'd say he's just taking advantage of his popularity. I think you make him sound like a hack.

                                                                      1. re: guide boy

                                                                        I am not trying to make him sound like anything. I don't know the guy, and have not made a single comment on his pizza-making skills. However, I do have my theories on why a business owner might charge $2 for a can of soda, or raise the price for a slice of pizza by 60% in one year, without making any kind of business improvements. And besides, why shouldn't he have to keep the orders straight?

                                                                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                          vvv...
                                                                          I've read your very well written posts on this thread.
                                                                          I've been down the 'logic road' a dozen times. There is no logiic when it comes to this particular establishment.
                                                                          Truly a case of,"It is what it is" :-}

                                                                          1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                            i'd say he's taking advantage of a situation in part created by this website.

                                                                            1. re: guide boy

                                                                              Amen.

                                                                              I wonder if there could ever be a CH moratorium on DiFara posts. We get it, fanboys will be fanboys (and girls) and pay any price, and non-believers will never be convinced. Can't we just agree to disagree and shut up about DiFara for once?

                                                                              1. re: irishnyc

                                                                                No, Hail Dom.

                                                                                1. re: irishnyc

                                                                                  irishnyc
                                                                                  I can understand what you mean, but as long as everyone is pretty civil there is no harm in expressing differing opinions.
                                                                                  It's always interesting to see what new Posters think, or what long time Posters think of a new element, EG: The issue of increased pricing. :-}
                                                                                  If I grow tired of or frustrated with a thread, I just d/c posting on that thread

                                                                      2. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                        "calling for the $10 slice of pizza, or even hailing the $4 slice, is very un-"street culture in NYC".

                                                                        Speaking to address this retort to a statement I made, all I can say is that I have sentimental nostalgic waxings for pizza, which explains my passion about the subject. However, I have no sentimental leanings for the masses who make up the street culture I am nostalgic for. A paradox. Go figure.

                                                                        1. re: NYJewboy

                                                                          it may be a paradox, but hey, its a straight answer and I like that :)

                                                                    2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                      "Isn't the fanaticism (at least in part) a byproduct of the extrordinary level of delight that we get from our culinary heroes?"

                                                                      Bob, two comments:

                                                                      1) i think NYJ meant "heroes" as in a person, not as in a food. Sure, I'm crazy about the bahn mi at Ba Xuyen, but it isn't always just one person making it.

                                                                      The Difara's thing is really most similar to Kebab Cafe--It's like a cult of personality. Ali and Dom are the two that seem to inspire that.
                                                                      A lot of the stuff posted is over the top, but i think it stems from how Dom makes his pies. In an increasingly impersonal world, and an NYC in which "mom and pop" places are fast disappearing, Dom (and the way he makes his pizza) seems to provide many customers with more than food.

                                                                      2) From my experience on this board, Pizza is indeed a special food that seems to get more posts (and more emotional posts) than anything else. Read over some of the threads on Grimaldi's, Lucali's, even the Peppe's in Park Slope and see if you agree. Pizza threads always get tons of posts and people who seem to be totally passionate about it. Other foods, no matter how much they are chowhound favorites, just don't seem to get as much attention.

                                                                      So, if you put together the pizza popularity and the cult of personality, you get the rabid DiFara's threads.

                                                                      1. re: missmasala

                                                                        I think its part cult of personality, and part NYC street culture. But even more than that, I think it is the universal, populist appeal of pizza. In America in general, but certainly in New York City and environs, pizza, probably more than any other food item except hamburgers and hot dogs (whose appeal clearly goes far beyond NYC), Pizza is common experience that EVERY PERSON can share. We have all grown up eating pizza. It is something that is ingrained in our very beings -- both individually and collectively. I do not know of ANYONE who grew up here who doesn't like pizza.

                                                                        So tied to Pizza are memories of childhood, of good times hanging out with friends after school, of myriad types of parties, of sharing a pie with your family around the dinner table. And these are feelings and memories that everyone shares, and it is something that brings people together. Even though I may not have ever shared a pie with my neighbor, I know that he has shared the same experience with me through that Pizza.

                                                                        It is kind of like the classic notions of baseball highlight in Field of Dreams in that respect. Pizza, more so than nearly any food, is something brings all people together. It is the ultimate comfort food, comforting not just in its taste, but in how it affects the soul.

                                                                        And because of that, I think many are out to find that ultimate slice of pizza (kind of like how we are always looking for the "best burger" -- another topic hotly debated more than most). We are trying to relive our past happiness in the best and most vivid way possible. And because of how important and essential those memories are, both individually and collectively, people will defend what they feel to be the "best" pizza with heightened sensitivity. By attacking a person's favorite pizza, you are attacking, in essence, his memories.

                                                                        Or maybe its just people really like pizza.

                                                                        1. re: elecsheep9

                                                                          "It is kind of like the classic notions of baseball highlight in Field of Dreams in that respect. Pizza, more so than nearly any food, is something brings all people together. It is the ultimate comfort food, comforting not just in its taste, but in how it affects the soul."

                                                                          Very eloquent. The thing is, if all that you say is true then every discussion of pizza should produce the same level of crazy passion. They don't. It's only when DiFara's is discussed that feelings run so high. Conversations about places like Lucali's and Totonno's are nice and calm.

                                                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                            Bob,

                                                                            I think if you go back and look at some pizza threads, you'll see this is not true. Many pizza threads are not nice and calm. For instance, check out some of the recent Grimaldi's threads. Passions have run high! (moderators deleted a lot of posts on some recent Grimaldi's threads because passions ran too high!) And a Lucali's thread that is going now is not that calm either. Lots of disagreement and hyperbole!
                                                                            Of course, nothing is quite like a Difara's thread. But as I stated above, that's because it's both pizza and cult of personality.

                                                                            1. re: missmasala

                                                                              Yes. The whole Grimaldie's argument - if we can, indeed, call it an argument - is a good example. It's not enough to say you don't like the pizza. It becomes about the evil "tourists" who come there in droves, thereby, again, drawing a line in the sand, and turning a simple choice to try something you've never tried before into an issue of "them versus us." The experts versus the newbies. Of course, up against this type of exclusivism, there is no winning. Those same tourists, newbies, or outsiders, if they were to find their way to DiFara's, would be ruining it for all the regulars, insiders and old timers, making the otherwise down-to-earth Midwood Avenue J scene into a spectacle and extending the already long lines down the street. I would have to agree that, yeah, in addition to the high stakes surrounding the cult of "Dom", which is really one for the books, pizza- as a topic in and of itself - is a potboiler in this city.

                                                                              I'm reminded of some ten years back or so, when I worked in a group home in Bay Ridge. It was my introduction to the world of truly passionate, in-your-face debates, all centering on who made the best pizza. Now, mind you, DiFara's never came into the mix. A great many of these individuals admittedly never strayed beyond Gravesend, and Manhattan for a great many of them might as well have been Timbuktu. So, in these debates, the main contenders ran along the lines of L&B, Totonnos and Pizza Wagon. But that's besides the point. This was one workplace where the topic of pizza, along with religion and politics, should never have been broached.
                                                                              P.

                                                                      2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                        Dom is the last great pizza maker of NY and his passion for the craft and the ingredients harken back to a time before processed cheese, fast food, tv dinners etc. When Dom is gone, a little bit of Brooklyn will be lost forever.

                                                                  2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                    Then why wasn't Little Pepper as good last night as it has been in the past? I just ask this to bring up another issue which should probably be raised on the Sri thread, or it's own, but is it "weekends are for amateurs"? When I go to Sri on a tuesday for lunch, the food is amazing, but the weekends were never good and I feel like Little Pepper is the same. Do they tone it down because they get more tourists on the weekend or in the case of LP, are they running out of Scechuan peppercorns?

                                                              2. re: Polecat

                                                                Well said.

                                                                1. re: Polecat

                                                                  Hey Polecat: You've been quoted --

                                                                  http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                                                  [snippet] "There's some lively debate going on [Chowhound].... My favorite response so far:

                                                                  DiFara's, at least on this board, has morphed into some kind of strange, comical and unpleasant microcosm of life within which lines are constantly being drawn in the sand. You're either the savvy tough regular ....."

                                                                  1. re: pizmet

                                                                    From New York Magazine"
                                                                    ________________________

                                                                    The $4 Di Fara Slice: We Break It Down

                                                                    Dom De Marco raised the price of a Di Fara's slice to $4, and Chowhounders are aghast, reports Slice's Adam Kuban. But do the accusations of making a quick buck lobbed against the Saint of Avenue J have any merit? We did a little research into the cost of ingredients at Di Fara....

                                                                    Read the rest at http://nymag.com/daily/food/2008/02/t...

                                                                    1. re: pizmet

                                                                      Thanks so much for linking this. I have to agree with commenter #3 on Grub Street, though. There is no way that Dom DeMarco is paying anything near what those products cost on google. This is some of the most seriously flawed research and reporting I have ever seen, even for a food blog. According to the article, Mr. DeMarco spends $3 just on the Parmigiano for a slice of pizza... which, at their rate of $13.99 per lb. (it's available for less, btw, even at retail) comes to more than one fifth of a pound. Does this sound even remotely plausible to anyone? Mozzarella di Bufala di Campagna costs $10 per container *at Murray's Cheese*- does anyone think that King Dom is paying Murray's cheese retail prices? Even half of that?? As for the San Marzanos, surely he gets his cans of tomato sauce in restaurant sizes, which, proportionately, probably cost him less than $1 per can at retail sizes. Finally, they have quoted olive oil priced at $20 per liter.... I get excellent quality unfiltered cold pressed 100% Italian olive oil for $12 per liter and I'm not even in the business. I'll bet he pays more like $5 per liter. Have costs for electricity, tomatoes, and even wheat gone up in recent months? Sure. Has every other pizzeria increased their price by 25%? No. So what makes this article valid? It was clearly constructed to bolster the pre-determined opinion provided at its conclusion: "...$4 a slice is very little to pay for the best pizza ever made."
                                                                      Why not do this intriguing NY pizza story justice by examining it objectively (they could start by trying some actual Neapolitan pizza)? If they want to write a love letter to Dom DeMarco, they should go right ahead. But why disguise it as "The $4 DiFara Slice: We Break it Down"? What a joke.

                                                                      1. re: pizmet

                                                                        From the category of Bloggers Blogging a Blog Blogging Bloggers comes this:

                                                                        "Slice has it, via Chowhound, that Di Fara's raised their prices from $3 to a shocking $4 a slice and upped their sodas to $2 a can. Predictably the Chowhound thread is long and convoluted...."

                                                                        Read the rest at http://eater.com/archives/2008/02/di_...

                                                                        ________

                                                                        Now if we could only get Dom himself to comment on this particular post, we'd come full circle.

                                                                2. re: Steve R

                                                                  Here, here!

                                                                  Dom runs a business. This is America. In America you charge the price the market will pay.

                                                                  It''s simple. That there were so often massive crowds means he wasn't charging enough. Now he can the same profit with less work and less chaos.

                                                                  Who among us wouldn't want the EXACT same thing in our own job?

                                                                  1. re: Peter

                                                                    Peter...
                                                                    " It''s simple. That there were so often massive crowds means he wasn't charging enough. Now he can the same profit with less work and less chaos."
                                                                    Even not being a DiFara devotee, I can tell you the "massive crowds" have nothing to do with not charging enough and everything to do with the great quality of his pizza.. He will make more profit, do the same amount of work he wishes to do and as for the idea of "less chaos???"
                                                                    Even the regulars have to be smiling and shaking their heads at that one.

                                                                    1. re: Tay

                                                                      Tay-

                                                                      Sorry to be unclear. I agree, the crowds were not because the pizza was so cheap -- it was because it's so good!

                                                                      My point is only that if you have more business than you can handle (for whatever reason) the logical response is to increase your price.

                                                                      There's a nice line the equation will follow (that I'm sure has a name) that shows that as the price increases the volume of customers will decrease but no matter where you are along that continuum your income will be the same.

                                                                      So why not work less for the same amount of money? God knows I'd do it!

                                                                      1. re: Peter

                                                                        Peter...You said:
                                                                        "My point is only that if you have more business than you can handle (for whatever reason) the logical response is to increase your price."
                                                                        Uhhhh... Not so much.That's sort of the Hare Vs Tortoise reaction.
                                                                        Remember: Increasing price does not insure one's ability to handle the increased traffic. DiFara's is a perfect example of this. I'm sure the increase in price will not impact on the number of pies produced. It's essentially a one man operation. Mr DiFara is superb at his craft but the man can only do so much. Unless he takes on an apprentice, there is no way production will increase along with the price, but DiFara's is about the pizza. Logic doesn't enter into the equation.:-}
                                                                        The logical reaction would be to increase the ability to handle the additional business. A gradual price increase would only be a part of a larger plan...

                                                                        1. re: Tay

                                                                          What Peter is talking about is simple micro-economics...supply v. demand. In the case of Dom, there is basically a static supply. He can only make so many pies an hour, for so many hours a day for so many days a week. Given his method of him being the only person to make the pies, that number cannot increase without an increase in opening hours -- thus there is a maximum supply that he can deliver.

                                                                          So, for that constant supply, there is a dependent variable demand based upon independent variable of price. Thus, as price decreases, demand will increase and as price increases demand will decrease. However, there are several points on the supply/demand curve where revenue will be the same. Revenue from a lower cost and higher demand will, at some price/demand point, be the same as revenue from a higher cost/lower demand. And moreso, if Dom DOES want to make less pies, there is even a point where the price will be so high that demand will drop off the maximum supply he creates, but revenue could still be the same.

                                                                          Of course, all of this presumes that pizza is fungible -- that if the price reaches a certain level, people will go elsewhere for their pizza needs. I do believe that is the case. But there are also people on here who might argue that it is not -- that DiFara is one of a kind and they would pay whatever is charged.

                                                                          That is the beauty of the free market system. If someone wants to pay $10 for a slice of pizza, they are free to do that. But someone else can choose to spend $20 for a whole pie at an inferior, but still damn good joint elsewhere.

                                                                          Its all about values and what the market will bear.

                                                                          1. re: elecsheep9

                                                                            Beautifully stated elecsheep9. I hope everyone who is complaining will understand this. This is NYC, home of capitalism at its best. Deal with it.

                                                                            1. re: elecsheep9

                                                                              elec..
                                                                              Very impressively stated.
                                                                              If they are still with us, tell your folks college really paid off. They should be proud of you :-}
                                                                              Aside from the fingernails-across-the blackboard, use of
                                                                              "less "pies as opposed to "fewer" pies, I really liked your posting. It's got that whole, "Who's on first?" thing going on...
                                                                              :-}...
                                                                              Seriously, I agree with what you said, below:(w/o the word "inferior")
                                                                              "That is the beauty of the free market system. If someone wants to pay $10 for a slice of pizza, they are free to do that. But someone else can choose to spend $20 for a whole pie at an inferior, but still damn good joint elsewhere."

                                                                            2. re: Tay

                                                                              Um, I wasn't implying production would increase as the price trose... I meant that production would DECREASE. As the price goes up some customers leave... at some point the price gets high enough that the crowd gets manageable.

                                                                              And if Dom doesn't want to take the price that high (and I think he;d have to go pretty darned high to really make a dent in traffic) well then, at least he'll have a few more dollars in the till for all his endless toiling.

                                                                              Oh, and his name isn't "Mr. DiFara". It's "Mr. DeMarco"... Or "Dom" to his regulars. ;)

                                                                              And thanks to Elec for taking a more eloquent stab at what I was saying.

                                                                              1. re: Peter

                                                                                Peter
                                                                                SInce I am not one of the "regulars" I wouldn't dream of referring to the owner as Dom, but I'm glad that you corrected me on his last name. I assumed that it was DiFara...:-}

                                                                                1. re: Tay

                                                                                  Actually, "regular" or not, everyone calls his Dom. I've never heard her called "Mister" anything.

                                                                                  His name is Dominic DiMarco (or maybe Dimarco). The DIFara name comes from when he opened with a long-gone partner -- they merged their last names.

                                                                        2. re: Peter

                                                                          That's right, and in America we can complain about things as much as we want too. $4 a slice is equal to Una Pizza Napoletana charging $20 for a margherita...not from my wallet! Thanks though.

                                                                      2. The question almost answers itself. If it is truly the 'best NY slice of pizza' then it is 'worth' whatever people are willing to pay. If I can get two slices for about the cost of a pack of the smokes I used to buy... what a bargain! Let the man make some money. What, you want to boycott him until there is nothing left but Dominos?

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: bnemes3343

                                                                          That's right bnemes3343, hail Dom. All humor aside, we would all hate a major renovation that could ruin the 'charm' (more humor) of the place.

                                                                        2. The cost of a slice of pizza and a coke is no longer an affordable snack at Difara. Sure some wouldn't mind the extra cost of a slice, making it more exclusive if one can afford it. However, pizza was always affordable,particularly for working class people. Now, at least at Difara, it makes it more difficult for many people to eat the pizza they have always enjoyed.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: son of a butcher

                                                                            son of a butcher
                                                                            "Now, at least at Difara, it makes it more difficult for many people to eat the pizza they have always enjoyed."

                                                                            Good. As the DiFara devotees have already stated, they are willing to pay whatever is being charged. Perhaps their reward will come in the form of fewer customers, AKA: Shorter wait time. The rest of us will go elsewhere and hopefully, it will work out for all concerned

                                                                          2. I am not with you guys on the song of the working man. This is NYC, and it is expensive to get great stuff. Why should Dom be excluded? As I have said, places not nearly as good are making a good living, why shouldn't he? I'm sorry, but the argument that Dom is disrespecting the proletariat is really tired and lame. That is just not the way this city conducts buisness. I cannot sympathize with your plight. Just pay the extra buck or go for the lesser goods like every other sector of the economy!

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: NYJewboy

                                                                              Maybe he should charge 5 bucks a slice and then there will be less customers.

                                                                              1. re: son of a butcher

                                                                                I would welcome that. I would gladly pay even more for less of a line.

                                                                            2. Blame the biofuels, the strong Euro, whatever--I read somewhere the price of wheat's gone up like 400%. It was time to raise the prices. See you all there.

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Mr. Particular

                                                                                the first time i went to DiFara was circa 1986. my then-fiance and i had just moved into a rental apartment in one of the lovely old victorian houses off church avenue (marlborough road, for those keeping score) and while we dug the jamaican eating around there, that was about the only choice, and we started swinging out in wider circles moving southward. someone who grew up in midwood recommended difara as the best in the immediate area, and we decided to give it a try one saturday and sure enough, truly excellent pizza.

                                                                                i don't remember it being a thoroughly life-changing experience, though. we went back several times and tried a bunch of toppings that we (as 21-year-old relative novices) thought were intriguing -- you know, beyond sausage and/or mushroom -- and even some of the dishes. all really really good, easily the best around there.

                                                                                but it wasn't until sometime in the mid '90s -- long after that relationship imploded -- that DiFara became some sort of mecca for me.i dunno what changed -- maybe my own move to queens,maybe the whispers of the multitude -- but i began seeing the place in this misty, mystical light. when i go now-- once every six months, tops -- i expect perfection (and not near perfection).

                                                                                i'm seldom let down, but i wonder if i'm creating the experience, rather than experiencing it...the extra buck won't change my opinion one way or another, but this thread has made me revisit that thought yet again.

                                                                                then again, that could just be my tastebuds crying out after a week in the hospital -- mt. sinai has great surgeons, but as far as chefs, not so much.....

                                                                                1. re: david sprague

                                                                                  david ... You wrote:
                                                                                  "but i wonder if i'm creating the experience, rather than experiencing it...the extra buck won't change my opinion one way or another, but this thread has made me revisit that thought yet again."

                                                                                  Very interesting thought. It deserves it's own thread. Not so much in terms of the DiFara increase debate, but as a general topic applying to many of the foods/restaurants we hold dear to us. I'm sure we all have 'created (or recreated) the experience'.
                                                                                  I hope you are feeling better.. :-}

                                                                                  1. re: david sprague

                                                                                    "but it wasn't until sometime in the mid '90s -- long after that relationship imploded -- that DiFara became some sort of mecca for me.i dunno what changed"
                                                                                    ____________

                                                                                    What probably changed was the pizza itself. In 1986, Dom's pizza wasn't what it is today. Dom's current incarnation has evolved gradually over the years. I've been eating at Di Fara's since the early '80's: back then, the pizza there was closer to your standard Brooklyn slice, albeit a better version, but nothing even remotely resembling the artisinal high-end ingredient pizzas Dom's putting out these days. Dom's always a work in progress, even today as he enjoys world-wide fame. Just as one example, the finishing touch of basil that he snips over each completed pie is relatively new, a technique that he began probably no more than two or three years ago.

                                                                                    1. re: pizmet

                                                                                      it's encouraging to be reassured that i hadn't completely become some sort of San Marzano Stepford Wife :)

                                                                                      thanks for the perspective!

                                                                                  2. re: Mr. Particular

                                                                                    Yes! The cost of wheat is completely out of control. My friends own a 24/7 wholesale/retail bakery and they've had to raise the prices multiple times in the past year. There was a wheat supply shortage - IIRC - that started about a year ago and keeps getting worse.

                                                                                  3. Just another case of an "all the traffic will/can bear" policy. Nothing new or surprising about it.

                                                                                    1. Today (sunday) I went to get my usual square pie. Now it is sunday, mind you, and the place was about at half capacity in relation to its usual crowd, many manhattanites, fewer 'regulars'. Maybe Dom's 'congestion pricing' is working. God, I hope so. As I said earlier in the post: it would be worth $10 a slice just to have less of a line. Maybe Dom agrees. I think he comes out ahead either way. Hail Dom.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: NYJewboy

                                                                                        ... and how many of those people knew he had raised the price before they paid? The numbers are going to drop quickly as word spreads. Not everyone reads Chowhound.

                                                                                      2. I first ate at what is now DiFara's in the 1950's - it was just a slice then, but I was going to Midwood High School and they taught me about Supply and Demand and other stuff that leads me to believe that if Dom raises his prices high enough to discourage most folks, all he will have left as customers will be those who think they are buying a little slice of heaven - and are willing to pay accordingly. Those that think that $xx (you fill in the price) is too much for a slice will not pay it making it easier for those who will pay it to get their slice, Exactly what this will do to Dom's income and how hard he works I can't say and will leave that up to Dom.

                                                                                        Raise the price, let the free market take over!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: rich in stl

                                                                                          rich...
                                                                                          Very well stated... I think we all pretty much agree with what you've posted. There is just something about this particular place that raises red flags on both sides of the aisle. We go crazy for a while and then we calm down...
                                                                                          Until someone starts up another DiFara's thread and it begins again.
                                                                                          For the most part, we respect the opinions of others even as we debate the thread's subject..Basically, when the smoke clears, we agree to disagree.;-]

                                                                                        2. I went yesterday. I couldn't care less about the price. I was just bummed that it was so mobbed that I could only score 2 slices. since I go solo I never order a pie. I was thinking about an internet dating type service that would get solo chowhounders going to Difara to coordinate their trips to maximize their time and order various pies together. As to the higher prices-it costs me $10 at least in gas from Manhattan to get there, I usually get a $115 parking ticket half the time. I gladly pay $60/lb at Barney Greengrass for sturgeon, $60/lb for culatello made by Mario Batali's father at Salumi in Seattle, $150/lb. for hand sliced imported iberico jamon serrano bellota at Despana, $19 for a pastrami sandwich at the 2nd Avenue deli, $21 for an individual pizza at Una Pizza Napoletana, $1200 for dinner for two at per se and $300 for lunch at Kuruma Zushi. Who can complain about a $4 or $5 slice if its comparable to all of the foregoing (and probably better)?!

                                                                                          1. Does anyone know how much a pie is?

                                                                                            1. Wheat prices alone have risen 84% in 07....then you have the damn euro. Watch your beer prices raise soon as well.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: gal4giants

                                                                                                Beer (domestic microbrews) has gone up 30% in the past 3 months at American Thrifty.

                                                                                                1. re: gal4giants

                                                                                                  Imagine how much could be saved if restaurants -ask- if you want bread before dinner? I'd guess millions of bushels of wheat a year.

                                                                                                2. Look who made it in the Post! Dom's price is making news in the tabloids now...with that kind of advertising, he doesn't need all of us who are put off by his price increase.

                                                                                                  http://www.nypost.com/seven/02182008/...

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: smokedgouda

                                                                                                    SAL DeMarco? At those prices, I can see why he wants to go incognito!

                                                                                                    1. re: smokedgouda

                                                                                                      It's National news now. UPI picked up the story.

                                                                                                      http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Quirks/2...

                                                                                                    2. This is great news! Should have happened along time ago. I told Dom he needed to raise prices just to be fair to himself. He would always complain his expenses were high but he felt bad raising prices. A slice should be 5 bucks at this point. Its simple economics, the demand is greater than the supply therefore prices must be increased. I guarantee that this small price hike will still not stem the overflow of traffic to Dom's. If he really was a greedy man he would go for the gusto and institute high end pricing for his products. He could easily get away with 10 dollars a slice and nobody would care. His clientele is not going to stop patronizing his pizza shop over a couple of dollars. Add to the fact that Dom goes out of his way to source the best ingredients money can buy from Italy, its a no brainer. Dom is a modest man and is probaly embarassed to have the most expensive slice in the city. The prices for pies should go up substantially as well.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: fcara

                                                                                                        "He could easily get away with 10 dollars a slice and nobody would care."

                                                                                                        I know some folks are nuts about Dom's pies but, if the above statement is true, then I think those same folks are just nuts....period.

                                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                                          UNA PIZZA NAPOLETANA chagres around 19 bucks for a small individual pie which is equal to about 2.5 of Dom's slices and they are packed every night.

                                                                                                      2. At Midwood High School they taught me about Supply & Demand.

                                                                                                        If there are crowds at DiFara's at $4/slice, Dom should charge $6!

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: rich in stl

                                                                                                          There's also something called price gouging. Taught at Brooklyn Tech HS ecomonics class.

                                                                                                          1. re: moymoy

                                                                                                            You must have skipped school that day. Otherwise you would know that this is not even remotely close to price gouging. If there is some sort of famine and DiFara becomes the only source of food then you might be able to call it price gouging. But charging the highest price in the city for what many believe is the best slice in the city is what it is...a sensible price adjustment.

                                                                                                        2. WINS radio did a story today about how the prices are now $4 dollars a slice. I guess it must be a slow news day.

                                                                                                          1. Think about it a price cap on the best slice in NY, I would pay way more than that. I was there last night and it was as amazing as always. Full pie prices are now 20 and I think 24.
                                                                                                            The best pizza in this country.

                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: sharkny

                                                                                                              I vowed I would leave this thread alone but it wont be the 1st vow I've broken so...

                                                                                                              Dom is not a mathematical genius but I know him well enough to realize that he can count to 8. My guess is that the reason that slices went up to $4 (in addition to the supply/demand theory) & the pies remain $20 (round) and $24 (Sicilian) is that he is actively discouraging the slice trade and making those who want slices pay extra. You want to sit here and eat?... order a pie minimum. Basically, he's used this method before: 8 slices of round @ $3 was only $20 when a pie was ordered ($4 savings) but the same 8 slices of Sicilian that were $3 apiece were $24 when a pie was ordered (no savings). He pushes the ordering of round pies because they're easier for him to make.

                                                                                                              1. re: Steve R

                                                                                                                steve r
                                                                                                                That makes sense.

                                                                                                                1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                  Just like they taught us at Brooklyn Tech. The area of a circle is PI-R-Squared.

                                                                                                                  They were wrong.

                                                                                                                  Only Neopolitan Pi are round.

                                                                                                                  Sicilian Pi are square.

                                                                                                                2. re: Steve R

                                                                                                                  Just to point out, when slices were $3, the round pie was $17, not $20. The round with a special topping (broccoli rabe, baby eggplant, etc. was $25 --how much is it now?)

                                                                                                                  1. re: bobjbkln

                                                                                                                    bobjbkln -- not to split hairs on this (I have so few left to split) but I've been paying $20 for a round pie for at least the month previous to this slice price rise.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve R

                                                                                                                      Possible, last time we ate there was Dec. 11 when it was still $17. Perhaps he changed it with the New Year.

                                                                                                                      1. re: bobjbkln

                                                                                                                        I was at Di Fara's for the first time Saturday night. Here's a link to the a photo I took of the new pricing.

                                                                                                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycblond...

                                                                                                                        The regular pie with a specialty topping is now $28. I'm not sure if I'm reading the menu right, but it looks like a slice with a topping is $5 and with a specialty topping it's $6.

                                                                                                                        We arrived at around 7:30ish and were able to place our order fairly quickly. Our pizza was safe and sound in our stomach within 1/2 an hour of arriving. From past threads I've read, it sounds like we were very lucky.

                                                                                                                        Shortly after we arrived the crowds started gathering and there were several people who were waiting for slices. The first woman I saw order slices asked for two and Dom's son (?) told her it was going to be awhile. She was undeterred. The folks ordering the slices seemed willing to hold out and pay the price. At $4 a slice and considering it's a serious schlep from my apartment, I wouldn't go just for a slice, if I'm making the special trip I'd rather invest in the pie and take home any extra (for the record, on Saturday it was just me and my husband and there was no "extra"). All in all the pizza was delicious and I expect I'll be back for more pies in the future.

                                                                                                                        1. re: brooklynbrownie

                                                                                                                          Thanks for the photo. That clarifies the current pricing structure. And, honestly, it leads me to believe that the pricing is, in fact, meant to discourage purchases by the slice. $20 for a regular round pie is not out of line -- a quick search on menupages revealed a margherita at Lombardi's goes for $17.50 and at Totonno's for $19.50. Regardless of location, Dom's easily bests either of these pies by a far stretch (and let's not even get into a discussion of the $21 pie at UPN).

                                                                                                                          And an extra $3 for a topping, or even $8 for the bunch of toppings that is the House Special is not ridiculous. Especially given the quality and artistry of the pizza.

                                                                                                                          I do think $4 to $6 a slice is a bit high, but that's my priority. I would never buy a slice there -- I'll go for a pie and bring home the rest (it is just as good reheated -- even better if you prefer crunchy crust.) It is just less economical for Dom to make a slice pie -- most people come in for whole pies, and to set aside a pie for the slice-goers takes a pie away from a whole pie person leading to longer waits for most everyone. Thus, it makes sense that the slicegoers should pay a premium.

                                                                                                                          1. re: elecsheep9

                                                                                                                            $20 bucks for a whole pie is one of the best deals in NY.

                                                                                                                            1. re: elecsheep9

                                                                                                                              I completely agree with you about pricing. For the quality of the pie and, as missmasala pointed out, the fact that Dom's pie is filling compared to some of his competitors (I love, love Lucali, but if I go with my husband and we just order one pie, we're still hungry), $20 definitely isn't unreasonable.

                                                                                                                              Dom and his son looked a bit resigned when taking the slice orders, so I suspect that you're right about structuring the pricing to discourage slice ordering since making whole pies is more efficient.

                                                                                                                              All this talk about Di Fara's makes me want some of their pizza now. I only wish I lived closer!

                                                                                                                    2. re: Steve R

                                                                                                                      Not only are they easier to make, it simplifies keeping track of orders which seems to be no small feat in that place (ie. should this be a slice pie or go to the next whole pie customer?). I remember in the not too distant past seeing people come in and they would order individual slices with customized toppings. I don't think he could accomodate that too well today.

                                                                                                                      Is guess that's what I was trying to say in the posting up above about the high prices being a discouragment of slice ordering.

                                                                                                                  2. In 2200 when the last slice goes up for auction it will fetch over 3 million, for sure.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: NYJewboy

                                                                                                                      By then inflation will have made 3 mil the standard price for a slice. :-}

                                                                                                                    2. Hit DiFara very recently, and my experience confirmed why Dom needs to raise his prices still higher. The place was even more packed than usual and tempers flared as the Maestro struggled to keep up with demand. At one point, against all odds, I snagged two square slices from a pie fresh out of the oven. I was tempted to buy the whole pan and resell them at a profit to the poor saps in line. People were making offers to buy the slices I had at twice the price.

                                                                                                                      These are signs that the market for DiFara pizza isn't functioning well. Dom's prices are still too low in the sense that he could sell out his entire inventory of pizza each day even at a higher price. Right now, people who would otherwise be priced out of the market are clogging the store, and Dom just can't keep up with the demand. Since he can't increase the supply, pretty much the only solution is for him to keep raising prices until demand decreases.

                                                                                                                      Oh, and I kept the squares, which were every bit as delicious as I recalled...

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                        why the slavish devotion to free market pricing theory here on chowhound? there are other solutions, of course. there could be a numbered waiting list instituted at difaras. or dom could allow other employees to help cook the pies. or there could be peak and off-peak pricing. of course, history has shown that dom'll never institute such changes. still, raising prices is not the "only solution." and waiting on line isn't always proof that prices have to rise. if that were true, every time you ever waited on a line anywhere for anything would mean that prices should rise. i understand that many chowhounders have a basic understanding of the economic theory behind pricing. but no market ever functions perfectly freely (governments are often tweaking the market in one way or the other through subsidies, tax rebates, porkbarrel contracts etc.) and even if it did, i'd think that few of us chowhounders would want to live in such a world. keep in mind that if prices were always set so that there would never be a line anywhere, at anytime, for anything edible, most good eats would be priced well beyond the reach of the average customer. good eating would then become the province of the rich alone. which seems downright undemocratic, elitist, classist and unchowhoundish.

                                                                                                                        1. re: joekarten

                                                                                                                          I would generally agree joe, it's just that so many of DiFara's problems can be traced to the price being too low. It's really unpleasant in there sometimes because people are cranky waiting -- and cutting -- in line.

                                                                                                                          1. re: joekarten

                                                                                                                            I guarantee that "if Dom allowed others to cook the pies" that neither you nor I would be having this exchange. It would be all over. Hail Dom.

                                                                                                                            1. re: joekarten

                                                                                                                              Yeah, that's the ticket. Let's socialize Di Fara's! Impose price controls. Make sure everyone gets his fair share. Institute pizza rationing based on Social Security number. Charge Dom a Windfall Profits tax. But who's going to replace him when he spits the bit?

                                                                                                                              Really, people. If you like what the old guy sells and think it's worth what he charges, go there and buy it. If not, then don't.

                                                                                                                          2. FWIW.

                                                                                                                            Yesterday at Di Fara's, I observed some first time customers who, after waiting behind the counter for about 10 minutes, suddenly noticed the menu and realized that slices were $4 each, whereupon they remarked "Four dollars for one slice?" to each other and then politely left the place.

                                                                                                                            1. Did anyone see that a DiFara's artichoke pie was just sold on Ebay for $132? ;)

                                                                                                                              1. My wife and I treked out to DiFara's on Tuesday (from Hoboken, so it is about a one-hour trip). We got a regular pie with mushrooms and a small coke. The place wasn't that crowded and it took about 30 minutes for the pie to come out (I was getting hungrier and hungrier by the minute). When it did, Domenic took his scissors to a big bunch of fresh basil and then freshly ground some parmesan to sprinkle on the pie. The pie was huge (8 big slices). If it wasn't the best pie I have ever had (and that would include multiple trips to Italy), I don't recall one that was better. The place isn't much to look at. You order at the front counter and bus your own table. The total tab was $25.00. Was it worth it? You bet; every penny (and at $20 for the plain pie, that's $2.50 per slice). And yes, we ate the entire pie (light dinner last night). It was just too good to stop.

                                                                                                                                If folks would rather save a few bucks and have the cardboard with ketchup and kraft cheese that so many NY places sell, more power to them. If I lived in the neighborhood, this place would be on my short list for a great meal.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: bnemes3343

                                                                                                                                  Amen brother. Can I nominate Dom for sainthood?