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Di Fara - What I've Learned from this Board

pizzajunkie Jun 15, 2009 09:54 AM

Okay, so after lurking here and on the Manhattan board for several weeks, I have gleaned the following information about Di Fara:

It plainly has its local following with people who think it is the best, while others think it is overhyped and not worth the exhaustively long lines.

The best time to go is on a weekday mid-afternoon.

The square pizza is the best pizza to order (and I'll be ordering mine plain cheese).

Be prepared to wait an hour (?) after sitting down for your pizza.

BYOB (does anyone do this?).

It closes for a period between lunch and dinner.

Does this sound about right? Thanks to the Hounds for all the help!!!

  1. d
    demigodh Jun 15, 2009 10:10 AM

    sounds right to me except I wouldn't be so definitive about the square. they're both excellent in their own right. You should order the style of pizza you prefer.

    1. w
      Widmark Jun 15, 2009 10:20 AM

      I wouldn't sit down for your pizza!

      1. MMRuth Jun 15, 2009 10:27 AM

        I've done BYOB there.

        It's better to have someone in your party hang out at the counter to keep an eye on your pie, so to speak, while someone else bags a table. When I've gone, we've stayed at a table for a bit, check in occasionally with his daughter to (nicely) see how things are coming along, and then when you have a sense that your pie should be ready, definitely hang out at the counter.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MMRuth
          pizzajunkie Jun 16, 2009 09:41 AM

          that is awesome insider advice!! thanks!

        2. v
          Val55 Jun 15, 2009 11:26 AM

          I'd like to confirm, do not, repeat do not, sit down after you order your pie. Not only out of sight, out of mind, but you must defend against poachers. That was the best advice I gleaned from the board. I went on a Saturday mid-day, and got a pie within 45 minutes. Besides, you're missing half the experience. Watching Dom work his magic is almost as good as eating the pizza. Search DiFara on youtube for a sneak preview.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Val55
            pizzajunkie Jun 16, 2009 09:41 AM

            I can't believe people poach pizzas!! That's awful!! (but good to know about)

            1. re: pizzajunkie
              scooter Jun 16, 2009 11:11 AM

              Well, I've been waiting at the counter and had Dom indicate that a pie was mine, only to be intercepted by an angry sitter (who was, in fact, there ahead of us.) I don't know what these people ordered!

              I had to go back and say "We still need a cheese pie - I had to give that one to somebody else." Dom kind of smiled to himself and said "Oh, they were here before you..." No biggie, really, and it was actually a bit charming that Dom thought it was funny.

              1. re: scooter
                pizzajunkie Jun 16, 2009 07:40 PM

                that IS funny!!

          2. s
            stuartlafonda Jun 15, 2009 11:40 AM

            1. Weekday mid afternoon, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday is indeed the best way to avoid the crowds.He is closed Monday and I have found that Friday is more weekend like in terms of crowds.
            2. I think his regular pie is the best and the square though great is too often marred by severe burning.
            3. grab a babka from the bakery across the street for dessert.

            9 Replies
            1. re: stuartlafonda
              pizzajunkie Jun 16, 2009 09:42 AM

              That's good to know about the burned crust on the square - maybe I will get the round after all, I hate anything remotely burnt tasting!

              Thanks also about the babka info!!! yum!

              1. re: pizzajunkie
                dhs Jun 17, 2009 07:25 AM

                the rounds are burned too

                1. re: dhs
                  pizzajunkie Jun 17, 2009 08:56 AM

                  argh! I don't know how to decide now between the square and the round......maybe I should order one of each LOL - it is so interesting to see all the differing opinions!

                  1. re: pizzajunkie
                    dhs Jun 17, 2009 10:21 AM

                    yes, that is the way to go, slice and pie or two pies or two slices. You won't know till you try it.

                    And where will you wind up???? Not liking DiFara's like the quiet few or what seems like everyone on Chowhound, thinking it is wonderful? Irregardless of where your opinion lands, I think anyone who has been would say you are making a good choice in going. Watch, eat, enjoy!

                    1. re: dhs
                      pizzajunkie Jun 18, 2009 08:10 AM

                      more good advice! And dhs is right - I think if I didn't go, I would always wonder!

                    2. re: pizzajunkie
                      MMRuth Jun 18, 2009 04:33 AM

                      When I've taken a friend who is going for the first time, I get one round (artichoke) and one square (pepperoni), and then take home the leftovers.

                      1. re: MMRuth
                        pizzajunkie Jun 18, 2009 08:11 AM

                        I wish so much I could take home leftovers!!

                        1. re: pizzajunkie
                          MMRuth Jun 18, 2009 08:22 AM

                          You could sell the slices to waiting customers. (grin)

                          1. re: MMRuth
                            pizzajunkie Jun 19, 2009 07:47 AM

                            HA!!! I'm sure I'll be tempted!!!! LOL

              2. c
                captainspacefood Jun 15, 2009 03:21 PM

                Definitely BYOB. I think the best time to go is on a weekend, show up right before they close for their mid-afternoon break, head on over to Nitecaps on Coney Island Ave, get completely thrashed, then show up at DiFara when the doors open, order, and grab a table and some tallboys and continue to drink.

                1. jen kalb Jun 15, 2009 03:47 PM

                  square pie! you can always try to check out a slice too.
                  BYO is fine
                  we always try to order something other than pizza to eat while we wait (all their food is good to keep Dom's attention. Its worked

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jen kalb
                    pizzajunkie Jun 16, 2009 09:43 AM

                    oh I like that idea - I will probably have to order something while I wait anyway, that's a good idea!! My mouth is already watering!

                  2. bobjbkln Jun 15, 2009 08:27 PM

                    BYOB. You need to mellow out while waiting for your pie, so it's good to have a glass (or plastic cup) of wine while you wait. Note, as others said, don't mellow out too much, you have to keep your presence at the counter so you don't get forgotten. For official (if not totally accurate) hours see http://www.difara.com/

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: bobjbkln
                      pizzajunkie Jun 16, 2009 09:46 AM

                      I like the wine in a plastic cup idea! I assume I bring my own opener and cups? or at least my own opener?

                      1. re: pizzajunkie
                        MMRuth Jun 16, 2009 09:50 AM

                        I'd bring both. Or you can buy them (well, I bought my cups) across the street - there was a drugstore or little market if I recall correctly. Also, Dom is not averse to being offered a glass of wine (he told me he prefers French or Italian ;-) ).

                        1. re: MMRuth
                          bobjbkln Jun 16, 2009 10:27 AM

                          You pick up the plastic cups (for free) from the area of the counter where he has the knives and forks. No need to bring your own. It makes it a lot easier if you bring your own corkscrew (although more and more decent French wines are coming with screwtops).

                          1. re: bobjbkln
                            jen kalb Jun 16, 2009 01:09 PM

                            if you have a nice wine you might want to bring your own cups if you think that wine tastes better in a nice cup than in the cheapest sort of translucent throwaway! thats what we do anyway.

                            1. re: jen kalb
                              pizzajunkie Jun 16, 2009 07:39 PM

                              thanks for the tips on the cups!! I will bring my own corkscrew and definitely offer Dom a glass!!

                              1. re: pizzajunkie
                                dark knight Jun 17, 2009 12:41 PM

                                Another vote for square - the thicker crust really holds everything together.

                                1. re: dark knight
                                  pizzajunkie Jun 18, 2009 08:12 AM

                                  more people definitely prefer the square it seems - but I may have to try both!! LOL

                                  1. re: pizzajunkie
                                    Val55 Jun 19, 2009 10:56 AM

                                    So when the heck are you going!

                    2. j
                      jeeg Jun 19, 2009 02:25 PM

                      Ive never seen a poacher but when it gets even slightly crowded you have to keep an eye on things at the counter especially if you order more than one pie. Ive had to remind them more than once after they skipped over making my pie for someone else behind me.

                      1. n
                        nooyawka Jun 19, 2009 03:04 PM

                        Prior to my visit, I had not heard about the square being the better choice. If so, I erred by ordering a round pie. An hour is about right. I was told to go for a walk by Dom's daughter. I'm one of the ones who think it's overhyped. Actually, since Dom personally makes them, I think a better strategy is to go in the earlier part of the day (their business day, that is, whenever that is) when Dom's got more energy, rather than later in the day. I don't know what the other Hounds think.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: nooyawka
                          dark knight Jun 19, 2009 06:36 PM

                          To be honest - I like the round, but you should have the square before making a final determination on whether you think it's overhyped. I didn't totally get it until I had the square.

                          1. re: dark knight
                            pizzajunkie Jun 21, 2009 01:44 PM

                            more good advice, much appreciated!

                            Val55 - I am going on Thursday, July 9, around 2:30 or 3pm. The countdown begins! ;)

                            1. re: pizzajunkie
                              Val55 Jun 21, 2009 10:06 PM

                              Thanks, I tend to get too involved in these tales :-) I am sure you will enjoy it. I've been twice, once on a Saturday afternoon, when I manned the counter and my friend held a table. The second time was when I happened to be not far away for a closing and stopped by for a couple of slices. I went in and ordered my slices and two young women cut ahead of me and got the slices that were ready. No matter, I got the next pie out of the oven in mere minutes. I had the round plain. I cannot say i was transported, but they were darn good!

                              I very much look forward to your report back.

                              1. re: Val55
                                pizzajunkie Jun 22, 2009 11:23 AM

                                good to know, Val! I promise to report back with a detailed review of my Di Fara experience! :)

                          2. re: nooyawka
                            NYJewboy Jun 22, 2009 11:27 AM

                            I think after his nap (or whatever he does in the afternoon) Dom is always in prime form for the dinner set. I have never tasted a difference between early/late.

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