I walked into DiFara, went right up to the counter, and ordered a slice (without waiting)
- Mr Taster Jan 4, 2013 04:35 PM
Here's my story.
I'm born in NJ, living in Los Angeles for nearly two decades now.
Here in LA, Chowhounds love to hate the crazy long lines at the famous Pink's hot dog stand on La Brea. And the lines can be outrageously long, for many reasons which we will not debate here. But it is absolutely true that one can wait an hour (or more) for a hot dog. And people queue up around the corner every night for the privilege to do so.
But there are times of the day and week where you can walk right up to the counter at Pink's, order a dog, and have it in about 10 minutes. It may be at 10am on a Thursday, or during the super bowl, but it is possible. Despite this reality, there are many LA Chowhounds who love to hate Pink's so much, that they refuse to acknowledge that its possible to avoid the lines completely.
I'm trying to find out if there is an analogous equivalent to DiFara where, one time, I didn't have to wait at all.
My first visit to DiFara was circa 2005. I showed up around 3pm on a Wednesday. There was no wait. I got a couple of slices and chatted with Mr. DeMarco about some of the press he had been experiencing. Easy, breezy, casual, delicious. Couldn't wait to return.
Next visit was a couple of years later. I convinced my Brooklynite non-Chowhound sister to go. There was a line. Not out the door, but long. We got to the counter and ordered directly with Mr. DeMarco. We sat down. 30 minutes, 45 minutes, no pizza. I went back up to the counter-- he forgot about us. About 1:30-1:45 after arriving, we got our pizza. Sister and bro-in-law were hungry, fuming, impatient. We loved the pizza (especially the slice topped with porcini mushrooms). But after that wait, my sister swore she'd never do it again.
Last visit was circa 2009, with parents. I'd heard about the crazy lines at this point, and tried to ply my old technique of showing up at off-hours, mid-week. Arrived giddily to find there was no line! Crushed to then notice a handwritten sign that they were out of dough, and would reopen at 6pm.
It's been 3 years since that last disappointment and I'm heading back soon. I've read no encouraging reports about DiFara's lines, or techniques to go at off times. I find it hard to believe that there are simply no times during his operating hours, at any point during the week, where there is nobody in line.
This post is not for people to complain about the long lines. This is for people to share their DiFara no-wait stories, or minimal-wait stories, and to describe under what circumstances this occurred, so that others may benefit from your wisdom.
There used to be a sweet spot in the late afternoon, sort of 3-5ish, but then he started closing during those times.
I went the other day around 3, right before they closed, hoping there would be no wait, but it was still an hour.
So I'm not sure there is that "window" any more, because now I think he just closes during those periods.
i went to difara's for the first time in 1986, because my ex and i lived out in what's now the prospect park south historic district, but was then an iffy area in which our neighbors to both sides dealt drugs -- although we did have a lovely wrap around porch and stained glass.
the pizza was great. not as 'artisinal' as it has become,but great new york pizza, especially the square. no waits, no one from outside the area. not sure exactly when it became a destination, since i didn't have much cause to head out there for most of the early '90s
I went the day after christmas at about 6pm. No wait to order, our pie took about 1/2 an hour. By far the easiest experience I have ever had there.
re: Mr Taster
They have a slice storefront next to the restaurant. You can even get a mexican coke to wash it down with from the the bodega down the block. When they are right, which is most of the time, they are as good as anyone.
edit: well as good as any place not named DiFara. It is for me, Dom and then all the rest. I have him booked for a Tuesday party that has me as excited as any meal I have ever anticpated.
Here are my feelings about DiFara. It's good pizza, but it's just pizza, for god's sake.
We went there back in the summer and had such a frustrating experience that, quite honestly, I don't see myself ever going back. We wanted just two slices. We were waiting about 60 minutes and it looked like we were going to get our slices (finally!). Then some guy, a regular, walked in the door and literally bought 6 slices of regular and two square slices with no wait and walked out. The guy appeared to have forgotten we were standing there hovering, and asked us "what was it you wanted...?" Through gritted teeth "...just two slices..." "Oh. Okay." 30 minutes later they finally got around to making another pie of slices.
We were starving. We were angry. The total wait was 90 minutes. It tasted good but there's absolutely no way I'm doing that again. Ever.