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Jan 4, 2013 04:35 PM

I walked into DiFara, went right up to the counter, and ordered a slice (without waiting)

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.

Mr Taster

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  1. Interesting, never tried Di Fara's. How much is a slice these days, $6.50?

    1 Reply
    1. 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.

      1 Reply
      1. re: missmasala

        They posted this to their Facebook Page right after Christmas:

        "New winter hours are from noon til 8:30 ! We removed the 4 to 6:30 break until spring ...."

      2. 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

        1. There are many wonderful pizza options in Brooklyn. Life is too short to wait in lines wasting time. Hence, I have never been and never will go to DiFara's.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sluggo1407

            congratulations on that decision. if only you could be a new pied piper, leading the crowds to disperse :)

          2. 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.