>> Di Fara Pizza | Eat the World NYC

26 February 2009

Di Fara Pizza


If this was my corner pizza shop, I would probably like it a lot more than I do. The owner Domenico DiMarco is a joy to watch, oblivious to the world, skillfully crafting a pie behind the counter. He is like an artist with his sauces and cheeses. The place, despite being notoriously run down, has an undeniable charm. But here's the thing: a slice costs $4 now (UPDATE: It's $5 now!), and frankly is just not worth the price.

It is light, almost fluffy, warms up very fast if it is not hot already, and is no doubt a good slice of pizza. At most times Mr. DiMarco can not come close to making the pies fast enough to satisfy the lines that wrap around his building. I have found that the best time to come is at the end of the afternoon, just before they close up for break at 4.30pm. As I order my slice and sit down to enjoy, the door is locked at 4.22.

There is joy here, the sharper than normal cheese bites you back. The fresh basil is always good. The crust is perfect. But the slice is small, and is nothing near a meal. The place crawls with tourists. On my last visit a Japanese couple with gigantic SLR cameras draped around their neck were waiting for a pie and a large group from Brazil had just arrived to take it all in. Watching the process is pleasant at first, but painstaking if you are waiting for a slice, as the pies slowly come in and out of the shrine-like oven.

Every once in a while I will walk in and lay down my $4 to be a part of this New York story, but I'm not in the club that will stand outside here for two hours and claim their life was changed afterwards.
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