I'm a fighter, not a lover.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

They don’t make them like they used to.

Memorial Day weekend found me in New York once again and mostly in Brooklyn in particular, hanging out with college friends once again and with one Jess in particular.


I want some more.

Saturday was a good lazy day for exploring and given my absolute need to eat pizza at least twice a day while in NY --the $5 pie from Little Caesars in Salt Lake just doesn't cut it-- Jess and I set out on an adventure for slices. We ran into her roommate and cool, but eccentric, landlord, Hiram (check out hystyleweb.com). , who happens to be long-winded and prettyopinionatedd when it comes to pizza.

When Hiram learned what our mission was for the afternoon, he became very adamant that we head to DiFara's, not being frugal in his description of the pizza (It's so good, no slice will ever taste good again.), the general environment of the place (It looks like a dive, but you have to go in anyway.), and his experiences there (It's so light, I always wish that I had ordered another slice. I could eat a million of those slices.). In fact, if he didn't have an errand to run, he assured us that he would have driven us there himself. Hiram didn't let us leave until we agreed that we were going to DiFara's -- "Say hi to Dominick for me."

Despite the pizza-ganda, my stomach was growling and the thought of needing a car ride to pick up a slice was not appealing. Sure enough, we took a bus from J's Kensington neighborhood and further into the heart of Brooklyn (Midwood, I think?) to reach this fabled restaurant. Finally, several hunger pangs later, there it stood, like a dilapidated beacon.

The legend goes something like this. Dominick DeMarco has crafted thin Neapolitan pizzas for more than 40 years --and has the picture of himself to prove it attached to the side of his oven-- and while he has others working for him (allegedly his own family members), none are allowed to prepare the pies but him. Instead, the other employees do prep work and make the other menu items.

Without even tasting the pizza, it's clear that Dominick is the draw to this joint. He moves at his own pace, deliberately and regardless of wait, and is more apt to stop what he's doing and take an order from a pretty face, like Jess', than from someone whose look displayed such hunger, like mine, that it threatened to snack on the odd piece of furniture in his restaurant.

When Jess asked him if the photo was indeed him, and it was obvious that it was, Dominick acknowledged her with a smile and said, "They don't make them like they used to." Hell, even if that was a dig at her male company, that's still pretty damned cool.

A Google of "DiFara's" taught me that it is often regarded as some of the city's best pizza. It also let me in on a few of Dominick's tricks, like that he uses three cheeses, including an imported buffalo mozzarella, and that he springs for the extra-virgin olive oil to sprinkle on every slice. The kicker though, is the pieces of whole-leaf basil placed on each slice, grown right there in the sunny window.

And my verdict: It was damned good and a fine way to spend an afternoon; on a stranger's stoop about a block away from the restaurant, enjoying two thin slices on a sunny day and walking it off all the way back to Kensington.

4 Comments:

Blogger Sara Z. said...

I've heard rumor that there are some okay NY-style pizza places here in the SLC. Since you are now an expert, do you have an opinion or experience that confirms or denies this rumor?

10:33 AM

 
Blogger DMo said...

There's a joint here called Este Pizza in Sugarhouse that's supposed to be damned good and "New York-style." I have yet to try it, however, they have cleverly designed their signage and advertising to look like NYC subway signs, so they get points from me for that.

10:55 AM

 
Blogger Will said...

The thing about living in NY is that no where else will ever have pizza good enough. I've found a passable place here in Los Angeles but not passable enough.

3:18 PM

 
Blogger susitna79 said...

dominick is one piping hot slice of old man. if he touches his wife as tenderly as that basil...hot damn!

4:55 PM

 

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