I ventured out into the middle of Brooklyn to have what many call the best New York Pizza –Di Fara. But after shying away from the crowd there and eating a big Beef Kabab sandwich at Jerusalem Steak House a block away, I came back a little before they closed at 4pm. There was still a crowd, but I dealt with it.
A lot of people standing around against the counter for their whole pizzas and slices. I asked a couple of guys how to get a slice. They told me to find one of the girls to order from. I just wanted one slice and would have to wait for the next pizza.
There he was –the legend, Dom DeMarco handling each pizza pie. Pulling on the dough, slowly spreading on the sauce, topping the cheese, drizzling the oil. Then he pulls the pizza out of the oven with his bare hands! That’s hardcore. He tops it off with more cheese and fresh cut basil.
My regular slice: $5. I came in as a partial skeptic. Maybe even wanting to try it to prove people wrong. But dang, I would have to say this is the best New York/Brooklyn-style pizza I’ve ever had. I think the keys were 1) the fresh basil –not cooked, not wilted and the aroma goes straight up your nose with each bite 2) the last cheese he puts on that has some saltiness to it –gives it a punch 3) the pizza maker’s experience. It’s like the 10,000 hour rule. Dom is an Outlier of pizza making skills. The crust was crisp and perfect.
After having this pizza, I would say it is worth the trip. It might not stand out so much better than the best pizzas in your neighborhood. The difference is subtle, but there is a difference and it is one of the best.
They’re opening up a Di Fara in Las Vegas. I can’t imagine it’ll be the same. I think you would really need to have one made from the hands of this master pizza chef. Get it while you can. Check out this Di Fara FAQ from Serious Eats.
Di Fara Pizza – 1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn NY 11230