I learned yesterday that I need to start using a Tumblr account. I see awesome stuff and I have no venue to share it. My blog talks about food related stuff, and my Twitter account talks about everything, but in really short form … I need a place to bust out a thought whenever I feel like it, so that’s going to be over at HaganBlount.com in a few days – I just associated Tumblr with that site and will be fixing it up shortly.
Today was the morning of the US soccer game against Algeria. I figured that I would work out, catch the train over to the Di Fara neighborhood, hop into a sports bar to catch the game, and then meet Greg at the pizza place. I got off the train and I’d ask some locals where I could find a bar.
First I asked a hispanic guy who was stacking vegetables where I could watch the game. Asking that in English got me nothing, so I tried my broken Spanish: “Yo querio beber y video la futbol. Donde?”
“Ohhhhhhh … No here. Manhattan,” he responded.
Obviously, I’m not going back to Manhattan from here to watch soccer. I would have if that’s what it took, but that was certainly not the case. I asked some more people. The responses ranged from “I don’t know,” to “get back on the train and go …” to “You can always go to someone’s house and …” Yeah, I’ll just call up Matisyahu and see if he’s watching the game right now, pop in with a few beers and chill. Thanks for the great suggestion.
Di Fara is in Midwood. Midwood is a Hasidic Jewish community. One rule in this community, besides No Bars (OK … it’s kind of a WTF, but understandable) is No TVs in stores. I asked a 12 year old kid at a bus stop what I’d have to do to go watch the game. He told me to go to to the Mirage Diner (the manager here is a douche, but that story is lame). I got there 21 minutes into the first half, 0-0. I got a coffee, Donovan scored, and I jumped out of my seat and gave the near empty diner my best Ric Flair WOOOOOOOOOO! Please, you gotta watch this video:
I don’t care if you read the rest of this post as long as you watch this whole video. I’m getting a little teared up just re-watching it. It’s amazing – gives you goosebumps for America.
On my way back, I went into “Flamin’ Burger” (which is a strange name for an Orthodox Jewish restaurant, but I doubt they’re so down with the lingo) and perused the menu for a sec. No cheeseburgers, obviously. I asked the guy behind the counter, “So no cheeseburgers, even by special request, right?” A customer, fully decked out in the garb, began to explain it didn’t work that way, which I’d already known, so I stopped him short; “I guess bacon is also out of the question then, huh?”
Pig is on the menu at Di Fara. I was there a bit early, and a few guys were shooting pizza pictures for the magazine version of The Best Thing I Ever Ate on the Food Network:
That’s my picture, but the Pepperoni and Garlic smelled amazing enough to order on my half.
Greg decided his half would have Porcini Mushrooms:
Then, Mr. Di Fara came out with scissors and fresh basil to finish it all off.
I thought I was taking video of him with the scissors and the basil, but I wasn’t, so I got this instead. Don’t bother clicking it, just go back and watch the US Soccer celebration again:
We sat down and ate – not too much space in here to eat. I think their Zagat score for Ambiance is 11, and that’s far too high; as if I cared. The pepperoni and garlic slice was fantastic. The garlic didn’t hit you as hard as those big cloves lead you to think they may; the pepperoni was excellently crisped on top. I wasn’t excited about the porcini side and it wasn’t as tasty as my pick, but how would that have been possible?
The one thing you need to know about is The Peppers. You need to get a big scoopful of these on each slice of your pizza. Sure it’s going to add calories with the olive oil these are soaked in, but I hope you’re not worrying about calories in this visit – that would be silly. The peppers are fucking delicious. I would take a bath in them if given the opportunity. I don’t know where they get them or how they make them, but they’re goddamned delectable. I almost missed putting them on the pizza until I saw someone taking them from the jar at the counter.
I gotta tell you, it didn’t seem that soggy, even with the gratuitous amount of oil that was poured on before firing:
It sure as hell looks soggy.
Di Fara is certainly one of my favorite pizza experiences in my lifetime. It certainly is in the Top Ten best pies I’ve ever had, but it doesn’t beat the borough’s best in Grimaldi’s. Still my favorite pizza on the planet.
If you’re a New Yorker who loves pizza, it’s only steps away from the train, so make the trip; it’s worth it.
Di Fara Pizza
1424 Avenue J
Brooklyn NY 11230
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