Would You Eat New York’s Best, Most Expensive, Unsanitary Pizza?
Famed New York pizzeria Di Fara was shut down last week after receiving a whopping 67 points in health code violations during an inspection, reports food site Eater.
This latest episode only adds to the legendary establishment’s allure, which draws in diehard fans from around the world despite a number of obstacles to enjoying their pizza.
First, getting to the joint is a journey for many New Yorkers. The restaurant has been located in the Midwood neighborhood, deep in the heart of Brooklyn, since opening in 1959. Then, the lines often stretch for hours, even during the least crowded times. This is probably because founder and owner Dom DeMarco (or a member of his family) makes every single pie. Finally, the price: in 2009, Di Fara became one of the first places in New York to charge $5 for a slice of pizza, or $30 for a pie. (For comparison, other New York institutions like John’s of Bleecker and Grimaldi’s still charge $14 for a large pie.)
But oh, the taste: fans swear that it is worth much more than the hour long subway ride, the three-hour wait on line, and the extortionate prices. Something about the thin-crust dough, San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh basil, and unique blend of cheeses is supposedly magic. Di Fara’s pizza has been honored by just about every publication imaginable, including Zagat’s restaurant guide, the Village Voice, and the New York Times.
And these fans keep returning despite numerous closings due to health violations. According to Eater, the restaurant has been closed several times by the Department of Health, failed five of six inspections in 2007, and never marked higher than a low B in recent years (the lowest grade is C). Issues, including from the current Department of Health report, include employees wearing soiled aprons, dirty prep surfaces, food contamination, faulty plumbing, improperly refrigerated food, flies, mice, and mouse excrement.
Di Fara’s facebook page made light of the most recent violations, saying the restaurant is “now accepting apron donations so that Dom can change the apron after he makes each pie as so it does not get soiled,” and that their current closure will be “an opportunity for the mice to have a little play time with the flies.”
What do you think? Are dirty conditions, hours of your life, and $5 worth the greatest slice of pizza ever?