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Loyalty apparently has no limits: Di Fara’s Pizza has raised the price of one slice to an astronomical $5, but devoted customers continue to gobble up the cheesy fare.
“My philosophy is there’s a lot of food out there that is over-priced and overrated,” said Marie Sansonia, a nine-year Di Fara’s loyalist. “This isn’t one of them.”
Domenico DeMarco, Di Fara’s owner and chef, said he has no qualms raising the price — and no one has yet complained.“I have a lot of confidence in myself,” DeMarco said. “I know what I sell.”
DeMarco’s daughter/employee Maggie attributed the latest hike to an increased price of ingredients and shipping costs. “Our ingredients are top quality and imported,” she said. “We had a choice — we had to either cut quality or increase the price.”
She said the restaurant receives three to four shipments a weeks instead of one bulk shipment, so that the ingredients can be stored in the small eatery.
According to the pizza-centric Web site Slice, $5 for a plain slice is believed to be the highest pizza price outside of an airport or ballpark. Value seekers might want to invest in an entire Di Fara’s pie, priced at $25, or a round pie, at $30, the site notes.
Just last year, Di Fara’s raised its prices to $4 a slice. At the time, the shop said the increase was long overdue, and critical to cover the costly fresh ingredients.
Longtime customers remain unfazed. Some, like Park Slope resident Mitch Feldman, didn’t even notice the increase until queried by a reporter. “It’s certainly a lot of money, but then again, there’s pizza and then there’s pizza,” he said. “I’d rather pay more and get a better product.” He conceded his limit per slice would be $10.
Feldman’s been making the trip to Avenue J for the past decade. “I could get pizza two blocks from my house but it wouldn’t be the same,” he said.
Prospect Heights resident Diana Boyer biked approximately five miles to eat at the legendary shop, located at 1424 Avenue J. “It doesn’t taste like any other slice,” she said. “The ingredients are fresh — they import the flour from Italy.”
Sherri Feldman, from Ditmas Park, biked with Boyer to visit the shop, notorious for the tortuous wait customers must endure before entering pizza nirvana. “I’ve waited up to an hour, it’s worth the wait,” she said.
Sydney Morris, an East Village resident, said that she doesn’t mind the wait because she enjoys watching Domenico assemble the pies. “To me, it’s always going to be worth it,” she said. “It’s a work of art.”
--Gary Buiso contributed to this story
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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