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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Meanwhile in New York: The Rise of the Ninety-Nine Cent Slice

Posted by on Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 3:58 PM

The New York Times says $.99 pizza is selling like hotcakes:

Pizza experts said the rise of dollar pizza was an economy-driven counterpoint to New York’s more celebrated high-end pizza. Last year, Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn, widely considered one of the best in the city because each pie is handmade by the owner using imported ingredients from Italy, raised the price of a plain slice to $5.

“I don’t think a drunk college student cares about whether there’s San Marzano tomatoes on their slice,” Jason Feirman, 25, who writes a pizza blog called I Dream of Pizza, said of the $1 pizza trend. “It’s a good business model. They’re not catering to food blogs. The idea is to turn out these pizzas as fast as they can.”

The pizza at Di Fara (home of the $5 slice) is, in my (one-time) experience, completely worth it. However, if a $.99 slice was in proximity to me right this minute, I'd sure as hell try it.


Comments (24) RSS

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Baconcat 1
I was in New York a couple of weeks ago and availed myself of .99 and $1.99 slices non-stop. And still lost weight!

Pizza: good for you.
Posted by Baconcat on March 16, 2010 at 4:04 PM · Report this
I've been to Di Fara three times, and I agree. It's awesome. If you're willing to wait 1-2 hours for pizza, it's really worth it.

But then again, if waiting in line for 2 hours seems insane, I wouldn't recommend it.
Posted by Mr John on March 16, 2010 at 4:06 PM · Report this
Where the hell was the 99-cent pizza when I lived in New York?!?
Posted by Compass Rose on March 16, 2010 at 4:08 PM · Report this
Dougsf 4
I can think of at least two bars in Brooklyn that'll give you a free pizza just for ordering a pint. Sometimes it only has to be good enough.
Posted by Dougsf on March 16, 2010 at 4:11 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
I used to love the 99 cent slice pizza in downtown Vancouver BC - after a night going out with friends to bars it was always fun!
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 16, 2010 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Enigma 6
The Swedish hospital cafeteria has $2.00 slices and I eat them at least once a week. Good quality considering it's "cafeteria" food.
Sometimes I just need food in my belly.
Posted by Enigma on March 16, 2010 at 4:19 PM · Report this
I rarely miss Brooklyn but DiFara is the best pizza I've ever eaten. And I've eaten pizza in Italy. Giuseppe grinds the cheese fresh for every pie by hand. But you better have at least an hour because you can't rush an artist. Worth the bike ride to Inwood! 99 cent slices? You get what you pay for.
Posted by codswallower on March 16, 2010 at 4:30 PM · Report this
stinkbug 11
Does DC still do the "jumbo" slices wackiness?
Posted by stinkbug on March 16, 2010 at 4:37 PM · Report this
$0.99 slice?

Try $11 for a 20 cut tray, plus a $.50 short beer. Or $14 for an 8 cut white pizza, which is basically God's Grilled Cheese.

And this is in the self-proclaimed Pizza Capital of the World, too...Old Forge, Pennsylvania.

Yes, I live in Boston now. And yes, I make the five hour drive about once a month for the pizza.
Posted by Torchy Blane on March 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 14
I'm thinking Denman. As I recall they were maybe $1.99 Cdn a couple years back.
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 16, 2010 at 4:49 PM · Report this
elenchos 15
I'm so sick of hearing about how great the pizza is in New York. It's called overexposure and it's what happens when a meme gets repeated too often.
Posted by elenchos on March 16, 2010 at 5:00 PM · Report this
I live in New York and drop by the 2 Bros. on St. Marks every now and then for lunch (a $2 lunch!) and occasionally after bar hopping in the EVille. It's not the best pizza, certainly, but it stands up to your run-of-the-mill $2.75 slice pretty well. It's a bit smaller, and pretty thin, but still comparatively worth more than the 1/3 price ratio.
Posted by degaussing on March 16, 2010 at 5:52 PM · Report this
@8 - who the fuck is Giuseppe?
Posted by minderbender on March 16, 2010 at 6:27 PM · Report this
Rotten666 18
If you are in NYC and can't find a great slice loaded with toppings for 2-3 bucks then you are not looking hard enough. What kind of moron waits an hour for a 5 dollar slice of pizza?
Posted by Rotten666 on March 16, 2010 at 6:43 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 19
I'm sitting at Talarico's in West Seattle. Their happy hour slice is $4, but it's an eighth of a 36" pie. Easily equal to three standard slices.

Still - now I feel like I'm being ripped off.
Posted by Free Lunch on March 16, 2010 at 6:44 PM · Report this
Talarico's slices are huge and somewhat justified on price (I do wish they were cheaper so I could get more toppings), but Zeek's "Now With More Crust" are super overpriced and they have to have taken a hit in this economy.... give me a 99 cent slice and I am all over it!
Posted by thunderchaps on March 16, 2010 at 8:28 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 21
@15 is spot on. We're not talking fine dining here, it's pizza... not Lobster Thermidor. Pizza places are as ubiquitous as Chinese take-out.

Besides, Chicago pizza beats NY. New York is just a big, floppy, greasy slice. A monkey could make a decent NY pizza. There's nothing special there other than what people have been told to think is supposed to be special.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 16, 2010 at 8:50 PM · Report this
Greg 22
You know the saying about pizza and sex.
Posted by Greg on March 16, 2010 at 9:03 PM · Report this
Rose DeCastile 23
under 30 minutes or it's free?
Posted by Rose DeCastile on March 16, 2010 at 9:29 PM · Report this
rob! 24
Costco. $2.99 for a combo slice, and an easy reach for that gallon jar o' artichoke hearts to go on it. No 5-hour plane ride with maybe a shoe-licking, skin-shedding golden retriever lying on your feet. Just sayin'.
Posted by rob! on March 16, 2010 at 9:42 PM · Report this
Simone 25
Pleasure Island, Downtown Disney in Orlando had/might still have a little pizza stand that catered to the drunk disney guests. I tried one even though I was very reluctant to. Why, because the thing cost $6 and was the size of my out stretched hand. Oh, and the toppings were basic. Schei├če, the thing should have cost $2 like a cheap tombstone or whatever one finds in the grocery store.
Posted by Simone on March 16, 2010 at 10:51 PM · Report this
@18 and @21: you wait because it's not just any slice of pizza, it's a slice made with love and pride by an uncompromising and passionate lover of food. Saying pizza places are as ubiquitous as Chinese take-out completely misses the point-- because mediocrity is prevalent, everyone should just accept it and shovel it into their gullets because it's a bargain? That line of reasoning doesn't seem at all problematic to you?

DiFara's is labor of love, one old immigrant Italian man who makes every single pie, who imports most of his ingredients from Italy because he believes they're the best available, grows his own herbs, and hand grates his cheese to order-- all because he wants to share what he believes is the best possible slice with his neighbors and customers. A $5 slice is kind of pricey, but it's a small luxury, and one that I've waited in line many times for and never regretted.
Posted by Christopher Hong on March 16, 2010 at 11:36 PM · Report this
Fenrox 27
1) I is a NYer
2) Pizza here is mostly THE WORST
3) 2 is true because the bad places outnumber the good by unfathomable numbers
4) Di Fara is always "worth it" (Side note: WHO THE HELL WOULD WAIT THAT LONG FOR ONE SLICE, GET A WHOLE PIZZA)
5) @26 is why Di Fara is always worth it, any douche that goes there will fall in love!
6) This will invalidate me to many of you but after a huge pizza tour of all 5 boroughs, I like Lombardis the best.
Posted by Fenrox on March 17, 2010 at 9:05 AM · Report this
very bad homo 28
When I'm hungry, any pizza is delicious. Unless it has dead fish on it.
Posted by very bad homo on March 17, 2010 at 11:07 AM · Report this

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