The original, Brooklyn location of Defonte's is virtually cut off from Carroll Gardens by the BQE and the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, and in warmer months the vendors at the Red Hook ball fields are a much bigger draw, but if ever there were a reason to walk or bike a mile out of your way for a sandwich, Defonte's is it.
Above: Superthin slices of eggplant, plus peppers and provolone, are at the heart of the Valentino ($10.95). Also shown: fried shrimp ($12), one of three Friday seafood sandwiches served at the Brooklyn location only; potato-and-egg ($10.95, plus $1.50 for Virginia ham), a "breakfast" sandwich served all day; hot roast beef with fresh mozzarella and fried eggplant ($10.95). In this last sandwich, the thin-sliced eggplant is overwhelmed by red meat; in the photo below, it's been crowded entirely out of sight. Better to choose a sandwich with the eggplant, or the hot roast beef and mutz, but not all at once. You can come back another day.
379 Columbia St. (at Luquer St.), Red Hook, Brooklyn (shown)
Also at 261 Third Ave. (at 21st St.), Manhattan