Hero Worship at the New Defonte’s

Defonte’s has been slinging sandwiches in Brooklyn since 1922, and that’s long enough to get it right. Now it’s brought its hound-beloved Italian heros to Manhattan at a new shop near Gramercy Park.

guttergourmet recommends the signature hot roast beef sandwich: rare meat, sliced to order, with fresh house-made mozzarella and eggplant fried to the crunch point. He’s also sampled fried shrimp, served only on Fridays and Saturdays. “They’d stand up to the best shrimp po’ boy I’ve had in New Orleans, another city where the Italian amore still exists,” he says. And off the menu, jon advises, there’s a great egg and mozzarella sandwich, a few bucks cheaper than the other breakfast choices.

guttergourmet—a connoisseur of New York hero haunts past (Rosario’s, DiBella Brothers) and present (Alidoro, Biellese, Mike’s Deli)—has somehow never managed to visit the original Defonte’s. “My loss, but the new Manhattan branch has brought that old NYC Italian love on a roll with them,” he writes.

Defonte’s Sandwich Shop [Gramercy]
261 Third Avenue (at E. 21st Street), Manhattan
212-614-1500

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