52 down. 49 to go.
Today was opening day of the Park Slope Baseballers season – a weekly pick up baseball game I organized in 2006. For the past five years, every Saturday from July through September, a group of about 20 people get together Sandlot-style to play baseball. Putting this league together is one of the things I’m most proud of in my life.
However, there was one problem this weekend. I desperately wanted a sandwich and the chances of that happening were rapidly diminishing. I almost got my fix last night, but my friend Cody chose Mexican food and margaritas over sandwiches and stardom. Saturday night was reserved for dancing and drinking at a friend’s wedding. And Sunday and Monday were a wash because I was heading out of town to celebrate the 4th in Connecticut. All that existed was a small window of opportunity before my 12pm opening day baseball game.
I thought back to last Independence Day. I spent the beautiful afternoon sitting on the Fulton Ferry Pier in DUMBO drinking beers and eating Red Hook Lobster Rolls with the Manhattan skyline behind me. I knew I had to make this work – it wouldn’t be Independence Day without a sandwich.
With the game starting at noon, I had to act fast. I gathered all the baseball equipment – the balls, bats and bases – and biked with a 30 pound bag to the original Defontes in Brooklyn. This place first opened in 1922. Baseball leagues were still separated by color, Babe Ruth had just joined the New York Yankees after being suspended for an illegal barnstorming tour, and the New York Giants beat the New York Yankees to win their second consecutive World Championship. While things have certainly changed, I doubt the Defontes Peppers and Eggs sandwich has been altered much since then.
And there’s really no reason for it to be. It’s delicious. The eggs are rich and creamy with fresh mozzarella made in the store. The peppers and onions add both flavor and texture. And the sandwich is served on a long freshly baked Italian hero. It’s the ideal breakfast sandwich – though perhaps not the ideal sandwich to have before playing baseball. And if you want to go a little crazy, I highly recommend adding some fried eggplant on top – you won’t be disappointed.
Sandwiches and baseball – can’t get more American than that. USA! USA! Sandwiches! USA! Happy July 4th!
This one goes out to the newlyweds, Nathan & Noel. May your love for each other be as strong as my love for sandwiches.
Defontes | 379 Columbia Street, Brooklyn