David's Brisket House Seemingly Bites the Dust; Early Jim Leff Find and Chowhound Fave

David's overstuffed brisket sandwich (with gravy) was legendary.

[Note: This post has been updated with more recent information. David's is now set to reopen the week of Monday, February 13, 2010.]

One of the city's best and most unique delis has apparently gone down for the count. On Friday I went to David's Brisket House for my usual bimonthly roast beef brisket sandwich on rye with gravy (a notably delicious mess) and found the gates pulled down. At first I thought it might be closed for Friday afternoon Muslim prayers, but then I asked an African guy working at the haberdashery next door how long the place had been closed up tight. He replied with apparent sadness: "Two months, man."

I arrived on Friday to find the gates pulled down.

A call to the phone number triggered a mumbled answering-machine message: "David's Brisket House. We apologize for the inconvenience. We should be opening up shortly, if not this week hopefully next week. Just keep calling back. We're waiting for a fire department inspection of the hood. Thank you, have a nice day. Happy New Year." The tone of the message was anything but reassuring.

Located on Nostrand between Fulton and Atlantic in Bedford-Stuyvesant -- a neighborhood that has been mainly Caribbean and African-American for the last few decades -- David's really stuck out. While most cafés offered rotis and fried chicken, this place slung some of the best Jewish deli meats in Brooklyn, in huge sandwiches that cost a fraction of what you'd pay at Katz's or Carnegie Deli

Photo taken June 11, 2010

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