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

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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."


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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


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Photo taken June 11, 2010



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9 comments
Guest
Guest

 

Good news everybody we R in God's will opining secondlocation in Brooklyn at Bay Ridge  77215th Ave off the corner of 78th st Brooklyn, NY 11209 should B open  in gods will by beginning of July 1st 2012.by The Way if any body can eat the sandwich three the hard way witch is acombo of three meat  in 9 min get hispicture to go on the hall of fame wall.we also serve a sandwich called BrooklynCheese Steak  Made From Beef  Brisket   

call Waleed 4 opening info at 347-247-1883

thank always a pleasure

Mknewyork99
Mknewyork99

I went there today and looked inside the place looked amazing.... I would say judging by the money they are spending (it really did look high end) you can expect a whole new splash on the NY pastrami scene. This place is going to make a stir.

James Felder
James Felder

Robert, I don't know if you got my comment I sent in yesterday.  That photo of Jim Leff I took - it's discredited.  It's not even the proper site (radioopensource.ORG, not .com) that was using my photo.  Could I get credited to my photo blog site (www.SnapshotArtifact.org)?  Here's the original photo if you're in doubt, and another I took at the same event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/4...

James
James

Apologies for the premature comment! Despite the delays, David's staff still seemed upbeat about their re-opening when we contacted them. It seems more like a bureaucratic scheduling annoyance than a fatal blow to the business.

James
James

We've been in touch with one of the owners of David's. The place closed for renovations in December, and apparently they're waiting for approval from the NYFD before opening again. Barring any sudden tragedies, David's will be back in February or March.

HSStudios
HSStudios

Robert, tried to write you privately, but your email doesn't work through the site.  

I love Fork in the Road.  Always try to read it, and check out your Twitter.   I've been going to Choice Eatssince the first year.  In today'sarticle on David's Brisket that photo of Jeff is miscredited.  I took it!  http://www.flickr.com/photos/4...

(see the metadata, it's from my old 20D).  Could you change the credit to myphotoblog www.SnapshotArtifact.org?    It was funny seeing it - I don't think it's aparticularly good photo, and yet I recognized it after all this time.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

I certainly hope you're right, James, but neighborhood cognoscenti seem to believe differently. It's already been closed a long time.

Judith
Judith

I have the same Leff book you're quoting from. Doesn't mention anything about Long Island (Leff may have been whacky, but he wasn't stupid). He theorized the slicers had worked at "some long gone Lower East Side deli, where they trained from the old guys". Not unreasonable, and nearly identical to your theory. They had to learn somewhere. 

Leff's recent postings on Chowhound <http: 10089="" profile="" www.chow.com=""> don't seem to indicate he's living on a farm in NC. Is this for real? If it's a joke, it's not stated as such nor is it amusing. Bizarre!

Finally, you wait for the last paragraph to reveal they're not actually out of business, and the owners promise to reopen?? Talk about burying the lede! So what's this even about?!? </http:>

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