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david's brisket ...thank you jim

w
wemberly Apr 17, 2001 03:05 PM

Went yesterday and loved it. And the coffee...just ordered a regular, but got the best surprise-phenomenal cafe con leche. And the owner, and others working there were very nice, if somewhat abrupt. I had a short conversation with the owner, and am determined to get the scoop on this place. Muslim brisket-I'm in love.

Have you-or anyone else- had anything else, like the corned beef or pastrami?

  1. e
    Erica Marcus Apr 17, 2001 05:11 PM

    Where is this place? Relatedly, the wonderful Brisket House on Court Street near Atlantic (Brooklyn) closed a few months ago. Muslim-run as well. Sigh.

    1. j
      Jim Leff Apr 17, 2001 05:18 PM

      I've been trying to get the scoop for almost a decade. It's one of the weirdest--and best....and obscurist in spite of my writings--restaurants I know. As I said in my book, the owner used to work at the classic delis, back when there were classic delis. He is like one of those monks in the Middle Ages, preserving otherwise extinct cultural artifacts.

      ALL the meat sandwiches are ambrosial, and expensive. I would not touch any of the cheap steam table west indian stuff. Oh, and I get the brisket on a hard roll with gravy. That's very important.

      Erica--it's David's Brisket House, 533 Nostrand (Between Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue), (718) 783-6109

      10 Replies
      1. re: Jim Leff
        w
        wemberly Apr 17, 2001 05:50 PM

        Thank you very much, but I'm a rye bread girl. However, I just had my leftovers (half the meat from yesterday's sandwich) on a bialy. Now I'm a BialyGirl, which means I'm either 1/2 bialy, 1/2 girl or that I'm able to leap tall cream cheese in a single bound.

        $6.75-expensive? The same in any Jewish deli would be $8-9. And there was no tax!!!!!!! A bargain, I say.

        I'm sure this is not a first, but I would appear to be losing my marbles right before the eyes of chowhounds everywhere.

        1. re: wemberly
          j
          Jim Leff Apr 18, 2001 01:45 AM

          Everything's relative. Considering that the dessicated steam table stuff there costs like PENNIES, and that there's nary a ten dollar entree served anywhere near this place, $6.75 is an extraordinarily expensive price for a sandwich here (I'm not complaining...I'd pay whatever they charged). This may be a diamond in the rough, but the owner clearly understands the value of what he's doing.

          I do not understand who his clientele is, though. I've never ever seen another human being eating a deli sandwich there. I suspect that for many years I may have been the only customer for that stuff.

          1. re: Jim Leff
            b
            Blatty Apr 18, 2001 08:28 AM

            Jim:

            I'm in the foodservice business, and brisket in any form-fresh, corned, cured/smoked like pastrami is pretty expensive. A fresh brisket, for example, loses about 50% of it's weight after cooking, and that's with
            most of the exterior fat trimmed. That's why the per pound price at places as far flung as the City Market in Luling, Texas and Katz's is as high as it is.

            But for my money, great brisket is better than foie gras, and I'd pay anything for it.

            1. re: Blatty
              j
              Jim Leff Apr 18, 2001 12:00 PM

              Me too! Again, I'm not complaining. It's just another indication that this restaurant serves two completely discrete functions. The dual price levels are almost silly different.

            2. re: Jim Leff
              n
              neumeier Apr 18, 2001 06:06 PM

              After reading this thread, I had to run to David's and get a brisket sandwich. I only just polished it off.

              My question is this: are they always about 45% fat? Or did he just see my plump figure and decide I enjoyed super-fatty sandwiches? I feel like I'm generally a pretty fat-friendly person, but this was too much.

              Not to slam on the sandwich because after I removed a generous amount of fat it was really scrumptious. Nice and flavorful and and juicy. I had it on a roll with gravy, and I got one on rye for later.

              1. re: neumeier
                j
                Jim Leff Apr 18, 2001 07:01 PM

                "After reading this always about 45% fat?"

                No! I'm not into that, either! Argh!

                But I think the burning question we're all wondering about is: how 'bout that reserve sandwich? You check fat content yet? Please let us know!

                ciao

                1. re: Jim Leff
                  n
                  neumeier Apr 19, 2001 01:21 PM

                  I'm relieved to hear my sandwich was just an aberration. Yes, the second sandwich was equally fatty. But my friend also took home a sandwich and thinks hers was only about 10% fat.

                  I think for now I may still prefer the less flavorful but leaner brisket at Katz's. I'd love to hear other reccomendations for brisket, too, please.

                  In return for this information I would like to offer a reccomendation for the roast pork and cuban sandwiches at Las Vegas restaurant in LIC, on 21st and 46th(?) ave. I keep ordering roast suckling pig in posher restaurants, but it's never this good. The meat is tender and smoky and they always give you lots of crispy skin.

                  Warning: sometimes the pig has been around for too many days, and then it is not tender but still kinda tasty. And be sure to tell them what fixings you want on your sandwich 'cause they don't always make it the same way.

                  1. re: neumeier
                    a
                    AbbyLovi Apr 19, 2001 01:53 PM

                    You know, I've lived just 5 minutes away from this restaurant for about 6 years and have never tried it but always been curious. Is anything else good there or is it just the roast pork and cuban sandwiches?

                    1. re: AbbyLovi
                      n
                      neumeier Apr 19, 2001 02:25 PM

                      Yes. Their chicken soup is fabu. I've eaten gallons of it.

                      I've only tried about 5 things there, and a couple things have only been OK, although it's all fairly decent grub. I often see people eating really delicious looking things, but I don't speak spanish, and the one waitress who speaks english gives me a very chilly vibe, so I haven't asked.

                      Please post if you happen to stumble upon anything else worth ordering there!

                2. re: neumeier
                  w
                  wemberly Apr 19, 2001 06:48 AM

                  A couple of things.....

                  The shrinkage thing is a big deal with both brisket and corned beef (I don't know about pastrami), so that would account for the higher cost of those sandwiches, apart from any awareness on the part of the owner of their incredibleness.

                  Also, 2 of the other 5 customers were having the brisket while we were there. And our sandwiches were definitely not 45% fat. They were just fatty enough to be perfect.

                  And what West Indian steam table stuff? We must have been in a brisket-induced trance and didn't see any such stuff, and I don't remember seeeing anything o/s the usual luncheonette/deli items on the menu.

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