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David's Brisket House: Renovation or Out of Business?

So I went by there today looking forward to a corned beef sandwich and noticed the gates were down. Someone on the street said they've been closed for awhile. I know it's not for DOH because no notices were attached. Does anyone know if they're renovating, on vacation or out of business?

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  1. Sorry to break it to you, but it's NOT out of business (at least not yet) so your other guess is right. But I think it's against the rules here (CH) to actually say it?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Brooklyn Mamacita

      I'm certainly happy that they're not out of business. I can't imagine this post being against the rules. It's basically asking whether it's opened or closed, no politics of DOH involved.

    2. Well, the last thing I heard it was closed by D'OH for a long while and someone recently saw it being gutted. Renovations or new owners? So sad. I really loved their pastrami!

      Anyone know anything more?
      Any other local places that are just as good?

      1. Renovated! The interior is clean and the folks are friendly.

        1. don't know the status but I can say that I ate there late last week (thursday or friday).

          4 Replies
            1. re: Tay

              yeah but no one ever responded. What Id like to know is are the sandwiches still just as good?

              1. re: jen kalb

                Very true. I know devouring a pastrami on rye is a lot to ask ,but you might have to take one for the group and check it out.
                Tough job but someone's got to make the sacrifice. :-)

                1. re: jen kalb

                  I had the brisket a couple days ago. Got them to slather on a little juice from the slab of meat cooking in the oven. Delicious and HUGE for $8. I would have done well to stick to the small...

            2. Is this place Halaal? Also is it under the same management after it closed in 2007?

              13 Replies
              1. re: bmorecupcake

                I believe it's Halal, and no, different owners took over. Fellow Yemenis, just like David bought it from David and his father two years ago.

                      1. re: Jack Barber

                        David's is closed on Sunday, according to the takeout menu I snagged earlier this week after packing away a massive "regular"-sized brisket sandwich, slicked by spoon-ons of gravy from a bowl that the sandwich guy deposited by my seat at the counter. Next time I'll make sure to hit up David's for my first lunch, not my second.

                        1. re: DaveCook

                          hi,this is Davids Brisket House.we are open Saturdays.i truly appreciate everybody's ratting.its a pleasure to hear so much fans love our flavor.we do what we gotta do we do what we do best is doing the dew like we do always for you.our pleasure to serve you.you can check our web site for hours and info type at the address bar http://davidsbriskethouse.com/
                          much respect to all our fans
                          may god bless u all.

                            1. re: bmorecupcake

                              i apologize for replying late.no it's not halal.but we don't serve any pork in David's Brisket House Inc.thank U

                              David's Brisket House
                              533 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

                            2. re: sindbad

                              Much respect to you guys. No frills, just delicious food at a great price.

                              1. re: bhill


                                Ask them to make you a brisket cheesesteak. Amazing.

                                1. re: ChiefHDB

                                  Stopped in today. They've raised their prices on all sandwiches by a dollar, going from dirt cheap to just plain cheap. Small is now $6, and is huge. Regular is 9. Large is 11.

                                  Gratuitous link to a post on my blog: http://lawandfood.blogspot.com/2010/0...

                  1. we apologize 4 the inconvenient we r closed 4 renovation's should b open by mid December.
                    call waleed 4 opening info at 347-247-1883

                    David's Brisket House

                    David's Brisket House
                    533 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: sindbad

                      I'm happy to report that David's Brisket House has indeed remodeled and reopened. They've completely redone the utterly utilitarian interior, installing brick walls and a new floor. The deli counter and kitchen is now at the back half of the store, and the've added more than twice as many tables.

                      Pretty crowded at lunch today, but everyone in line was excited for their return and more than willing to wait for their pastrami/brisket/corn beef fix. Got a small pastrami on rye and a small brisket on a club roll with swiss, mustard and gravy. Both were as good as ever (though you should always ask them to add salt and pepper to the brisket, and you'll probably have to add a bit more yourself).

                      Really glad to have these guys back.

                      1. re: ChiefHDB

                        Thanks so much for the report. This is great news. First the Giants win the Superbowl, now David's reopens. It's a good time to be a New Yorker.

                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          Not being a native, I've gotta say that David's reopening easily eclipses Eli.

                          Thinking about going back for breakfast this weekend. They have possibly the best pastrami and eggs ever.

                          1. re: ChiefHDB

                            Thanks for the news. Wish I had known they were open. Wanted to go for pastrami and eggs today but thought they were still closed. Will try to get there next week.

                    2. I went there today and I have to say I'm a little worried. The corned beef was dry & bland. No fat at all. No brine. The pastrami was fair. Nice amount of fat, but very thinly sliced and mellow on the spice. My biggest concern is the recent renovation. It seems they have a much bigger kitchen than they do dining space. Which is fine, I guess, since I gather most of their business is take-out & delivery. But man, this kitchen is huge. Doesn't make sense when you look at the menu and see the lack of variety. Also, the outcome of the renovation seems to be a club like utilitarian atmosphere. Quite a few recessed LEDs, very dim atmosphere.I do like these guys. A lot. I am praying that they didn't bite off more than they can chew. So to speak.

                      David's Brisket House
                      533 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: David11238

                        What David's doesn't offer in variety, they might try to make up in volume. A larger kitchen (I haven't seen the renovated version) would be better suited to catering and large commercial orders.

                        1. re: David11238

                          I was there yesterday as well. The floors have been re-done with dark brown linoleum and the walls are now covered with dark brown faux brick. I think the lighting is the same as always but the brown on the floor and walls sucks the light out of the room. While there are now more tables the counter area, where you could sit and eat after you ordered, is gone. That's too bad - I enjoyed sitting there. As you mentioned, the kitchen area is much larger than it used to be.

                          I walked in at 2:45. I figured their lunchtime rush would be over. Surprise. The place was jumping. They now have a new system for handling orders. Previously you'd tell the counterman what you wanted and they'd make it right away. Now you place your order and they give you a number. Twenty minutes later I got my sandwich.

                          I wasn't alone in waiting. 80% of the tables were occupied by people who had already placed their orders and hadn't yet got their food. The wait seem the result of the sheer volume of business and not because the staff was disorganized. Besides the counterman there were 2 slicers in the back who were banging out the sandwiches as fast as they could. They probably could have used a third.

                          I ordered a large pastrami sandwich. Good God. The thing was enormous. I had been craving pastrami for the entire time David's was closed and I had eaten only salads for the previous 3 days to clear space for this monster. It was *still* too much food but I ate it anyway. It was very good indeed, fatty and tender. I'm not sure if the pastrami is milder than it used to be - it's been too long since my last visit.

                          I'm glad to have these guys back and the neighborhood people seem to feel the same way. I heard lots of people talking about how much they missed David's while it was closed. I do think that the dark brown color scheme is a mistake. It sucks up light like a sponge. Once they get back on their feet it wouldn't be a bad idea to paint over that faux brick with a brighter color. Pale blue would be nice.

                          Hey, here's a bit of good news. The prices are the same. About half of what you'd pay at Katz's.

                          David's Brisket House
                          533 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

                            1. re: DaveCook

                              They've taken that dark color scheme too far. You'll see what I mean when you go.

                              1. re: DaveCook

                                OK Dave, here's what the new color scheme looks like. You know what? The camera makes it seem brighter than it actually is. Brown floor, brown walls, brown chairs, brown tables. Bad idea. They need to paint those bricks a brighter color.

                                I did take pictures of my sandwich but they came out embarrassingly bad. Under the new setup all sandwiches (or at least all the ones I saw made on Thursday) are wrapped in aluminum and then put in paper bags. You then take it to your table and peel back the aluminum. Inevitably, you wind up touching the sandwich quite a bit and your hands get greasy. At that point I didn't want to handle my camera a lot. I got a couple of shots holding my camera in napkins but they are awful and don't do the sandwich justice.

                                On another front, I managed to settle a question that I had for some time - would a pastrami sandwich work on a roll as well as it does on rye? In a word, no.

                                This question first surfaced at Katz's where the rye bread is notoriously gummy. I've often been tempted to order it on a roll there. The rye at David's is a step up from Katz's but nowhere near as good as the Orwasher's rye used at Mile End. On Thursday I figured I'd order my sandwich on a roll since I suspected that the large sandwich would fall apart if I had it on rye.

                                I think I got that part right - the amount of meat would have overwhelmed ordinary rye but that trade off came at the expense of the overall flavor profile. In hindsight the way to go is to have the medium sandwich on rye. The large one is just too damn big anyway and the rye is really the perfect delivery vehicle for pastrami.

                              2. re: Bob Martinez

                                Quick side question: do they sell meat retail, by the lb?

                                1. re: JonL

                                  I've got their printed menu right in front of me. It doesn't list prices for meat by the pound. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if they did it on request. They're an accommodating bunch. You could always call and ask.

                                2. re: Bob Martinez

                                  curious, how is the bread they use? Soft squishy bread has been the weak point of too many of the deli sandwiches Ive had in recent years.

                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                    The bread is better than the squishy stuff they use at Katz's but it's not great either. (The Orwasher's rye used at Mile End is terrific.)

                                    Let me put it this way - the bread at David's doesn't get in the way and the rye flavor compliments the pastrami. At Katz's the gumminess of the bread is noticeable in every bite.

                                3. re: David11238

                                  ChiefHDB and I went back for a second visit after our trip on Wednesday. The boys at David's are definitely still trying to get into their groove -- the breakfast hash platters were not available this morning, and they'd have a hard time adequately serving a full house.

                                  Still, I thought the pastrami was solid -- I'd agree with the description that it's mildly spiced, but the flavor is full and the texture is excellent. For the price, this is a steal, not a "meet me halfway" compromise. The same goes for brisket; ask for yours with gravy and add a healthy shot of salt and pepper for a fantastic sandwich. The small ($6.50 a pop) is still a plenty satisfying serving, and thankfully it holds together fine on rye.

                                  I'm rooting for these guys, too. They're clearly very happy to be back on their feet with nonstop orders, and I'm looking forward to regular visits.

                                4. If you drop by, tell them their domain name expired on 2/10 – hence no website.

                                  1. It took me 3 weeks to digest my last sandwich from David’s – the large pastrami. I had to sleep on my back for days. Today we went back and this time I decided to order more sensibly. On my last visit the place was jumping at around 2:30, well after you’d expect the lunchtime rush to dissipate. Today it was much less crowded – the pent up demand caused by their temporary closing seems to have died down.

                                    This time around I made a point of saying that the order was an eat-in so it was served up on plates rather than in aluminum wrap like last time. Far more pleasant.

                                    Unfortunately I was concentrating so much on ordering the medium sized sandwich that when I got to the counter I misspoke. Instead of ordering the pastrami I ordered the brisket. As soon as they brought the sandwiches to the table I realized my mistake. Oh well. I considered it a research project.

                                    The brisket itself is very tender, almost crumbly, with a nice beefy flavor. The standard David’s seedless rye is fine. It’s not Orwasher’s but it’s certainly better than the gummy stuff they serve at Katz’s. Generously slathered with brown mustard, the brisket sandwich was really very good although I have some quibbles.

                                    As briskets go, it was on the lean side and didn’t have the sinful slithery feel I’ve come to crave. The flavor was on the mild side too. It needed salt.

                                    They served a small bowl of jus on the side which added a bit of moisture. My GF liked that; to me it didn’t make that much of a difference but a lot of people must think differently.

                                    While I liked the sandwich very much the question remains – will I order this as an alternative to the pastrami? Ummmm … no. Not unless I can get a fattier cut. (To be sure, maybe they would have given that to me if I asked. At Katz’s, you can do that. Since in my dream world I had ordered the pastrami it didn’t occur to me to ask that question.)

                                    Seating was pleasant. We our pick of tables and took one by the window. This time I didn’t miss the counter so much.

                                    On my next visit I’m going to write a note to myself – “Order the pastrami.”

                                    PS - I'm not the only one who finds the new color scheme too dark. As I was digging in to my sandwich I heard a guy on line voicing his opinion. "Hey man! When are you gonna turn the lights on in here?"

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                      More good news from the David's Brisket House folks.

                                      Expanded hours: Mon-Friday 7am-8pm, Sat 7-9, Sun 10-6. Closed from 12-2pm on Fridays. They now take credit cards, too.

                                      There's also a new location opening in Bay Ridge in the next few weeks at 7721 Fifth Avenue and they announced a third spot.

                                      I also happened to go for lunch today. Good as ever. Bob: there's now a big, well-lit fridge out front if that helps.

                                      1. re: ChiefHDB

                                        David's in Bay Ridge opened! I went there last night for 2 brisket sandwiches and one pastrami...which unfortunately I didn't get to taste, it was for my son and he didn't come for it till I left the house. I Ioved the brisket! I got the regular size, plenty of moist meat inside and the rye like was said before doesn't get in the way of the taste of the meat, nor does it get gummy. I also loved the gravy, deep and rich tasting, but I could have used more. He gave me a half cup for 2 nice size sandwiches, for me I like to have lots of gravy on my meat, but it was very delicious as it was. After what some people have said here I'm going to try the pastrami next. I'm so glad they put one in Bay Ridge, I live in Bensonhurst so this is great!

                                        1. re: BonnieB.

                                          Well, the plan was to go to the new Bay Ridge location of David’s Brisket House next Friday. Then something funny happened – it was open on Sundays. So is the Bed-Stuy mothership, That made the decision easy.

                                          The place takes it’s brown-brown-brown décor key from the Bed-Stuy location but because the place is bigger it works. The space is wider, has a faux tin ceiling and a faux marble floor.




                                          You know what’s not faux? The pastrami


                                          Velvet on rye, with a light touch of salt and smoke. Terrific. A word of warning – the medium sandwich in Bay Ridge is a buck more than it’s brother in Bed-Stuy. It’s also a bit smaller. Lets cut them some slack. It’s still the perfect size for a nice lunch. The large pastrami is now $13, still a crazy bargain.

                                          It probably took me 10 minutes to eat that sandwich but I was holding back, pretending to a level of refinement that I really don’t have. The truth came later. I was sitting at the table chatting to my GF about the pastrami when I found that my left index finger, with no instructions from me, was reaching down to the plate, touching little bits of pastrami crumbs, and then bringing them up to my mouth.

                                          Yes. It’s that good.

                                          Service at the new Bay Ridge branch is very friendly. No need to order at the counter here – they seat you at one of the many tables and take your order.

                                          When we were there, less than a week after they opened, there were some teething pains. There were no French fries this past Sunday and I snagged the last Snapple iced tea. I suspect they’ll fix this.

                                          There’s a new website which Google has not yet discovered.


                                          If I lived in Bay Ridge I’d eat here once a week. As it is I will invent reasons to go here.

                                          7721 5th Ave.
                                          Between 77th and 78th St.

                                    2. Looking forward to trying it out. Any comments on the corned beef? How about their breakfast items?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Bookistan

                                        I was there last week and the fryer was in and so is the fridge and it's loaded with snapple and soda and home made ice tea and lemonade etc. They are super nice guys and I hope it all works out for them. Going to stop there for lunch today, get a small pastrami on rye. Haven't tasted the breakfast yet or the corned beef,might ask if they can do a half and half on a small sandwich.