David's Brisket House
A Jewish deli run by Yemeni Muslims in an Afro-Caribbean neighborhood is quintessential Brooklyn.
Despite the restaurant’s name, many people will tell you that you’re best served ordering the pastrami at David’s Brisket House, specifically on rye with spicy brown mustard and a can of Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda. It’s also not run by any “David.” After changing hands several times, this one-time kosher Jewish deli is today owned and operated by Yemeni Muslims.
“I’m a Yemeni running a Jewish deli,” co-owner Riyadh Gazali told Edible Brooklyn. “Food is international, it doesn’t belong to one specific group no more; it belongs to everybody.” For decades, the denizens of Bedford-Stuyvesant have put aside their differences in devouring David’s hearty sandwiches, stacked high with tender, slow-cooked meats, on its busy Brooklyn block.
While the pastrami garners most of the shop’s praise, be sure not to sleep on David’s corned beef, perfect with diced potatoes in a breakfast hash, or its namesake brisket, made to be hugged in a roll and dipped in gravy. If you finish the triple decker, which includes a serving of each meat all in one sandwich, you’ll get your picture on the wall.
While the owners have changed and the neighborhood is ever-evolving, the menu remains unaltered, with the small exception of kosher becoming halal. Same sandwich, different blessing.
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