David’s Brisket House is now called My Brisket House (7721 Fifth Avenue). I have to admit that when I first saw the little heart and “my” written where “David’s” used to be, I got nervous. This place has some of the best pastrami in the city, and I was not ready to see that disappear because some new guy came into town. But fear not—virtually nothing has changed, and everything is still awesome.
The pastrami-and-brisket joint got its old name from its original owner, a Russian Jew who opened the first David’s Brisket in Bed-Stuy in the 70s. (It’s still there, on Atlantic Avenue.) But over the decades, the Bed-Stuy store was bought by a Yemeni Jew, who partnered with a Yemeni Muslim, and the enterprise is now entirely owned and operated by Muslims. If this arrangement seems strange to you, it shouldn’t: the first Muslim owner knew how kosher food and halal food overlap—particularly in terms of animal-slaughtering practices—and recognized a good opportunity when he saw it.
The Bay Ridge spot opened in 2012, and the name changed just last month. After stopping in earlier this week, I can confirm: the pastrami is still outrageous: thinly sliced, almost buttery, no-frills, melt-in-your-mouth-good. Throw it onto slices of rye, pair it with a mustard with just the right amount of tang, and you’ve got a serious contender for the best sandwich in the neighborhood.
The brisket is also delicious—full of flavor, savory, braised for what seems like days. The burgers are consistently juicy and tasty too. Stick to these basics and you can’t go wrong. You’ll pay a pretty penny for it though: the smallest reuben or pastrami sandwich starts at $12. But it’s worth it—even if the sandwich comes with only a thin pickle spear.
If you plan on doing the wise thing and sprinting to My Brisket House immediately after reading this, be advised it’s currently on Ramadan hours: 11am to 7:30pm.
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