Editor’s note: Brownstoner plans to run more features on topics we have always covered, including restaurants, retail, and renovation, and maybe on some new subjects as well. We hope you enjoy this look at one of Brooklyn’s specialties, the pastrami sandwich.

When it comes to pastrami, that old world meat that is a staple of Jewish deli food and a hallmark of New York City’s culinary tradition, Brooklyn has an embarrassment of riches spread throughout the borough. Sure, Katz’s on the Lower East side gets all the attention — and don’t get us wrong, despite the tourists and the crowds they make a darn good sandwich — but for a tender, salty, juicy, stacked-high pastrami sandwich, you’re better off staying in Brooklyn. Here are a few of our favorites, including a few nontraditional takes on this most traditional of deli foods.

David's Brisket House2Photo by Lex X. via Yelp

David’s Brisket House and Deli (Bed Stuy and Bay Ridge)
Halal pastrami may not be typical but at David’s Brisket House, it’s the key ingredient in one of the best sandwiches in the borough. The deli is over 50 years old and the store as well as the recipes have been passed down from one owner to the next over the years. According to a detailed story in Grub Street, “the original Dave was a Russian Jew who sold the deli to a Romanian Jew, who inherited the name.” He ran off with a Columbian woman, leaving two new partners to take over the operation — they were from Yemen, one Jewish and one Muslim. The Jewish partner died of a heart attack, leaving his Muslim partner with the deli. The pastrami, pictured above, is as good as you’ll find anywhere in Brooklyn. (more…)


The long-awaited Saraghina Bar opened Wednesday night at 348 Lewis Avenue in Bed Stuy. The spot, an expansion of Saraghina restaurant next door, serves drinks from 6 pm until closing. It will add small plates soon, a worker told us when we stopped by Thursday.

The interior has the same rustic charm as its siblings Saraghina and Saraghina Bakery. There are mismatched chairs, antique lights and, most interesting, a trompe-l’œil mural on the side wall. (more…)

Mexican restaurant in Bed Stuy 361-halsey-street-042915

Big news for Bed Stuy: A full-service Mexican restaurant with a bar, a first, is getting ready to open in Stuy Heights. Tepache Mexican Grill will be located at 361 Halsey Street on the corner of Marcus Garvey, one block from Saraghina.

No one was around when we stopped by this morning for photos, but a tipster who lives nearby filled us in on the details. Owner Armando Solterra hopes to open in about a month. There will be outdoor seating, and the restaurant is in the process of applying for a liquor license. (more…)


A Dos Toros will be opening soon at 64 Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn. A tipster spotted signage up in the window this morning and sent this photo.

Located near Livingston Street, this will be the taqueria’s second location in Brooklyn. Dos Toros also has an outpost in Williamsburg, and five others in Manhattan.

The spot serves San Francisco Mission-style burritos. (more…)


Swallow Cafe will open its third outpost this week, this time in Cobble Hill, at 156 Atlantic Avenue, where the Lebanese restaurant Tripoli has been for decades. Tripoli is not closing; the two businesses will share the space, according to the signage in the window.

Swallow Cafe will serve breakfast and lunch in addition to coffee and other drinks. The cafe’s owner, Mike Saleh, anticipates opening Tuesday or Wednesday. In time, he hopes to start serving weekend brunch, he said.

Saleh was born and raised on Atlantic Avenue, and had always dreamed of operating a business near where he grew up, he told us. (more…)


Another cafe has opened in east Bed Stuy. Butch & CoCo Cafe’s weekend brunch menu includes cheddar and blue cheese sliders, chicken tacos, and red velvet waffles and fried chicken. The spot also serves bagels, eggs and sausage, a “tlt” sandwich with turkey bacon, french toast, and a spring salad with artichoke and cucumber.

“It is easy to miss because the signage is not that eyecatching, but their limited menu is super delicious (mostly tacos and sliders),” a Brownstoner reader who lives nearby told us. Inside there is counter seating at the window and reclaimed wood around the main counter and the walls.

T Roc Homestyle Cooking opened nearby on Ralph in October, and Manny’s reopened on Patchen the same month.

For now Butch & CoCo is open only on weekends from 9 to 6:30 pm, workers told us when we stopped by. They deliver. The address is 153 Howard Avenue.  GMAP (more…)


Chilo’s bar opened last week at 323 Franklin Avenue in Bed Stuy, workers told us when we stopped by Monday. It has an outdoor seating area and taco truck, which will be expanding to include tostadas and other items soon.

When the Mayfield spinoff was in the planning stages, one of the owners, who is married to a midwife, said it would have activities for children outside, but that is no longer the case. “It’s a bar,” said an employee when we asked.

Click through to see the backyard area and a closeup of the mural.

323 Franklin Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP



A restaurant called Bill Baker’s is prepping to open soon at 364 Grand Street in Williamsburg, near the BQE. It will serve American food, and the bar will have lots of beers on tap, whiskies and bourbon.

The interior will channel a traditional circa-1900 establishment, with a big marble bar, bentwood chairs and exposed brick, according to some sketches and construction shots on the eatery’s Facebook page.  Click through to see a drawing of the interior.

Bill Baker’s is hiring now, according to its website. GMAP

Sketch via Bill Baker’s (more…)


The bar and restaurant at the corner of Metropolitan and Union, across from Kellogg’s Diner, is now a cafe as well and open in the mornings. As of Tuesday, Sugarburg has a full espresso bar and Brooklyn Roasting Coffee coffee, the head bartender told us. Pastries from nearby Brooklyn Patissaries are coming next week. There is free wifi “and a spacious comfortable atmosphere to work,” he said.

Sugarburg, which is located at 519 Metropolitan Avenue, now opens at 7 am weekdays. It also serves dinner and a weekend brunch.

Bar and Restaurant at Union and Metropolitan in Williamsburg Prepping to Open [Brownstoner]  GMAP


At the risk of running too many posts about the impending debut of L’Antagoniste at 238 Malcolm X Boulevard in Bed Stuy, we have to tell you it plans to open to the public Friday. Wednesday night there was a dry run with “friends and family.”

We hear it’s very good — menu items include a mackerel appetizer and duck à l’orange for an entree. So it’s really happening. Anyone else check it out last night?

238 Malcolm X Boulevard Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP


We were excited to read in Grub Street and DNAinfo that ice cream maker Van Leeuwen plans to open a huge flagship store at 204 Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg. The 1,200-square-foot space will have seating for 50 people. This is in the recently opened rental building 50 North 5th (formerly site of Western Carpets, if anyone remembers that far back).

They will have lots of room for experimental flavors and vegan ice creams. They hope to open in mid April.

Van Leeuwen, which started selling out of an ice cream truck in Williamsburg and now makes all its ice cream in its Greenpoint factory, has four stores, including two in Brooklyn. The one in Boerum Hill is always crowded when we go by. 

Van Leeuwen Opening Huge Flagship Ice Cream Parlor on Wythe Avenue [DNA] GMAP
First Look at Van Leeuwen’s Newest Ice-Cream Shop [NY Mag]