David Eisenson’s great-grandfather Harry Plosky immigrated from Lithuania to Ellis Island in 1912, eventually operating a deli and grocery in the Bronx called Ben’s Dairy and passing down an appreciation for his Jewish culinary lineage. That trickled down the family tree to Eisenson, who opened Plosky’s Delicatessen in Carbondale in 2022, filling a pastrami-on-rye hole in the Roaring Fork Valley’s restaurant scene.

The 38-year-old Boston transplant and father of four knows he’s doing something right when Jewish grandfathers from New York and Dallas tell him that Plosky’s shredded beef Reubens with house sauerkraut and thin-sliced pastrami are the best they’ve ever had anywhere. “That, and a substantial number of our regulars are industry people,” Eisenson says. “When other chefs are eating here on their days off, we’re doing it right.”

 Plosky’s owner David-Eisenson
Plosky’s owner David-Eisenson. Photo courtesy of Plosky’s

After studying political economics at Williams College and attending Berklee College of Music as a vocalist, Eisenson came to Colorado to ski and play music, stumbling upon his new love.

“Cooking was something I had always been passionate about, but I hadn’t considered it as a potential career until I landed in Carbondale in 2011,” he says. Thanks to restaurateurs Mark Fischer and Lari Goode of Carbondale’s Phat Thai and the Pullman in Glenwood Springs, he learned the industry ropes.

Chasing a passion for Jewish cuisine and an unsatiated craving for a cold turkey and Swiss with tomato-bacon jam sandwich from his favorite hometown deli, Eisenson dreamt up Plosky’s during the pandemic. Customers can find a rendition of that same sandwich on his walk-up counter menu; it’s called the Detention due to how often he got into trouble for leaving his high school campus without permission to order one.

Latkas at Plosky’s
Latkas at Plosky’s. Photo courtesy of Plosky’s

Eisenson can be found in the deli’s open kitchen schmearing lox bagels, baking challah bread pudding, stirring his famous duck fat matzoh ball soup, and chopping smoked whitefish salad. He doesn’t keep it fully kosher—his best-seller is a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sammy served on bagels he sources from Terrace Bagels in Freehold, New Jersey. Plosky’s receives 8,000 of them at a time and bakes them fresh every morning. The eggs and pork are sourced from nearby Potter Farms in Silt.

Locals also line up for the Hey Mambo sub made with thinly sliced mortadella, capicola, and salami, provolone, shrettuce, tomato, white onion, and Wickles spicy sandwich spread. Yukon gold potato latkes, extra fluffy from the addition of baking powder and served with house apple butter or horseradish cream, are a popular pick-up item, along with wrapped dishes of lasagna Bolognese and veal ragu from the prepared foods case. Everything at Plosky’s is compostable or recyclable, save for the chip bags.

“I want every single thing that people order here to be consistently and uncompromisingly delicious,” Eisenson says. “I want our deli to be an effective ambassador for this unique culinary heritage and I want people to know that we have super competent, thoughtful, and kind staff.”

1201 Main St., Carbondale

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Lisa Blake
Lisa Blake
Lisa Blake is a freelance writer and children's book author living in Breckenridge. When she's not writing about food and mountain adventures, she can be found on the river with her son, pug and husband.