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Pastrami & Reuben Sandwiches in SF

Why is it so hard to find good NY style sandwiches in SF? Any recommendations?

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  1. Here are a couple recent threads that the search engine turned up to get you started.



    C'mon people, what else have you found out there?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Thanks. I did have a pastrami sandwich at Togos at Potrero Center that wasn't half bad. I've been to Yellow Submarine (Irving & 6th) 3 times now (the second 2 against my will) and couldn't believe how bad their sandwiches & potato planks were.

    2. i just had the pastrami sandwich from golden gate meat in the fery building for the first time yesterday. it's $7 and packed full of meat. it must've been at least a 1/2 lb. served on a nice large section of italian bread. i actually wasn't able to eat it fresh at the market. i bought it home, added a little grated monterey jack, and heated it up in the oven (8 min @ 400). it turned out really wonderful. the meat was tender, flavorful and beautifully smokey.

      i'm not sure if they use david's pastrami, which they sell by the pound, or if it's their own. i've had david's a few times and it never tasted like this.

      2 Replies
      1. re: brian j

        David's makes pastrami using a few different cuts. The navel cut isn't seen much, as the deli counters I've talked to who carry David's say the customers don't understand that fat is good. (g) But that would be the one for pastrami afficionados.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          On the theme of fat pastrami, Smart & Final carries two types of pastrami in 2 lb packages. Very lean, and nicely fat. Sells for about $5 lb...very good stuff, especially the fatty.

      2. haven't found anything that satisfies the ny pastrami need, but the most soulful pastrami rendition i've found around here is, strangely enough, the wednesdays-only pastrami at memphis minnie's bbq. go figure. the style is nothing like a ny pastrami sandwich; the bread is wrong, the meat slicing not right. but somehow it evokes a pastrami from katz's for me in some cosmic way or something. it's good and boy that pastrami doesn't skimp on the fat. they do an almost too-cute riff in using their carolina mustard style bbq sauce in the sandwich, but it actually works really well. it's kind of like how pizzaiolo pizza somehow evokes the soulfulness of the pizza from difara's in brooklyn for me, even though there's not much similarity technically. sorry no dice on your question though, good luck searching.

        1. You might like the hot pastrami sandwich at May's on 14th just around the corner from Market. It's actually called M&L Market but they make sandwiches, and they make their own pastrami which I find really, really tasty. The sandwiches are also very cheap!

          Warning - if you don't order your type of bread first, you will get yelled at.

          1 Reply
          1. re: celeste

            That's the place next to Woodward's Fish, isn't it?

            It is not an easy place to spot. However, when I saw the sign for pastrami in the window, a light clicked on. They were closed though when I was there.

            I still want to lure someone into trying the 'classic ruben pannini' from 750 Kearny in the Chinatown Hilton. Hey, it is served with parmesan shoestring potatoes, chili-lime fruit salad or tossed baby greens. Is that authentic or what?


            I agree that, in this area I still would prefer a pastrami sandwich from a haufbrau than a deli. It is hot, thick cut and no nonscense. I forget the name, but up near Albertson's on Mission, almost in Daly City there is a chicken place that has a haufbrau in it. The pastrami wasn't too bad, but it's been over a year since I've been there.

          2. Moishe's Pippic has a decent Pastrami Sandwich if you are looking for a Chicago style sandwich(although never been to or being familiar with the Chicago style, I cannot vouch for it's authenticity). I did run into two friend who are from Chicago eating there, though they had the hot dogs.


            1. Very cool --- ken, celeste, and crimson, all signed in and reporting for pastrami duty! Memphis Minnie's version has been on my list to try, if for no other reason than to make sure they keep making it. I hadn't been aware that M&L makes their own, much more interesting to me now, and I had heard there was a lot of yelling involved. (g) I tried Moishe's Pippic about 5 years ago, too stringy then, but things change.

              1. I really love the reubens at Max's Opera Cafe (plus I'm a sucker for the cheesy piano showtunes), although my favorite pastrami comes from Tommy's Joynt.

                1 Reply
                1. re: missmobtown

                  I found that Tommy's Pastrami was really dry. Good thing they gave a side of Au Jus to moisten it up. It does satisfy if you are in a pinch late at night however.

                2. I second Max's. I love the reubens from the one in the Bank of America building, which last a minimum of two meals, especially with the potato salad and pickle. Good seeded rye bread, just the right amount of russian dressing and buttery from the grill. Maybe a little too much meat, but I don't complain as I eat some from the middle first and then put the sandwich back together, taco-with-a-fork-style.

                  1. Being someone that misses the NY delis, I am always searching out good places to get a fix. I recently went to the California Street Deli in the JCC on California and Presidio and the pastrami was pretty legit. I asked for it lean (like I do at Katz's) and it was tasty. You can also order it in 2 sizes depending on how big a sandwich you want. The real problem was the bread. The rye bread was lacking and hurt the overall score of the meal, but maybe it was a bad day. Definitely worth going. Best I've had in this city.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: goodfoot

                      A previous thread on this topic had turned up more of a home cooking solution. Costco, at least the one in SSF, and probably more, carry Carnegie Deli pastrami in their cooler cases, in vac packs. We've picked it up twice recenty - first time was great, second time one of the packages was defective (need to go return it, Costco has a good return policy though).

                      Anyhow, my point being, tasty pastrami for a reasonable price that you can pile it on as thick as you want with a good bread of your choice. If there's something we're not lacking in this town, it's good bread choices :)

                      Kathy/Kuisine (formerly KathySK)