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Johnnie's Pastrami... A Disappointment

Went to Johnnie's a few nights ago (around 1am) after a 4-5 year hiatus. I got to say I was really disappointed.

First, the pickle, which I remember loving and being very impressed with, was not as crunchy as it used to be. I good pickle, but not the amazing pickle that I remember.

Then we got some onion rings. They were unremarkable, probably frozen.

Then, of course, the pastrami. Now I know that you cannot compare this type of pastrami to Langer's because doing so would not be fair. After all, there are two pastrami camps, the deli camp (Langer's) and the greasy spoon camp (Johnnie's). To do Johnnie's some justice, I would say that the actual pastrami meat is probably the best greasy spoon pastrami meat I have eaten. The roll it came on, however, was a terrible piece of airy bread that was just disappointing. The overall sandwich was nothing that special.

The real nail in the coffin were the prices. I am amazed at the audacity of Johnnie's to charge $9+ for a greasy spoon pastrami, when one could go to Langer's and get the real deal for an almost equal price. I just don't get it. Yes, I know it's open late and that's its main draw, but when I take into the food, high prices, and other late night options, I have to permanently reject Johnnie's from my list.

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  1. That is the nature of all fast food operations in that immediate intersection. Quick in, slow out, and disappointing grub.
    But at 1a.m., your options are few and then tend to take advantage.
    But at noon there is no reason whatsoever!

    1. Agree, Johnnie's has seen better days.

      1. I happen to enjoy their chili dogs.

        Just had one, as a matter of fact.

        It's a chili dog you have to eat with a knife and fork, too "wet" to pick up. But the chili is meaty and has a nice spice. The hot dog is is grilled and crisp.

        I go to JP for a chili dog and a cold beer. JP's beer is nice and cold.

        1. Apparently, the "better days" were about 20 years ago. For some time, Johnnie's has charged too much for too little, with very little taste because the pastrami has the flavor steamed or boiled out of it. Find a Hat and enjoy!

          1 Reply
          1. re: oldusedcop

            My brother went to a hat in Lakewood? He said it was nothing special and that the local "tomboys"-we live in Mnahattan Beach- had a better pastrami then the Hat.--Don't drive to MB for TB's pastrami chowers, all he said was that he liked it better than the hat's. We should just go to the original, and i'm sure that'll take care of it.

          2. the last time i went there, the meat was so fatty. i used to love this place and thought it was so good - but when the meat is more fat than meat, it's just gross. it's really too bad b/c it used to be delicious.

            i now get the hoagie steak at philly west for my greasy sandwich cravings. it's so good!