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Anything edible at Tommy's Mexican in the Richmond?

suebe May 21, 2006 04:11 PM

We're going tonight for the margaritas which my friend keeps raving about.. but we will want to eat and changing restaurants is not a preferred option.
Hear the food is horrid. Anything mediocre we can get to soak up the tequila?

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  1. w
    Walker RE: suebe May 21, 2006 05:05 PM

    Worse Mexican food I ever ate; the cheapest burrito joint has better food. But, the margaritas are heaven. If you're really starving, just eat the chips and guacamole. Tres Agaves has the same great margaritas but I don't like their food AT ALL, it's salty and expensive.

    1. p
      Pssst RE: suebe May 21, 2006 07:53 PM

      Well, the problem is that most of the things that soak up tequila are rice & beans which at Tommy's are pretty bland. Also, they have a lot of Mexican-American "combination plates" that pretty boring - I tend to stay away from the tamales, burritos, chile rellenos and such.

      We tend to start at the bar with chips, salsa, guacamole & sometimes a side order of beans - we find these work well as a stabilizer.

      If we decide to stay for dinner, we tend to order their Yucatecan specialties or, grilled items (notice the honkin' grill in the window?) The Camarones al mojo de sjo, carne asada, steak ranchero & poc chuc are all respectible dishes.

      If we've filled up on chips & just need a little something, we'll order the quesadilla or tacos a la carte so we won't get the dreaded rice/beans/iceberg lettuce salad.

      1. t
        Trevallon RE: suebe May 21, 2006 09:24 PM

        Might be too late for your dinner but here's my 2 cents.

        1. If you MUST eat at Tommy's have the carne asada.
        2. If you don't mind toddling next door, and I mean just next door, you're way better off eating at Khan Toke Thai House. Is it the best Thai food in San Francisco. No. But it's streets ahead of the food at Tommy's.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Trevallon
          Robert Lauriston RE: Trevallon Nov 6, 2006 10:33 PM

          Khan Toke was the first Thai restaurant to open in SF. Impressive that they're still in business after 30 years.

          1. re: Trevallon
            Sebby RE: Trevallon Nov 6, 2006 10:52 PM

            Second the Carne Asada plate.

          2. s
            ShelbyR RE: suebe Nov 6, 2006 10:30 PM

            They've got great Margaritas!!

            1. j
              Jay H RE: suebe Nov 6, 2006 11:08 PM

              I like the shredded beef chimichangas at Tommy's.

              1. o
                otterkap RE: suebe Nov 6, 2006 11:26 PM

                I agree with Shelbyr...

                The best meal I have ever had at Tommy's is the margaritas!

                The limes aren't bad either!

                1 Reply
                1. re: otterkap
                  bernalgirl RE: otterkap Nov 9, 2006 04:20 AM

                  I haven't been there in over five years, but when I went there for what was essentially a drinking dinner, I was pleasantly surprised by the Yucatecan items. They're tucked in the bottom left corner of the menu, and the poc chuc was notably good. This was well before Mi Lindo Yucatan opened, when it was very difficult to find Yucatecan items in SF. Don't have any idea if this is still a find, but worth trying rather than the bland combo plates.

                2. l
                  Lord Griffin RE: suebe Nov 9, 2006 04:21 PM

                  I pretty much absolutely disagree with all these bad reviews. its FAR superior to almost every taquieria. it is americanized yes. but has anyone found any non americanized halfway decent sit down mexican in this city other than los jarritos and tommy's? mamacita and colibri exist yes, but those are different realms of pricerange.

                  in my book tommy's has an awesome enchiladas con chili verde. their special is cheese enchiladas but you can do chicken or other stuff. their chili relleno and cheese enchilada vegetarian combo is really very good, and like the previous posters have said... the margaritas are outstanding.

                  at the restaurant i work at the kitchen guys (from mexico and the yucatan) all say thats tommys is the only decent sit down mexican in the city.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Lord Griffin
                    adampaul RE: Lord Griffin Nov 9, 2006 05:06 PM

                    While I don't agree with many of the awful reviews, I don't find Tommy's food to be wonderful either. The carne asada has been decent when I've had it, and the rellena negra special (chicken & meatloaf w/black bean sauce) is pretty good, and a little unusual compared to the other fare. Agree that the grill and Yucatecan items are the best bets.

                    And they really do have excellent margaritas. I always leave with a headache, not due to the margs, but due to the noise - it's one loud place.

                    I would certainly relish having more sit-down Mexican fare. Tia Margarita, around the corner from Tommy's, was much quieter on my one visit, but the margaritas aren't as good, and the food isn't any better than Tommy's.

                    1. re: adampaul
                      Eat_Nopal RE: adampaul Nov 9, 2006 08:46 PM

                      Relleno Negro is a Yucatecan Specialty.... so it shouldn't be too unusual. In the end, most Yucatecan cuisine is unusual when compared to the rest of Mexico.

                  2. g
                    Grubbjunkie RE: suebe Nov 9, 2006 04:34 PM

                    My advice for eating at Tommy's is to keep your food expectations reasonable and have at least two margaritas before you order.

                    Seriously, the chips are fine and I really like the two salsas. The standards (quesadillas, burritos) are workable, you just need to punch them up with some of that salsa. The specialties are good but IMO a bit pricey for what you get. You can have a fine time having margs and chips, and a quesadilla or something simple. And salty, fatty carbs are actually a pretty good idea to extend your tequila tolerance.

                    1. m
                      ML8000 RE: suebe Nov 9, 2006 05:12 PM

                      I don't think decent Cali-Mex sit down exists in S.F., at least a at reasonable price. The best I've found is Juan's Place in Berkeley. But hey that's life, can't have everything.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: ML8000
                        Eat_Nopal RE: ML8000 Nov 9, 2006 08:53 PM

                        A couple of years back, I dined at a place on the Mission District that was fairly upscale in a Meat Market District (Manhattan) sort of way. They served decent Ceviches & "exotic" cocktails... drinks with Tamarind, Jamaica etc., It was fairly basic contemporary Mexican cuisine... but they labeled it as Nuevo Latino (to capitalize on that fad).

                        I believe it was called Alma. Is that not decent any more?

                        1. re: Eat_Nopal
                          Robert Lauriston RE: Eat_Nopal Nov 9, 2006 09:12 PM

                          Alma closed last year. Chef moved to Tahoe City:


                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            Eat_Nopal RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 9, 2006 09:17 PM

                            That is too bad... the new menu looks quite boring not much improvement over run of the mill California Cuisine.

                        2. re: ML8000
                          Robert Lauriston RE: ML8000 Nov 9, 2006 09:10 PM

                          The meal I had at Juan's Place was the worst Mexican food I've had in the past ten years. Has it improved recently?

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            ML8000 RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 9, 2006 09:31 PM

                            Honestly it's probably the same.

                            Juan's was never outstanding, just old school, IMO. It is however inexpensive and "traditional" Cali-Tex-Mex fare and compares to neighborhood places in SoCal. Sort of like a homey Chinese neighborhood place in NorCal.

                            It also depends on what you order. Enchillada and stuff w/ red sauce is to be avoided. Flautas and the specials (seafood, brita) are okay.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              bernalgirl RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 12, 2006 03:45 AM

                              Juan's was mostly a place to go consume carbs while you drank when I was at college over a decade ago. I recall the chips made of flour tortillas being quite good for absorbing the wine margaritas.

                          2. l
                            lettuce RE: suebe Nov 9, 2006 08:04 PM

                            if you MUST eat there, go with the cheese quesadilla. it's nearly impossible to screw those up. i've had them at tommy's and they were pretty good...

                            1. e
                              Earl Grey RE: suebe Nov 9, 2006 11:31 PM

                              The last time I was at Tommy's, I had an entire fish, fried. With salsa, rice and beans, it was fine. If I were to go, I'd checkout whatthe specials may be and avoid any numbered combination plates (but this is probably true of most places!)

                              1. h
                                hankstramm RE: suebe Nov 10, 2006 12:31 AM

                                Real quick, they do a rubbed/marinated pork chop. It can be pretty good if they don't over cook it. They call it something like chuleta adobada or the like.

                                I've been going to Tommy's for years, but try not to go because of the owner's nasty wife at the door who is so rude. Only the lady at Brother's Korean on Geary beat her in the "my restaurant is so popular I can treat you like dirt category". Julio, the son and tequila embassador, is nice enough, but he's become a little aloof over the years. I used to be a regular there, but they've all gotten too big for their britches.

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