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Feb 3, 2010 04:52 PM

Oinkster. Pastrami so tough and fatty I had to throw the darn sandwich out. And they wouldn't even refund my money!


Now, I've been to the Oinkster a few times for the pulled pork sandwiches. They are not spectacular but pretty good to take back to the office. So, I went last because I had a craving for pastrami and have heard their's is pretty good. Boy, did I make a mistake. After waiting on a huge line that went out the door (evidently, there was a recent spot on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives), I got the regular pastrami sandwich for myself, and a special pastrami that is supposed to have Gruyère cheese and red coleslaw for my colleague.
Ordered them to go and got back to the office only to discover that the pastrami was so thick and tough it might as well have been shoe leather. And the fat? About half an inch wide and a quarter inch thick. Threw those sandwiches in the trash. BTW, they left out the coleslaw on my co-worker's sandwich, and did not include any pickles for either of us like they were supposed to. Thought about calling to complain but they were so crowded I decided not to. A few days later, after some reflection, I decided to go back and get a refund for my sandwich.

The result? No go on the refund, no apology, and was practically accused of trying to scam the place for the 8.50 bucks. The woman I talked with was the same person who was the cashier on the day I went and whose jar I actually put a dollar in as a tip. The place is jamming and they don't want to refund these measly dollars. Tax, tip, and 8.50 dollars. I left shaking my head and thinking, “Go figure, I only lost 10 dollars, but they lost a customer forever.”

    1. re: ozhead

      Second, third and fourth words: Go Back Immediately. Do NOT throw out the sandwiches, because unless you wear green makeup and dye your teeth black no cashier at a place like this is going to recognize you two hours later, much less two or three days. You still might not get anywhere, but the sandwiches and the receipt together give you the credibility you absolutely do not have if you show up "a few days later" empty-handed. I mean, after having a nice palaver with a cashier there once I went back to the counter after a while to ask for more aioli or something, and that same woman looked at me with no sign of recognition and said, "Yes, are you ready to order?" That's life in the fast-paced fast-food biz.

      1. re: Will Owen

        Excellent advice, Mr. O, as always. You cannot expect a cashier to remember you a few days later, and with no receipt or proof, demand your money back. Just not gonna happen.

    2. it's a bummer that you received such poor product, but i can't say i blame the restaurant for refusing to refund your money. it would have been one thing if you had called right away to voice your dissatisfaction, and perhaps brought back the uneaten sandwich later that day. but to throw it in the trash and just show up several days later expecting them to give you your money back, when for all they know you actually did eat it? i don't think you'll find *any* restaurant that would do that.

      1. I don't live in LA but if you got two sandwiches for $10 I think you got what you paid for. One pastrami sandwich from Katz's is $15!

        5 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          it is about 10 each. I personally do not find there food amazing but people like it. I make better pulled pork in my ove than they do, oh well.

          1. re: Burger Boy

            Well, OP said he threw "both" away and he had spent $10 including tax and tip. Maybe he got some REAL special :)

            1. re: c oliver

              he said he went to "get a refund for my sandwich", singular, not his co-workers. He "only lost $10" for his sandwich, not his co-workers! I am in a fiesty mood tonight, better cross your t's and dot your i's!

              1. re: c oliver

                Hi c, I asked to get a refund for my own sandwich, I did not ask for a refund for my co-worker's sandwich. So yes, 10. Can't remember the actual total for both that I paid, but it was something along 22.00.

          2. A dollar in the tip jar doesn't make you a memorable customer. Having worked at a restaurant counter before, I can tell you it's more or less a weekly occurrence that someone will come in demanding a refund "from the other day." You should've checked the sandwich before you left, or called when you discovered it was bad. Just something to consider.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Papuli

              I did not expect the cashier to remember me. I hoped they would do the right thing in order to develop positive rapport with a member of the local community. They didn't. And in response to someone above, I am a middle class, middle aged, relatively well dressed person, definitely not some street type. The place will not be missed, oh well, such is life.

              1. re: crema

                Go to Langer's, Brent's, Billy's or The Hat, you will be much happier! Heck Dave's Chillin & Grillin might do pastrami, check them out!

                1. re: crema

                  No one suggested you are "some street type," but it's always the "middle class, middle aged, relatively well dressed person" who tries to get refunds of suspicious provenance - take a poll of retailers. I guarantee 100% agreement with my experience.

                  Not that I am in any way saying you're making this up. I absolutely believe your sandwiches were bad. But to expect a refund a few days after the fact is absurd.

                  I've never understood why Oinkster makes their pastrami a point of pride. No one seems to like it!

              2. Two truths:
                -Oinkster blows
                -You in no way deserved the refund under the circumstances you describe.

                In the future, if you can't go back immediately, at least call immediately. More than likely they would have either handled it then, or made arrangements to handle it on your next visit.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Briggs

                  "It's always the "middle class, middle aged, relatively well dressed person" who tries to get refunds of suspicious provenance - take a poll of retailers."

                  What a bunch of prejudice surfacing here. Wow, I had no idea this would elicit such bitter musings by users of this board. they make a bad , tough, sandwich and they ;leave out some stuff they should put in. I'm happy just to spread that message.

                  Meanwhile I will disguise myself in bad dress, tattoos, and piercings. They'll never know I'm out for a shake down. LOL