Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Dec 15, 2012 06:38 AM

Pastrami Sandwich at Tommy's Joynt (SF)

I stopped in Tommy's Joynt the other day for the first time in at least 20 years and had a pastrami sandwich. The pastrami is hand carved and the serving is ample, especially for $6. Best of all, it tasted pretty good! It was juicy and reasonably lean. It would have liked a little more of a peppery bite to the taste, but, other than that, I was impressed. My side order of cole slaw was creamy and a little on the sweet side, but very fresh tasting.

I will not wait another 20 years to return.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
      1. re: wolfe

        I keep meaning to go to Roberts but haven't made it there yet. Which cut do you buy and how do you prepare it?

      2. Love Tommy's Joynt. I know it's not haute cuisine and I love that. Rather some attempt at "comfort food" it's just hunks of meat served with beer.

        4 Replies
        1. re: tjinsf

          Hunks of often dry chewy meat with weakly flavored watery jus. Hate Tommy's Joynt. Mediocre is the word.

          Some customers like the buffalo stew special. Others are nostalgic about it since it's been around so long.

          The food is relatively cheap but that never made me try a place just for the bargain.

          Save your money for something tastier.

          1. re: stanbee

            As you can see from the photos I posted last year, neither the pastrami nor the brisket came close to being dry. Both less seasoned than they should be. Still, they're not dry nor chewy.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Try the turkey, the brisket, depdesing on when you get there.
              I haven't eaten there for many years. Maybe it improved

            2. re: stanbee

              I've never had chewy meat at Tommmy's Joint. Ever.

          2. Like you, I hadn't eaten anything from Tommy's Joynt for years and years either. Friday I shared a couple sandwiches - one pastrami on rye and one brisket of beef on sourdough roll - to go. Price is up to $6.49 + tax now.

            The pastrami's hand-carved to order into thickish slabs. Steamed until quite soft, the meat's well-marbled with a layer of firm fat on one edge. Not that salty, it would be better with more peppery notes and spices, but was more than acceptable and much better than typical water-injected, stringy deli meat versions. The rye bread had a nicely crunchy crust and good flavor but was a little too soft and squishy. I give Tommy's Joynt the edge over Ted's hot pastrami, the other sandwich bargain out there,

            This was my first time tasting the braised brisket at TJ's. It too had a melt-in-the-mouth texture and was not stringy. Cut in big slabs, this was from the fatty end and the well-browned crust had a bit of crunch to it. The meat's on the bland side. However, the plain Jane-ness was oddly appealing at that moment and the comforting combination with the sourdough and liberal mustard and mayo became greater than the sum of the parts. I would order this again but might need some horseradish.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              " However, the plain Jane-ness was oddly appealing at that moment and the comforting combination "

              This sums it up perfectly.

              It's also a very San Francisco Hofbrau tasting combination, in part because of the packaged rolls. One that's going extinct. It's very simple, and they toss you the condiment packets when you take out, so we're talking really bare bones, but the formula really is comforting.

              1. It's a solid pastrami sandwich and one of the few places you can get hand-carved pastrami in The City (Lefty O'Doul's being the only other that I know of).

                3 Replies
                1. re: virtualguthrie

                  The Chicken Coop would be another, although I noticed the better location on Mission is gone.

                  1. re: virtualguthrie

                    Wise Sons and Shorty Goldstein's hand carve.

                    1. re: sugartoof

                      Right, I knew I was forgetting some other places. When I've gone to Shorty's and requested a fatty cut I've had a superb sandwich. Never been impressed by Wise Son's.