moishe’s pippic

27 May 2005
425 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

Atmosphere: Didn’t really feel like a deli. Felt more like a liquor store with a sandwich counter…but without the liquor. Bizarre Chicago-sports-themed postering.
Attitude: Counter guy (owner?) was an ass (see below), but not in the oh-that-counter-guy-is-gruff-and-perhaps-insulting-me-but-it’s-really-funny-cause-I’m-at-the-Carnegie way.
Food [general]: Okay, so I understand that I’m not able to be the best judge of Jewish delis ’cause of the whole not-eating-meat thing, but I can still accurately judge quite a bit. This guy, this guy made it hard for me to judge anything, besides his sour-ass demeanor. I walk in the place expecting to order my usual egg salad sandwich (you know for consistency-sake). No egg salad sandwich on the menu. No grilled cheese either. What I do see is a potato egg salad. Great, I figure — close enough. So I ask him for a potato egg salad sandwich. He looks at me like I’ve just grown a third ear on my forehead. Potato egg salad…on a sandwich, please. Nothing. Literally 30 seconds of him trying to write something down on his pad of paper—something that would make sense in his small, meat-only world — and finally, nothing. I ordered a cold cheese sandwich and it was horrible. The side of potato egg salad wasn’t bad though. In retrospect, I should’ve ordered two pieces of bread and…
Pickles: Straight out of a jar, I shit you not. Awful.
Dr. Brown’s black cherry: At least.
Prices: It cost money, and therefore it was too much.
Summary: Elliot said that the pastrami wasn’t bad and I sincerely give that a lot of merit. ‘Cause a deli with good pastrami that’s located in a sewer, employs staff that spit on you and indiscriminately insult your mother, is still a deli with good pastrami. In short: if you don’t care for the pastrami, stay away.

Atmosphere: I won’t go so far as to call it unpleasant, but it definitely comes up short of inspiring. Spatially awkward, and decorated with a furious, inexplicable sports theme. An ominous (possibly wood-paneled?) hallway leads to the bathroom, which is sordidly tucked into a dim and dingy storage area. Feels like a good place to commit a secret murder.
Attitude:Think “wet tissue.” The guy who took my order had that kind of bored, quasi-annoyed detachment that makes you feel like you should apologize for patronizing the business. Basically, his attitude was something you had to recover from before you could even hope to enjoy the meal.
Food [general]: Not half bad. The pastrami didn’t break any new ground for me, but if I was in the neighborhood (which I would never be) and wanted a pastrami sandwich, I would definitely consider it. It was fatty enough to be succulent, but not over-heavy or greasy. They refused to toast the bread first, which was a not-suprising disappointment. Strange that although an egg salad sandwich was treated as a violation of all culinary holiness and human reasoning, they did agree to put coleslaw on my sandwich. Not everyone will do that.
Pickles: Slimy and wet. Added a not-so-quiet dimension of irony to the decent sandwich, like maybe the good pastrami is unintentional.Prices: Pricier than your average sandwich joint, but about on par with most Jewish deli prices. They should give you 10% off for tolerating the service.
Summary: Moishe’s is basically an uninspired and under-maintained shithole with a decent pastrami sandwich. Such a decent pastrami sandwich could be enough to get me back in the door, however the stars would have to be in some kind of supernatural alignment to find me in Hayes Valley, hungry for pastrami, and in a sunny enough mood to take the hateful service in stride such that I’d hit up Moishe’s again.