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San Francisco Bay Area Deli Beer El Cerrito

El Cerrito – THE JUNKET – German & English Deli/Grocery with Beer Bar


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El Cerrito – THE JUNKET – German & English Deli/Grocery with Beer Bar

rworange | Jul 15, 2005 02:40 AM

There’s an attention to detail in this deli with food and groceries from Germany, England and Ireland. The bread is Acme, Jimtown olive spread is available and the liver sausage is from Schaller & Weber, a gold medal sausage maker from the East Coast.

They have a beer bar with special glasses (for each type of beer) to enhance the experience of drinking the draft and bottled beers. Beer glasses are also for sale.

They have a summer beer called Berliner Weisse served “mitt schuss”. It is a shot of raspberry or green woodruff syrup. Both are good but I like the raspberry better. It is served in a big goblet and is a pretty pink with a lovely pink foam. It doesn’t taste at all like beer, just a fizzy raspberry drink. Whatever you do, don’t drink that beer without a shot of syrup, the taste is really sour.

None of the food is made at the deli, but they select well. There are pastries, cakes, sandwiches and light lunch items. There is also a little grocery store with a freezer case of German, Irish and English foods. Shelves are stocked with canned goods, teas, candies and cookies from these countries.

There are about 40 German beers by the bottle and three on tap – Spaten, Bitberger and Kostriter. They even have the correct coasters to match the beer. Bruno, the owner, said that in Germany, the breweries provide the furnishings for restaurants. So one of the reasons for the glasses with the special shapes and brewery names is for the brewery to ensure that only their beer is being sold at an establishment.

Bruno is from the town that makes Dinkel Acker beer. There’s a poster on the wall and the beer is for sale. I learned from Bruno that to be called beer, it must have 4 percent or more alcohol. I thought the beers were fine and tried quite a few over the past few months. Then I went and bought a U.S. beer I once loved, and … it’s true … it did taste like water compared to the German brews.

There are also about 50 wines from sale. I bought one of the wines because the description said it was perfect with sauerkraut … and it was. I never thought about pairing wine with sauerkraut.

As far as the deli, I liked the Junket Salad which is a crunchy salad of finely chopped celery, parsley, apple, tomato carrots and chicken, lightly dressed with a herb vinaigrette and served on a bed of butter lettuce. It is light and tasty.

The Treybe German hot dogs are good and go well with the German potato salad which was light on the vinegar and heavy on the bacon and bacon fat. Worth a trip to the cardiologist to vacuum out the arteries afterward.

In the link to the sight below, there is an old article from the Oakland Tribune about The Junket. It mentions the Bauernschinken which is a dark, coffee-colored, smoked, air-cured beef that the Trib says has a rock hard texture, but when thinly sliced, the texture is soft and subtle with a ‘warmly spiced flavor”.

The Junket slices it so thinly that you can almost see thru it and it made a lovely sandwich on lightly buttered bread with a thin layer of mayo and mustard, butter leaf lettuce and thin slices of tomato. It came with a nice crunchy, garlicky pickle on the side.

They also have soups, chicken pot pie, vegetable turnovers, and quiche,

As far as the desserts, the moist, buttery sour cream coffee cake is wonderful, full of cinnamon and toasted walnuts. The apple strudel is only ok and I didn’t like the princess cake. They buy their desserts from a number of different bakeries.

They have Tea Time after 3 pm when pastries and cakes are reduced in price. See link to site below for more information. I like their latte which is very strong so the coffee taste dominates. The Vienna Roast coffee is a little weak.

There’s a nice little cheese counter. Small end pieces of the cheese can be bought for fifty cents. The have some interesting cheeses like Limburger, Lamb chopper Raclette,Hand Kaese, Appenzeller, Butterkase, Tilsit, English Farmhouse, and Quark. There are bottles of Double Devon cream in the case.

Some of the frozen goods include Irish butter, three types of bangers, red and white pudding, a liverwurst that is served hot and other baked goods, meats and sausages.

Some of the other British items include Branstens Pickles, Chippolatas, Clotted Cream, Marmite, Piccalilli, Ploughman’s Pickle, Ribena, biscuits, preserves, many types of teas such as Yorkshire Gold, PG tips and Tetley. Candies include Flakes, Malteesers, Crunchies, Smarties and many more.

The German items include Bockwurst, Weisswurstm, Buendnerfleischm, Bratwurst,
Cervelat, Goose Liver Pate, Gaenzeschmalz, Landjaeger, Liverwurst, Matjes Herring, Nuernberger, Touristenwurst. Westphalian Ham, senfgurken, potato and bread dumplings, and other German grocery items.

There are nice pictures of the interior on the website. The picture below is of the owners Bruno and Cindy. The walls are decorated with European travel posters. Two small American flags are taped to the columns at the front of the store. There are a few sausages hanging from the back wall. They are a popular stop during the Saturday farmers market on Saturdays.

The Junket makes the El Cerrito Plaza feel less soul less and more of a neighborhood gathering place.

I got caught up with the liverwurst and here are the notes from a few months of tasting:

They sell little chubs of Schaller & Weber. Listing is from the best to the worst … wurst. Descriptions are from the website below.

Goose Liver Paté- Gaenseleberwurst A very fine spreading liverwurst, like french pate' , made with goose liver and goose.

Well, perhaps not pate, but with all that goose fat it was rich, smooth and sinful. I enjoyed the little pieces of goose liver even though I usually have an aversion to identifiable organ pieces.

Gold Medal Liver Paté Schaller & Weber's famous Gold Medal Liverwurst is the winner of the International Exposition at Utrecht, Holland. This is a delightfully mild liverwurst of very fine consistency, like a pate

I agree. Very good liverwurst

Gelbwurst - Yellow Casing ( Pork/Veal ) Very Important! Gelbwurst is low in fat and contains:

No Nitrates
No Preservatives
No Monosodium Glutamate
No Artificial Coloring
No Fillers

In Germany they call it a diet bologna because it is low in fat and salt. It originated in the Black Forest region and Bavaria. It is composed of veal and pork mildly spiced with nutmeg, white pepper, and ginger. Slice like bologna.

Very tasty. I’d buy it again.

Oldenburger Liver Paté A Tangy onion-flavored liverwurst that comes in a size perfect for serving as a spread on bread or cocktail crackers.

The onions were very nice and it was a nice smooth liverwurst.

Beerwurst (Pork and Beef ) Another old Bavarian favorite. Just add mustard to taste or put in a sandwich and serve with stein of beer.

Sort of salami like in texture. Probably wouldn’t buy it again.

Calves Liver Paté- Kalbsleberwurst This liverwurst is made only with veal and veal liver. It contains no pork, mildly spiced

Yeah, this was a mistake as I don’t eat veal. However, I was dazzled by the pretty silver chub. It really did have a hint of spice … cinnamon, maybe nutmeg. The texture was very fine with a chalkiness. Would not buy it again.

Teewurst – (fine and course) Slightly smoked. A wurst spread with a touch of paprika.

Both of these were a horror story for me. It was like eating raw ground meat. The cat finished this.

Bloodwurst - Blutwurst ( Pork ) A very nutritional sausage, spiced principally with a sprinkling of black pepper. An old Bavarian favorite for sandwiches.

Yeah, I skipped this.

Schaller & Weber



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