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Bites Nearby: The Junket Delicatessen

Tucked away in an El Cerrito shopping mall is a European deli and import shop so unique that it survives and thrives even in the shadow of the grocery giant next door.

Walking past the cheerful triangles of Oktoberfest flags, and attempting to ignore the delectable European cookies lining the shelves, I glance at the menu. I've been to  before, so I try to keep my face straight and my saliva swallowed.

The usual suspects are here. Turkey. Pastrami. Salami. You read on and your eyes widen. Head cheese? Blood tongue? Hmm... Krakauer... Jagdwurst... Bauernschinken? Buendnerfleisch? (Am I ever glad that I am writing these instead of butchering them out loud.)

They may be mouthfuls linguistically, but to a fan of German and English fare, this little deli and import shop is a slice of heaven. This time I chose roast beef with Jarlsberg cheese on dark rye bread to go. A carefully wrapped and perfectly crunchy pickle spear accompanied my lunch. 

While there are great sit-down German restaurants in the East Bay (I'm looking at you, ), none capture the friendly and casual grab 'n' go atmosphere paired with the variety of quality foods, beer and wine that The Junket offers.

If you've spent some time in Europe, brands like Oetker, Bahlsen cookies and PG Tips tea will surely bring back memories. This is a destination for the European ex-pat community to which owners Cindy and Bruno Frisch belong.

Bring your appetite, and your shopping bags to The Junket, try something new in your sandwich and stock up on all the goodies you've been missing.

If you're curious about what happens here on Oktoberfest, check out El Cerrito Patch's  from last year's celebration. 

The Junket is located at 235 El Cerrito Plaza (off San Pablo Avenue) in El Cerrito. The shop is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit The Junket online for a partial list of products they carry, and join the shop on Facebook

Aaron Priven February 25, 2011 at 01:08 AM
For some reason when I first saw the sign I couldn't see that the last letter was a "t" -- I thought it was an "r". Which seemed appropriate for a German-themed restaurant.
Rena Ragimova February 25, 2011 at 04:43 AM
Haha, is it bad that I had to look up "Junker"?
Margaret Tong February 25, 2011 at 03:52 PM
I buy tinned haggis there, Scott's porage oats, Branston Pickle, Christmas crackers, Walker's shortbread and oatcakes.
Rena Ragimova February 28, 2011 at 10:09 PM
I love Walker's shortbread!
Rena Ragimova February 28, 2011 at 10:09 PM
How did you like it? :)

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