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Bites Nearby: The Junket Delicatessen

In the depths of an El Cerrito shopping mall lies a European deli and import shop so unique 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 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 of which owners Cindy and Bruno Frisch are part.

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 Ave.) in El Cerrito. They are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit The Junket at their website for a partial list of products they carry, and join them on Facebook to show them some love. 

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