A few of these somewhat goofy murals adorn the walls at Sausage & More
It didn't really matter to me what the "More" referred to, when I found myself parking it in Lakeside to eat at a small, casual spot called Sausage & More European Deli. For the record, it's a small array of German specialties, from Weihenstephaner beers to leberkase veal loaf, along with imported condiments and snacks. But I was really here for a bratwurst.
12241 Woodside Avenue, Lakeside
This exterior almost literally screams bratwurst
The deli sits in a run-down shopping center, flanked by a smoke shop and fast food spots. It's not much to look at on the outside, and while the inside is pretty low key, there are a number of interesting decorative touches, including a shelf of ornate pewter steins on one wall, and a cute biergarten mural on another.
Bratwurst and German potato salad on black lacquered tabletop
Primarily a lunch spot, the place does offer full dinner service on Friday nights — serving classic fare such as schnitzel, goulash, and spätzle — so there are quite a few dining tables. Most are standard-looking wood grain that jibes with a beer hall concept, but I wound up sitting at a shiny black lacquered table (the ensuing bratwurst photography reflects this).
Had they not been sold out, I might have tried a weisswurst, or even knackwurst. I may even have bought some uncooked ones to take home. One of the co-owners here used to work for Fred Spenner, San Diego's departed Sausage King, and fans of his old deli counters will appreciate a few of the offerings.
Christel Pfeifer doesn't make the sausage, but she cooks it, and prepares the German potato salad served on the side. That's the bright, vinegary type of potato salad that — despite having bacon in it — eats lighter and cleaner than its American, egg and mayo counterpart. It had a nice peppery bite thanks to diced red onions and what I believe were ground caraway seeds. I wanted to go back and ask for more.
The brat itself hails from a German butcher in Los Angeles — she didn't tell me which. But here's where the trust comes in, because of course it's great, and authentic. The meat was minced well, though not so fine as to take away a bit of texture. It was simply grilled to a brown char on both sides, then served on a soft, chewy roll, with a few wedges of pickle and a ramekin of spicy mustard on the side. I wanted to go back and ask for more of this as well.
And, since the whole meal cost only 6 bucks, it wouldn't have been a hardship. That said, I had only a modest appetite, and this portion easily satisfied that. I mean, we are literally talking meat and potatoes here.