Pictured: A chicken schnitzel sandwich and German potato salad.
Upland German Delicatessen, 983 W. Foothill Blvd. (at Mulberry), Upland
Underneath Upland’s bland exterior lies, let’s be frank, a bland interior. But between the exterior and the interior lies a strata of fascination. Among the denizens of that realm is what I believe to be the Inland Valley’s sole German restaurant.
It’s one of those quiet gems, tucked away in a dull strip mall behind a Taco Bell and near the Hi Brow bar. For some reason I’d never been there before, a lack I remedied on Monday.
Inside, the deli offers a homey environment. There’s a small seating area with glass-topped tables, German postcards visible from under the glass; and a few shelves of market goods, including imported foods, especially chocolates, and Advent calendars. Cheerful German oompah music played softly. A wall was covered in decorative pieces of wood in which mottos were burned in script. The largest read: “Tough times never last, but tough people do!” A good message right now.
At the counter I ordered one of the combo lunch specials, the Stuttgart sandwich (Black Forest ham, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato and onion) on rye, with German potato salad, a pickle and an iced tea ($9.15 with tax). The meal came on a sectioned plate with real silverware. Excellent sandwich. I hadn’t had German potato salad: It’s finely chopped baked potato, piping hot, mixed with mustard. Interesting, but not my new favorite dish. I almost never eat more than a bite of a pickle but polished this sweet one off.
They also have wienerschnitzel, bratwurst, braunschweiger and other German foods, and they make baked goods such as tortes and strudels. A server brought by samples of plum torte for customers. It was a topper to a memorable, filling meal.