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A Deli At World's Edge

March 22, 1987|CHARLES PERRY

Luneburg Deli-Cafe, 18041 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills, (818) 368-9005. Open Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted. Lunch for two, $5-$10.

We are very close to the edge of the world here, ladies and gentlemen: the northern rim of the San Fernando Valley, in the very shadow of the Santa Susana Mountains. Just about a block from this spot, there is a restaurant calling itself "Country Kitchen Smorgasbord and Mongolian Barbecue." Very close to the edge of the world.

And yet right here, right next to a shopping mall post office, is a quiet, old-fashioned, rather formal North German delicatessen. Not altogether formal, to be sure--not with those well-dressed ladies intently scraping off their Lotto cards at the next table.

But the Luneburg Deli-Cafe really is a sort of dignified outpost of Old World tradition, breathing certainty about what food ought to be like. As a deli, it sells sausages, raspberry syrup, roggenschrot rye bread and a surprising variety of non-German items as well.

It is also a cafe, where you can sit in peace at one of a dozen tables and and have a Maerzen-Bier and a Black Forest ham sandwich, or perhaps a quiche, or a hot sausage lunch. The sausages include natural-skin frankfurters, a paprika-flavored Hungarian kolbase , and two kinds of bratwurst (neither, naturlich , containing preservatives). The all-pork Thuringer is more forceful than veal bratwurst, but still a delicate-flavored sausage. With the sausage, you can get oniony hot potato salad, red cabbage, even a soup such as lima bean in ham broth.

And then a Kaffee mit Schlag and some pastry. Perhaps we exaggerated. Perhaps the edge of the world is a little farther away than we thought.

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