Fuente Alemana is a large sandwich shop set up with a U-shaped counter encasing a bunch of hustling women making mammoth sandwiches of thin sliced pork or beef. Stools around the bar are first come, first taken with no monitoring from staff. There is also a counter around the outer walls for your food and drink while you stand and eat. There is a nice shelf underneath where you can store things that might be in your hands. Most sandwiches come with tomato, sauerkraut and tons of mayonnaise on a pretty basic bun. Many also have avocado but ours got lost in the translation.
The staff do not speak English but one kind cook was good enough to ask another customer to help with our communications. It was crowded when we got there and my understanding is that is the way it is most of the time. You must catch the eye of one of the cooks and give her your order which she will pass to you when it’s ready. When you’ve finished you get a tiny slip showing what you owe that you must take to the register at the front. They accept credit cards and cash but no checks. Behind the register are large photos of the people that have come in and not paid for their food. After you pay you take the receipt back to your cook so you may tip her for her service. This is not a place for a relaxed meal. We got a couple beers which came first and allowed us time to watch some of the frantic movement and the presentation of heaping sandwich after sandwich.
We had the pork and it was too dry for me. Also the mayonnaise was way too much for me – I am not exaggerating about the heaping amount of it. The sauerkraut may have been inspired by the Germans that settled in Santiago, but it didn’t have much taste to me. Overall the sandwich was underwhelming and most of it went in the trash. It is worth experiencing and if you want a quick quantity of acceptable food, it is your place.