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where to buy cheese in chicago?

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my only source for good imported cheese is wholefoods. there's gotta be somplace better.
someplace like "Murrays Cheese Shop" in Manhatten. quality selection;top value. am i dreaming?

also, what cheeses are best from the stores you recomend and why, and does anyone know of avalable cheeses that pair well with different types of Belgian beer? ie: lambic,double,farmhouse ale.

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  1. Treasure Island supermarkets carry a good selection, they are centrally located...if you get out west, try Nottoli Deli on Harlem (about 5100 N.). They have great Italian cheeses, the place has been there about 100 years...

    1 Reply
    1. re: mark

      I'm loath to give these two places away but - oh, what the hell - we're all in this together.
      West on Addison near Harlem is a Polish deli called Miaras and the cheese is great and cheap, I mean cheap as you'll find it without buying a whole wheel.

      Just south of Addison on Harlem is an Italian deli called Ginos that will also let you taste the cheese you're interested in buying - oh and please tried their dried hot sausauge. I would sit up and bark for that stuff.

    2. In his Beer Companion, Michael Jackson suggests Stilton with Chimay Grande Reserve, and suggests in general that the best combos are when both the cheese and beer have some acidity. He says that Limburger, mature Gouda and cheddar pair nicely with potent, reasonably hoppy beers.

      1. Nobody seems to have mentioned the various Chalet stores. There's one at 40 E Deleware Pl. and another at 1531 E. 53rd St. and, I think, serveral in the suburbs. They have a wide selection and the chesses are cut to order; customers are encouraged to taste several cheeses before making a choice. Also, a fairly wide selection for cheeses is available at the 3 Hyde Park Co-op stores. Most are prewrapped, but the clerks are quite helpful.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jane Stone

          Maybe 20 years ago, when the DC area was Anchor-free, I used to go to a Chalet store in Chicago and load up my VW Beetle with Anchor Brewing products every Christmas season when I drove home to see the family in NW Indiana. I remember one year when it was so cold that several bottles of Anchor Porter froze and burst. A true tragedy.

          Thankfully, today Anchor products are easy to get around here. Ironically, my jaded palate directs me to other beers these days.

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          Laura Levy Shatkin

          You must go to Tekla at 1456 N. Dayton (312) 915-5914. They sell mostly to the industry but you can also walk in and buy retail. It's a small shop with some great specialty products and wine. What they don't have they'll order for you. They have some unpasteurized products that you won't get anywhere else. Or, a bit more accessible is Whole Foods on North Avenue. Great selection; in fact, the one on the Gold Coast, just off State also has a stellar selection.

          1. The Hyde Park Coop (47th St branch) has an excellent cheese selection.

            1. Naturally smoked provolone goes great with beer. Treasure Island carries one called pan di cacio from italy. Aged asiago goes very well with your Belgian beer. Sam's club got a great one too. Check out the aged asiagos from italy at Treasure island.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Dianne22

                Wow, this discussion is over eight years old! I believe the Hyde Park Coop has closed; I'm not sure about the other places mentioned here.

                More up-to-date recommendations of cheese retailers in Chicago can be found in these discussions:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/415424
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/459457