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Nov 2, 2005 12:03 PM

PDX - Anyplace like PFI in PDX for Cheese

  • c

Is there any store in PDX like PFI of Seattle - good prices on spices and cheese?

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  1. There's a Penzey's for spices, Curds & Whey for cheese. I'm not familiar with PFI so these may not be what you're looking for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PDXNaomi

      Another good place to find bulk spices is Limbo, located next to the Trader Joes's on SE 39th.

      I wish there was a store like PFI in Portland but as yet I have not been able to find one. So for now I just have to be content with visits to PFI every time I go to Seattle.

    2. So, what the hell is a "PFI"? Does Bill Gates or Paul Allen own it?

      Back here in Stumptown, look for a brand new cheese outlet, "Steve's Cheese," to be located inside Square Deal Wines on NW Thurman (two doors from St Honore Boulangerie.)

      Steve is looking to open in mid-November with a selection of cheeses not readily available in town, along with charcuterie and a some dry goods. He is also going to sell at a lesser mark up than most of the other good cheese outlets around town.

      Steve is Steve Jones, a total cheese head most recently known for cheese pairings to accompany the beer tastings conducted at Pix Patisserie.

      Disclosure: Steve is a friend.


      11 Replies
      1. re: mczlaw

        That's great news. I'm in that neighborhood often, and will keep an eye open. Savvy move to share space with a wine shop, too.

        Cheese aside, what's your opinion of the wine shop? I went in once, and overheard the saleswoman telling the only other customer in the shop "vintage doesn't matter anymore", which anyone who follows wine knows isn't true.

        1. re: Sir Loins
          Marshall Manning

          I've been in Square Deal many times. Unlike a normal wine shop, they basically deal with one importer (the same one that supplies the Moore Bros. chain on the East coast) and have a smaller selection of producers than most stores. But, they also usually have a variety of wines from those producers, so you can often try the whole range, or close to it. Many of the producers are not well-known, but are worth checking out to see if they flip your switch. The owner, Dan, used to work for Chehalem, so they carry the Chehalem wines, and they have a few CA wines, but the majority of their producers are European. Ask for Dan or Eric Gorrell (a friend of ours...used to be at Liner & Elsen, then Ewald Moseler), and see if they can find some wines you like.


          1. re: Marshall Manning

            Attended a tasting at Square Deal a few weeks back and had a good time. Dan is definitely into wines, an enthusiastic talker, and he likes to deal with up and coming wineries in France & Italy. The vintage comment was probably reflective of the fact that he like to deal with young wines that he feels are ready to drink now as opposed to those that need to age for a few years to develop more complexity. That's the price point his shop is aiming at.

            I believe he used to do sales for the NJ importer that handles many of his wines before he worked at Chehalem. He does have some wines he makes himself at Chehalem.

            1. re: RM

              Thanks for the votes of confidence, MM and RM. I'll definitely go back to Square Deal.

          2. re: Sir Loins

            Disclaimer: I am the owner of Square Deal Wine Company.

            Marshall and Sir Loin, thanks for the kind words about the shop.

            I wanted to respond to the "vintage doesn't matter anymore" comment.

            My guess is that we were speaking with a customer about the fact that vintage doesn't matter to US in terms of buying wines from our producers. We buy them regardless. Does vintage matter? Of course. But, will we always sell wines from our winemakers even in so-called "maligned" vintages? Absolutely.

            I've been selling most of our wineries wines for almost 15 years and I can tell you that all of them make something enjoyable, drinkable, if not earth-shattering or "vintage of the century" worthy, each and every year.

            It is our hope that the consumer will come to rely more on producer names, and less on vintage ratings, for their long term wine buying. This is why I work only with wineries with which I'm familiar, have a direct relationship with, and can gaurantee the provenance of.

            I hope this puts a little context into to what was overheard at the store.

            Happy Holidays to all.

            1. re: Dan Beekley

              Is the owner of Square Deal Wine Company, Dan Beekley, the same Dan Beekley who worked in the food industry in Pennsylvania in the 1990's? He sure knew a lot about wine....

              1. re: salihli

                Don't know that, but it is closed.

                1. re: Leonardo

                  Square Deal is closed?! What about Steve's cheese?

                  1. re: Leonardo

                    Yeah, what? Are you saying square deal is closed as in not open anymore?

                    1. re: nagrom

                      Just walked by on Friday and it is still there.

            2. pastaworks has the best selection in town, and they are busy so the cheese really stays fresh. they also are a big part of the slow food movement. they are great people, but easy to forget.