outer borough cheese emergency!
- Kat Kinsman
So many of y'all were so helpful in the midst of my last baby shower food planning maelstrom (yes Minty, I swear pix are on the way!), that I again come to you for advice.
I've just been asked to provide cheese and balloons for 35 people for a shower on Saturday, but don't know if I'll have the time and/or wherewithal to schlep to Fairway or Murray's for provisions on Friday. Might anyone have suggestions about where I could tackle the bulk of my cheese needs somewhere in the vicinity of Park Slope? (and pleasepleaseplease could this not be the catalyst for another thread about how PS is a food wasteland, gaaargh, gaargh -- I'm just a girl who needs some cheese like, lickety split)
I had a life-changing mozzarella from A&S Pork Store last night, so there's really no question about where to get the Italianate cheeses, but I'm wondering about soft, buttery French options, some sharp, smokey Dutch, or maybe a sassy Manchego or grim, gritty Morbier. Anywhere I might find all these lovelies under one roof?
One other monkey wrench--there will be a couple of mothers-to-be in attendance who are trying their best to avoid raw milk cheese right now. That info will be readily available at the store or on packages, right? I'd certainly not want to be responsible for any cheese-related birth oddness.
Any info much appreciated, as would some about where I could lay my hands on several dozen helium filled Powerpuff and/or old school Pooh balloons on a Saturday morning in Brooklyn.
OK, you asked nicely, so I won't mention that there used to be an excellent cheese store at 9th St and 7th Avenue, SE corner, where there's a REAL ESTATE office now. Now, I'd say the best use of your time would be taking the "F" train to W. 4th St. and going to Murray's, except for the mozzarella at A&S, which you've already discovered. Try the Party City in Atlantic Center for the balloons. Have a great party.
Well....Sahadi sells a really good variety of cheeses, mostly in medium sized cuts, plastic wrapped (I have been known to dig through the display for the newer looking pieces), though they have whole wheels of brie, big pieces of good cheddar, etc. I have used their cheeses for cheese spreads before.
Eagle Provisions has a limited variety, which they cut to order, including roquefort and saga blue ...there is a cheese guy who comes into the farmers market on Saturdays...Costco even has some cheeses - manchego, saga, tillamook cheddar, etc. at not bad prices.
No, you will not find the perfect epoisses in Brooklyn, alas.
re: jen kalb
Sahadi's does have the biggest variety I've found in the general area. Staubitz, the butcher on Court, also has a good range as well. Marquet Patisserie, across the street from Staubitz, has a small selection of French cheeses as does Delicatessen, on Clinton and Verandah. Enjoy the shower.
It's not really in the Park Slope vicinity but Lassen & Hennigs at 114 Montague in Bklyn Heights has a nice selection of imported cheeses that would be suitable for your party.
Before the neighborhood gentrified much we patronized "La Charcuterie" (actually at St. Marks and Flatbush) extensively - it was the first non-supermarket, non-bodega type store to open in this area, and we liked the guys (its basically 2 guys, brothers, I think) and encouraged them as much as possible, when they went into the meat business we bought their steaks and veal at premium prices - until they sold me some highpriced and green-tinted veal cutlets - fresh cream, until we bought spoiled cream on a number of occasions etc. I used to point out past date dairy products, gently, because we thought they were being ripped off by suppliers. The last time I entered this store, they had just gone into the fruit business - so I bought several pounds of expensive grapes to support this effort, since we didnt have a quality fruit shop nearby. I also bought a big hunk or roquefort cheese -they were expanding their cheese selection and we had never bought his cheese before. At dinner, the cheese proved to be way over the hill, ammoniac, rotten. I waited a couple of hours so the store would be relatively empty and went with my child to take it back. When I told the main guy the cheese was over-the-hill, and perhaps he would be wise not to offer it anymore (I didnt even ask for my money back) and suggested that he taste the cheese, he blew his stack, told me I knew nothing about cheese, that experts loved his cheese, etc. etc. I havent been back in 15 years.
The same guy is still active in running the store. At least at that time, he clearly knew and cared nothing about cheese (or he would at least have tasted my cheese) Their record with perishable products is poor. I would recommend against shopping at this store for cheese or anything else that requires careful keeping or expect any product knowledge unless you are really careful.
Whew. I got that off my chest.
The small Middle Eastern store on Seventh Ave. (International Taste, I think) has a small but not bad selection. They do carry manchego and some French cheeses. It's between 1st and Garfield. But if it's possible, Sahadi's has a better selection and price.