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Cheese Shops in Brooklyn?

thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 05:06 PM

I've just moved to Brooklyn and need to find sources to supply my cheese habit.
I'm looking for small production cheeses, especially domestic stuff. I'm willing
to travel to get it! Thanks.

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  1. prunefeet RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 05:06 PM

    Try Stinky on Court St.

    2 Replies
    1. re: prunefeet
      fudluvr RE: prunefeet Sep 15, 2006 05:29 PM

      Stinky Brooklyn is on Smith. But I agree, it sounds like what you're looking for!!

      1. re: fudluvr
        prunefeet RE: fudluvr Sep 15, 2006 09:04 PM

        Oops! I stand corrected.

    2. c
      chow_gal RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 05:31 PM

      Stinky is great. Service knoweldegable, friendly and passionate about their cheeses. I also love Caputo's on Court Street and 4th Place - for European only cheeses, esp. Italian and Spanish.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chow_gal
        delfina RE: chow_gal Oct 22, 2007 01:31 PM

        Stinky's products are great, but the last few times I have been in there have been 4 staff members who welcomed me and then proceeded to ignore me, wandering around, giggling, laughing with each other as if I wasn't there!! Its like you are an after thought! It puts me off going there. Theres one guy who is so uber cool, its untrue and then the rest act like its some country store in the back of beyond, which it isn't. Hello!! This is NYC!! They need to get a rocket up their as.....!!

        1. re: delfina
          Gabbeh RE: delfina Oct 24, 2007 01:35 PM

          I think the staff at te Blue Apron are much more customer-focused

          1. re: delfina
            Ljubitca RE: delfina Oct 25, 2007 10:36 AM

            This happened to me at Stinky's as well so I yelled at them and made them serve me. The hijinks ended imediatley. For the most part I find them attentive but if ever not, I justcall them on it - its not like they can spit on my food or anything.

        2. thievery RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 05:44 PM

          Bedford Cheese Shop in Williamsburg. Bedford Ave & N. 4th. Knowledgeable, if hipster, staff. Good breads as well from Amy's Bakery.

          1. l
            libraryhound RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 07:03 PM

            If you live near Park Slope, try Bierkraft on 5th ave near union- I think their selection is better than Stinky's, and the service there is always friendly and knowledgeable. Plus, you can find all kinds of cool beers to pair with your cheese (my husband is obsessed with getting a growler from there).

            1. s
              South 6 RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 07:07 PM

              Bedford cheese shop happens to be one of the best artisinal cheese shops in the country...And the staff is not really hipster.

              2 Replies
              1. re: South 6
                Ida Red RE: South 6 Sep 15, 2006 07:12 PM

                So they are now up and running in their new space in the old Downners Pharmacy? I'll have to check it out later...

                1. re: Ida Red
                  South 6 RE: Ida Red Sep 15, 2006 07:24 PM

                  ? They are currently in the mini-mall on N.5th and Bedford, but moving to the corner of N.3rd sometime soon.

              2. n
                Nehna RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 07:32 PM

                Concur on Stinky, definitely. Wonderful staff, well chosen selection.....not cheap though. Their Epoisses is probably a dollar or two more than it should be.

                1. f
                  Fleur RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 09:47 PM

                  The cheese selection at GARDEN of EDEN on Montague Street is excellent. Prices are fairgood as well.

                  The name "STINKY" for a food shop is, IMO, a total turnoff.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Fleur
                    Nehna RE: Fleur Sep 15, 2006 11:00 PM

                    Are you ever going to get over the name and/or commenting on it?

                    I think that's not really a point worth belaboring, certainly not on chowhound.

                    1. re: Nehna
                      jenben RE: Nehna Sep 15, 2006 11:32 PM

                      Thank you, Nehna! Exactly what I was thinking, but you beat me to it!

                    2. re: Fleur
                      prunefeet RE: Fleur Sep 17, 2006 08:49 PM

                      I actually love the name Stinky.

                      1. re: prunefeet
                        Chas RE: prunefeet Sep 19, 2006 01:02 AM

                        That may be so but I wouldn't be adding that to my screen name if I were you :) :) :) ( Oh please have a good sense of humor and find that funny)

                      2. re: Fleur
                        Ljubitca RE: Fleur Oct 25, 2007 10:37 AM

                        I find the cheese at garden of eden not so fresh or rather not well cared after.

                      3. s
                        ssamantha RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 09:47 PM

                        Ewwww...Epoisses takes like old smelly feet. To smell is one thing, to taste, another.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: ssamantha
                          Nehna RE: ssamantha Sep 15, 2006 11:01 PM

                          oh my, epoisses is the cheese of the gods in my opinion. it was an epiphony when I first had it at Artisanal in Manhattan. And has opened my eyes to a whole variety of other stinky cheeses. god they're good...get past the smell :)

                          1. re: ssamantha
                            jen kalb RE: ssamantha Sep 18, 2006 12:03 AM

                            good epoisses is incredible and shouldnt be "stinky". You cant count on getting it at the right point of ripeness in US cheese stores, however. YOu may have had a bad sample.

                            1. re: jen kalb
                              Nehna RE: jen kalb Sep 18, 2006 09:27 PM

                              I have to disagree Jen. Epoisses is indeed a stinky cheese and in fact was rumored to have been banned for a time on trains in France because of its offensive odor.

                              "The Stinking Bishop is compared favorably to a French cheese called Epoisses, (which is actually banned from the Metro system in Paris, and considered the stinkiest cheese in all creation) however as of this writing there is no public effort to ban the Bishop from the public transportation system in New York."

                              Also, from Murray's website:

                              A little disc of soft, sticky, thermalized cow's milk cheese with a penetrating, spicy aroma kept at bay in a little wooden box. Hand ladled curds are molded, washed in lightly salted water and ripened in humid cellars. After 4 weeks the rind is rinsed with Marc de Bourgogne, a French Brandy. Napoleon I and Louis XIV were avid supporters of the strong, meaty taste of this great little A.O.C. stinker. When ripe, the texture is like thick, salty pudding. Serve with a powerful young Burgundy or a floral, acidic white for the full effect.

                              So where did you find a non smelly Epoisses? I am intrigued.

                              1. re: Nehna
                                jen kalb RE: Nehna Sep 18, 2006 10:24 PM

                                We've had wonderful examples of epoisses from fromage.com and in France, less good samples from Murrays. Its definitely a fragile difficult to handle cheese but I dont experience it as nearly as smelly as, say Livarot or Muenster.

                                Maybe the problem is that the term "stinky" (an un-flattering rather than cute term to me) to me is a bad smell, ammoniac, over the hill. some people go for cheeses that are right on the edge of going off - I dont. On the other hand, ANY fragrant, cheesy cheese smells bad to some people. IMO Not all ripe epoisses gets to the point of fully liquifying, either although if it sits around at warm room temp long enough it will. I prefer it when it still holds its shape somewhat. But hey, different strokes.

                              2. re: jen kalb
                                Larry Brooks RE: jen kalb Sep 18, 2006 10:27 PM

                                No, epoisses by reputation is- notoriously- stinky.

                                If you get epoisses that is -not- stinky, I'd say you've been hoodwinked.

                                1. re: Larry Brooks
                                  jen kalb RE: Larry Brooks Sep 19, 2006 01:30 AM

                                  Im gonna stand my ground - I certainly havent been hoodwinked - but perhaps have a different threshhold sensitivities in these matters. I like stuff like belachan, anchovies and roquefort, which some people cant tolerate the smell of.

                                  There's no yuck factor to epoisses whatsoever, in my book. the first time we ever had one, we swooned - couldnt believe there could be a more perfect, cheesier cheese.

                                  If you buy an nicely aged epoisse in paris, it will have a rich fragrance, but not out of keeping with the luscious smell of the fromagerie in general - if however, you take it out and drag it around in an un-airconditioned car for a day (as I did on my last trip) - it will indeed become stinky .

                                  1. re: jen kalb
                                    Nehna RE: jen kalb Sep 19, 2006 01:46 AM

                                    I think we're all really saying the same thing. See, to me 'stinky' doesnt have bad connotations. Stinky to me is just a cheese with a strong odor. Not at all a negative. In fact, I actively seek out that sort of cheese (taleggio is another favorite though far less odor in my opinion). I dont think there is any denying that Epoisses has a very strong scent which those who prefer extremely mild smelling cheeses might be adverse to trying (though I would encourage them to look past the smell and taste). I say stinky but Epoisses is hands down my favorite cheese and I would choose it over just about any.

                            2. g
                              Gabbeh RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 09:59 PM

                              Definitely the Blue Apron in Park Slope--either the one at 7th and Union or the one in the south slope. Great selection and knowledgeable staff.

                              1. Steve R RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 10:33 PM

                                We go to Stinky and really like it. They even have a selection from Neal's Yard in London, where we purchased bread and cheese regularly when touristing around there. Wondering why no one suggested Red Hook's new Fairway... we've done pretty well there with domestic cheese so far... decent selection of good stuff, friendly and knowledgable staff, samples when requested and the prices seem reasonable. Not earth shattering but quite a bit above the norm.

                                1. c
                                  crowlish RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 11:09 PM

                                  Try Blue Apron. They have 2 stores, depending upon your location. One of Union just east of 7th ave and one on 7th Ave between 14 and 15. They have a tremendous selection of cheeses and a decent array of charcuterie. The owners are lovely and really know their stuff. While you are there, mate your cheeses with the wines from Slope Cellars; the coolest wine store in the Slope for sure. They know thier stuff and know how to pair!

                                  1. j
                                    jimmyjazz RE: thunderbread74 Sep 15, 2006 11:17 PM

                                    another rec. for Stinky. very helpful staff. try the Cobb Hill-a piave or grano padano like domestic. they have amazing sliced sopressatta as well, made from Berkshire pork. Caputo's is also great, all imported and an incredibly friendly, family-run vibe. amazing Piave, Talleggio, Tronchetto and they carry epoisses as well. if your'e having a few people over, the small wheel of epoisses can't be beat, if you like delicious, gooey, stinkiness.

                                    1. s
                                      starfish RE: thunderbread74 Sep 18, 2006 05:43 PM

                                      I have to agree that Fairway in Red Hook has an excellent cheese selection. Their cheese expert was recently a judge at the national cheese competition in Oregon, where he apparently sampled 950 cheeses(!!!!) They have a lot of interesting cheeses at decent prices. If you go when it isn't too crowded -- either during the week or in the evenings -- you can usually get a lot of help, advice, and samples from knowledgeable staff people.

                                      1. j
                                        JAG50501 RE: thunderbread74 Sep 18, 2006 05:53 PM

                                        Adding to great selections at Bierkraft and Blue Apron in Park Slope, the cheese at Union Market (Union & 6th Ave.) is pretty decent.

                                        1. e
                                          eglazarev RE: thunderbread74 Sep 18, 2006 08:18 PM

                                          If you're looking for some authentic Italian cheeses, head to Gravesend, Ave U and W. 4th St. to be exact. There you will find Dairy Maid, an excellent shop with far better prices than downtown brooklyn -- (everything south of Ocean Parkway and Ave M is downtown to this of us in Coney.

                                          1. p
                                            pesta RE: thunderbread74 Nov 5, 2006 02:44 PM

                                            All good mentions and it's nice that Bierkraft & Blue Apron carry different things.

                                            For great Mozzarella & Ricotta it's Russo's on 7th in Park Slope (@ about 10/11th St.)

                                            1. bigmackdaddy RE: thunderbread74 Oct 22, 2007 02:59 PM

                                              D'Vine Taste. They have small production cheeses, and what they don't have they will get you. Bierkraft as well. Blue Apron is overrated.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: bigmackdaddy
                                                mmm...food RE: bigmackdaddy Oct 24, 2007 03:02 PM

                                                I really love cheese so this might be a little long. Bierkraft is one of the best artisanal cheese shops I've ever been to anywhere. Bedford Cheese Shop (along with Murray's) is a close second. Bierkraft are one of the few cheese shops in New York that carries a full line of Neal's Yard Dairy cheeses (legendary London cheesemonger). They also have an excellent selection of American cheeses although I think Bedford also has a great selection.

                                                I think the staff at both were equally knowledgeable but the ones at Bierkraft have better stories. If you go to Bierkraft, ask for the Pleasant Ridge Reserve - they told me they stopped carrying it because it was too expense (which it kind of is) but it is so very good and I need some support on this one!!!

                                                Although it is still very tasty I note that Epoisses that is available in the US is not "authentic" in the sense that it is made from pasteurized milk. Some have theorized that this has an impact on the smell but I'm not sure that I can tell (both pretty stinky). I don't think the taste delta is as great as between pasteurized and raw milk brie, for instance.

                                                Fairway does have a very good selection and, apart from Joe's Dairy in SoHo, it has the best fresh ricotta around. The prices are also quite good.

                                                The South Slope Blue Apron is now called "Grab" and is no longer affiliated with Blue Apron. It's got a decent but not great selection of cheeses.

                                                On my one visit to Stinky, I thought it was good but not great in terms of selection. I didn't have an opportunity to speak to the staff because I was distracted by my wife's death stare ("we already have several random hunks of cheese at home, why are we buying more?" - She'll never understand).

                                                1. re: mmm...food
                                                  TBird RE: mmm...food Oct 25, 2007 10:57 AM

                                                  blue apron is the worst. bierkraft is the best. stinky & bedford aren't bad.

                                                  1. re: TBird
                                                    TBird RE: TBird Oct 27, 2007 03:50 PM

                                                    if you are south slope and don't feel like hiking down to bierkraft, then i agree re: "GRAB" on 7th ave and 15-16-ish(beside slope cellars and little D) isn't too bad. just picked up some 3 year gouda @ $17.95 and some extra aged piave @ $14.95. it's all comparitive.

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