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Opinions on Country Cheese in Berkeley?

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A friend of mine swears by Country Cheese for both price and quality. I haven't been there lately because it's out of my usual shopping area.

Any opinions? (Hah! That's a laugh - any opinions...)

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  1. They don't take the best care of their cheese. If your standards of quality have been set by the Cheese Board, you may find them wanting.

    1. I am commenting on the Hopkins Street cheese and coffee place, which I believe has the same owners.
      The place is hit and miss. I go there at least once a week. For pre packaged cheeses such as chavrie goat cheese, they have the best prices. For cheeses with high turnover, such as gouda and jack, they have good quality/price ratio.
      They have good prices on bulk spices. They have a nice selection and price range of olive oils. The feta selection is nice. they have a good selection of fra mani products at good prices
      The bad: Their cheeses without high turnover taste like coffee because they absorb the coffee smell. The mozzerella di bufalo I ate yesterday was funky, even though the expiration date was 10/16/06. For fine fromages, I would stick to cheeseboard or even pasta shop, but for the items I outlined above they are good and cheap and no waiting in line like the cheeseboard, and fewer parking hassles.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sensi63

        Better prices than Trader Joe's or Costco?

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Amazingly, not everyone has access to Costco.

          Trader Joe's is really hard to beat for price/quality/selection of basic cheeses, and if you look carefully, they occasionally have something more exotic -- I remember a few years back they had what must have been a special purchase of a yummy Italian cheese with truffles (sort of a pear-shaped semi-soft cheese in a burlap bag).

          But back to the topic, I agree on Country Cheese -- the selection and quality of the cheese is nowhere near what you'd get at a good cheese store (or even Berkeley Bowl). But for basic cheeses, the prices can be attractive.

      2. I moved into that neighborhood this year and have found them a good place to get a quick sandwich (Italian roast beef encrusted w herbs) and bulk nuts. The cheese is prewrapped in the coolers, so no tasting. I think it's a good neighborhood resource, but not really a destination. That roast beef does make for a good sandwich though and they do have Nemo's cakes. My mother used to like it, but she was just buying big blocks of jarlsberg adn jack.

        1. An interesting post, because I am by there once to twice a week, and every time I go in (maybe every couple months) I end up not buying something - the last time I went in was to buy some fresh mozzarella and I just felt like it might not be fresh. I hadn't noticed the sandwiches before.

          1. If you really love cheese, you will not shop there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: santoku45

              Not for cheese anyway. The only cheese I bought there was a sharp imported? provolone which wasn't that sharp. They do have a bank of bins with dry goods that I trust and grind-it-yourself peanut butter.