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Opinions on Country Cheese in Berkeley?

oakjoan Oct 11, 2006 08:15 PM

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...)

  1. Robert Lauriston Oct 11, 2006 08:18 PM

    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. s
      sensi63 Oct 11, 2006 08:49 PM

      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
        Robert Lauriston Oct 11, 2006 08:51 PM

        Better prices than Trader Joe's or Costco?

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          Ruth Lafler Oct 11, 2006 10:38 PM

          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. c
        chocolatetartguy Oct 11, 2006 10:37 PM

        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. l
          lmnopm Oct 12, 2006 12:23 AM

          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. s
            santoku45 Oct 12, 2006 03:22 AM

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: santoku45
              c
              chocolatetartguy Oct 12, 2006 06:14 PM

              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.

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