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Apr 25, 2007 04:26 PM

Note about BH Cheese store

Had a letdown experience today after years of going here.

I was waiting behind a woman who was being helped by Norbert. I've previously only dealt with either Norburt or Sebastian. I watched as Norburt calmly and patiently unwrapped, sampled, portioned, and rewrapped cheeses while enthusiastically revealing the background of each cheese. On top of it, it was my girlfriend's first time here. She was excited. Every time I've gone here I end up learning, getting a bunch of free samples, and when I spend some dough, getting some freebies. (Upon inquiring about Chaorce once, Norbert just threw one in my bag and smiled) I've had Sebastian break me off mouthful sized hunks of super aged Gouda, that rich, orange, nutty food of the gods. Not cheap stuff.

We were helped by someone else unfortunately, and to be tactful I won't give a physical description. He wasn't impatient...but absolutely not helpful in the least. I feel like when I've gone and been helped by Norbert or Sebastian, they'll ask what you had in mind and bring several samples to try. I asked for one cow, one sheep, one goat. For each cheese I was pretty specific as to what style I wanted. He brought one sample for what I asked for, and the one or two occasions I asked for something different he looked perplexed, as if he didn't have literally hundreds of cheeses to choose from. He didn't offer any information about the cheese except the country of origin, and had a pretty condescending tone, probably due to the fact that we're 25 and don't dress as idiotically as every other snob walking around on Beverly Dr.

He was under the impression that we wanted to buy one of the cheeses that we just wanted to try, and we told him no, and he tried making some joke about going to "cheese hell" that fell pretty flat. I ordered some fig cake and before I could even catch him to tell him how much I wanted, he had cut off a hefty slice. When I asked him if it would be possible to get half as much he refused and gave me a long winded speech about it being like buying a red car and then deciding at the last minute you wanted green. Excuse me? I've worked in two delis, one of them high end, and I understand about minimizing waste and selling scraps and whatnot, but in this case he didn't even give me time to show him how much I wanted. At this point I just wanted to get the hell out of here without making a scene (or rather, my fuming girlfriend smashing a wine bottle over his head) so I paid and left.

Seriously, I can't speak for the 2 or 3 other people working behind the counter, but I'm only going to deal with Nor and Seb from now on.

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  1. You are too kind. I would not have even purchased the fig cake and would have asked for the manager. This person had no right to be so condescending and rude.

    1. I've never had an experience remotely similar to this in my dozens and dozens of visits. Sebastian, Tony, Norbert, Eric, Dominick, and others have all helped me. Obviously, some have been more helpful than others on some days, but that's to be expected. I highly doubt your age and wardrobe had any impact on the service. Frankly, I've seen Norbert & Co. put up with insufferable asses of many ages and outfitted in all sorts of questionable clothes. Please don't mistake what I am saying -- I am not trying to imply that you were to blame for the poor service. I am only saying that I've seen such consistently good service from the entire staff that I have to chalk this up as an anomaly.

      P.S. Nice choice with the fig cake. Love that stuff.

      1. What a horrible experience. I would recommend in future, in any similar situation, even in a different place or context, that you just say, "hey, this doesn't work for me: If you are in a hurry to get to a lunch break or whatever, I understand completely -- I will wait for someone else who has more time to help me." Or, "I'll come back after doing a few other errands" -- and then do so and get one of your favs. (Believe, me, saying that kinda stuff in my own "defense" took me years to learn -- but boy you sure feel better if you very politely say what you need/want and arrange to get it. It's your $$$ so you need to stick up for yourself in a very nice, but firm way. In BH, age and clothes generally have no impact on any one so I wouldn't blame yourselves in that or any other way. What is the fig cake like????

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bite Me

          From now on,make a point of deaing with Norbert; even if you have to wait. No-one is better than Norbert.