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Sep 9, 2007 10:23 AM

MSP: Alternatives to Surdyk's

After 20+ years of shopping at Surdyk's, I need to find a new source for wine and cheese. Wine isn't difficult to find, but I'm having a hard time finding a source for cheese that has the wide range that Surdyk's has. Does anyone have suggestions?

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  1. The Wedge Co-op has a really beautiful cheese selection, though they focus more on domestic cheeses than Surdyk's does. Whole Foods, of course, has a huge cheese section where you can sample anything you want, and in my experience their staff has a little less attitude than Surdyk's -- and they're also often more knowledgeable.

    1. I have never failed to find decent cheese at Lunds/Byerlys. Some of the newer more modern Festival Foods have reasonable selections too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cooknKate

        If you haven't been, the Byerly's in St Louis Park has a huge liquor store connected to it. Go there for both - Cheese & Wine.. and be wowed. It's quite a store =) A friend who lives next door to France/44 goes there in a pinch, but has often said Byerly's has better stuff :)

      2. I haven't been there yet but there's a new cheese shop at 50th and France that I believe is owned by a former Surdyk's employee. Dara wrote a review a few months back.

        I also went to the wine store at 44th and France once. I was able to find what I wanted on the wine side but their cheese/deli selection was lacking. I believe in the past six months they're become even more of a cafe then a cheese store.

        1 Reply
        1. re: katebauer

          I got a wonderful triple cream from france there once (the store on 50th and France). I had it with a butter scone about six months ago, and I'm still thinking of it...

        2. The Lund's in uptown has usually had a decent selection and when I used to frequent the store regularly, years ago, they had a couple of guys who new their stuff. Broder's deli has a limited selection of mostly italian, but you can put togehter a really nice cheese plate from their case. Their red pepper mascarpone is the bomb.

          The shop at 50th and France is really good and I think they have very competetive pricing, especially considering their location.

          1. The Kowalskis on Grand Ave. in St. Paul just remodelled their deli. They have an absolutely first rate selection of domestic and imported cheeses, as well as some of the Fra' Mani Salumis from Paul Bertolli in Berkeley. They sell the Roquefort made by Jacques Carles and his family. This is one of the greatest cheeses produced anywhere on the planet. Also check out the very large selection of Chocolates.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Michael Florey

              I have talked to the cheese guy at Kowalskis and found him very knowledgeable. (Was talking to him specifically about special Wisconsin cheesemakers making exceptional cheese.) And I have talked to the cheese guy at Mississippi Market at Dale and Selby. They have some exceptional local cheeses and they can tell you all about them.

              (Michael -- you can buy me chocolate any time.)

              1. re: karykat

                I agree with kk - the k-wols cheese guy is great (unless you are my nutritionist or accountant, in which case he's the devil's spawn). His cheese knowledge is great - hes really friendly (he invited us to a gig his band was playing nearbye) and when i balked at the price of some pecorino toscano he found me a more reasonably priced alternative. When i mentioned that i had been disappointed before by cowgirl creamery's cheese release strategy (i swear sometimes they ship things expecting them to not sell that well and mature in the store) he graciously cut the round of red hawk in half and let me buy just the half round after we decided it was ripe enough.