Cheese shops - STL
Friends spent a weekend in Milwaukee recently and brought us back some 10 year old cheese - it was amazing! Now, we want more! We're looking for a shop that sells and samples cheeses (if it has other stuff, ie wine etc, it would be a bonus but not required).
Funny thing - when I searched cheese/STL most of the hits had to do with pizza. As a native, I must admit to loving provel which probably seems incongruous with requesting a place for "good, real" cheese! Then again, our family motto is "there's no such thing as too much cheese" !
If you don't mind a short trip to the east side, I would recommend the Cheesekeeper in Belleville. The proprietress Diane is a great gal that knows her cheese. She has a pretty nice selection and if there is something you really want, she will get it for you. I was wanting to try Haloumi and she ordered it. If you go, try the Danish Cream Cheese w/ herbs and spices...deelish! She does have coffees, teas, wine, ports, single malts, single batch bourbons, and a small gourmet food area as well. I don't think there is anything she hasn't personally sampled so she speaks from experience.
6500 W. Main Belleville, IL 62223
Well, I'm in St. Charles so Belleville isn't exactly a short trip :) but..... the coffees, teas, and bourbons might make it worth the trip. Bummer I wasn't smart enough to ask this a few weeks ago when we were in Belleville for a volleyball tourney - with some free time.
Of all these places, the Wine Merchant Clayton probably takes the best care of their cheeses physically as they have a true cheesemonger.
Their selection is smaller than some, but they do an excellent job helping you find the cheese that's just right for your occasion---even if it's just sitting around eating cheese.
I have had good luck finding and tasting cheeses at the Wine and Cheese Place. They have a great selection and very knowledgable staff and I've found some wonderful things there (for instance, they have some imported artisanal sausages that you can't find anywhere else here). On note on the Clayton location: they have a private parking lot with an attendant, but parking is still free.
I'm heading over to Clayton this afternoon, and I might also stop by the Wine Merchant. It's about 2 blocks away from the Wine and Cheese place, just south of Forsyth on Clayton and is supposed to have a great cheese selction, as well:
The Wine Merchant
20 South Hanley
Clayton MO 63105
Phone 314 863 628
As for Trader Joe's, I usually by my St André (triple-cream French cheese, similar to brie, but softer and richer) there, because it's much cheaper there than anywhere else. However, in general I'd say that the quality of cheese at TJ's is not consistent. Their manchego cheeses are mediocre, at best, and they don't have any cheeses that I'd call the best of their kind. Whole Foods has a great selection and ridiculously high prices.
You aren't going to find 10-year-old cheese there, but Trader Joe's usually carries a three-year-old extra sharp cheddar that has great flavor and a mature bite. And the price is more than reasonable, only $6-7 per pound.
For higher end cheese and charcuterie, there is a wine store with a good deli section in (or very close to) the former Famous & Barr store on the east edge of the commercial district in Clayton.
The shop nosh is referring to is The Wine & Cheese Place. It also has two other locations: Webster and Ballwin. It's a very good place to get cheese. You can also do well at The Wine Merchant in Clayton and Creve Coeur. But the other place I enjoy buying cheese is Whole Foods Market on Brentwood Blvd. A great selection and helpful personnel who will let you taste whatever you like.
Wine and Cheese Place
7435 Forsyth Blvd, St Louis, MO
Wine & Cheese Place
9755 Manchester Rd, Webster Groves, MO
Wine & Cheese Place
14748 Clayton Rd, Ballwin, MO
Wine Merchant Ltd the: Clatyon
20 S Hanley Rd, St Louis, MO
Wine Merchant Ltd the: Creve Coeur
12669 Olive Blvd, Creve Coeur, MO
Whole Foods Market
1601 S Brentwood Blvd, St Louis, MO
not cheese per se, but a place I drove past a year ago and really want to check out next time in town (was with agenda laden friends and couldn't stop): Piekutowski's Sausage only a couple of blocks off I-70 on North Florissant near Grand. It looks really old-school.
I know not entirely relevant, but would love to hear if anyone's been...