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[HOU] Best place to buy cheese

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This is in response to another thread where it was getting a bit off track. Someone, and you know who you are (LOL!) made a comment about having to abandon any exotic cheese, only getting RAT cheese here. Now I beg to differ. I could spend hours at Spec's downtown, perusing the cheese selection. And the cheesemonger (is that the right name?) there is very knowledgeable and can direct you to find the perfect cheese to compliment your tastes or dish. They have a cheese and wine sample event, but I'm not sure when. I think it is usually in the fall.

I also like Whole foods cheese selection but it pales in comparison to Spec's. Rice Epicurean is also good but I can never find anyone around to talk to about what I am looking for. I haven't been to Central Market in quite awhile, but I seem to remember that they had a pretty good selection. And it is not just rat cheese at any of these places. The last time I saw rat cheese was in an ethnic grocery store and it was mixed in with the odd selections of meat.

Any other place to recommend?

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  1. Phoenicia market on Westheimer near Kirkwood has lots of European cheeses; haven't seen rat cheese there, though.

    5 Replies
    1. re: absurdnerdbird

      That's good to know. The person that made the comment about rat cheese was doing so as a put-down. They aren't looking for.

      1. re: danhole

        Houston Dairy Maids

        http://www.houstondairymaids.com/

        Usually at the Farmers Market at T'afia. They are actually inside the restaurant!

        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

          I have bought cheese from them before and it is excellent! Not a wide variety, but very good, and you get to have a taste before you purchase.

          1. re: danhole

            Danhole,

            I posted this previously

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/92762

            In otherwords go to the source instead of buying it at CM or WF. The cheese mongers at those places tend to just wrap cheese and not "take care" of it. The local farmers will be delighted that you want to come out and will usually give you a better deal b/c you came out!!

            1. re: LewisvilleHounder

              Thanks for that link, SS (sorry, old habits w/nicknames!) I wish I could do a road trip and try these places but my husband is NOT interested in cheese, unless it is under a bunch of greasy pepperoni on a pizza, so he would never go for spending money on gas to go to any of these places. I'm lucky if I can get him to the T'afia's market! But I will keep this list in mind for fellow cheese freaks out there. Maybe I can find a cheese foodie friend!

    2. I have to agree that Spec's downtown has the best selection for one stop shopping.