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Oct 25, 2008 09:26 AM

Am I the only northerner who misses Cheese-only shops....

Our local cheese shop -back up north- was the Chestnut Hill cheese shop in Pennsylvania. I miss the experience of walking into a store filled to the brim with just cheese (and crackers and accompaniments). It was great being able to speak to the guys behind the counter and trying something new and getting little samples. The stores down here seem to just have a cheese department but so far I haven't found anyplace that focuses just on cheese. Anyone have any suggestions? I've been to the Cheese Course in Weston but wasn't impressed. It was way too crowded with people ordering sandwiches so we couldn't really check out the cheeses or speak to the sellers without being jostled.

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  1. Westerners miss cheese-only shops too. Feel the same about Cheese Course, it's a sandwich shop that sells cheese. And the cheese sections at WF, etc. are all the same (and mostly with ill-educated employees). I don't think S. FLA is ready to support a cheese shop yet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lax2mia

      Also tried the others- WF, Epicure. I am surprised that there isn't a cheese-only shop with the amount of non-floridians- either relocated/retired or the "snow-birds" - especially the New York/Phila snow-birds who had access to places like Chestnut Hill or Artisinal and Murrays. I keep hoping to see that one of those stores is opening a branch down here. They'd make a fortune off just myself and my husband. I would live on cheese (and beer and wine) if I could.

      1. re: bella1006

        I totally concur that the lack of cheese stores here is painful. In Winter Park there is a place called Cheese on Park that is pretty good. I have passed a place in Sarasota called Say Cheese but I have not been in. Someone recently made positive comments about the cheese selection at Morton's Gourmet Market in Sarasota but I wasn't that impressed. In all fairness, the woman who runs the cheese counter at WF/WO on Dale Mabry in Tampa is actually very nice and knowledgeable. The best part about it is that she is so excited about cheese that she really enjoys sharing it with customers.

    2. Depends on where you are. There's a Cheese-only shop in Sarasota, and a couple Cheese only vendors at Farmers Markets that I know of in this area.

      1 Reply
      1. re: KiltedCook

        I'm in Broward County- the Coral Springs area and while my geography isn't that great I think that Sarasota may be too far of a drive. What's the name of the shop though?

      2. After a trip to Europe, I fell deeply in love with cheese (we had only a passing affair before that). I came home and I, too, was disappointed to find that SoFla does not love cheese like I do. I have scraped by with Whole Foods and I recently tried the Cheese Course... and felt the same way as everyone else.

        I say: OPEN A PLACE! Think about the cash you could bring in!

        1. To say I miss cheese only shops is putting it mildly. I ache for Murrays and Fairway. When I travel back up north I always make a stop at Murrays and pack one of their lunch boxes filled with cheese.
          I have not found anything remotely close here in Tampa. Fresh Market's cheese selection is horrible. Wild Oats is pretty decent. In fact, it's good.

          1. There's a wine shop on the corner of Sunset Dr (72nd St) and Galloway Rd (87th Ave) called Sunset Corners that has a cheese section. They often have intersting selection. The cheese monger there is very knowledgeable and although its not Artisanal, compared to what we find in S Florida, its a good options. Had a Fresh Burrata from California she had just flown in that was spectacular!

            2 Replies
            1. re: txantxo

              She teaches a Cheese 101 class at Miami Dade. She is awesome indeed.

              1. re: tarepanda

                awesome! thanks for the info. will check out classes for 09! there's also a place in the Gables, that has cheeses. not an over the top selection, but ok compared to what S Florida has to offer. Gusto Fino, its a little shop on LeJeune and Salzedo (i think) 3 or 4 blocks west of Miracle Mile.