You folks need to try Bklyn Larder on 228 Flatbush Ave. by Bergen St. I say without any hesitation that the cured meats and cheeses they get from their suppliers are of the highest quality and taste I've tried in the States. They even converted me into loving 5 year old gouda, or their gouda at least. Every time I have tried 5 year old gouda, whether it was at Ideal, Bierkraft, Blue Apron, D&D, etc, it has the same taste and consistency. Salty and bland, crumbly and hard. BL's is just heaven, very firm yet creamy, you taste about five different types of salty notes and a really beautiful after taste of carmel and coffee, subtle of course, in that respective order.
The Leyenda cheese tastes like crap, but then again so does natto, and I have become addicted to natto as I probably will to Leyenda. In fact I now believe that Leyenda's taste has been heavily influenced by the Japanese fermented bean. Their homemade Porchetta ham is heavily marbled and spiced, and amazingly enough while it melts in your mouth you don't notice the fat at all. The smoked salmon is better than anything I've had at Russ & Daughter's, Zabar's, etc. It's lean yet moist and is infused with at least three different kinds of smoke. Most of all I am impressed with their house EVO. It's almost like firewater. I have no idea how to use it except to drink it as a half shot. The manager told me it's best used for cooking heavy veggies and meats. Finally, the Grandaisy bread. This is the only bread I've come across where you can it plain. It's infused with olive oil which seeps out to the top and is lightly salted, it has a chewy yet firm crust and filling.
There were two items that didn't wow m. The pulpo salad and the lamb with garlic. The vinegar dressing for the salad is excellent. It's not that cheap tasting wood vinegar stuff you find so much in the seafood salads, it's very subtle with a nice herb mixture. The pulpo itself was over-cooked. The lamb on the other hand is rare, which is how I like it, and the garlic sauce is spicy and oily, which is also how I like i, but for some reason the lamb itself wasn't carrying much of a flavor. I imagine these two items were both flukes, and I have no doubt they will taste exquisite the next time I go.
Bklyn Larder is pretty pricey, but it's worth it. I see a lot of other comparable stores sell inferior product for close to, if not more than what BL charges. Anyone who says they can spend less money on the same-thing is either crazy or is keeping a secret from us. Places like Caputo's doesn't count. They're a family operation, the apple and oranges thing.
One final thing. The people behind the counter are professional to the cross on the small "t". I have only seen this type of helpful and courteous service at Tom's on Washington Ave. Not that I'm comparing their food, just the service.
I really hope they can stay in business during this recession, and they manage to keep a hold of their suppliers and cooks.