mid-price good-quality downtown cheese shops
For a big buffet dinner I'm planning, I'm looking for quality, price, convenience - thus, not Artisanal level of refinement/presumed cost. (I love the idea of Saxelby's, but unless it has really low prices, I prefer to avoid the shlep.) What do you prefer among these, and are there others downtown you recommend?
-Garden of Eden
-the cheeseshop near Astor Place that I always forget the name of, on 3d or 4th avenue
Not sure exactly where you mean by downtown, but the tribeca wholefoods has a good spectrum from very high end to quite reasonable, depending on your selections. I think it's better than Garden of Eden, has more variety than Trader Joes (although a bit pricier), and cheaper than Citarella. If you're flexible on what you're getting, their sales are also worthwhile, I just never know what's going to be marked down.
East Village Cheese is probably the astor place shop you're referring to. Probably the best deals...