2012 Seattle Cheese-Crawl
We lead really busy lives. Marjorie and I both work, and the hours can be really long. Christina is in college now, and it’s just too easy to work all the time on home, church and job to the exclusion of everything else. But we try very hard to make time to spend with each other – and it doesn’t have to be a big deal, or cost a lot of money to take little trips here and there.
To be sure, we’ve had some really nice times away – London, Alaska, Portland, San Francisco, the list goes on. But every other weekend we try to get away for a day – sometimes a walk in the mountains, sometimes a visit to a museum. We’ve had great times all around this area. But every so often, we do something simple.
We like cheese. Sure, lots of folks do, but I’ll wear a cheaper set of clothes or drive an older car to spend money on cheese or books. The wonderful thing is that good cheese isn’t that expensive, especially if you only buy a little. So I asked Christina to pop open Bing and check on Cheese shops in Seattle. To our delight, several came up. We decided to create a “Cheese-Crawl” – a walk to each of the shops, with a 5-6$ purchase at each one.
With the route mapped out, we took off on a cold grey morning to Seattle. Of course, no trip in Seattle is complete without a stop at Post Alley for a cup of Seattle’s Best Coffee. Christina always gets a “Raspberry Mocha Kiss”.
Fortified thusly against the cold, we made the first stop – Beecher’s Cheese, just across from the Public Market on Pike Street.
Purchased: Market Herb Fresh Cheese Curd
Yes, it’s a tourist spot, but I like it. We got there early – I love to watch them make the cheese we eat. I love these Curds – I’ve had some from Wisconsin that were different, but these were excellent as well.
Next on the route was Mt. Townsend Creamery. It’s right inside the Public Market, just across from where they throw the fish theatrically.
Purchased: Truffle-Fromage Blanc
This is a small shop, but they have lots of local offerings. We wanted a creamy cheese to spread on some crackers, and the counter-person said this was one of his favorites. There were samples out to try, and I didn’t ask a lot of questions at this shop, since the crowds were starting to pile up next door.
The next stop was just at the end of the Public Market next to 2nd Avenue – Delaurenti.
Purchased: Tarentaise (Raw Cow’s Milk)
This shop is amazing. To be in a tourist location, they have a fantastic range of cheeses – whole shelves of blues, awesome amounts of raw cow’s milk cheeses and more. The young lady at the counter was incredibly helpful, very knowledgeable, and offered samples of everything. We were looking for a firmer eating cheese, and after a taste this was the one we settled on. Highly recommended.
From there we hiked north on 5th Avenue towards the Space Needle. Just before you cross Denny Way to get there, and on the right, is The Cheese Cellar.
Purchased: Idiazabal (Sheep’s Cheese)
This was my favorite shop. Theresa Simpson, who assisted us there, was the most knowledgeable of all of the folks I chatted with. They don’t have a huge range of cheeses – but they don’t need them. They have a perfect variety, and are so helpful that you get everything you need in one place. They also sell meats to go with the cheese. Amazing place.
Our final stop in Seattle was the Calf and Kid – just up the street a few blocks north of the Convention Center.
Purchased: Cave Man Blue (Aged Blue Cheese)
Another favorite. There are an amazing range of cheeses here, and the staff is helpful and knowledgeable. They have a small basket of “odd cuts” – smaller portions of cheese, wrapped and ready to go. The shop is within a market of sorts – there is a bakery, a meat shop, even a full restaurant, all of them awesome enough to stand on their own. Also highly recommended.
Although not technically a “Crawl” – since we had to drive a bit to the north, we stopped at the Resident Cheese Monger in Edmonds, Washington.
Purchased: Capri di Buffalo (Buffalo soft cheese), Chili-Chive Gouda, and a Reserve Sharp White Cheese
A good-sixed shop, this location had a great array of local cheeses – from Washington and Oregon. The salesfolks were helpful and offered samples.
A quick stop at the deli to pick up some cold meats, olives, bread and crackers, another stop on the way home to pick up some grapes, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and dinner was served.
So if you haven’t gone out as a family in a while, jump on the web, find some food, show, toys or whatever you like, and visit every store that has one. Set a low budget, and have a great time.