February 15, 2008 by 8junebugs
Uh-huh. Got the song in your head, didn’t I? Happy Friday.
I love our neighborhood. My commute stinks, but the people and purposes on either end are worth a sixth toe in my carbon footprint. We have good friends within walking distance, to say nothing of a favorite restaurant, a specialty chocolate store, Planet Wine, and another favorite restaurant (for me, anyway) that serves only locally grown food and organic whenever possible. Also our bank, and the library, and the pharmacy, and the gym. (I assume the gym is still there. I would have no way of knowing.)
Today’s rave review is for my Cheese Lady at Cheesetique on Mount Vernon. I’m not being sexist — she calls herself the Cheese Lady and the illustration in her logo looks like a beer wench serving Emmanthaler (just a guess) with fruit. I call her my Cheese Lady in appreciation for her wealth of cheese knowledge and her commitment to customer service. I am a cheese snob, and she is my guru.
Yesterday I was craving cheese in the worst way and I realized it had been months since I had inhaled the pungent, moldy-gym-sock-with-a-splash-of-French-armpit scent of really stellar cheese. Because I had a knitting date with a fellow cheese-lover, I knew that a dinner of specially prepared spoiled milk would be welcome.
As usual, though, I was running late at work. Funny how that happens with three jobs, two bosses, and an admin in a pear tree. (You can’t ask someone in a pear tree to help with anything.) Fortunately, my Cheese Lady takes phone orders. Of the four cheeses I requested, only one was available (no cheese plate is complete in our homes without Drunken Goat). But I was only mildly disappointed — the best thing about having a Cheese Lady is saying, “I give up. You pick.” and knowing that she won’t let you down. She suggested a nice salty cheese from Massachusetts and Belle Etoile, which I find soothing and homey.
To my dismay, there was a car accident of some magnitude between me and my cheese-a-licious dinner. Also between me and my friend and our knitting. I tried desperately to duck onto a side street to get around the rubberneckers (the accident, alas, was not on my side of the street), only to realize that I was simply too overwrought to work my way through the backroads.
After the first loop of my circular path, I realized that the person who had ducked off behind me was following me pretty closely. Being overwrought, I was not at my most charitable, so I went around a few more times to see how many times it would take for them to decide to find their own way home. (I read a children’s story like this once. It ended with a fender bender in the leader’s garage.)
The third time was the charm, and I laughed all the way back to the highway, where traffic was at least moving again because EMTs had ended the peepshow.
I reached Cheesetique at about 7:10. For so many shops, this would be 10 minutes too late, but my Cheese Lady welcomed me in a waft of moldy fumes. A couple was at the counter trying to decide on their selections and taking advantage of another Cheesetique perk: free tastings of anything. I smiled when I heard them try the Drunken Goat but refrained from shouting its praises.
Before she finished with them, my Cheese Lady pulled my cheeses together, approved my selection of mini toasts, and chatted in spite of being dead on her feet. (Valentine’s Day is apparently a huge day for cheese. Who knew? Not someone who lets her husband play poker on Valentine’s Night, apparently.)
I am not the only fan of this Mecca of mozzarella. The lines at this place on the weekends…oy! Thankfully, Cheesetique is moving to a new home, a bigger home, on the same street and half a block closer to our building. I look forward to a long and stinky relationship with this wonderful neighborhood retailer.