Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mission Cheese, Week 1

In addition to bicycles and beer, there's a pretty big list of things that are always on my mind. If I devoted half as much brain power to the energy crisis or climate control as I do to figuring out where in my apartment would be ideal to hang pancetta, I feel like I'd have that Nobel prize in my hands within a matter of weeks. It came as little surprise to me when four people emailed me within the same day reminding me that Mission Cheese was opening.

The Mission has a handful of good cheese options already. The selection at Bi-Rite is top notch, and a shocking number of neighborhood markets carry great, local cheeses. The Mission Cheese motto is different - they're a cheese shop, sure, and you can absolutely walk in and grab half a pound of whatever suits your fancy to take home, but that's not really the point. When you walk in the door, there are smiling faces greeting you behind the bar, and barstools on the other side so you can sit and chat. This is a place where questions are far beyond okay, they're encouraged. I talk a lot about the intimidation factor of food, beer and wine - looking at a giant list of options you don't understand can be really hard to handle. Mission Cheese seeks to alleviate that, and it does so stunningly. Don't know what something is? They do. And at $4 per generous taste, you can afford to find a whole slew of new favorites.

I came with a group of five, and we assembled a collection of randomly chosen cheeses to try. We chose to make our own, but there are also themed boards pre-determined if you'd like to sample without going through the whole list on your own. Going with friends certainly encourages the sense of community (and enables you to steal their cheese), but I think it would be equally fun to sit at a barstool and pester all the lovely employees with way too many questions. Yes, I've got my next trip planned.

The cheese menu alone is reason to go, but I've heard that their sandwiches are top notch as well. News on the block today was that their beer and wine license finally came through, so you should expect to see me as a regular fixture there within a couple of weeks.

When I started writing today, I IMed a friend saying "I'm trying to write a blog post about Mission Cheese and it's real difficult to come up with words beyond CHEESE SIX BLOCKS FROM MY PLACE, Y'ALL." And that's pretty much what it comes down to for me - this is a great neighborhood spot. Grab something to go to take to the park, sit and enjoy a beer with a cheese board, sit on the patio with friends on a nice day. Whatever you do, just make sure you go there soon. Because if you don't, I promise you, I will do everything I can to eat all of the cheese before you arrive.

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