In car-obsessed Southern California, it’s rare that we get out of our vehicles and actually walk. While some places are truly unwalkable, certain neighborhoods reward those who step on the brakes and step outside. Hillcrest, in San Diego, is one of those neighborhoods. Fully of funky shops, cute restaurants and dive bars, Hillcrest is also home to Taste: Artisan Cheese and Gourmet Shop.
I stumbled upon this gem of a fromagerie while window-shopping yesterday and was delighted by the products. The store features cheeses from all over the world, as well as imported items such as truffle butter, real Balsamic vinegar and confitures. I stopped to chat with one of the proprietors, George Palmer, and tasted two cheeses, the “Bra” from Italy — a mild, creamy cheese with a woodsy aftertaste — and the Tete D’Moines, a pungent, steamy cheese with mushroom tones. Both were delicious so I purchased a couple of chunks to pair with a bottle of red wine chez le boyfriend that night.
Taste is next to a wine bar and shop, so you can always pick up a bottle after sampling several cheeses. The arrangement is perfect if you want to host your own wine and cheese tasting, but if you’re not inspired, Taste is going to offer Wine, Cheese & Movie nights this summer. The first tasting party will likely feature “Le Chateau de Ma Mere” by Marcel Pagnol and the tastings will include Provancal wines and cheeses. Yum!
Taste is located at 1243 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103. (619) 683-2306