Sunday, January 13, 2013

On a Mission for Cheese

City: San Francisco. District: Mission. Desire: Cheese. Destination: Mission Cheese. Result: Bliss.

Limited Menu. Grand Offerings.
Oh the cheese. We got here as they opened Saturday. Packed by the time we left.
This little restaurant, tucked on Valencia street, is where I had one of my most enjoyable and memorable eating experiences. Simply sublime. 

We got the "Mongers Choice" Flight, and the Double Mushroom Rainbow. Being that the panini was hot, we devoured that first. Perfectly crisp bread, and sneaky wild mushrooms hidden in gooey warm gouda. We mmm'd our way through that course, took a breather, and refocused on the beautiful cheese board. Ours for the taking swooning! 

We began with the Kunik (the farthest), from Nettle Meadow Farms in New York. Soft, spreadable, creamy, and quite peppery. This was my second favorite because of the texture. Then we tried the alpine Bloomsday (middle), from Cato Corner Farm in Connecticut. This one was really mild and to be honest I don't remember how it tasted. It was good, but nothing special (that could be because I adore gruyere and other alpine cheese just don't shine in the same light). It was the Bay Blue (closest, and from Point Reyes) that was the showstopper for me. Our monger described it to be like a 'butter shortbread cookie' in texture. Drool. After spreading some soft crumbles on my bread and taking a bite, I literally melted into a 'oh my goodness this is so good I need to close my eyes' moment. Can you say "Cheese Nirvana?" I can, because I was there. Buttery texture and an explosive flavor that just rubs against the back of the tongue, lingers and turns sweet. So good. 

We managed to cycle through our assortment three times before it was all gone, 'mmm'ing', 'ooohing', and making other various 'I am so happy with what I am eating right now' noises. You know the ones I am talking about. I saved the bite of the Blue for the finale. 

I don't think it will be possible for me to return to San Francisco, ever, and not stop by Mission Cheese. A truly wonderful experience. 

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