The Shop Tart is one of about a million people who love a nice lunch at the Gourmet Shop. She enjoyed two recently, one with the lovely Heather Spires of City Center Partnership and one with her father (the Shop Tart’s father, not Heather’s, because that would be weird). Before lunch with Heather, the ladies ran into proprietor Linda Hiltner. Y’all? When Linda gets behind the cheese counter, you better recognize. She started with this, a lovely soft cheese from France, Chaource Rouzaire.
With it’s crumbly center, it reminded the Shop Tart of a boucheron.
Next, she brought out the real deal, Rush Creek Reserve Farmstead cheese from Wisconsin.
This cheese is similar to Vacherin Mont d’Or, which is to say it’s spectacular. (There are some issues with importing that luscious delicacy to the United States. Allow me to Google that for you.) The farmstead cheese was fabulously stinky and the Shop Tart smeared it on bread with gusto. You should too.
Her latest favorite lunch at Gourmet Shop is the one cheese, one pâté plate, because cheese and pâté are awesome.
She and Heather split that plate and a plate of hummus. Mmmmm...
After lunch, there is always browsing. Something to think about, y’all…
The Shop Tart also spotted these lovely napkins. Though she fears the staining and subsequent washing and ironing, they are divine.
Flour sack tea towels rule. Flour sack tea towels with a Christmas theme? Rule more.
Also spotted: holiday-ish plates that aren’t cheesy or over the top, perfect for delivering cookies or lemon bars.
Also spotted, enameled aluminum lemon and lime squeezers by Amco.
In the Shop Tart’s not-so-limited experience — she has worked with a variety of citrus juicers, electric and manual — basic is best. She loves this one, a wedding gift that has remained a favorite (Thanks, Jimmy!).
The handheld one is just as good and only $21 or so. It has two inserts, one for lemons and one for limes. (There was an orange press, too, if you’re in the market for one of those.)
The Shop Tart juiced up those lemons recently to make herself some ceviche with this very large piece of fresh-caught fish her mother in law brought.
See how well that old-school juicer does its thing? Bonus: The Kyocera ceramic knife, also from Gourmet Shop, is the bomb. It slices through lemons like they were…um…snowballs?
The ceviche, which also involved peppers, corn and a little Beautiful Briny Sea pink peppercorn sea salt, made an excellent lunch.
And one more thing: Gourmet Shop has the best smoked salmon in town and the Shop Tart can’t wait to eat it on Christmas morning.
Shop Tart Tip: Beautiful Briny Sea Salts rock. And they’re available at the All-Local Farmers’ Market, which is happening tonight. The Shop Tart thinks tonight’s market is going to be wonderfully festive. And did you know they’re also having the market on Saturday? Come to both. See you there!
In today’s post…
- Gourmet Shop, 724 Saluda Avenue, 799-3705
- All-Local Farmers’ Market, 711 Whaley Street, 4 to 8 pm Wednesdays, 8 am to 12 pm Saturdays
Happy Shopping and don’t forget to tell them you read it on the Shop Tart!