I am visiting Austin for the first time. And I am visiting one of the Grand Dames of Austin food society, Ms. Jane King. Meeting me at the airport with her adopted daughter, Nataly, Jane suggested we stop at Central Market for dinner supplies. Jane started the Foodie Program at Central Market and is one of the more knowledgeable people I know when it comes to all things yummy.
Antonelli’s Cheese Shop was a stop that Jane mentioned she wanted to hit before heading to Central Market. It is a new cheese shop that she had not yet been to and was curious about. We arrived in a little neighborhood beset with culinary bits, earmarked by a giant fork statue at the end of the parking lot. There is a gelato shop, a butchery, and more. Upon our arrival, Jane was thrilled to see an old Central Market cohort, Kelly, behind the counter.
Over the next half-hour or so, Kelly led us through a wide range of tasting a variety of exceptional artisinal cheeses. From Landaff, a New Hampsire semi-firm cheese akin to the Welsh Caerphilly to Ascutney Mountain, a firm Vermont raw milk cheese with a sweet, almond-like flavor. Besides cheese, we brought home with us some Finocchiona and Sopresseta Piccante, both dry-cured salamis.
There was some discussion about whether or not Austin could support a small cheese shop and it was more than gratifying to see that in the half-hour we were there — on a Wednesday, no less! — a line was forming and all three clerks were busy. Kelly and the other two behind the counter were all very informative and helpful. Their selection of cheeses is complemented with meats, olives, and other gourmet condiments. With my investigations of Austin just beginning, this was a great first stop!
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[Austin] Antonelli's Cheese Shop
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