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August 5, 2009 > Restaurant Review: Cheese Taster Delicatessen

Restaurant Review: Cheese Taster Delicatessen

By J.D. Wolfe

Is there anything better to eat than cheese? No! There are only two types of people in this world - those who enjoy cheese and others who envy those of us who enjoy cheese. So what better place to dine and learn about cheese than The Cheese Taster Delicatessen? Today I stopped by and was really impressed. There are many, very interesting types of cheese all imported from Europe. I could not do the place justice by listing them. This is really something to see. Although the emphasis is on cheese, The Cheese Taster Delicatessen is about a whole lot more than cheese.

Cheese Taster, located on Mission Boulevard between Washington and Anza, is across the street from Ohlone College and a new beautiful shopping plaza. It is easily accessible; adequate parking is available using a driveway right next to the deli.

When entering, patrons are immediately aware that this is a delicatessen in the purest sense. I was greeted by Cody McQuilliams, who after introductions told me the story about the place. It was opened by his grandparents (The Millers) in 1974. They clearly planned for a deli but also wanted to sell beer and wine. Unfortunately the city would not grant a license to sell alcohol due to their proximity to Ohlone College (how times have changed). After Cody's grandparents retired, his mother Christine took over. She greets customers with a great smile as they arrive.

As an all-food delicatessen, the Cheese Taster began to import cheeses and some meats - because of strict federal rules regarding meat, with rare exception all meats are produced in America. A wide range of sodas and other beverages are stocked along with many styles of imported crackers. Just the box designs are worth the price of admission. You just feel good walking in.

No matter where you go, there is a tried and true test of a great place to eat. Cheese Taster passed with flying colors. Not only do customers line up to place their food orders, but Christine knows most, if not all of them. Repeat business trumps all my fellow diners! The place is clean - the food prep area, the restrooms and the dining area. The restroom is a little small but it does what it is supposed to do.

Sandwiches are great and prices are very reasonable. I ate a liverwurst sandwich (yes I am that weird) and ordered a smoked ham sandwich with Gouda Cheese. You know this line is coming so brace yourself... It was really gouda! The red potato salad is homemade and tasty. Honestly, this potato salad is so good, that if it were entered in a potato salad contest it would definitely be a winner, especially if I am the judge. Darn it, I am getting hungry again for some more of it.

For those who follow my ramblings you know my wife and I love to travel. We have eaten a fresh prosciutto sandwich at an outdoor cafˇ in a Roman Piazza, inhaled a jack potato at a deli in Covent Gardens in London and enjoyed a lightly toasted sandwich with a hot beverage on a cold wintry day on Old Arbat Street in Moscow. When I walked into The Cheese Tasters, I instantly recalled all of the above. It was like going into a simple, great old-fashion deli, the likes you see on many streets throughout Europe. When you go by, they beckon you to come in.

That is how I felt when I visited the Cheese Taster. The best part for me is that it is so close to where we live! Whether you eat inside or outside, the simple dˇcor along with a great view of Mission Peak is there for you to enjoy. As they say in Italy, England and Russia: Cin-Cin! Cheers, and Na zdorovia!

Reviewed July 29, 2009

Cheese Taster Delicatessen
43367 Mission Blvd., Fremont
(510) 656-5480

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