Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Gotta Go To JOE'S!

Joe's Dairy -- suddenly one of my favorite places this summer!
Cucumber season is over - that's this year's Last Cuke of Summer, there, and a sort of small and stunted one it is, too. The vines were dying when I did the tzatziki, and by the time I returned to the club last weekend, they were done - they left me this one last one, and that's the end. However, the tomatoes are doing GREAT, as is the basil (OK, the rosemary's also very happy and the peppers I threw in late in the spot where the chard failed to grow for the first time in several years are starting to pop out some petite peppers, but this post is not about those).
Joe's Dairy was a serendipitous find one day this Spring. I was headed over to New York Kayak to buy a new spray skirt. Joe's is on Sullivan just a little bit south of Houston Street and I have to have walked past it before, I'm a pretty regular customer at Randy's shop and this is about midway between - but I must have had mozzarella on the brain (or just been hungry) this time 'cause that "Home Made Mozzarella Fresh Daily" just leaped out at me.  I liked the look of it too - so much of SoHo is the shop on the right.

Joe's Dairy has clearly been around a lot longer. I went ahead & ran my errand and stopped by on the way back. Got a mozzarella di bufala from the nicest sales clerk I've ever bought anything from in SoHo, took it home, started eating it I don't claim to have the most discriminating palate on the planet Good stuff.

I didn't go back again until my tomatoes started in. When the first couple got ripe, and there was plenty of basil, I decided I wanted to make a caprese salad for TQ. For that, I thought "I need to find that cheese place again". I couldn't remember the name but I googled "SoHo mozzarella" and there it was, #1 hit was the Yelp review and whaddaya know, I was right, this really is some superlative mozzarella (OK, I know I should trust my own opinion, but I guess I don't really until I've seen what people are saying online).

That evening I started by grabbing 2 mozzarellas (mozzarelli?) di bufala out of the refrigerated case, then turned to see a tub of the most gorgeous smoked ones sitting on the counter - ok, one fresh one smoked!

May have been the best caprese salad I ever made. TQ loved it.

Went back today for just one for me - there was a tourist family that came in and after I made a total doofus of myself by trying to convince them to buy some mozzarella when they wanted some tidier cheese that they could eat while they walked around (this is what I do when I have a new favorite - I get all "oh my gosh you haven't tried this you gotta try this!!!") , I asked if I could take a picture - the sales lady said of course and I wish I'd taken this a minute earlier 'cause she had her arms out and a big smile on! Ah well.

Funny thing about this picture is - wow, look how much they sell besides mozzarella. I honestly hadn't really noticed. So far, I've been there three times, each time on a mozzarella mission.

but hey -- can you blame me? 

Assuming and hoping the tomatoes keep going as well as they have been, knock wood, I think I should have another couple of juicy ripe excuses to pay another visit soon - next time, maybe I'll look past the mozzarella case!

Here's a good article about the shop from the Villager. Another find from the "SoHo Mozzarella" Google search. The article is 5 years old, but I don't think much has changed!


Baydog said...

Love using smoked mozzarella with tomatoes. We've had great beefsteaks but not any heirlooms yet. I can't wait for those.

bonnie said...

I'd never thought of it before but the smoked mozzarella at Joe's just looked so incredible I had to give it a try. Great stuff!

I just can't get over how much more I like the fresh stuff from Joe's than the fresh at Dean & DeLuca or Gourmet Garage. I always thought the cheese at both of those places was really good, and I sure wouldn't turn up my nose at it if you offered me some, but I guess that those places add in just enough of an extra step between the maker and the buyer that you just aren't going to get cheese that was made that very morning.

bonnie said...

I'm so glad I didn't ask the lady at the counter to say cheese.