I have not yet reviewed a place that does not sell beer, but I have been so impressed with every visit to the Cambie Street location in Vancouver that I felt I had to! The Benton Brothers consist of Jonah and Andrew and their three stores on Granville island, Cambie Village and Kerrisdale. They had been recommended to me by friends who know and understand my love of cheese (there’s more to me than just beer by the way…so much more…).and was impressed by the stellar reports that they had given me; I finally decided to head up one lunchtime a few weeks ago.
I was given a friendly greeting by Jonah and started gazing at an international plethora of delicious cheese. There are examples from small artisanal producers from all over the world. The great European cheeses are all there, along with Quebec’s finest, as well offerings from local speciality BC cheese makers. They source their British cheeses through the multi-award winning Neal’s Yard Dairy, which (as I’m originally from London) is wonderful to see! If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer choice, or frightened off from buying something so pungent that it would scare off a starving mouse, do not fear – The Cheesy duo are not only experts, but generous too. They will cut a sliver and let you taste, which is the only way to transform a Cracker Barrel guzzler into a lover and explorer of the world of flavour that artisanal cheese producers have been making for centuries.
These two fromagers are also well versed in pairing cheese with wine and beer, so can add a touch of expertise to your next soirée (I won’t tell your guests – you can take all the credit!). Don’t leave without buying some excellent charcuterie, a nice alternative to all those mass produced cold cuts at the grocery chains, as well as top notch sandwiches made with the same yummy cheese and meats.
Broaden your horizons and leave those blocks of plastic Kraft slices safely on the supermarket shelf, and take a step into a wider world. Don’t be nervous, you will have two expert guides to lead you there.