Cheese Bar

When Steve Jones announced that he was moving his revered cheese shop from its cozy Northwest Portland nook to the old Parkside Deli digs in Mt. Tabor and fattening it up into a cheese shop/café/neighborhood hangout, I knew instantly which side of the river Portland cheeselovers lived on by the resulting screams of joy/great gulping sobs.

The wedge and wheel crowd flocks to the straightforwardly named Cheese Bar for creamy Bries and blues and odiferous Langres, artisan charcuterie, organic quince paste, woolly pig plates, savory stratas, hearty sandwiches and leisurely tipples.

Now, the wedge and wheel crowd flocks to the straightforwardly named Cheese Bar for creamy Bries and blues and odiferous Langres, artisan charcuterie, organic quince paste, woolly pig plates, savory stratas, hearty sandwiches and leisurely tipples. A visit starts out very much like a 12-step program—first, you admit you’re powerless over cheese, then you turn yourself over to a higher cheese power (aka Steve, the Cheese Whisperer), and allow him help you assemble the perfect cheese plate. Add a heap of local Olympic Provisions’ chorizo sliced paper-thin, a fresh crusty baguette, a side of pickled vegetables, a bottle of wine and piece of chocolate almond date bread pudding, and you have a spiritual Cheese Bar awakening of the most profound kind.

Not just a one-trick cheese pony, Cheese Bar has a small but mighty lunch/dinner menu that includes a mean grilled cheese sandwich, seasonal salads, soups and stratas, and a dessert or two. If you’re reluctant to leave your cheese bubble, linger over the shelves of Ayers Creek preserves and Ames Farm honeys, stock up on fancy crackers and tinned sardines, you can even buy a fondue pot or a DIY cheese kit, although really—call me co-dependent, but why would you ever need to make your own cheese when you have Steve and his Cheese Bar?

Details

Cuisine: New American

Owner: Steve Jones

Atmosphere: Bright, friendly little neighborhood gastropub with a beautiful cheese case and specialty grocery selection, bar and window bar, small row of tables where you'll feel like you can settle in and stay awhile

Outdoor seating: Yes, a few sidewalk tables along SE Belmont

Best Seat: At the window bar

Noise Level: Normal, very peaceful and quiet when lightly occupied

Dress Code: Casual

Bring the Kids: Yes

Bathrooms: Back hall, to the right

Parking: Street parking is free and easy to find

Cocktails: No

Beer: 6 taps and a gorgeous selection of bottled beer for drinking on site or takeaway

Wine: Fine list of food-friendly bottles for dine-in and takeaway (10-$58), and three glass pours ($6-$7)

Teetotalers: Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola, Hot Lips Cherry Soda, Rose Secret, Sweet Rose Tea Brasilena, Fizzy Espresso

Coffee: Stumptown

Tea: Foxfire

Ideal Meal: Cheese board, meat board, romaine salad with pickled rhubarb, chicken salad sandwich, frankfurter with La Quercia bacon, mac n cheese, panna cotta

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes

Good for the following occasions: Date Night, Picnic Provisions, Dinner With Friends, Dining Solo, Wine & Cheese Break

Catering: The shop can cater events, call or email for more info

Reservations: No

Take-Out: Yes

Delivery: No

Catering: The shop can cater events, call or email for more info