As I had noted long ago on Chowhound, I’ve been visiting Houston Dairymaids since I ran across their name on a menu, (as in “Cheese Plate Curated by Houston Dairymaids”), and just had to see what that was about. Imagine my surprise and delight to discover that they were located just a long block from Canino’s Market, Flores Spices and El Bolillo on Airline Drive.
Now Airline is a long way from my usual haunts on the far west side, but I make the trip over there seven or ten times a year to stock up at all of those places as well as often tossing in something else like AAA Cafe, BBQ Inn and Flying Saucer Pies and/or Alamo Tamales on Berry. It’s very much a religious pilgrimage for me and is a testament to my devotion that I actually eagerly look forward to fighting the 610 construction traffic to make that journey. Not to mention that for years, (and when I say years, I really mean “decades”!) Airline itself was among the most pitted, pot-holed, neglected stretches of asphalt in a city famous for its pitted, pot-holed and neglected stretches of asphalt. I am happy to say that Airline has been widened, paved with real concrete and is now safe for even the most aged of suspensions. AND your car too!
Dairymaids owes its existence and success to Lindsey and you can read more about the her and her cheesy philosophy, at the link posted above.
What I love about the shop is the daily tastings. Every day, they have a selection of six or seven cheeses which they ceremoniously provide for any customer who walks in. Personally selected by Lindsey, (I assume), they provide an overview of just a few of the dozens available at any given time. Soft, hard, blue, creamy … you name it.
Now here’s the trick: they focus on small dairies and artisans. You’ll not find any Kraft, Tillamook, or other industrial products. When you walk out of Lindsey’s shop, you will have in your hand some of the finest, freshest, most carefully crafted and selected cheese available anywhere. How do I know? Because that’s all they carry. You can be confident of its quality.
They also have Slo Dough breads, Luck Layla butter, salumi, etc. If I’m not mistaken, everything is American, (maybe Canadian also), but nothing from across the pond at all. I’m sure she loves European cheeses, (what cheese lover doesn’t?), but she made a command decision to focus on local and small farm products.
If, like me, you can spend an hour just meandering around Central Markets impressive cheese aisle, go see Lindsey and let her teach you some stuff. Tell her Doobie sent you.
(I think she likes me!)