Houston Dairymaids, [Texas, Houston]

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, :wink: 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.

Every time.

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!):grin:

3 Likes

Great report. I was just about to post a thread wondering if anybody was still alive in Houston.

I have not yet managed to stop at Houston Dairymaids as that’s not my usual grazing grounds either - thanks for the reminder.

I was just up on Airline last week - not my first time since the widening but still was impressed and happy. I stopped at Chicago Italian Beef for a Chicago style dog, a craving I have to satisfy from time to time.

2 Likes

We were up that way last weekend. I was looking for fresh pintos at Canino’s, (they didn’t have any, but did have black-eyes, purple hulls, cream and limas), and we also hit Flores for Caraway seed, (they didn’t have any!), and of course Dairy Maids.

I just bought a couple of samples from the fridge. That’s my favorite thing as I can take home a few pieces and enjoy some variety. I had a blue on my salad last night; I want to say it was a Rogue River blue, but can’t swear to it.

I have one complaint and I’ve voiced it to Lindsey personally so I don’t mind sharing it here and that is that the website says that they have over 150 cheeses but there’s no display or listing for all of them. They have their featured cheeses that they sample for everyone interested, and the above mentioned sample basket in the fridge, but I want to see, or at least read, all of my choices. Unfortunately, there just isn’t room for that. I understand that a huge and probably major part of her business is wholesale to restaurants, etc.

I get that.

But I rue that I can’t at least be handed a sheet of paper with a listing of what’s available. Or even an updated online listing. That has to be do-able, right?

I know you’ve got a lot on your (cheese) plate Lindsey but delegate and outsource! Puhlease!

I would like to visit this place.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold