Van Hook Cheese, the cozy little cheese shop and specialty grocery at 528 Jersey Ave., is massive in comparison to Van Hook Outpost, their summer sandwich counter in Hamilton Park. Squeezed in beside Madame Claude Wine on Pavonia Ave., the Outpost is serving up deliciously upscale grilled cheese sandwiches for the warm weather months. The menu is nearly identical to the menu at the store, with a couple of variations. The Classic is made with prairie breeze cheddar, a slightly sweet cheese that is one of the top sellers at the brick and mortar store. Like all the sandwiches, it comes on sourdough pullman bread with hand-churned butter (from Normandy, no less). The Italian Hero – a cold sandwich with soppresata sausage and fresh mozzarella, sells out early and often. Other options include the Truffle, made with truffle gouda and honey, the French Onion, with gruyere and a shallot confit, The Soppresata, with sweet sausage, ricotta and pesto, The Pimento, with homemade pimento cheese and ham, the Duck, with smoked duck, raclette and sour cherry preserves, the Blackberry, with vacherousse d’argental cheese and blackberry rosemary jam, and the Prosciutto, with parma, ricotta and fig. If you can’t nab a seat out front, head over to Hamilton Park and check out the action on the Hamilton Park basketball court as you eat. This is comfort food worth every calorie!
If you are looking to stock up on cheese for home, head over to Van Hook Cheese and let the friendly staff assist you in picking the cheese of your dreams. You can also go online and pre-order from 4 assortments of cheeses, all approximately two pounds worth. The Cheesemonger is a selection of accessibly, easy to pair cheeses to satisfy both adventurous eaters and cheese novices. Local Favorites culls cheeses from superior dairies in the Northeast region, with a range of textures, tastes and milk type. Raw Mom is a well-balanced range of raw cheeses, and the Celebration Tower is a pretty assortment of small cheeses for special occasions. The motto of this fabulous, family-owned business is “all cheese, all the time.” We’re in!