Tip Of The Day: The next time you're in MN, or if you are already IN MN, stop by the Surdyk's Cheese Shop. Most of their cheeses are under $20 per pound, and even if they are not, who buys a whole POUND of cheese, anyway? Plus, you get to sample the cheese before you buy it, so you only get what you want. Thus, no money is wasted on icky cheese. Icky Cheese. That sounds like a White Stripes song. Or album. No, wait, it's 'Icky Thump.' But I digress.
Tip For Tomorrow: Tomorrow starts the Beat Your B's Into Shape series, courtesy of ME. The B's being your Budget and your Butt. Naturally.
Further Elucidation On My Cheap Deal: Every New Year's Eve, I do the exact same thing. My Ma and I shop for an obscene amount of treats, we rent a night's worth of movies, grab a bottle of champagne, and STAY IN.
I've found in my, shall we say, ripened age that I do not enjoy going out for New Year's. Too much pressure: who's going to drive, where should I go, who shall I kiss (if anyone, usually no one)? And it costs too much money for not a good enough time. Un-frugal and un-cheap, and un-fun.
Instead, I get exactly what I want when I stay in: great movies, great food, and great company - my Ma and I get along well. Not Grey Gardens well (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073076/), but well enough.
The main draw of the night for us, of course, is the food. And I've now been put charge of procuring the cheese, ever since I stumbled upon Surdyk's Cheese Shop.
Surdyk's Cheese Shop has the widest, most diverse collection of cheeses from around the world, including MN cheeses. You can purchase as much or as little as you like, and in any combination. And the two best parts? The free samples and the staff.
The Cheese Shop staff members have to be the most informed and the HAPPIEST cheese peddlers on Earth. They really know and really love cheese. And they really want you to love it and be happy with your purchases. To that end, they'll select any number of cheeses for you, and allow you to sample them all.
Shopping at the Cheese Shop is more like going to a big cheese love-in. I was there right before Christmas AND New Year's Eve, and not once was I cranked at by a staff member or customer. Everyone was feeling the groovy cheese vibes - sharing their samples, talking about what occasion they were shopping for, flirting with the cute cheese sellers. And boy are they cute. I think you have to be adorable to be hired by Surdyk's.
So whether you are shopping for the holiday, or just in the mood for a good Brie, stop by Surdyk's. Pal around with the staff, try some new cheeses, go home happy - it's like a low-key date where no one feels pressured at the end of the night for a kiss. Unlike most New Year's Eve celebrations I've been to.
By the way, the experience at Surdyk's Cheese Shop almost makes up for the INSANE drivers in that part of Minneapolis. Seriously folks, CALM DOWN. Hennepin and University Avenues are NOT speedways.
Where To Shop: 303 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55414. http://www.surdyks.com/. (612) 379-3232.