Thursday, October 10, 2013

Afghanistan Food and A Browse Through a Cheese Cave

Walter's, 308 N. Yale Avenue, Claremont, CA 909-624-4914

We went to see Bob and Pat in Claremont and, of course, we timed our visit to have lunch.  This has become something of a tradition.  Bob suggested Walter's rather hesitantly, saying it had been there for 40 year, but it was "kinda pricey."  "Full speed ahead!" we roared and off we went.

This site back in 1957 was just a hamburger place.  In 1973, Nangy and Fahima, who hail from Afghanistan, bought it and turned it into the space it now occupies.  There is a Front bar, Lounge, Cottage, Afgan Room and a VIP room with three fire pits, two waterfalls, a full bar and a 138in. HD screen.  It is deceptive from the street as it's L-shaped and it just keeps going back and back from the street. 

The menu was a little long on lamb and short on shrimp for my tastes, but the Quiche Lorraine ($12.50) was dense with bacon and cheese.  Pat had Salmon Tartar ($12.50,) Bob had Gravlax ($14.50) and Richie a tuna melt with a cup of Turkey Vegetable soup instead of French fries ($12.50)

Bob and Richie had a Stella ($4.50) each and Pat had a glass of house Chardonnay ($6.95) and I a glass of Maddalene Pinot Grigio ($9).  This all added up to $21 per person before the 20% tip.  Since there were now clean plates all around the table, I didn't think it was pricey at all. 

I left them wrangling about the check - all three of them wanted to pay it and I didn't so I went across the street to a small shop that had caught my eye.

The Cheese Cave, 325 Yale Avenue, Claremont  909-625-7560

It's only been open since June, 2010, and is owned by a pair of sisters - Marnie and Lydia Clarke who sell boutique wines, artisan salume, cheeses and handmade local beers.

To my utter delight, they had Brillat-Savarin, the best cheese ever!  While it was being cut, wrapped and rung up, I took a gander around the room.  I couldn't resist a jar of Pinot Cherries from the Friend In Cheeses Jam Company, Santa Cruz, CA.  It is made of:  dried sour cherries, SCM Pinot Noir, sugar, orange zest, vanilla, black pepper and sea salt.  I think it was $9 because my total tab there was $17 and I know the cheese was "$8 worth, please."    Now to get some really excellent bread...FEAST!

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