I have generally been getting cheese only at Fairway, in spite of the rudeness of some of the employees at the cheese counter... I figure working for Jenkins probably is not a great pleasure, so as long as I get what I ask for, what the heck.
But now my limits have been tested.
I ask for a cut of Fontina. The employee points me to the pre-cut, pre-wrapped chunks. I say no, I want the Fontina Val d'Aosta and I always get it cut by hand.
He says it's the same Fontina, but it's on sale, and as long as it's on sale they won't cut it in front of you and you have to get it wrapped in plastic.
I say -nicely- Steve Jenkins' book says NOT to buy from a store that wraps your cheese in plastic, and (again) I really prefer it wrapped another way.
A second employee butts in to say it's the policy of the store and no, they won't cut it.
So I ask the first employee which other cheese they have that would be like Fontina, and he lists other melting-type cheeses... POINTING TO THE PRE-WRAPPED SECTION! "There's the Comte, the Morbier..." Aaaaargh!
My whole point was, I don't want shrink-wrapped cheese.
And I understand their job is hard, but it was quarter to ten p.m. on a Saturday, and I was the only customer. So what if I wanted one chunk of cheese properly wrapped in paper? It's $10 for the store!
I guess I could have asked for a manager, but I decided not to get any cheese at all. Had my sandwich with avocado instead (avocado from the Food Emporium across the street.)
There are two guys who work at the counter who are really pleasant, so probably I'll just shop when they're there. But I also will start buying cheese at Zabar's again. It may not be as nicely ripened, but in my experience from the past, the Zabar's cheese counter has much, much less attitude.