3 Valley specialty shops for your inner artisan

Slow is the new fast.

Slow living, meditation, hyper-locality, vintage audio equipment and, driven by a sense of disaffection with all that is corporate and faceless that can only be held by college students and twenty-somethings: slow food. 

Of course, we can't all be René Redzepi (or afford to eat his or similar food), nor can many of us cook at all, so we must rely on other avenues for our artisanal culinary fix. 

Enter the specialty market: A time-honored institution for those who want to imitate the feeling of living in Lyon without having to leave the comfort of their own cities.

The Valley may not have as many of these markets as other cities, but the food scene is growing, and as it does, it reveals some specialty stores that have hid under our noses for longer than we'd care to admit. 

So, we rounded up some such markets accessible in scope and location for ASU students. 

Schreiner's Fine Sausage

3601 N. 7th St. Phoenix, AZ 85014

Despite the name, Schreiner's carries more than one fine sausage. In fact, they carry myriad fine sausages, and if you've been to any moderately hip or locally-focused Phoenix restaurant, you've likely encountered them, and for good reason: They really do have excellent sausages. 

Of the 60 sausage types available, highlights include andouille, chorizo, brats and tubed-meat varietals of every possible national origin, all homemade and processed on-site in natural casings. This means that if you have a family recipe and can come up with the ingredients, Schreiner's will make your sausage dreams a reality. 

And it doesn't stop at sausage. Schreiner's also carries deli meats like bologna, specialty mustards, sauerkraut, headcheese, some bread and cheese, bacon and other pork products. Plus, they sell a t-shirt with a dancing sausage in a top hat on it. 

Moreover, Screiner's offers the $5-brown bag lunch. For the price of an elaborate blended coffee beverage, you can get your choice of sausage in a bun, with your choice of condiments, a bag of chips and a soda (of the cream variety, ideally.)

Cheese 'N Stuff Deli

5042 N. Central Ave Phoenix, AZ 85012

Our candidate for the best-named culinary proprietor in the Valley, Cheese 'N Stuff sells exactly that. 

Another longtime Valley mainstay, Cheese 'N Stuff puts delis like Chompie's to shame with reasonable pricing and good variety in a tiny, old-fashioned package. 

Unlike Schreiner's, this deli focuses more on sandwiches and prepared items than wholesaling, though there is no shortage of cheese or stuff. 

This means you can get a solid, no-frills array of deli meats and cheeses, including mozzarella, havarti, brie, bond-ost, pastrami, cappicola and corned beef. Plus, Cheese 'N Stuff is family owned and places a premium on service, so it's perfectly fine to make a request or to ask for arrangements to be made. 

The "Stuff" section also includes more specialty items like braunschweiger, Lebanese bologna and lutefisk — salted, pickled whitefish. 

Even better, there is a dazzling amount of sandwiches, hot, cold and otherwise. Very few of these sandwiches break $10. 

So, pull up a chair, grab a soda and a sandwich, and immerse yourself in a nearly extinct world of cheese and/or stuff. 

Hobe Meats

6044 N. 16th St. Phoenix, AZ 85016

Hobe Meats is for those with simple tastes. Namely, tastes involving meat, meat products and items that go well with, on and around meats. Quite simply, don't go to Hobe unless you plan on buying and eating lots of meat, because you would be better served going elsewhere. 

There's a standard array of beef cuts, sure — prime rib, sirloin, flank, tri-tip, tenderloin and others, but the real treats are some of the less common animal products.

For example, a perusal of Hobe's aisles and counters can turn up veal, shark, lamb, venison, elk, alligator, wild boar, frog legs, rabbit, turducken (chicken inside duck inside turkey) and other grillables, like corn, sausages, pork cuts and seafood. 

Hobe also provides an astonishing amount of sauces and marinades for the aforementioned meats, including satay, teriyaki, barbecue, chipotle lime and others. 

And, if you'd rather have something made for you, Hobe has three speciality sandwiches, including the respectable Dreamy Draw (brisket, havarti, caramelized onion jam and horseradish cream), and the option to construct your own sandwich from the selection of deli goods available. Be warned, Hobe is not for the indecisive. 


Reach the reporter at Arren.Kimbel-Sannit@asu.edu or follow @akimbelsannit on Twitter.

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