Budget Beat

Budget Beat: Cheese 'N Stuff

All hail Cheese 'N Stuff. If you live anywhere near the corner of Camelback and Central, you owe it to yourself to check out this charming, old-school sandwich shoppe. Heck, even if you reside farther afield, Cheese 'N Stuff may be worth the drive -- while you're in the 'hood, do some browsing at Metro Retro, Stinkweed's, All About Books & Comics, Frances, and several other fun, storefront merchants within 100 steps of this place. 

CNS is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year as a family-owned purveyor of top-notch deli meats, cheese, various European edibles, other goodies, and, of course, sandwiches. Cheese 'N Stuff was winning New Times "Best Ofs" back when we were all wearing parachute pants. (And something tells me this place hasn't changed one bit since those days.) And last year, the eatery received props from Esquire magazine in a feature on the best sandwiches in America. Need to know anything else? Didn't think so, but since they want me to write more than two paragraphs . . .

Really, Cheese 'N Stuff sells itself by adhering to a simple formula for success that has worked for centuries: sandwich = happiness. A vast selection of Boar's Head deli meats, tons of awesome cheeses, soft roll, toppings galore, condiments, potato salad, cole slaw . . . As a sandwich-loving co-worker of mine is wont to say, "Done and done."

Every time I'm in Cheese 'N Stuff -- noshing on a made-to-order sammie while sitting at the communal picnic tables and gazing at all the interesting boxes of European cookies and tins of Swedish herring and jars of Scandinavian jams and mustards -- I see multi-generational families coming in. It's as if going to CNS is just something these families do on a Saturday afternoon, and if the place is around another 20 years, the kids eating there today will be taking their kids to Cheese 'N Stuff.

I don't feel compelled in this space to discuss the sandwiches I've consumed at CNS. Almost all of them have been winners. I will say there are numerous "specialty" sandwiches on the menu and, as you might expect, you can call your own shots when it comes to the meat, cheese, bread, and topping you want.

Cheese 'N Stuff is a true Phoenix treasure. Eating there makes me feel good. Make sure you check it out at some point . . .

Cheese 'N Stuff
5042 North Central Avenue
Hours: Open for lunch. It usually closes around 4 p.m. (Note: Cheese 'N Stuff is closed for Memorial Day weekend.)

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Jay Bennett
Contact: Jay Bennett