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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Strap on the walking shoes!

While we were in Cincy, Trip Advisor told me that apparently, we should make Jungle Jim's Grocery Store a stop.  Yeah, a grocery store.  When a grocery store website says to allow "2-4 hours on your first visit" then color me intrigued.  Should you decide to make it a road trip, bring your walking shoes because there's 200,000 square feet to peruse!

I figured we'd bring a cooler and if there was anything we couldn't live without then at least we'd have a way to bring it home.  So this is what you're greeted with when you walk in.


Talking corn on the left and over to the right (out of frame) is some swinging soup can over the regular groceries.  I admit, my pics aren't going to do it justice because we got so caught up in oohing and ahhing over everything that I probably overlooked some major things I should've taken pics of.

They had stuff I've never seen before like these hot cocoas...


I was intrigued but not enough to buy them since I like straight up hot chocolate but would've gotten a sample pack if they sold them in singles.

They had old school candy too...



They had one of those old Elvis' crooning animatronics from Chuck E. Cheese back in the day but I was so mesmerized by him I forgot to take a pic so I found a video for you online.

Lest you think I was only looking at junk food, I was also admiring some beautiful Easter Egg Radishes.



Their exotic fruit and veggie department was jaw dropping.  The mini pineapples were my spirit fruit.


Then you get out of the regular grocery store and into the international market which is just as big, if not bigger and you can find food from literally anywhere in the world.


We were even happy to see a tiny section devoted to Hawaiian food!  Of course World Market can scratch the itch on some of those but we saw some of our favorite Aloha Maid's and had to pick some up!


They had all of these kinds of weird vignettes all over the place that were quirky and fun but obviously, we were amongst regulars because no one really seemed impressed by them.


You could get pretty much anything you want there from sodas that provide you with a whole month's worth of sugar in one sitting...


...to scary ass candy that makes you feel like you've taken an attached entity home with you.


They also have a pretty impressive organic, gluten free and health food section at the end so you feel better about all of the crap you've probably put in your cart.



I think we spent 2 1/2 hours wandering the place and had it not been so crowded, I would've liked to have spent more but I guess that'll have to wait until another road trip.  It really is quite the spectacle and I feel like their prices go to support some of the power it takes to run some of the attractions. They don't have great prices but if you need some kind of specialty item, this would be the place to go for sure.

There's just too much to list here so if you're bored, check out their website to see some of their offerings including festivals and cooking classes.  I wish we'd known some big BBQ fest was going on there because we got rather mediocre BBQ elsewhere just before we went.  Pfft!

What's your favorite food specialty store or an item you have a hard time finding at a regular grocery store?

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6 comments:

  1. The find that has me most excited is that IHOP butter pecan syrup. I know we have to have it sparingly, but I am looking forward to that soon. We don't go to IHOP often but when we have that is my go-to syrup and I can't count how many times I said that I wished they sold it in stores. Turns out they do, but not in any stores near us!

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  2. Jungle Jim's is so much fun to visit. I wish I would've taken advantage of it more while I was living in Dayton. Just so many things to look at and I always ended up with some random things that I had no idea existed until I saw them there.

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  3. I've never heard of Jungle Jim's. Where I live I have the choice of two chain groceries. If it's not a pretty mainstream item, they don't have it. I spend a lot of time just wandering in aww at normal grocery stores when I go visit my folks, I can't imagine how much of my day a store like that would eat up.

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  4. I used to live right down the road from Jungle Jims, mid 80's. Much smaller then. But still a local thing. And I never went there. Not once.

    2009 or so, with oldest kid in college near there, my whole family went. We looked a lot. There for a couple hours as you said, but I think we actually bought very little.

    I have had kids in that area ever since. Youngest is currently a sophomore.

    And one of our major loves is the Cincinnati museum which you mentioned. The Omnimax Theater (currently under renovation) is a favorite. We have done all the regular exhibits. We have done special exhibits too, like Pompeii. Many visits there over the years.

    IKEA is also on that general area. And we visited within the last 4-5 years. There, I made up for what I had not bought at Jungle Jims. . .

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  5. I live in Cincy and rarely visit, although I probably would if I lived closer to either location. As an occasional destination, it's fascinating. At the time it was built there just weren't many ethnic markets in the Tri-State area so it was great to have a place to go for Asian and other world foods. It's got a great wine shop with knowledgeable staff and more varieties of cheese in one spot than I've ever seen in the US.

    But I have a strong preference for smaller grocery stores and am happy to compromise on stores like Aldi that have limited options and reliable pricing. I think the reason the prices are so high at Jungle Jim's is so much of the food is imported or not purchased in bulk. I remember their fresh foods prices are more reasonable though. The East side location isn't quite as vast or full of theme park leftovers but it's still worth a stop if you can't quite get to Fairfield.

    For more info on the animatronics, check out the wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_Jim%27s_International_Market. In short, he bought a lot of them from the old Pizza Time food chain. The monorail is from the Kind's Island safari ride. At one point I hear their were plans to run it from the far end of the parking lot but I don't think it ever happened.

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  6. Occasionally I can find an old-fashioned confectionary store in some towns (more so on vacation) so I search online for most stuff. Old Time Candy is a good one. One thing that isn't made any more that I know of is Wacky Wafers. I think it was a Willy Wonka product, possibly, but they are no longer to be found...sigh.

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