For as long as I can remember, there has been a crazy grocery store on the north side of Cincinnati called Jungle Jim’s. When I was younger, it was fun to go to Jungle Jim’s because it had giant talking gorillas and dancing cats dressed as Elvis. When I was older, I appreciated the large beer selection and the unbelievable selection of cheeses. Later, I grew to appreciate the wine selection and the amazing selection of foods from across the globe.
The store is a crazy mix of quality and kitsch. I love it. Last night, when the rest of the city was on the river watching the fireworks, we happened to be on the north side of Cincinnati and decided to swing by Jungle Jim’s. Neither Kevin nor I had been to the store in several years and were taken by surprise by the monorail, additional stores, and sheer size of the place. Outside, we were welcomed by signs proclaiming "Welcome Foodies!", animatronic chimpanzees, elephants, and waterfalls.
Inside, the wine collection captivated us for about two happy hours. Every possible country and type of wine was well represented. There was one aisle, gated, that contained bottles of vintage Lafite Rothschild, cult cabs, and other luxury wines. In our wandering our cart filled with everything from Pizza Vino and Gala Rouge to a 1995 Chateau Lagrange St. Julien bordeaux. We ended up with 6 bottles plus a craft pack of JW Dundee beers.
Once we finally left the wine aisles, we managed to pick up a Spanish
cheese soaked in brandy and a British port wine cheese. We picked up a
few other items as we wandered the items as well!
If you’re remotely near the Cincinnati area, including Dayton, Indy, and
Columbus, I highly recommend a trip to Jungle Jim’s. It’s sort of a
field trip, entertaining, campy, and chock full of wine and whatever
foodie oddity you can think of! We spent 3 hours in Jungle Jim’s and didn’t even crack the surface. It could potentially be an all-day excursion.
Jungle Jim’s International Market
5440 Dixie Highway
Fairfield, Ohio 45014
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