Saturday, January 21, 2006

Welcome to the Jungle!

So, cabin fever finally sets in for the family last weekend and we decide that you can only sit around and play Civ IV or Splinter Cell so much before your brains turn to mush. I make the suggestion that we should go “somewhere”, specifically we should bail out of the Indianapolis area and do a road trip to Cincinnati and visit our favourite purveyor of fine foods and other comestibles such as, oh, I don’t know….Root Beer?

And therein lays the tail of our most recent foray to Jungle Jim's, the finestkind market for whatever you want in the Midwest. No, let me correct that, in the USA. I have never, in all my travels seen anything to compare with Jungle Jim’s. To call it a grocery store would be akin calling Costco a convenience store. Going to the Jungle isn’t shopping, it is an experience. Thank the gods I don’t live in Cincinnati, I’d never get anything done as I would spend my days wandering the aisles at Jim’s.

You are looking at 6 acres of inside space and, as I recall almost 79 acres planned, including the outside space and additional future features, including a tram. Their produce section alone is over 1 acre!
While the fresh, raw peanuts were of interest to me (I bought, boiled and devoured about 3 much for the low fat, low cholesteral thing for the past week) and the beer section was of intense interest to the wife, it was the soda section I longed to visit. One thing to note here, since I mentioned a Beer/Root Beer connection. I have come to the conclusion that companies which make beer should NOT make Root Beer. So far every beer I have tasted by a Root Beer maker sucks. And, in one case....*cough*...TommyKnockers....*cough*.....their beer is not good, ditto SeaDog. Here's Michael's Rule #3, "Stick with what you know!". Now, back to our blogging!

After collecting beer for my wife, some produce for us all and stunned wandering we made our way over to the Soda area. Heaven. While the Premium area is really one side of one aisle it is chock full of enough goodies to make a Root Beer and Soda lover dizzy with delight. Old favourites, classics like Kickapoo Joy Juice and Grape Nehi, relatively unknown regionals like Bennett's Big Bear and more. Down many of the international aisles you can find Soda's from foreign lands like Thumbs Up from India. On this particular jaunt I managed to get out with a host of new and old for my tasting pleasure and your blog review reading. Well, mostly for my tasting pleasure, (I hope, as I have been burned before!). While I usually keep only cane sugar drinks about for my pleasure and a few of these contain HFCS…who knows? One of them could actually be a gem and you never know till you taste them!

In coming posts you will get to see my haul, one by one. Berghoff's, Captain Ely's, Seadog, Dad's, Frostie, Thomas, Kemper, Big Bear, A.J. Stephens, Milligan's Island, Faygo, Sparky's and Henry Weinhard's. I also have quite a few non-Root Beer Soda's for my other blog, The Soda Pop Blog, (coming soon to an Internet near you!). These, along with a fair number of Root Beers already in my possession bode well for my tasting and blogging!

See ya shortly, kind readers! I have some refrigerating and drinking to do!


Sunni said...

Wow, Jungle Jim's has changed a lot since the last time I was there!

Looking forward to your reports ...

Michael said...

They're even planning to install the old tram from Kings Island there! It's just my favourite place to go. Thank goodness I don't live there!

Sunni said...

Heh. I worked at King's Island once. About two weeks is all I could stand. Even so, that sounds like a cool idea.

Mike Kole said...

Michael- I just made my first trip to Jungle Jim's, and the root beer selection was just weak, weak, weak. I did score Boylan's, which is really fine, but there just wasn't much to pick from this time. I was reduced to trying two Coke products from India! The citrus drink had a nose of moth balls. I don't recommend it!

JJ's did have jamon serrano from Spain, and I got some shaved off the leg. That was the highlight.

I'm going back on Sunday. We'll see what's available root beer wise then.

Mike Kole said...

Ha! It's that Thums Up from India that had the nasty moth ball nose! Avoid like the plague... or a BON politician!

Michael said...

Hope the selection's better. Usually there are at least a good half dozen of better products to choose from in the soda section.

Michael said...

As for the Thums Up..well you've seen the review on that debacle, I hope. Yuck!!!