Cincinnati – Findlay Market
Cincinnati’s Findlay Market is a diamond in the rough of the downtown Over the Rhine neighborhood and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972. While the neighborhood has had its share of issues over the years it’s slowly rebuilding itself and its image.
Findlay Market is the oldest continuously operating farmers’ market in Ohio and its one of the best ones I have had the fortune of visiting. With specialty shops throughout the market you are sure to find just about any ingredient you are looking for. One of the neat things about Findlay Market is it’s mix of permanent storefronts and indoor stalls as well as it’s ever changing outdoor farmers marker and open air bazaar.
The Market’s patrons are as varied as the products for sale. All walk of life from rich to poor, and young to old are shopping at the market. It’s a great place to people watch as well as learn about other cultures. Everyone is there for the same purpose and it’s one of those times where people can gather, talk, and have fun.
Some of the specialty shops I like to visit at the market are:
Silverglade’s: Where a Deli employee works with you throughout your transaction and gives all the free samples you want.
J. E. Gibbs Cheese: This place has just about every kind of fresh sausage you might want like traditional brats and chicken sausage.
Busch’s Country Corner: This place gives a new meaning to “fresh” poultry. While it’s not still breathing it’s about as close as you can get and, according to their stall description, their meat is never frozen.
Taste of Belgium: This is where I had my first Liege Belgian Waffles that were so good I purchased a waffle maker (and the special pearl sugar) just so I could make them at home.
Markets like Findlay were once a lot more common than they are today. With the recent foodie revolution and the increased interest that people are taking in learning about their food it would be great to see something like this come to Indianapolis. The downtown City Market is trying to get there but I just don’t see it ever getting to a fraction of the size of Findlay.
If you’re ever in the downtown Cincinnati area and have a few hours to kill, I can’t recommend Findlay Market enough. Be sure to bring a cooler as you probably won’t be leaving empty handed.
Cincinnati – Jungle Jim’s
On a recent trip to Cincinnati we traveled to the north side to re-visit one of our favorite foodie destinations. Jungle Jim’s is a true landmark and worth a 2-hour drive from Indianapolis to the Queen City (we were in town for the Fourth of July holiday and a mini-summer escape).
Only until you get inside can you understand the size of this place. Think 3 Big-Box stores stuffed with row upon row of grocery supplies to cater to all corners of the earth. No matter what you are looking for it can be found at Jungle Jim’s
After you get through the huge deli and liquor sections (including $4000+ bottles of wine) you are greeted by a larger than life produce section with products from all over the world. A lot of it is unrecognizable at first but the price tags help you get it figured out.
One of the many unique things about Jungle Jim’s are the sections dedicated to world regions. Indian, Asian, Mexican products are all well represented. A new addition (since my last visit) are the hot sauce isles (yes more than one) with products grouped by alphabet.
Smaller countries get their own little rooms packed with their unique products. Looking for something unique to Holland, France, or Greece? Chances are you will find it. The British section has teas and sauces that will make an ex-pat feel like they are home again.
I was even able to find the “Tiger” seasoning I have been looking for since my last trip to Madison, Indiana where it’s used on the outstanding burgers at Shipley’s Bar & Grill.
A new 2nd location in the Eastgate area is scheduled to open in 2012. I’m really looking forward to this as it’s close to where we visit and will save me the 30-minute plus trip to the north side.
Below are some random pictures and comments from our last trip.