Outside of Jungle Jim's International Market, Photo: Cindy Funk, flickr
From dueling ice cream champs to the bizarre allure of mock turtle soup, there's more to Cincinnati's foodie scene than just five-way chili and fried goetta. Check out these lesser-known Cincinnati classics.
Grippo's Potato Chips
The local potato chip marque is almost 100-years old and known for its BBQ flavor. "They sell the spice they put on the barbecue flavor separately, so you can use it in cooking. Just go to the factory store on the west side of town – they have triple X hot versions," raves Julie Niesen of winemedinemecincinnati.com.
Graeter's Ice Cream
Made using a French pot process in which a small batch is produced in a chilled, spinning pot, the chocolate chip is notorious for the meaty chunks of dark chocolate that stud each scoop.
Aglamesis Ice Cream
The century-old company was founded by the immigrant Aglamesis brothers from Greece and is still family owned. It's known for ice creams and Italian ices, as well as hand-dipped chocolate creams.
Frisch Tartar Sauce
Frisch's Big Boy, a regional chainlet under the Big Boy banner, tweaked the standard double decker sandwich recipe from the corporation by subbing homemade tartar sauce for standard Thousand Island when it started. Now, that dressing isn't just a burger garnish – it's the restaurant's signature and locals love to use it as a tangy ketchup replacement on french fries.
Worthmore Canned Mock Turtle Soup
PETA, back off: The meat in here isn't minced amphibians, but rather a mix of offal offcuts from the meat-reclaiming process (another legacy of Cinti's meatpacking past). The Hock family stills owns and operates the firm, whose canned soups are available in grocery stores around town.
This pizzeria was first opened by a onetime sailor, Buddy LaRosa, on the city's west side. The secret, LaRosa claims, was his Aunt Dena's pizza sauce recipe. Not all local foodies agree on his legendary status, though. "LaRosa's? In my opinion, it doesn't deserve it at all," says Julie Niesen.
Jungle Jim's International Market
This Cinti institution isn't a restaurant, but rather a sprawling supermarket that houses a dentist, pharmacy and post office as well as a maze-like hoard of local and international treats. There's even an on-site cooking school.