Review: Jungle Jim’s and Red Sesame

In the two+ months since Red Sesame opened its 1200 square foot food truck expansion inside of Jungle Jim’s International Market Eastgate, BK and I have been twice. And it’s not what I’d call close to us, either (~25 minutes). We have loved and ranked Red Sesame among our favorite food trucks as long as I can remember (which isn’t all that long, but bear with me, I have a pretty bad memory), so when the news broke that Red Sesame was opening a restaurant inside of one of our favorite stores, we knew we had to try it.

We don’t get to Jungle Jim’s (JJ’s) as often as we’d like (the Fairfield location is a touch further than Eastgate at 32 minutes away), but we try to make the trip when we can. JJ’s is so much more than a grocery store, though there is that, too.

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Beer at Jungle Jim’s
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More beer at JJ’s, featuring beautiful packaging by Braxton
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PEZ selection
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BK loving this trip to JJ’s

It is a true culinary experience and people travel near and far to get it. It’s a one stop shop for all things wonderful, including great beer (get a pint while you shop!) and wine, an extensive cheese shop, international food (can’t get enough Handlmaier’s and Indian cuisine), natural foods, and even a bitchin’ PEZ selection. There are also beer, wine, and cigar tastings; cooking classes, tours, and demonstrations (check the website for specific event information). And I haven’t even touched on their award-winning restrooms!

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Red Sesame exterior
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Two Mini Burritos and a Korean taco (all spicy)

Now, in addition to the massive awesomeness of JJ’s, there is also a Red Sesame restaurant on the premises. The truck menu varies, as when it is on Fountain Square, it features a number of combinations, plus tacos, Kimchi Hot Hog, and burritos. When it is at events (like The City Flea), the menu is much more limited and typically only features the Combo Set #1 (two Korean tacos and a mini quesadilla). The menu at the restaurant is mostly the same as the former, but with a few additions. Thus, when we tried Red Sesame, we had to get the Mini Burrito, which was served with rice, lettuce, cheddar jack cheese, house sauce, and choice of protein (chicken, steak, pork, or tofu; we got chicken). Whatever you do: GET IT SPICY. I didn’t do this for the first two years I ate Red Sesame, and was making a huge mistake. If a spice spectrum is always 1–10, I prefer a 4 or 5, and I’d say this is about a 5. It’s such a perfect heat and I can’t recommend it enough.

But back to the Mini Burrito. You guys, it is SO GOOD and I’ve always fancied myself a Combo Set #1 (spicy) person.

I absolutely loved this location — food was just as great and service has been good both times — and will return again and again. Even better that we can shop at one of our favorite stores on a full and satisfied stomach.

Visit idea: Go to Red Sesame to eat before perusing Jungle Jim’s. If you’re interested in checking out a movie at Eastgate Brew & View after, merely get a snack from Red Sesame and save some room for a beer and bottomless popcorn at the movie theater.

Featured image: exterior of Red Sesame’s restaurant inside of Jungle Jim’s Eastgate

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