Jackson is a bubble of glitz in rugged Wyoming. Most restaurants and bars cater to tourists, but there are a few local joints relegated to the outskirts of town. The Creekside Market stays crowded with townies hungry for a cheap lunch and thirsty for the local boozey slush known as slooshies. These aren’t the neon colored pseudo-daiquiris that you find in Las Vegas or New Orleans. They are frozen batched cocktails that use decent booze and fresh juice to create something worth craving.
The slooshies, containing alcohol, are kept in a separate room with cameras to discourage sampling. Once you buy one, the lid is covered with tamper resistant tape to discourage on-site or in-vehicle consumption. The street-legal way to enjoy a slooshie is to take it to one of the town’s several parks that permit drinking. Incidentally, the liquor room is a pretty good place to stock up on Wyoming’s unsung but excellent selection of craft beer and small-batch whiskey, especially if camping is on the agenda.
A machine dispenses three kinds of slooshies — two daily specials and the perennial favorite, The Hound. This is simply a blend of fresh grapefruit juice and vodka. It’s a frozen version of the basic greyhound cocktail. The fresh juice and perfect slush texture make it so delicious and refreshing that you might have to remind yourself to slow down, that is, if the brain freeze doesn’t automatically stop you mid-slurp. Slooshies deliver a healthy kick. Because they contain a strong dose of ice-cold vodka, the slush remains frozen longer than the all-ages slurpee. Drink it slow and enjoy it.
The market is also locally known for overstuffed sandwiches. The best by far is The Italian, which layers many thick slices of pepperoni, ham, and cotto salami. The sandwich is so large that you can take half to the Grand Tetons and save half for Yellowstone and be full all day. Layers of pickles, peppers, and provolone provide relief from the thick stack of salted meats, making the sandwich a gem in the wilds. It’s must-bring picnic fare for a day in the parks.