I buy groceries once a week from Trader Joe’s. I always buy one novelty item to try. Sometimes I am blown away, but I have also tasted some big flops. Here’s my take on my most recent buys…
Crunchy Green Beans: Garbage. A crowd pleaser for people who are kidding themselves.
Pacific Flounder stuffed with crab meat: Mushy texture, delicious flavor. A great freezer meal for nights when you don’t give a hoot.
Roasted Plantain Chips: Taste like salty cardboard, but I can’t get enough. Purchased weekly.
Pineapple Salsa: This seems counterintuitive, but you will put it on EVERYTHING.
Spicy Thai Style Pasta Salad: The peanut sauce gums up the inside of your mouth like a fresh coat of spackle. It’ll go straight from the bowl to the trash can.
Organic Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup: Please, sir, I want some more. Do yourself a favor and buy some crusty bread to dunk into this deliciousness.
Ezekiel Bread: For when you’ve given up on life.
That’s all for now.
What do you love and hate from Trader Joe’s?
Aww, man! We don’t have a Trader Joe’s, but now I wish we did. I’m dying to try the “for when you’ve decided to give up on life” bread. LOVE your review of these products, Mads. It’s a shame you have to pay for crap foods to be able to write them, but there were some keepers, too. I hope you’ll keep ’em coming.
The Husband agrees with your thoughts on Ezekiel, but I love it. As long as it’s toasted and smeared with peanut butter or part of a sandwich compilation. The only way we both agree on it is for French toast. Its density makes it ideal for sopping up the egg/milk combo, and when you let it sit (as per Sir Alton Brown’s directions), it’s really a great French toast.
We have quite a few TJ’s here in The Valley of (the surface of the) Sun, but I honestly rarely go to them. I love my local farmers market-style grocery store so much, and I can find many of the same/similar things there.
However, I love TJ’s pre-made pizza dough. For a while I was buying three packages a week!
Also, I love that you have an impulse buy policy – that makes shopping so much more fun!
I love the plantain chips! I also love the peach salsa (had to stop buying it because things were a bit out of control). Their fresh sourdough boule is the best! And I love the sliced goat cheese.
I could go on for hours….
Pineapple Salsa = Noted. But I won’t tell Marcus what it is until after he raves.
Things we subsist on: Whole Grain Bread, Baguette (For croutons!), Mustard Aioli, KC BBQ Sauce, Greek Yogurt (the giant plain tub and the little vanilla single-serves), Bleu Cheese, Fruit Leathers, Pita Bite Crackers, Garlic Stuffed Olives, Goat Cheese w/ Herbs, Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage, Garlic Naan, Chicken Cilantro Mini-Wontons, Mango Chutney.
We buy some of them because they’re cheaper than at Cub or Lunds or something. The others we buy because we can’t find them other places.
I take your tomato soup and raise you the corn and roasted pepper soup! Have you tasted it? Love.
Also, their frozen puff pastry is my go-to secret for when I have to make something “fancy.”
I second the corn and roasted red pepper soup! Fab for a quick lunch or for dipping grilled cheese. Sadly, we don’t have a TJs Up North, but when we’re downstate, we stock up like the apocalypse is near. Our favorites:
1. Fruit leather bars. Anything labeled “So this strawberry walked into a bar…” is required.
2. Mango-peach salsa. That stuff rocks everything it touches.
3. Dark Chocolate coated cacao nibs. ‘Nuff said.
4. Veggie Booty.
5. THE MARINATED MOZZARELLA LOGS!!! Definitely worthy of all caps.
6. Goat cheese.
7. Pita Chips of all varieties.
8. Interesting dried fruit combinations.
9. The frozen Goyza dumplings.
10. Frozen chocolate lava cakes. Yep, I admit it. They’re awesome in just 10 minutes.
11. My absolute fav is the dark chocolate wedges found at the check out. Comes in a round tin like Altoids, only it’s chocolate. I think it’s called Pocket Chocolate or Walking Chocolate? Awesome.
Frozen Spanakopita bites.
I am so jealous you have a Trader Joes! I honestly don’t know why Denver doesn’t have one yet. It’s just plain wrong if you ask me! I’ve heard their booze is a good deal. Is that true?