I heart Trader Joe’s : Review of some TJ’s buys

IMG_0760It’s no secret that Trader Joe’s holds a special place in my heart. Since we got our first a couple years ago, my boyfriend and I end up making a trip every couple months. Without fail, we drop $25 on delicious, delicious goodies.

A few things we’ve picked up recently:

Matcha Green Tea Latte ($3.99 for 8oz) – Matcha is somewhat hard to find in town, so I was thrilled to pick this up. It includes cane sugar, coconut oil, milk powder, flavorings/preservatives and wheat flour (?) in addition to matcha, so it’s definitely a latte. It’s got a nice, creamy texture and despite the sugar, it still has a pleasant tea bitterness. It recommends using a LOT of the product–3 tablespoons per a six ounce cup–but I find that it actually takes a bit less.

Pumpkin Waffles (eight for $1.99) – These surprised me. I usually like the texture of freezer waffles, and this had a nice crunch, but they reminded me more of a wheat waffle than a pumpkin one. There was a bit of pumpkin pie spice that was really pleasant and not at all overwhelming. I’d buy them again for sure, but I don’t feel like I got even a whiff of pumpkin flavour.

Pound Plus 72% Dark Chocolate ($5 for 17 oz) – We loved this. We thought we might cook with it, but we just ate it in chunks, instead. We’re super aware that we should probably be ashamed, but we don’t even care. This was just bitter enough with just enough bite.

Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons ($3ish) – These were bits of chicken and cilantro in a wonton with a little gyoza sauce. These didn’t blow me away, but I did end up eating a few. I just felt like they needed a bit more punch. Honestly, the chicken was just kind of there. I would’ve preferred pork.

Stir Fried Vegetable Rolls ($3.99 for 15 oz) – Confession? I don’t much care for vegetable/egg/whatever rolls. My boyfriend loves them, and hated these. The outside got crispy while the inside was an vague, blorpy mess.

Spicy Thai Fried Rice – My boyfriend loved this, but I had some reservations. The rice comes with a pack of big, plump shrimp, which were 100% delicious. The rice felt a little off-balance for me, with some flavour that was just way too out there (I think I’m going to blame the Thai lime leaf). The overall texture was great, though.


4 responses to “I heart Trader Joe’s : Review of some TJ’s buys”

  1. Like everybody else on the planet, I love me some TJs. And why haven’t they taken over the supermarket world?? Why is there an Albertson’s on every corner but not Trader Joes?? Invariably I am located 1 town over.

    Sounds like you might be a lot farther away! How have you managed to walk out with only $25?? $60 is my TJ minimum. (In my defense I wind up shopping for the week.)

    The chocolate sounds like a great deal. Lately I have been buying a lot of bittersweet chocolate as I consume experiment with different dark chocolate pudding recipes. If you’ve only ever tried the box version of chocolate pudding you owe it to yourself to try the homemade variety. It’s honestly very easy to make and the flavor is totally different — less sweet ( you control the sugar! ) and more intensely chocolate.

    1. I think they very carefully choose where to go. They’re owned by Aldi, which opened up two locations here before Trader Joe’s came. I feel like that’s probably not a coincidence!
      Ours is only about 3 miles away, but it’s in an odd spot where it’s easily avoided. We also live next door to a grocery store and spend our evening walking around a big box department/grocery store, so it’s really easy to hold off on heading to TJ’s. We always grab a basket and only let it get half full. We have a tiny freezer and share freezer space with a roommate, so that makes it really easy not to grab ALL THE EFFING INDIAN FOOD OMG haha
      Ooh! I just remembered something else we bought and loved last trip! http://www.traderjoes.com/digin/post/the-kouigns-of-hearts The crusts on these are so flaky and crunchy and caramelized. Sweet and buttery and holy Lordddd. They have to proof at room temperature for SEVEN HOURS but they’re so worth it.

      1. I’ve never tried Kouigns Amann. They remind me of the frozen croissants you can get at Trader Joe’s as well. Same deal: you have let them thaw/proof overnight but OHEMGEE! So worth it.
        I don’t think there are any Aldi’s in California. I’ve only heard of it. I’m under the impression it’s a “discount” grocery store? ( Whatever that means.)

      2. Dude, they’re so good and on your next trip, you should grab them. We actually made a trip back there to get more. WORTH IT.
        We bought these and HATE them: http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/2585 The salt is SO AGGRESSIVE and there’s SO MUCH OF IT. We knocked the salt off as much as possible and they were still overwhelming with the pumpkin pie spice.
        Aldi is a discount grocery store. It’s like Trader Joe’s in that they have a lot of self-branded stuff. They also carry some name brand products, but intentionally limit the number they carry so they can charge less. It’s a different world. They require a coin to “rent” a shopping cart (so you’ll be sure to bring it back yourself) and charge for shopping bags. They don’t take credit cards (!!) and they’re laid out to really corral you around. For instance, you HAVE to exit the store through a checkout lane.

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