October 31, 2006

Trader Joe's In One Paragraph

by peterb

Buy the yogurt, the chocolate, the mustard (sometimes), and the olive oil. Pete says that the frozen dinners are good. The cheese is hit and miss; it's a much more restricted selection than you'll find in either Whole Foods or the Strip, but on the other hand it's very affordable. The deli case is a travesty, particular the box meat presumably distributed from the same place that supplies Wal-Mart. But the prices on Nova lox can't be beat. I'm still bitter that I can't buy wine there. But that's not their fault.

In summary, anything that makes Giant Eagle paranoid is, on balance, a good thing.

Posted by peterb at October 31, 2006 08:40 PM | Bookmark This

They have the silver goat cheese at about 1/4 the price I've seen it everywhere else. Excellent in chilli or spanish rice. Too bad I don't have a TJ's anywhere near where I live now.

Posted by Doug at November 1, 2006 12:17 PM

Hey Peter,
Where exactly did they open the first TJ's in Pittsburgh? It's our default grocery shopping destination ever since we moved here to the bay area. And yes the wine selection is good (and cheap... the "2 buck chuck" is actually pretty decent).

As for food, Trader Joe's products that I-can-no-longer-live-without include:

Greek Cheese yogurt
Bewildering array of trail mixes (I recommend the cashew/almond/cranberry mix... the "original" not the "organic").
Reasonably priced breakfast cereals with actual nuts in them
Random new stuff we always find every time we go there. Always try out whatever they are handing out at the trial bar or whatever they call it. You'll make some surprising discoveries there.


Posted by Chetan at November 4, 2006 04:20 AM

I LOVE TRADER JOE's. I am addicted to several items... in no particular order:

Sun-dried tomato bruschetta spread.
Indian Relish (sauce/dip in a small jar) which is amazing with the frozen garlic naan. I keep a jar in the fridge at all times.
Tuna in Red Panang Curry - good God this is tasty!
Triple Ginger Snaps, the ultimate comfort food.
and many, many chocolate treats, newest of which I've tried is called some silly name & is essentially pieces of dried fig dipped in dark chocolate. It made me excessively happy.

I also am a big fan of their Trinity Ale, but since PA refuses to let you by beer at (gasp!) the grocery store, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Posted by Kerrie at November 5, 2006 10:01 PM

I'm prepared to be called a heretic, but to be honest I was not all that impressed with Trader Joe's, especially after so much hype. Yes, some of the prices are a little bit low, but I didn't notice much of anything lower than .5 to 1.00 lower than other options. What could I have missed? I've gone twice now and didn't find more than a handful of items that looked interesting enough to try or cheap enough to buy. The frozen fish and nova lox does look affordable, but most everything else (including the yogurts and packaged greens) just didn't seem to satisfy that much-lauded combo of cheap and high-quality enough to make me go gaga. This may also because I don't eat too many packaged foods apart from cereals or crackers. If I was interested in buying tomato sauce, cookies, or frozen Indian dinners, maybe TJ's would be worth my time.

Still, I'd be open to other suggestions of what to try...the mustard, for example, is decent. Granola, however, I'd much rather buy in bulk at the Co-op.

Posted by april at November 6, 2006 12:54 PM

Please help support Tea Leaves by visiting our sponsors.
Post a comment (no HTML. Sorry.)

Remember personal info?

Please enter the security code below to help us prevent comment spam.


November October September August July June May April March February January

December November October September August July June May April March February January

December November October September August July June May April March February January