Trader Joe's how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
If you've ever filled a grocery cart at Trader Joe's you might understand why this place has such a cult following. (Or why anyone would even bother to write a silly blog post about it.) When we lived in Cali, I fell head over heels in love with the Trader Joe's grocery experience. We shopped there weekly--although I'll admit it did take a trip or two + a bit of guidance counseling from seasoned shoppers to warm up to its slightly unconventional food packaging and signage. You see, all TJ's shoppers seem to develop their own unique, favorite items that keeps them going back. When you inquire, most likely, they will respond rather enthusiastically with a lengthy testimonial about the best ever such-and-such or the ultimate greatest fill-in-the-blank there. After developing a few favorites of my own, I became hooked for life.
These days our local Trader Joe's is a bit more off the beaten path, and shopping there has become somewhat of a novelty. As of late, we've been hurriedly passing by Trader Joe's in the rat race from A to B, often with a sleeping boy in the backseat. So over the weekend on our way home from a photo shoot in St. Paul (sans sleeping boy), Jeff and I made it a priority to stop. I bounced down the aisles, feeling like I was catching up with a long-lost friend as I filled our cart.
As a born-again Trader Joe's shopper, allow me to share some of my personal best evers and ultimate greatests that I've consistently brought home. I warned you about the enthusiastic testimonials and small spiels....
: fresh flowers (they have the best selection, many outside the box of roses + carnations. makes me happy.)This time, I went out on a limb and picked up a pack of TJ's Kettle Corn. (Primarily for the pretty packaging.) So glad I did. Its contents did not disappoint.
: 100% florida OJ. (it's a bit spendy, but worth every dime. it's preservative free and literally tastes like you've squeezed it yourself.)
: roasted red pepper hummus (it's fabulous. we ate half the tub before we even got home from the store!)
: everything crackers (to go along with the hummus, of course)
: chipotle frozen fries (no i don't eat this every day, but they are a delicious splurge and are the perfect accompaniment to sloppy joes)
: lava cakes (these definitely top the list. sigh, the last time i ate one of these i was sitting on the couch all night, watching jeff play video games just hours before i went into labor. amazing the memories we associate with our food!)
: joe's o's (move over cheerios, these are way yummier and cheaper.)
: apple cider (didn't get it on this trip, but i remember it being super delish last fall. now i have a reason to go back.)
: wine (best place to stock up. good labels for under $20...and heaps & heaps of $2 chuck...if you're into that.)
: organic fruit (not always a giant selection, but the organic fruit here is always really tasty at good prices. for instance, we bought 1lb of organic strawberries for $2.99.)
: focaccia bread (mmm...makes great pizza)
Do you ever shop at Trader Joe's? If so, what are your favorites?