Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Trader Joe's Oven Ready Breaded Cod Fillets

Well, 'allo guv'ner! Do I fancy these fish fillets? They're rawther lovely, I say!

I felt like I was in a British pub when we cooked up our Trader Joe's fish and chips meal last night. It consisted of these cod fillets, Trader Joe's Crinkle Wedge Potatoes, and Trader Joe's Tartar Sauce. The only thing we needed was a pint of lager, but alas, until the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania reforms their laws about liquor licenses, TJ's doesn't sell beer at any of their Keystone State locations...so we made due with Diet Pepsi.

Anyhow, I was a big fan. I like fish. But I don't like fish to taste fishy. It should be flakey, light, and soft. And that's exactly how these cod fillets were. If tuna is the chicken of the sea, then this stuff is...I dunno, turkey breast of the sea? It may not lend itself to a proper Jessica Simpson-confounding land animal metaphor, but its taste and texture make up for that, and then some.

Next, let's look at the potato wedge dealies...So technically, they're "Trader Joe's Pacific Northwest Crinkle Wedge Potatoes." The "Pacific Northwest" part doesn't really work with our British fish and chips theme, but I liked them nonetheless. I really liked them, actually. They weren't greasy at all, just crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and lots of fresh potato taste. Scrump-dilly-icious. I ate mine with ketchup, but they're fine without it, too.

Sonia mentioned a strange aftertaste from these fries that I most certainly did not experience. Maybe she has more sensitive taste buds than I do. I really can't complain about their taste at all.

And finally, we tried the Trader Joe's Tartar Sauce.

That clipper ship on the bottle sure looks like it could be headed back to Great Britain, loaded up with treasures from faraway lands. I imagine the captain of her majesty's ship kneeling down at the Queen's throne and handing her this bottle: a royal condiment for the royal fish n' chips dinner.

Now, I haven't tried many name brand tartar sauces. And if I have, I haven't taken notice of which brands they were. Tartar sauce is certainly not my favorite condiment. The only time I ever eat it is with fish fillets. But all I can say is that this is the best tartar sauce I ever remember trying. As far as I'm concerned, it is indeed suited for royalty...and slovenly middle-class American dudes that like fatty fixins on their fried fish.

So, for the Trader Joe's Oven Ready Breaded Cod Fillets: I give them a 4.5 out of 5. Sonia gives them a 4. Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

As for the Trader Joe's Pacific Northwest Crinkle Wedge Potatoes, I give them a 4.5 out of 5. Sonia gives them a 3.5. Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

And the Trader Joe's Tartar Sauce gets a 5 out of 5 from me. Sonia gives it a 4. Bottom line: 9 out of 10.


  1. Did the fish with TJ tots and organic broccoli. Pretty solid meal! High quality frozen fish.

  2. We picked up the cod fillets and TJ's jalapeno tartar sauce. Out of this fricken' world! We baked the fish, smeared the spicy sauce on whole-wheat buns and had our own little Fillet O' Fish sandwiches. Yum.

  3. Something you've missed, the cod fillets in the ginger sauce. Seriously the best fish in the world!

  4. We always stock up on this fish because it is so good. Haven't tried the potatoes or the tarter sauce but will now. We usually do the fish with TJs tator tots. Yum!

  5. We served them last night with TJs Handsome Fries, really tasty!

  6. 'Allo Guv'ner'
    Found some hidden in my freezer, i'm guessing at least a good 6 mos. So i thought what the hell, let's give these boys a shot...just wish I had some of that tartar sauce!

  7. Awesome and I am not a regular fish or seafood person but outside of freshman fish this is a great tasting option. I opted for roasted potatoes and green beans and used peppercorn ranch as a dressing. Love it.