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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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trader Joe's Chile Lime Chicken Burgers

Not sure where the inspiration for these chicken burgers came from...it's not like this is a classic meal anywhere that I know of. It's an interesting idea. We know the chile lime formula works well with nuts, corn on the cob, mango, cucumbers, and even some soups. But does it work with, of all things, a chicken burger?

Well, I'd say it works marginally well. I must admit we didn't go to any great lengths to fix these burgers properly. No guacamole like you see on the box. We didn't really even have hamburger buns. We just used some gluten-free brown rice bread we had in the fridge...which you can get at Trader Joe's, by the way. We did try them first without the fixins, but in the end I think we topped them with ketchup and mustard.

At $3.49 for 4 patties, it's not a bad value. But the flavor left a bit to be desired. You could taste a little chicken type flavor, but the chile and lime kind of failed to come through. And that, unfortunately, was the primary reason we wanted to try these exotic-sounding burger substitutes. There's definitely a hint of lime, but the chile was extremely subtle...a little too subtle for both of our tastes. Now, if you were to add some chile and lime of your own, you might get a more pleasing result. But that kind of defeats the purpose of buying chicken burgers that are supposed to be chile-lime to begin with. There's very little spiciness, and not much tang, either.

If you're looking for a reasonably priced chicken burger, these might be a viable option for you, but just don't expect much from the "chile lime" part of the product. Sonia gives them a 3.5 out of 5, and I give them a 3. Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.


  1. It's too bad they don't have the bison burgers anymore, they were delish and inexpensive!

  2. these are actually really good with the right prep work (: i toast a flatbread, spread it with guacamole, lay on some farmer's market romaine lettuce, put on the chicken burgers that i've cut up into strips, & toss on some mild salsa. then, i roll it up lengthwise, and cut them into little rolls :) it's really goood (:

  3. I agree with Karinaa. These are delicious when prepared properly.

    What I do is just pan fry them with some olive oil. I up the flavor profile a bit by adding some garlic powder and freshly ground salt and peper to each side of the patty. Just make sure to thaw first and don't overcook

    For the complete burger experience you want a juicy patty. Ground turkey/chicken as well as meatless patties can often be too dry. These do a great job of retaining that juiciness, and their texture is not as course as normal ground poultry.

  4. I agree with the statement that the lime and chili don't come through very well. They are, however, DELICIOUS when prepared like this: http://www.traderjoes.com/recipes/recipe.asp?rid=20

    Had it last night, and can't wait to have it again.