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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Monday, March 7, 2011

Trader Joe's Chicken Satay Party Skewers

Trader Joe has great taste when it comes to American cuisine. When it comes to Thai food, however, he should take a note from his buddy, Thai Joe.

These Chicken Satay Party Skewers aren't great. They're a little chewy and not super flavorful. They don't taste bad, but they're not exactly dripping with savory chicken goodness. We felt the images of the chunks on the packaging were slightly deceiving, since the little bits of thigh meat you actually get seem significantly smaller. As a bonus, though, you get little pointy sticks through each piece of chicken, with which you might poke your friend or partner in the arm for selecting such a poor choice at TJ's.

Oh well, maybe the chicken's slight lack of flavor was intentional...in order to allow the taste of Trader Joe's Satay Peanut Sauce to dominate the dish...

But wait, that doesn't make sense either, because this stuff's even worse. Way worse. Sonia and I have both had chicken satay with peanut sauce from more than one restaurant, and this is by far the worst either of us has had. The sauce doesn't even taste like peanuts. There are little chunks of actual nuts in the sauce, but somehow they just get lost in the mess of flavors crawling around in this stuff. I don't even know how to describe it. Sonia thought it tasted like fish. For those of you who've had real Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce, you should know that it is NOT supposed to taste like fish. I personally wouldn't describe it that way, but I certainly wouldn't describe it as anything positive. This peanut sauce is an emphatic thumbs down from both of us.

All in all, we just recommend you get something else from TJ's. If there were some other super-delicious sauce that was intended for use with the Chicken Skewers, it might be worth trying. The Skewers aren't gross enough in and of themselves to tell you not to ever try them. They're really not that bad...they're just not great. It's the sauce that really made this meal a disappointment.

Trader Joe's Chicken Satay Party Skewers. Sonia gives them a 3. Me too. Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

Trader Joe's Satay Peanut Sauce. Sonia gives it a 1. It just dawned on me that if I had no idea what satay peanut sauce was supposed to taste like, it might not have seemed quite so disgusting, so I'll be merciful and give it a 2. Bottom line: 3 out of 10.

3 comments:

  1. You DO know that authentic satay dipping sauce is made with fish sauce, right?

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  2. The Chicken Satay Party Skewers are horrible. The worst Trader Joe's has to offer. I used the microwave instructions (bad choice) and was left with soggy chicken bathing in the liquids that made their way to the bottom of the container.

    The Satay Peanut Sauce also fails. They do have a delicious Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette that surprisingly teams up well with chicken. Our local Trader Joe's had free chicken samples covered in the Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette and it by far surpasses the Satay Peanut Sauce.

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  3. The Satay Peanut Sauce bears no resemblance to anything remotely like satay or peanuts. It's evil and foul tasting. It's going back to the store for a refund!

    ReplyDelete