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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Friday, May 6, 2011

Trader Joe's Breakfast Scramble of Eggs, Potatoes, and Onions

OK, so let's honor Cinco de Mayo (I know we're a day late... make that Seis de Mayo) with a special product. I know what you're thinking: "This product isn't Mexican!" No, it certainly isn't. But here's a fun fact for you: Cinco de Mayo isn't the Mexican Independence Day. That's September 16.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla, the day the French were driven out of Mexico. And, Cinco de Mayo is more widely celebrated in the U.S. than it is in Mexico. Kind of like St. Patty's day, it's really just another American excuse to have a couple cervezas. So on that note, we're going to take a look at a French product—since this very well could have been Mexican cuisine had the French been victorious on May 5, 1862.

Trader Joe's Breakfast Scramble proudly declares that it's a product of France. There's an official-looking seal right on the cover with a fleur-de-lis in the middle. I guess TJ's wasn't worried about all those folks that eat freedom fries instead of French fries and boycott France every chance they get. Bill O'Reilly would not be pleased.

And yet again, I must ask this question of Trader Joe: why go to the trouble to create a French character, Trader Jacques, if you're not going to use him for all of your French products? Maybe they decided they'd only use him with the more pretentious French products, such as the Ham and Cheese Croissant Sandwiches.

This product is similar to an omelette, but the ingredients aren't all folded inside the egg. They are, as the title indicates, scrambled together. It just struck me the other day that omelettes are French, too. "Omelette." It's a very French-sounding word. I guess I just always associated the dish with American cuisine, like Denny's or down-on-the-farm home cooking, perhaps served up by someone named Trader Jim-Bob.

At any rate, this stuff is pretty tasty. There's a bit of greasiness and saltiness, but not too much. It's just enough to make you feel like you're not eating something that was very recently frozen. The microwaveability of this scramble is astouding, really. If you put it on a plate, you could very easily pass it off as freshly cooked. There's a great balance of the three main ingredients, and the heating instructions are ultra-simple.

No major complaints. No big surprises. Just a good microwaveable international breakfast.

Sonia gives it a 4. I give it a 4.5. Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

12 comments:

  1. I've seen this product this but haven't tried it yet. You have to try the Tortillas Espanolas in the frozen section (Spanish potato & egg omlet.) I was shocked at how good eggs and potato could taste.

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  2. We'll check out those Tortillas Españolas! Thanks for the tip. Eggs & potato = yum!

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  3. Had this recently, loved it. Totally agree that while eating it, I completely forgot it was a frozen entree.

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  4. Just came across this, and basically agree with all of the above. One of the things I enjoyed, that adds a fresher flavor, is the fact that parts of the potatoes and onions are a little charred- as though they were cooked in a cast iron skillet, or on the flattop at your local diner. It's a good, satisfying breakfast (especially if you add hot sauce!), but the grease is kinda gross. Maybe if I were to transfer it to a paper towel, then plate, the issue would go away.

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  5. I have had this and enjoyed it enough that I bought two more when I was at the store the other day. I have some great hot sauce I am going to put on it this weekend!

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  6. And here's the shocker. Just came to find out they pulled this from their stores. Forever.

    An excellent product, pulled, because apparently it is not their top seller or something.

    I am starting to- correction - I do hate- hate TJ's.

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  7. Yeah -- This was one great product. Just add a bit of sausage and what a breakfast! But yes, they're no longer carrying it -- and no explanation.

    The same thing happened with their Thai tuna packages, which were another of my favorites.

    When TJ's stopped carrying ground bison, the explanation was, first, that there was a shortage of bison meat. When it was pointed out to them that it was available at Whole Foods (though more expensive), the explanation became that it wasn't available to their supplier. Since then, I've been finding it regularly at Safeway, of all places, at a reasonable price.

    I still shop at Trader Joe's, but consider that some of their marketing decisions and explanations leave a lot to be desired.

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  8. Great product. Why did they stop Breakfast scrambles . Is there a alternative product.

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  9. We should all complain to Trader Joe's and ask them to bring back this product. You may post a comment here:

    http://www.traderjoes.com/about/product-information-form.asp

    I just did so, using the following text:

    "This item, Trader Joe's Breakfast Scramble of Eggs, Potatoes, and Onions, was a fantastic product that I purchased regularly and have come to depend upon. One of this in the morning and you don't need to drink a cup of coffee. A fine breakfast. Please do what you can to get this product back, please! Involve the French government if necessary."

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  10. Yes it is a great product and one of the stores said they stopped handling it because it didn't sell well and they've carried for over a year. What TJ and most companies don't realize it takes time for the people to find out and try a product, unless they give out samples. Everyone should call TJ's and ask them to bring it back that's the only they'll carry it if the people want it and buy it.
    You can go online to TraderJoes,Inc. and give your remarks direct to the company, most of the stores don't care.
    EJ

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  11. Does anyone know who the company is that produced this Breakfast Scramble, maybe there is a different company that sells, under a different name.

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    1. Good question, James. I wish I knew too!

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