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, October 28, 2011

Trader Joe's Peanut Butter & Oat Bars

These remind me a little of Tiger's Milk bars. Remember those? They're little energy bar kind of snack things. I think they still sell 'em in 7-11's and such. I always liked Tiger's Milk bars. Funny name, though. It sounds like some bad line from Charlie Sheen during his heavily publicized psychotic period. "What are the three things in my tummy? I was hoping you wouldn't ask that. Um...let's see: bile, intestinal fortitude, and tiger's milk." Right, Charlie.
But anyway, I like them. They're filling and flavorful and reasonably-priced. At first, I thought I saw actual peanuts floating throughout the bars, however, after munching away for a minute or so, I realized I hadn't really crunched anything at all. It was all chewiness all the way. Upon closer inspection, what I first assumed to be peanuts proved to be peanut butter chips: perhaps not as healthy, but at least as tasty. I certainly wouldn't have minded a few peanut-halves. In fact, that's my biggest complaint about this mostly successful product. Why make something peanut-flavored and not add peanuts? It's not like peanuts cost $8 a jar like macadamias. And although the chewiness was nice, I'm always down for a little crunch-factor.

I can never predict what Sonia will think of products like these. Sometimes she thinks things are too dry, or that they make her too thirsty. Fortunately, she thought to bring a spot of milk with her when she tried these for the first time. No, not tiger's milk. Cow's milk, I believe. But at any rate, I recommend them. They're peanut-buttery, filling, and they have a nice flavor. Four out of five stars from me. Ditto from Sonia. Bottom line: 8 out of 10 stars.


  1. I picked up a box of these for the first time this past weekend. My 8 year old daughter (whose TJ's favorites include the Orange Chicken and the Tomato Pesto Flatbread) declared them the very best thing at Trader Joe's and ate one a day until the box was emptied. By the way, thanks for your blog. I've found some great new things to try!

  2. I have yet to try these, today I decided to pick up some of their "Fiberful Granola Bars" the Rolled Oats and Peanut butter, Chocolate Chip, and chocolate chip brownie to give them a try. Have you had any of these yet? and if so, how do they compare to the Peanut butter and oat bars?
    Thanks for sharing on this one!

  3. im defenently getting these! cause i love penut butter!lol. thanks!

  4. The chocolate chip brownie and peanut butter versions are both really good.

  5. I've been eating these for the last 6 months now and have stopped purchasing them a month ago. I'd buy 2 boxes every week and have seen a disappointing change in the product. The last 8 boxes (bought from 2 different TJ stores)do not look like the product on the box any longer. They are very dark now, have a slight taste of burnt raisins, and more often than not are thinner and tougher. I took them back to both stores and they checked several boxes on their shelves to try and exchange my darker dried up ones for the ones that use to look like the image on the box but couldn't find any. They even called the distributor and was told that they are now going to make them darker(!?!?) I'm so disappointed and wish there was a way to get the makers to make them the way they were the first time I discovered these :(