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, January 31, 2012

Trader Joe's Choczilla Nut Pie

For a couple alleged grown-ups, my sister and I have a little too much of a weird things going with tyrannosaurus rex*. Every time we see each other, she and I engage in what we call a "t-rex hug" by stomping up to each other while snorting while holding up our arms short - umm, we even did that right in the middle of my wedding reception...yeah, I'm glad Sandy laughed that off. My sis and I routinely trade pics like this one or this one, and I was beyond ecstatic when she gave me this shirt for a Christmas present. Don't ask me why, but I love stuff like that (I think of it as an alternate icanhascheezburger-type thing) and by extension love the old Godzilla movies (even though they're now the reason why I hate ketchup, but that's a tale for another day). Comparison graphics like this one make me actually even more excited for the arrival of Lil' Russandro/a in late June.

So, yeah, needless to say, want me to buy something? Put a t-rex (or something close) on it. Add in the fact it's mid-evening on a Sunday, you're flying solo and have to find a dessert for an evening family meal, the shelves are depleted and your pregnant wife is demanding something chocolatey but not cheesecake-y, and there's something on the fresh baked goods shelf with a "Choczilla" on it, and even for a kinda steep $6.99, you got a deal.

Except, for something called a Trader Joe's Choczilla Nut Pie, it severely lacks enough of both chocolate and nut to stave off some disappointment. Basically, it's just a regular ol' pecan pie with dark and white chocolate stripes across the top and a small smattering of milk chocolate chips down below. Don't get wrong, it's good, but it's not even close to my Aunt Brenda's homemade pecan pie, the best in the world, against which whether fairly or not I judge all pecan pies. Hers is heavy and literally full of pecans. This? There's a thin layer at the top but mostly it's the mushy underbelly. That kinda helps the pie taste a little bit richer and perhaps a little more chocolately than it actually is. The crust is typical store brand fare, which I'm impartial on. And ohbytheway, don't bother squinting to make out the nutritional info. It's atrocious.

A better name for this would have been something like a "pecan pie with some chocolate" and if a reptilian mascot was really needed, use a gecko (they can shill more than just car insurance) or a snake or something. I'm really not sure what that'd have to do with pecans (maybe a mild chipmunk would be better), but I digress. My whole thing is, the name "Choczilla Nut Pie" conjures up an image of a thoroughly nutty, chocolately pie that this is clearly not, and honestly, although it's tasty, I'm pretty disappointed. It's definitely better than some types of chocolate pies out there, but overall the pie just lacks too much.

Sandy's in full agreement with me. "It could more of either and it'd be so much better. It's kinda weak as is, but still tasty," she said. I concur. If this were my creation, it'd be a full out chocolate pie with every kind of imaginable nut jammed in, and not just a slightly dressed up average-at-best pecan pie. I doubt this will be a repeat purchase for us, and based on that fact, I'll go a bt lower than the three Sandy granted it and go with a 2.5. Kinda like the arms of a t-rex, this definitely falls quite a bit short.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Choczilla Nut Pie: 5.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons
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*Apparently "tyrannosaurus rex" is both singular and plural. Who makes these rules? Jeez. That just looks wrong but so does "tyrannosaurus rexes" or "tyrannosauri regis" or anything like that.

10 comments:

  1. Such a good nephew... thank you for the kind words about my pecan pie!

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    1. Aww you know I'm just trying to butter you up for next time I see ya :)

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  2. I'm so glad you are doing this blog. Unfortunately I don't even live in a town w/ a TJ's (closest ones are 200 miles away). In hopes that one day I will live near one and by that time I'll be well versed in what to buy...I read your blog. But in the meanwhile it makes for an entertaining read! Thanks again.

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  3. The disappointment is surprising, given that the short lived TJ's Choczilla Nut cookies were the tastiest cookies I've ever bought.

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  4. Love that you're now doing photos of the product versus just the package! Will this be a change for good?

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    1. You know, it just might. Just did it for a couple reviews we have coming up and it looks good!

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  5. think you might enjoy this http://trextrying.tumblr.com/

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    1. :) nice! enjoy! thanks for the awesome reviews

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  6. looks like Derby Pie to me. Yum!

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