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, January 16, 2012

Trader Joe's Sweet Potato Frites

I love fries. Fries, fries, fries. Here they go down, down into my belly...

Let's cut straight to the matter here: Trader Joe's Sweet Potato Frites. $2.29 a bag. Worth it. For your greenbacks you get a pretty sizable bag of tasty orange starchy sticks, more than plenty for two people. Last night for our weekly dinner with my brother, his wife, their toddler, and a mutual friend, it was a stretch to finish off two bags. And what a tasty couple basket-worths those were. Just a little bit of time in the over, and the frites crisped up great, a little greasy on the outside, good and kinda mushy on the inside just like a good sweet potato fry. Tastewise, they're definitely a little sweet, a little salty, and right on par. Some of our comrades doused theirs in a little ketchup (ugh, but that's a story for another day). For me at least, the TJ fries were good 'n tasty enough to munch on down just as is.

I'd say they're just about perfect. Really, for a good snacky bite, it's tough to beat some good sweet potato fries, and I have to say, unless these are brand-spankin' new, I'm kind of embarrassed that it's taken me this long to discover them. The only ever-so-slightly negative thng I'd say is, perhaps they're just a teeny teeny bit pricy (by like *maybe* a few dimes) if for no other reason that I know plenty of spots around Pittsburgh to get a hot bunch of sweet potato fries for $2.29, at least after 10 p.m. or so. But that just won't be as much of a constant possibility soon...

You see, Sandy's been craving fries like mad recently. She's always been a fan, but the past couple months have really kicked it up a notch. If the two of us had to run out to the bar every time she wanted some good tasty restaurant quality sweet potato fries (which, make no mistake, these TJ treasures certainly are), well, we'd run up quite the tab (for me, at least). And Sandy would be a little tired for that anyways after a long day of work...hmm, while craving fries...I guess that's what happens when you're expecting a baby at the end of June...well, must be true because I just wrote it! Needless to say, it's very exciting and a little daunting for us, but I'll try to keep it contained here.*

In that light, I can see these fries being a repeat purchase for here on out. It's probably a good idea to keep an emergency stash for when her munchies hit, and believe me, I'd be glad to help out with a couple sympathy handfuls. Sandy was definitely enjoying these fries the other night (especially the ones that got a little burned for a little added crunch) and kept reaching for them, so I was a little surprised when she said she'd go with a four for them. Just a four? Really? All things considered, it's probably best not to argue about it, so I'll compensate by grading them a little more generously than I would otherwise to give them a five. It's teamwork. I think that's how this all has to work.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Sweet Potato Frites: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons
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* I have a very limited soapbox (read: practically nonexistant) in the Trader Joe's world but...why not offer some type of babyfood line? You can even brand it Trader Joey and put a kangaroo on it. Boom! I should be in marketing.

17 comments:

  1. I am a little embarrassed that I am always first to read your wonderful reviews and comment. Just lucky, I guess.
    A celiac-friendly post, double luck. I can't believe I have been shopping at TJ's for so long, and like you, missed these suckers completely. Sweet potato fries are my favorite. I know what I am doing later today. And, compared to how much I spend for them at other grocery stores, the price is...well, no different.

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  2. My family loves these, too (even the kids!). Although these aren't baby food, you'll be amazed at how quickly your future little one with be able to join you in eating "table food". Congrats on the upcoming addition to your family!

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  3. These are a staple at our house. I always make sure to have a bag on hand. They taste better than other brands and are a bit cheaper in my area. I like to bake them a few minutes extra to get them crispy.
    Congratulations on the baby news! They're such a blessing.

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  4. Congratulations on the baby news! And thanks for posting all the reviews. You've turned me on to several new products.

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    1. Thanks! And glad we've helped you find a couple tasty items.

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  5. Congrats on the baby! These fries look really good... exactly why I probably will not buy them :-)

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  6. Congrats!! There's plenty of food for babies at TJ's, especially if you follow baby-led weaning and wait a little longer so you can skip over purees. Our son's TJ's favorites (started probably around 8-9 months old): bananas, avocados, cheese sticks, frozen veggies (esp peas and corn), full fat Greek yogurt, mango juice, O's (TJ's cheerios), dehydrated strawberries, tortellini, ravioli.... the list goes on. TJ's does sell a frozen mango puree that was well-loved by a friend's baby.

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  7. Definitely not new - these have become a staple in our freezer. However, "more than plenty for two people?" I'd say: There are five servings per bag!

    Now if only I can turn my girlfriend onto them, but she can't get past the "sweet" part.

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  8. Congratulations on the new arrival. I love these and I get them often. :-), Susan Cooper

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  9. WHat a GREAT idea for a blog! I have always adored the food from TRader Joe's, but like 2$Chuck, many of the things in the store are hit or miss. Either I love them or I never want to see them again. I will definitely be checking in with you for meal suggestions! I have a suggestion of what you can do with the Chili Pepper Sauce which you might not have expected. Let me know if you want the idea. You can check out my blogs at Panna Days, Guinness Nights. Would love to hear from you!

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  10. Thanks for the well wishes! Exciting times to be sure..I'm thinking of perhaps starting a separate blog to kinda help me make sense out of it all.

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  11. Congratulations! I also wish Trader Joe's had a babyfood line, as ours is due uhm.. in two weeks. Eeek!

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  12. Aw, what "sweet" news! Congrats and best wishes to you both!

    I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I won't be trying this product -- even though I'm from the South, I really don't like sweet potatoes! But since I enjoy your writing so much, I couldn't resist commenting on the baby news...

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  13. I just wish wheat flour wasn't on the ingredient list. Mrs. Trader Kevin loves sweet potato fries, but is also gluten-free. :(

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