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, February 27, 2012

Trader Joe's Thai Style Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Pizza pretty much speaks for itself, so I'm not going into some big ol' thing about it. I love pizza, you probably at least like it, enough said. Also, I think I've expressed my thoughts about Thai food in enough other reviews around here that I'm not going to go rehash all them. Bottom line is, I also love Thai food, and I *hope* that you at least like it, too.

But...combining them? Now there's an interesting concept that I haven't had before. Is it really a surprise that once I saw this on the fresh pizza shelf, I thought, "Sandy and I have to have this?" Nah, not at all, especially given our previous tasty experience with one of TJ's fresh flatbread pizzas (which mercifully came back in stock after being absent for months, I thought it was a goner) balanced with our general ambivalence towards the TJ freezer pizza line. For only $3.99 (which is less than the $4.28 we paid for a cheese pizza on clearance the previous night at Target*), it's worth the shot. Oh, the things I do for this blog...

Tell ya what: Trader Joe's Thai Style Chicken Flatbread Pizza works, and works well. The pizza portion bakes in the oven for only about 5 or 6 minutes (I might have baked our more like 7 or 8) right on the oven rack. That stuff in the cup and baggie you see in the pic? That's basically like a fresh slaw of cabbage, carrots and red bell pepper bits that you mix in a bowl with some peanut sauce and spread atop the pizza once baked. All the veggies are firm and crunchy, and the peanut sauce is more or less a basic pad thai sauce, which means I like it. The flatbread is a little thick and flaky, but definitely good, and its covered with a plum sauce that from the little I could taste of it seemed good. It has all these other things like soy sauce and vinegar and five spice in it, and it's really not spicy at all. There's a little too little of the chicken, naturally, but that too is good, and it's topped off with provolone and mozzarella cheese - hmm, that might be the most Italian part of the whole pie.

That leads me to this, so follow me here. The directions on the back of this say that after you bake the pizza and spread the slaw, you should cut the pizza in half then "fold each half taco-style." So what this is telling me is, as an American, I should prepare this Thai/Italian fusion product and enjoy like a Mexican food. Interesting, and very fully culturally inclusive of them. I have no doubt that this would be enjoyed without folding it in half, but if that's what they recommend, can it really be called pizza? Not that you can't fold a pizza slice in half, but the outcome of this is more like a baked sandwich (closest thing I could think of is a baked panini). Of course, if it's marketed under "pizza looking thing that really you fold into a sandwich," well, that just might confuse everybody. Maybe it's better to call it a "pizza" that you eat like a "taco," which invariably brings this to mind. Believe me, I've thought about this way too much in the 24 hours or so that it's been between my eating of this product and the writing of this review. It felt good to let that all out.

Anyhoose, both the wifey and I enjoyed our respective nibbles, which with some chips and salsa made a more-than-adequate late Saturday lunch. The flatbread on my half folded over quite nicely, whereas hers busted in half which led to a collateral slaw pile on her plate. I mistook that for her not liking the slaw - she's veggie-sensitive at times - but nah, she said she liked it just fine. In fact, a little less slaw might be preferable for some, as I kept all mine on and it seemed to be the predominant taste. Not that's it bad, but I couldn't get as accurate a gauge on the rest of the Thaitalian taco as I would've liked. As a whole, it seems to edge more towards the fresh and savory side of Thai-ish cuisine instead of spicy, which is okay and a change-up for me, at least. Sandy's on board with a good solid four for the chicken pizza, and I concur.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Thai Style Chicken Flatbread Pizza: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons
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*Clearance freezer pizza? Interesting concept. It was a Newman's Own, which for late night after a long Friday during Lent, worked just fine.

4 comments:

  1. Real New Yorkers fold their pizza slices. Assuming they're eating NY-style pizza. What makes this not pizza is what's on it, not how you eat it. haha :)

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  2. So...I was really excited to get this for my husband. I couldn't find it in the pizza section so I asked and employee, and they phased it out because it was selling well. Such a bummer. I really wanted to try it!

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  3. EXCEPT FOR : NON ORGANIC MILK AND CHICKEN EGGS ARE FED GMO THAT IS A FACT TRADER JOES USES MILK FROM CLOVER I TALKED WITH THE HEAD DIRECTOR AT CLOVER FARMS AND SHE SAID THAT UNLESS IT'S ORGANIC THEY HAVE TO USE GMO FEED THE TRADER JOES HEADQUARTERS HAS SAID THAT THEY CAN'T FIND A FARMER THAT IS NON GMO THAT IS NOT ORGANIC FOR THE CHEAP PRICE THEY SELL FOR IF ANYBODY WANTS PROOF LEAVE A MESSAGE TO ME AND I'LL GET YOU PROOF THE # TO THE HEAD DIRECTOR OF CLOVER AND THE LOT# ON THE MILK THAT IDENTIFY S WHERE THE MILK COMES FROM AND TRADERS CORPORATE # BUT I HAVE DONE THE RESEARCH AND TRADER JOES HAS A LOT OF HIDDEN THINGS IN THERE CLOSET THERE OK BUT I ONLY BUY ORGANIC THERE EVEN MY FAVORITE CINNAMON BREAD HAS NON ORGANIC EGGS WHICH IS GMO FED CHICKENS EVEN THERE CHEESE NON ORGANIC IS GMO FED COW CHEESE

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  4. kkett12001 could you please use periods? And can you stop yelling?

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