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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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Trader Joe's Rolled Oats & Peanut Butter Fiberful Granola Bars

Chocolate. Peanut butter. I'm firmly convinced that there's nothing that this combo can't do. Every year, right around Easter time, I'm reminded how good it is because of all the Reese's eggs and other choco/pb candies that float around. There's this flea market that, growing up, my family almost always went to the Saturday of Easter weekend that had this dirt cheap candy stand that overflowed with every type of candy imaginable. My dad would give each of us $5 and whatever I didn't spend on a bag of all black jelly beans (my absolute favorite) I spent on the little foil-wrapped chocolate p.b filled bunny rabbits, and I'd get handfuls and handfuls of them. It's a combo I'm still not sick of to this very day, as evidenced by my Hoover impersonation everytime I raid my mother-in-law's candy dish when we visit her. Man, I just love it.

Well, these Trader Joe's Rolled Oats & Peanut Butter Fiberful Granola Bars didn't come from a candy store or the Easter bunny, but really, they could have. The wifey and I got these for easily portable for a long weekend trek we just made to Washington DC to see some of the museums and sites. If you haven't been, it's a lot more walking than it looks like on the maps, and I mean a lot, especially when you're six-plus months pregnant like my dear, beautiful wife. It was so much walking that at one point I nearly considered getting us Segways before remembering their inventor died from driving one off a cliff or something crazy like that.

Anyways, these granola bars. These don't disappoint me one bit. I somehow missed the fact that there's chocolate in them until I ripped the package off one of these in a ravenous rage, but there's lots of milk chocolate, from a full bottom coating to the stripes up top, just as they appear on the package. Know what else isn't in short supply? The peanut butter chips. There's tons of them, enough that the whole bar is a dead ringer for a Reese's candy bar, except there's rolled oats holding it all together. Now, I haven't been keeping on my reading of the latest rolled oat technology, but TJ's figured out a way to fortify the bars with some extra fiber (9 grams per bar!). To me, I hear about something having that kinda fiber and expect it to taste funny or be texturally stiff, or have some less-than-desirable side effects, but not one of those was true for these oats and p.b. bars. Each bar was about four or five decent bites, and were a little more filling than regular granola bars, making them a perfect snack to mush into a camera bag for the day, and for something like $3 for a box of five, were way cheaper than any snack options at museum cafes. Those places are freakin' rip-offs.

Chocolate and peanut butter combo products, like these cupcakes and cookies, typically do pretty well on the blog. These granola bars will not be an exception. I cannot think of a single way to knock them, and I will be getting these again the next time I need a reliable, easily-portable snack. I mean, they didn't even get remotely melty and mushy. Just perfect. I'm going with a five. Sandy wasn't as enthused with them as me, but still really liked them. "Eh, I've had better granola bars," she said without much further explanation. In my opinion, if she had, she's holding out on me. She's going with a four.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Rolled Oats & Peanut Butter Fiberful Granola Bars: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reviewing these! I bought a package last night upon your recommendation, and I'm really glad I did! Yum!

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