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, July 23, 2012

Trader Joe's Ridge Cut Potato Chips

It's been a busy, 'round-the-clock-type week here at the Western PA division of WGaTJ's. In case you're new to the blog or missed the announcement in Nathan's recent pad thai post, Sandy and I have just welcomed our first child into the world, a beautiful little girl who I'll just refer to on here as Baby M*. All of us are doing well, and have been getting in the rhythm of feeding, diapers, appointments, visitors, more diapers, me going back to work, calls from family, more diapers, swaddling, napping...and oh yeah, diapers. I've been doing okay with those, and actually kinda enjoy them, which isn't bad for a dude who's changed two of them in his life until about the past week and a half or so. I am so happy and so in love with my girls.

One of the best perks of having a newborn is the number of family and friends who've stopped by with homemade dinners for us. It's outstanding, and honestly, most of their stuff is much better than any Trader Joe's offering. However, that didn't preclude us from making a Trader Joe's stockpiling trip a few days before we knew Lil' Baby M would be coming. From some of our favorite snacks and easy-to-make dinners to another sack of puppy chow for our now-even-more-paranoid pupster, we spent more than what we usually do, but it'll be worth it.

And I'm glad we tossed in a bag of Trader Joe's Ridge Cut Potato Chips into the cart. These crunchy crispers make a great between-meals snack that's helps keep us going between all the mac 'n cheese and enchiladas. These chips are thick cut and super crunchy - once or twice, my beautiful wife has glanced at me from across the room and said to stop munching so loud. To my recollection she's never said such a thing in the nearly five years I've known her now. A lot of them have the peel still on, which is an added plus for me, and aren't too salty. Sure, there's enough salt in them, but to me, when most products make a point of having sea salt in them, they go out of their way to showcase the saltiness, like these brownie bites for example. Not these chips - they taste like potatoes first and foremost. I'd imagine these being perfect for dipping but we haven't explored that possibility for two reasons: 1. We don't have any great chip dip options in the house and 2. We're not huge dip people to begin with. That's okay with us, these are pretty good as is.

Sandy's a fan as am I. "They're crunchy. I like crunchy, although I like kettle-cooked chips a little bit better," she said. Yeah, those are pretty tasty too, but I like these ridgy guys just about equally as much. I'm kinda split, though, on their crunchiness factor. On one hand, they're so crunchy that, perhaps partially due to sleep deprivation, after a few they make my jaw kinda tired and hurty. Not enough to keep me away, though. On the other hand, it's sorta like a form of portion control, and so I kinda liken them to sourdough pretzels in that regard. Sandy gives them a four, as do I.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Ridge Cut Potato Chips: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons
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*If you have to ask, the "M" stands for Mini-Me. Sorry, that's all you're gonna get :).

9 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the new arrival! Missed this announcement earlier. All best wishes!

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    1. She's almost too cute for me to think she is half-me. She definitely looks a lot more like her mama, except more gingery thus far ;)

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  3. Congratulations on the little one!

    I will buy these crisps on my next trip to Trader Joe's because I've yet to disagree with a review of yours.

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    1. Thanks! She's doing great. Kinda fun that our taste buds are kindred spirits...maybe recommend me something you really like and we haven't reviewed, and I'll check it out!

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  4. Congrats on the little one... how cool is that. PS, Just liked your FB page. :-),
    Susan Cooper

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