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?"

Search This Blog

Friday, June 7, 2013

Trader Giotto's Lobster Ravioli

The first and foremost thing that drew me to pick up Trader Giotto's Lobster Ravioli was their appearance. For whatever reason, I didn't take a great picture (actually, no picture at all) of these big ol' guys with the crazy red thck red stripes on them. Perhaps I've lived a fairly sheltered life as it relates to stuffed pastas, but I've never seen such a thing as striped ravioli, or if I have, I've haven't remembered, so it doesn't count. These, though...these are loud and proud and not afraid to express their semolina selves to the world. You go, ravioli. Although, it's not like different colored pasta taste all that radically different from regular, so I'm not sure of the practical use. About the only reason I can think of is somehow a game of Ravioli Crush Saga broke out and you need to know which one you can count on wiping out an entire row. A pretty similar game is the one Shelly household obsession right now. Another one, to not the same degree, is "Kitchen Nightmares" on Netflix, and on a recently watched episode, Gordon Ramsey picked up a handful of (you guessed it) red striped lobster ravioli (dried) and unleashed a string of bleeps so superfluous that I'm not even sure what words 90% of the bleeps were bleeped for. It was amazing, and it also shows that havng red-striped lobster ravioli is at least some sort of common practice.

The second thing that tempted me into buying them was the thought of tasty, chunky, lobstery, yummy bites wrapped up in some pasta and served with a little sauce. In my mind, that's what lobster ravioli is, though I have no experience to base that on. I should've figured diferently, because that's not exactly what's inside. Instead of big ol' lobster chunks, it's probably something that Ramsey would call lobster babyfood as it's all mashed and pureed up, and mixed in with all sorts of other stuff. Ours were a tad salty and a wee bit gritty, but overall  pretty decent. I liked the fact that, at least on a flavor and texture basis, they weren't too ricotta-like. There's just enough lobster in each one to be the dominant flavor and gets complemented well with the little shake of mozzarella they had. We served them up with a little vodka sauce, but I'm thinking perhaps a light butter or lemon pepper sauce would've been a better match. Regardless, while not overly impressive, and certainly not as fancy as their appearance initially made me think, the ravioli made a decent enough quick weeknight meal, and was close to worth the $4 we dropped on the sack of 'em.

Sandy also would've prefered bigger chunks of actual lobster in them. Then again, that'd probably jack the price up, but I could be on board for that. Other than that, she didn't have to say, which eans about a three, which sounds right about right to me as well.

Bottom line: Trader Giotto's Lobster Ravioli: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons

1 comment: