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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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Trader Joe's Organic Strawberry Lemonade

It's tough to type this without it sounding like a out-and-out whiny complaint, but maaaaaan July and August in Pittsburgh are fairly unpleasant. It's all about the humidity. It's atrocious. For the past couple days as I've left for work at about 8 a.m., it's felt like I've left the comfort of my home and stepped straight into a vaporous incarnation of a sponge hot hot and fresh from the dishwasher. Our power went out twice last week for hours, leaving us in a hot sticky mess where the usual standing order for goodnight hugs and baby snuggles were temporarily suspended for sheer survival's sake. Ugh. It's just bad. At the same time, I realize I could live somewhere else that would be prone to tornadoes or wildfires or massive widespread flooding, and my heart goes out to all communities affected by all those recently, especially Prescott, AZ. In the grand scheme,a couple months of hot steamy mugginess in the summer is not a bad truce to have with Mother Nature. I'm just glad for when those times come, God invented air conditioning.

I'm also glad he invented Trader Joe's Organic Strawberry Lemonade for these summer months. At the very least I can say he inspired those who manufacture this delicious concoction, as I believe it is truly the product of inspired divinity.

How can anything possibly taste this impossibly good? It's improbably perfect. Every sip has the proper balance of tart lemony citrus and sweet sugary strawberry that blends together in a smooth, cool, refreshing taste that however temporarily brings it all down a few degrees. And this ain't wimpy stuff, oh no. It's potent and unrelenting in it's powerful tastiness.  I tell you, it's addicting and highly chuggable for those in search of liquid refreshment. Heck, I don't even want to stop there. When I rule the world, or at least the local waterpark, I will replace all water with this lemonade. Can I wade into a wavepool churning and swaying with strawberry lemonade? Can I coast down a long twisty turny waterslide (err, lemonade slide) and splash land at the bottom, face-first mouth-open? Can I grab an innertube and float down a lazy river armed with just a swimsuit, shades, and an extra long straw for the occasional sip? Believe me, if I could, I would. It's so impeccably funktastalicioso that I'll overlook the "black carrot concentrate" added "for color" and wonder how in the h-e-double Bendi straw that works. And it almost goes without saying that add some booze and ice cubes for the adults or freeze it into some popsicles for the kiddos, and you get yourself one cool treat.

Obviously, I'm about as high on the strawberry lemonade as I can be. I think the wife and I have bought it four times thus far this summer, and seeing as that we're currently out, I'm beginning to get the DTs from withdrawal. That's just me, as Sandy's not nearly the aficionado that I am. "Eh, it's just lemonade to me," she says. That's like saying the Beatles were just a pop band or that, for his time and era, Jonathan Taylor Thomas was just another child actor. Sandy continues, "It's not like 'Ermergerd, it's strerberry lermernerde!'" It hurt just typing that, yeesh. She gave it a mere three. I file my five in protest, as this may be one of the best drinks Trader Joe's carries. Better than sweet tea. Better than the Arnold Palmer. Better than the vintage root beer, and way better than this primordial green ooze. Yums all the way around in my little world.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Strawberry Lemonade: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons       


  1. Have u tried the regular organic lemonade? Love it, even has a bit of pulp in it... add some vodka and u got a cactus cooler.... :-)

  2. Props for the usage of "yeesh"; also, don't you worry about kids peeing in your pools at the strawberrylemonadepark?

  3. Thanks for remembering us here in Prescott. The support we have gotten from all over the world has been so needed.

  4. Try it with a splash of Domaine de Canton. It's a ginger liqueur. Yum! What a refreshing, summertime, adult beverage.

  5. funktastalicioso...awesome word!