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, October 28, 2013

Trader Joe's Pita Crisps with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds

Well, hello friends. In case you haven't noticed, Sandy and I have been pretty busy lately, so I've been a wee bit negligent in my posting duties as of late. I could go into all the reasons why...packing, double closings, moving, painting, two out of town weddings, unpacking, new shift/promotion at work, a toddler who's learning to walk....the list goes on. I'll just take the cue from Dr Evil and move on. Just thanks to Nathan and Sonia for shaking off their pumpkin-induced haziness every now and again to keep this up and running.

Fortunately, we have found time every once in a while to eat, and have found some good stuff in the meantime. On the same late night, blog-writer card pullin' trip in Salt Lake City (complete with customers in lingerie! - apparently this is why - semi-NSFW) we found the Cookie and Cocoa Swirl, we found these Trader Joe's Pita Crisps with Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds. Unfortunately, we haven't spotted them yet back in the 'burgh, so this is a wee bit from memory, but I think it'll be accurate enough.

These were a mixed bags of sorts, fairly literally. Let me explain. Most, if not all, of the ones I consumed tasted pretty salty, which if I'm noticing it, that's saying something. Sandy said hers weren't at all and instead were actually sweet, especially the bites with cranberries. Maybe I was just breathing in more of the air as we munched these driving around Antelope Island State Park. I don't know. The saltiness didn't catch on 'til a few chips in, but once I did, my satisfaction level with them began declining kinda sharply.  Other than that, they were a decently okay munchie snackie. The pumpkin seeds didn't add that much in either texture or taste, as they were unshelled, understandably, I guess. Imagine a basic multigrain pita chip, with its overall multilayer crispiness and crunchiness, with an occasional cranberry tossed in, and that was about it.

The inclusion of the cranberries were a little problematic, though. Most pita chips go well with any type of hummus or salsa or whatever kind of dip. Because of the berries, these begged for something a little different, and for whatever reason, cream cheese came to mind. Perhaps to be all seasonal and whatnot, pumpkin cream cheese? Maybe. But the thought of snacking, bag of chips in one hand, block of cream cheese in another is just so unappetizing to me that I just ate them straight and tried to not dwell too hard on potential condiment sidekick options.

Well, whatever. They made an okay enough of a snack for driving around a big stinky lake staring at buffalo while M (now that she's walking, she's not Baby M anymore!) alternately snoozed and smeared a blueberry/fruit sauce pouch snack literally all over her head and car seat. Kids these days....Sandy liked 'em enough to go with a four. That's too rich for my blood. I'm going 2.5.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Pita Crisps with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons    


  1. I love these chips with the pumpkin butter. The sweetness of the butter works really well with the slight saltiness of the chips.

  2. Hmm...I just bought a bag of these and loved them. Mine were sweet like they had sugar on the outside. I went back and bought 2 more bags because I liked them that much and then came on the web searching for reviews.

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