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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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Trader Joe's Mini Pecan Pies

I'm not sure how old Nathan is, but he must be older than I thought, or at least he has a much more old school music taste than I do. While I consider myself having a fairly encyclopedic song knowledge base, when he referenced that "Sweet Little Lies" song a few weeks back for a previous review of Trader Joe's Mini Pie Medley, I couldn't place that song whatsoever. Still can't. And it's not the first time that's happened, either.

I do, however, know another song called "Sweet Little Lies" by Michael Franti (one of the best concerts my wife and have been to, despite Franti's recent and kinda disappointing career turn), which she and I nearly simultaneously broke out into upon our first bite of Trader Joe's Mini Pecan Pies: "Give me pies, pies, pies, sweet little pies/ I gots to feed my sweet tooth/ Give me pies, pies, pies, sweet little pites/ Ummmm.....Help me fit into a toll booth?"

We added that last line because man, look at the nutritional information for these guys. Or maybe don't. Make of it what you will, but.....daaaaang. All that for a couple little bites of a little pie, when I honestly could eat two or three and not feel guilty until I looked at that? I'm 31, balding, mortgage, wife, kid, regular chiropractic appointments....I need to start watching that stuff.

So the question naturally becomes, are the micro-pies worth it? An excellent question, and I kinda waver back and forth on it. In the end, I'd say probably not, because I can't decide how much I like them. I mean, they're tasty, but....probably the tastiest part is the actual pie crust itself. It's shortbread style with some sugar glazed over top to add some sweetness that lingers and lingers well after the taste of the nut filling has gone away. It's like they put a lot of effort into the crust, and succeeded, but only to cover up the deficiency of the insides. It's a fair amount of pecans, and tons of brown sugar, and it tastes a little nutty and sweet but there's something missing. I'm not sure what it is. I've admitted before that I'm a pecan pie snob thanks to my Aunt Brenda's traditional Thanksgiving pie, and I'm not sure what she does differently (maybe she just licks her fingers while making the pie), and I know that it's probably not really a fair comparison, but man....there is something missing, and I can't shake that thought.

Regardless, the pies make for an okay dessert pick up. Just eat lots of raw veggies the rest of the day. I think the six pack cost somewhere around four or five bucks, and heat up in the oven in about 10 minutes. There's also a thaw-on-the-counter option, but that's been not-so-great before, so Sandy and I skipped out on that. Just a word to the wise: give them a few minutes to cool off before consuming, because the filling gets white-hot and stays that way for about five minutes after baking. Right, dear? Sandy liked them plenty, saying she wished there was more filling in them. About the only way that could happen would be a bigger pie, as they are amply engorged with the nutty parts. She gives them a four. I counter with a 2.5,

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Mini Pecan Pies: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons


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  2. These lies weren't worth the bite sizzle. Tasteless!

    1. I wouldn't go quite _that_ far, but yeah, I wasn't too impressed either.