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 20, 2013

Trader Joe's Turkey Gobbler Wrap

To start off, it's not like Trader Joe's Turkey Gobbler Wrap is a fairly unique product offering. Out here in Western PA, at Mad Mex restaurants this time of year, you can go get yourself a Gobblerito. I haven't partaken of that, nor I have tried Wawa's* Gobbler sandwich which is similarly boasted about. There's probably a zillion others out and around town right now, as if portable Thanksgiving leftover mashups are the new rage as everyone is finally getting sick of pumpkin-related stuff. To me, it looked like an just-interesting-enough easy lunch alternative to the usual same ol' same ol' TJ's trots out without fail or much variance. Really, as surprisingly good as they are, I don't think I can ever eat one of their tamales again. Too much.

TJ's take on the turkified Thanksgiving tidbits twirled into a tortilla is actually pretty decent. For whatever reason, I didn't have high hopes for it at time of purchase. It's a good sized wrap, certainly not the size of say a burrito from Qdoba (I've ridden in smaller minivans) but more like one that'd be par for the course from the local convenience shop. There was just enough turkey chunkage in each bite to keep me from feeling cheated - a little bit more would've been appreciated but not a dealbreaker. I think I just wanted more because the turkey itself was pretty good - nicely roasted, fresh, not too thick, not too thin. Nicely done. The stuffing was kinda nondescript (think more or less compressed StoveTop and it's close enough) but the dried cranberries....yum. Kinda like Lebowski's rug (warning, definitely NSFW), it tied the whole thing together into a wrap worth eating. Not sure if the cream cheese was really necessary - in fact, I'll say no, though there wan't a lot. The tortilla was replacement level at best, kinda a boring flour one, but not bad either.

However, let's talk about that "festive dipping sauce" mentioned on the label. What's "festive" about a tepid pool of grayish/brownish milky Frankengravy? It is Frankengravy as a quick scan of the ingredients states the sauce has both turkey gravy AND beef gravy in it. What the h-e-double bendi-straw is up with that? It's probably not a mortal sin to mix gravies, but it should be in consideration. Plus, despite that, about the only two things the sauce succeeds in is 1) adding a lot of unnecessary sodium and 2) making the nondescript tortilla soggy and not much else. I liked my wrap better without the sauce than with, but maybe that's just me.

Sandy hasn't tried this, not because she wouldn't, but because I bought just one and ate it all, so tough luck. A quick scan of some comments from our Facebook page reveal a lot of love for the gobbler wrap - Jes, a self proclaimed picky eater, states she loves it, as did pretty much everyone else. Kam, another fan, noted the nutritional info, though - yeah, it's pretty bad. Is it fair I grant this product a four on the behalf of you all? No objections? Fine, a four then. I'm thankful that this was pretty good as is, but it could've been better. Imagine, for example, big bites of turkey with mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecan crunchies, wrapped up in a wheat or multtgrain tortilla with cranberry dipping sauce. Patent that and make a million bucks. But for $3.99, I could've done worse. I'm going with a 3.5.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Turkey Gobbler Wrap: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons
* Wawa is an eastern PA/southern New Jersey chain of convenience stores. There's a Pennsylvanian culture war between them in the East and Sheetz here in the western parts. As someone who's lived in both of their prime turfs, I prefer Getgo over both - they make the best breakfast sandwich, pure and simple..


  1. Wawa's Gobbler is REALLY good, although I gotta say overall, I'm with #TeamSheetz.

  2. I never tried Sheetz but I do love Wawa's gobbler