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, March 18, 2014

Trader Joe's French Toast

Dear Trader Joe's,
Really? Just French Toast? Meh. You guys do strange stuff way better than normal stuff. Since you seem to be having a difficult time coming up with unusual things to do with your French Toast, here are some ideas: Gluten Free French Toast. Dark Chocolate Covered French Toast. French Toast on a Stick. Pumpkin French Toast (seasonal). French Toast Joe-Joe's. (Bite sized French toast flavored cookie sandwiches with maple syrup flavored filling). French Toast Ice Cream (Mini French toast bites suspended in French vanilla ice cream with ribbons of maple goo swirled throughout). I apologize if any of these products already exist or are in the works. In that case, I guess you can just
chalk it up to "great minds thinking alike." I realize most of your products originate from third parties, but it's really tempting for me to imagine this carnival-like think tank full of foodies and food scientists at Trader Joe's HQ—like a cross between Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and that time Bart visited MAD Magazine...like the culinary equivalent of Google. If that is, in fact, what your corporate offices are like, you must hire me immediately. I would prefer your East Coast Headquarters in Boston. Consider this my cover letter.
Best, 
Nathan M. Rodgers

But seriously though, plainness aside, Trader Joe's French Toast might be a viable option for French toast lovers that don't have time to whip up a batch on their own. This product was definitely one instance when the microwave worked better than other cooking options. The toaster, though simple and convenient, made the French toast too hard and kinda dry. French toast is better when it's on the soft side and almost mushy. There weren't many weird artificial ingredients, which is always nice, but the product wasn't exactly bursting with flavor in my opinion. Butter and syrup definitely helped, although it's still not the best French toast I've had. But we can't be too hard on it since it's pre-packaged and can be ready in a few short minutes. I think in this case, we're looking at 3.5 stars from Sonia and 3 stars from me.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.
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6.5 isn't a terrible score. Don't be too hard on yourself, Big Joe. We still love you. How much do we love you? We love you 500 posts worth. That's right, the team here has collectively posted 500 different reviews, often reviewing two or more products in one article. Don't believe us? Go ahead and count 'em. We probably would have given up long ago if it weren't for you, our faithful readers. Thank you so much for your input, comments, shares, likes, pageviews, and follows.

12 comments:

  1. Got very excited when I saw Dark Chocolate Covered French Toast, Pumpkin French Toast, etc. then realized were gently urging Trader Joe's to come up with same. Plain old French toast— like scrambled eggs— is incredibly easy to make and so much better than anything frozen you can buy. Hopefully TJoe's reads your post and follows through.

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    1. Totally, Michelle! This frozen French toast isn't bad, but it's no substitute for homemade.

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  2. Congrats on your 500th product! Love the blog - thank you so much for doing it :)

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  3. I love your blog! Keep it up!

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  4. Two years ago, TJ's had a chocolate stuffed french toast and MAN was it good with maple syrup. Then they discontinued it. I'm still crying over it...

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    1. Whaaat? Chocolate stuffed French toast??? Why have I never heard of this??? To quote the most profound TJ's tweet ever:

      "It's temporarily out of stock." -Trader Joe's. Translation: "It's gone from the universe forever."

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  5. Unlike Shauna, I tried the chocolate stuffed french toast and hated it!

    On a dinner note, you should definitely see if you can find chicken gorgonzola (in the freezer section), or chicken medallions with coconut red curry (in the refrigerated meats section). The chicken gorgonzola has been my favorite meal for awhile now, but the curry might have taken that place after I tried it tonight. Wow!!

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    1. Thanks for the rec. I'll look for those next time!

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  6. Congratulations on the 500th post! I love this blog. You guys are so silly. I love TJ's too and I've totally adapted an "experimental' approach with my shopping there, thanks to this blog.

    A couple of Fridays ago, drunk with payday lunch money power, I went into TJ's and purchased 3 stinkers! I believe they were (now, don't judge me. I was hungry, lunch was late, and I had a pocketful of cash) TJ's sushi (Siiigh I blame myself for this. I should have known better), some sour cream and onion corn puffs, (a big bag of flavorlessness) and a Toblerone just because I've never had one before (too sweet! used it a week later to make brownies).

    But 'twas all in good fun. Those are the breaks. ;-) Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thanks for the info, tiga! I know Russ took a look at those puffs a while back and he wasn't super enthused either. We appreciate the congrats and, of course, ALL of your wonderful comments!

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