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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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Trader Joe's Super Burrito!

Look, up on your lunch plate! It's a roll...it's a wrap...it's...Trader Joe's Super Burrito!!

Much to my dismay, I've found that consumption of said Super Burrito! results in no extra super powers. No leaping tall buildings. No flight or X-ray vision. Heck, for some reason I even ate one of these for a late breakfast, and still fumbled around with basic word pronunciation, sentence structure and pronoun usage until the caffeine from my coffee finally decided to kick in. That's what I'm like when tired, even more than I usually am, which is saying something. There's a reason that Nathan's the video whiz and not me.

Kicking it back to the burrito, or as I like to say, "little donkey." Sounds funnier. Anyways, this particular wrap is "Super" with an exclamation point probably because of three of the key ingredients: quinoa, sweet potato, and kale. Pretty much any respectable short list of so-called "superfoods" would have at least two if not all three of these listed - all those nutrients and vitamins and other stuff I should probably care more about one of these days.

Is the taste "super" though? Eh. It's not bad, but the highlight for me at least is absolutely the chile-onion tortilla. It's just like those ones I can always find at the Ohio stores but never here in Pittsburgh - seriously, PA, let's get better tortillas, beer and booze here, please! The bulk of the innards is composed mainly of the quinoa and micro-chopped kale kinda bathing in this "Peruvian style aji amarillo" sauce, with a couple bitty chunks of firm sweet potato here and there. There's not nearly enough sweet potato for my taste here. The quinoa tastes like, well, quinoa and the kale tastes like it's green.

 This Peruvian-style sauce, though? Hate to say it, but kinda disappointing. There's literally nothing memorable or distinguishing about it. From what I hear, it's supposed to be "spicy" and versatile", and there's a pretty significant chance I had some when I went to Peru twelve years ago - most of the sauces I can recall were spicy and flavorful and just absolutely amazing. This glop...well, it kinda tastes slightly like mayonnaise, and not much else. There's a bit of lingering heat, but its source is debatable - the sauce or the tortilla? Also, the sauce tends to get a little leaky giving the tortilla and packaging a greasy sheen. Meh.

Also...I scanned the ingredients multiple times, and maybe I'm completely missing something obvious here, but I cannot figure out why this isn't considered vegan or at least vegetarian. There's mayo, but it states it is vegan. No cholesterol, suggesting lack of animal products...can someone help me out here? 

I'm pretty sure this cost right around $3.29, and is in the fresh section - not frozen. Can be heated up in the oven or microwave if so inclined. I did neither and just ate them cold at work - no oven (no time for one anyways) and our microwaves there tend to ruin stuff more than enhance them. It may be a little on the small side at first glance, but one of these fueled me for several hours without too much tummy rumbles, so it's fairly filling. "Super" is an overstatement, but a lot catchier than "adequate", I suppose.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Super Burrito!: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

14 comments:

  1. I tried it and yep the word 'super' made me a bit afraid.. but it wasn't bad for a pre made... have u tried the black bean from the refrigerated? I liked that one a lot more.

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  2. We tried as well. It was good. Nothing special. We also prefer the black bean burritos in the yellow wrapper.

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    1. I might have tried that, might not have...hrmm...if it's as good as you and KBF say it is, I'll keep an eye out for it.

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    2. see 2 endorsements for the black bean..lol

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    3. I third that! I eat one of the black bean ones pretty much every day and I STILL look forward to it every day.

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  3. I wonder if the "enzymes" in the tortilla include L-Cysteine - could be the reason it isn't vegan or vegetarian. Seems like a shame, considering they went to the trouble to include vegan mayo.

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    1. Ohhh...good call! You might be on to something there.

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    2. Cysteine is NOT AN ENZYME!!!! It's an amino acid that comes from both animal AND plant sources. Read about it before spreading misinformation, please.

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  4. Despite the "meh" assessment, I think I'll try this. 6.5 equals pretty darn good for a pre-made pre-packaged eat at your desk on a Wednesday burrito.

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  5. I just had this for lunch today actually. You're right, it's more "adequate" than "super" most definitely. Unique...but no better than "not bad," IMO.

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  6. I guess I'm alone here, but I LOVE this burrito (I have not had the black bean one - will have to try it). It is relatively new at my Trader Joe's (and I don't pick up lunch often), and I have already had it three times. Did anyone else heat it up? I always put mine in the toaster oven before eating. Loosely wrapped in foil so it's a little crispy on top (I think I'll start flipping it halfway through so the bottom can get crispy also). I seriously love this thing, and you can't beat that price for a lunch =) Just thinking about it makes me want to drive to Trader Joe's and pick up another one ;-)

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    1. I just tried this burrito and I love it as well. I love all the ingredients in it and I'm very happy with the ratio of all of them (I don't like too many sweet potatoes.) The level of spice is great. The only thing I don't love is that it's 400 calories despite the fact that all the ingredients are healthy foods.

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  7. it's ok too spicy for me. am actually sniffling and eating this while reading your blog 😉 cheers!

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  8. I love the tortilla (had never had that kind before and will be looking for them on my next TJ's trip), but I agree with most that the rest of the burrito was merely adequate. Maybe a good go-to if I'm too lazy to make lunch and don't want to spend more at a restaurant. It was more filling than I expected given it's small size. (BTW, I eat mostly vegan and didn't see anything in this that would indicate it's not.)

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