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, December 23, 2015

Trader Joe's Artisan Bread Pretzel Croissants

A year ago at this time, I was making some big ol' fuss about the paleo diet I was trying out and avoid grains this, no carbs that...blahblahblah. Probably drove some of ya nuts. Sorry to drag out the past out into the light.

Well, I'm not exactly following it any more. Don't get me wrong, I still have some caveman-esque diet tendencies...but I like carbs again. Well, never stopped liking them. But I gotta make sure they're a worthwhile indulgence. Hey, I worked hard to knock off a hundred pounds, I'd like to keep them off, all those Christmas cookies be darned. p.s. - Mom, keep them coming!

So...Trader Joe's now has what they're calling their Artisan Bread Pretzel Croissants. Gotta admit, I perked right up when I head that. Must. Try. I love croissants - light, flaky, crispy - and when I think soft pretzels, I think of the traditional Philly style - tough, dense, chewy - so to see how those two would combine carbo-forces into some interesting hy-bread, well, $2.49 for a two pack seemed a worthy investment.

These are some big guys. When I opened the bag there was the familiar deep salty/yeasty aroma of a soft pretzel, except a little lighter and perhaps more buttery. The exterior of each large palm sized pretssant (ugh, that doesn't work) looked much alike the skin of most typical pretzel rolls, except, well, croissant shaped. As for firmness, well, decidedly the crotzels (oh goodness, that's even worse) were much in the middle, again like a pretzel bun.

I am so sorry for quite possibly entering the word "crotzel" into the English lexicon.

Moving on, both Sandy and I had the same idea for these: Breakfast sandwiches. Slicing them proved to be a challenge, due to the flaky nature of their croissant heritage. But we were both able to get a decent sized slab to go on either side of our sausage and eggs...and fell into pretssanwich (I need to stop) heaven. Both the nature of a pretzel and the elements of a croissant were almost equally present. How can something be flaky but chewy at the same time? I don't know...but sure enough, each bite was soft and buttery at first, but quickly turned into something a little more chewable when mashed between the molars. Despite the initial flakiness when slicing, our sandwichable slabs did an excellent job of holding on to their innards. Tastewise, they perhaps veered slightly more towards pretzel, but still, so much butteriness....yum.

Both Sandy and I liked them quite a bit, and personally, I'm pretty happy that we got two bags of them, only for the kiddos and the mom-in-law to not be willing to try them for whatever silly reason. They instead opted for plain white toast. Ugh.  More for us. And that's a good thing. No real complaints here, but a little sprinkle of kosher salt on top of these would have been killer. Definitely worth the pick-up. Double fours.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Artisan Bread Pretzel Croissants: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons     


  1. It'd be good to see the actual product, not just the packaging...

    1. Agreed! We usually include those in the regular length reviews, but our pics of these didn't turn out well, which we didn't realize until after we ate them :(.

  2. These pretzel croissants are amazing! I almost wish that I never tried them :)

    1. Agreed! Just wish Sandy would let me eat some....

  3. Cannot find them anymore. Very sad.

    1. I asked about them this morning at my Trader Joe's and I was informed that the pretzel croissants were discontinued.

    2. I got the same response. Can't figure it because they sold out very quickly in the 3 stores by me. Guess they were too popular & they were tired of stocking shelves. :)