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, January 13, 2016

Trader Jacques' Tarte à l'Oignon Alsatian Style Onion Tart

If you like onions, you'll undoubtedly like this onion tart. Why? Because it's nothing but a boatload of caramelized onions on a bed of buttery bread. Is that a good thing? Yes...if you like onions.

From the moment we peeled back the plastic wrapping, that pungent, oniony fragrance filled our entire kitchen. Even standing five or 10 feet away from the product, it was still noticeable—and possibly even overwhelming, particularly for onionophobes. Good thing both Sonia and I like onions.

We've noticed that the scent of onions on one's breath is vaguely offensive only if you have abstained from the consumption of onions. If you've been eating them too, then it's not so bad. Who wants to kiss someone with onion-breath, except perhaps someone else with onion-breath? Garlic possesses similar qualities.

We heated the product per the instructions, but felt that it came out a little underdone. We were both quite hungry at the time, so we bypassed the option of putting it back in the oven and ate it as it was. It was still delicious, if perhaps a little doughy. We both agreed that the more thoroughly cooked parts were superior in taste and texture. The little bit of browning and crisping we had around the edges and corners was very welcome. So, if anything, I'd say err on the side of overcooking this product just a tad.

The crust is very similar to a pizza crust. There aren't many surprises there. As mentioned before, the onions are caramelized and also fairly creamy. I'm not sure if this would make a great stand-alone dinner just by itself, but as a side dish, it adds a nice, classy international element for under $4 (although TJ's official web page says something about zombies and clowns potentially changing the official price tag). This product is actually imported from France. Sonia and I have both been there, although never together. On our next visit, we will most definitely make a stop in Alsace Lorraine. 

Sonia liked it even more than I did. Four and a half stars from her. I think it deserves a four.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.


  1. Your 3rd paragraph had me rolling... thanks for the caution... lol... As much as I love carmellized onions, I may have to pass on this.

    1. I'm thinking you'll love it if you love caramelized onions. A little fattening, but tasty :)

  2. To make this onion tart even more decadent add some crisped prosciutto on top!!!!!

    1. Prosciutto would work really well with this. Good tip!

  3. I think all the price changing disclaimers list zombies, rush hour traffic etc! This sounds good in the onion front, but I'm not a fan of buttery dough. Can u taste the creme fraiche?

  4. Between the butter in the crust and the carmelized onions I think it's hard to differentiate the creme fraiche but I can taste it.

  5. I would echo your comments about overcooking for the crust, but even so did not find the crust to be a winner, and thought the filling a little bland. I'll pass next time.

  6. Love your site! I found this to be mediocre at best. We didn't eat it.