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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Friday, February 19, 2016

Trader Joe's Pacific Flounder with Crab Meat Stuffing

Here in Pittsburgh, we take Lenten Fridays seriously. How seriously? Just click here - fish fry season! Any Catholic church worth it's weight holds their own, though no one yet can ably explain to me why eating a giant slab of fried fish is exactly a "sacrifice." Eh well. Bonus points to any fish fry with homemade pierogi. And if you don't know what a fish fry even is - here's a spot-on comedic primer.

But...you can't always make it to one. That's our no-fry Friday last Friday. We did make it to Trader Joe's though, saw his Pacific Flounder with Crab Meat Stuffing, and in case you find yourself in similar predicament and motivation today....

Pass on by. Not that great. Not awful. But not good. All in all, this stuffed seafood contrivance is a good idea...but just lacks any taste. Like, none. No herbs. No spice. Nothing from the cheese or breadcrumbs or saucy mayo stuff or anything else listed (the label says bell peppers, we didn't spot any!).  Just soft, flaky fish of the decent variety, filled with mushy nondescript crab with the occasional crumby grit or saucy splooge.

Both Sandy and I ended up after a couple bites reaching for the brown sugar BBQ sauce we had out for our fries just to add a little something to make our dinners actually taste like something. In all, these aren't the worst things you could spend $4ish on at TJ's, but there's lots better. Maybe these could be a Lenten sacrifice.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Pacific Flounder with Crab Meat Stuffing: 5 out of 10 Golden Spoons  


  1. That fish fry map is crazy! My nephew is a big fan of the frozen battered cod filets- usually as fish tacos.

    1. We've had those - really good, and a good choice for tacos :)

  2. I'm really surprised by this review. I absolutely love these things! However, I have never just kept them plain. I always scatter a few thin slices of butter (or drizzle of olive oil) around them on the baking dish, along with some lemon juice, and sometimes a splash of wine if I'm feeling adventurous. It makes a little bit of sauce for them that is phenomenal! I usually spoon it over the top when they're done. I guess they must taste really plain without that. I urge you to give them another try with my "recipe!" I make them often because they are so quick, easy, and delicious. I have actually been without them for a while, as several TJ's in NJ have recently taken them off the shelves because of "distributor issues." My only complaint is that the packaging is annoying to deal with.