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, April 12, 2016

Trader Jacques' Lemon Meringue Tarte

To me, few things in life are as exciting as the start of the NHL playoffs. (Go Caps!) But new lemon-flavored TJ's products just might be on that short list—because the store has an excellent track record in that department. And as is the case with professional ice hockey, you're bound to run into a French name or two in the world of TJ's fine desserts. Bonjour, Jacques!

There's a layer of sweet and sour lemony goodness right at the heart of this pastry. It's tart and tangy and has pretty much everything lemonophiles are looking for. The crust is buttery and thin and adds a bit of firmness to the otherwise airy dessert. It's so good, if anything, I wish there were more of it.

In the past, Sonia has complained about meringue getting in the way of her enjoyment of similar pies and tartes on the basis that it's "too eggy." Not here. The meringue is a very neutral, lightly-sweet whipped topping—the literal icing on the cake...er, pie...er, tarte. Also, it's lightly toasted around the edges, as seen in the photo to the right.

Sonia also raved about the presentation of this product, pointing out the perfect little peaks of meringue all evenly-spaced on the top of the pie. Although, in our box, about a third of the meringue came off of the pie and stuck to the plastic lid when we removed it. It was simple enough to scrape it off and re-apply it to the tarte, but still should be noted in case you're buying this for the dessert table at some uber-formal event or something.

All in all, this is another lemony win for TJ's. It's definitely something Sonia and I could see ourselves purchasing again. $5.49 for four servings. Not super cheap, but worth it. Four and a half stars from Sonia, four from me.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.


  1. that's not a bad price...lemony eh? will have to check it out

  2. just when I though I couldn't love y'all more... two things I adore - meringue and the Capitals.

  3. The amount of sugar is high but I need to give it a try. That sounds so good. It made in France so those French people know their pastries.

  4. And $5.49 is super cheap guys....lol.
    I grew up & lived in several cities in Maryland/DC. Also lived in VA, several places in Southern California and now Seattle. Any one of those places or anywhere near any of those places you would spend that much or more on an individual tartlet.

    1. And those are all very expensive areas!

      I was thinking more along the lines of - if you're at TJ's, there are lots of dessert options for under five and a half bucks. But yes, if you're comparing it to other meringues, $5.49 isn't bad at all.

  5. Is it ready to eat or needs to be baked?