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, May 11, 2016

Trader Joe's French Market Sparkling Limeade

Just look at the aesthetics of this bottle. Simple. Beautiful. And curvy—like a sexy woman.

Speaking of sexy women, Sonia really likes this stuff. She thinks it's reminiscent of Orangina, but lime flavored. I'd put it more in the same category as Wink, Squirt, or Fresca—but you get the idea with Orangina, too. Plus, unlike those other lightly-carbonated, citric acid-laden beverages, there's no high fructose corn syrup, brominated vegetable oil, or aspartame-type nonsense here—which is always good. 

We had some leftover tequila from last week's Cinco de Mayo celebration, so this past weekend, we tried it with this limeade as a sort of makeshift margarita. It worked okay, although not quite as well as Trader Joe's Margarita Mixer. We both agree this limeade is better without tequila. But we had it with tequila anyway. Maybe it's because we were a little goofy, but we turned on Netflix and laughed our heads off at what is undoubtedly the funniest Trader Joe's-themed stand-up bit ever.

But back to the beverage. Taste-wise, the lime flavor is there, but subtle. The citrusy essence is at least as strong as the lime, as far as my taste buds could tell. There's a bit of an acidic aftertaste, too, which I'm not a huge fan of, but it's not overwhelming. There's also the faintest hint of a syrupy sensation on the tongue, but for the most part, it's nice and "dry." 

Furthermore, the carbonation level is about perfect for this type of soda. It might be my imagination, but it feels like the bubbles are tinier here than in, say, a can of Coke or Pepsi, but there seem to be more of them, if that makes sense. It's a more pleasant sensation, in my opinion. Overall, it's a very light and refreshing beverage that works well on the rocks—a nice treat for those hot summer days lurking right around the corner.

Four stars from Sonia. Three and a half from me.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

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