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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Monday, June 20, 2016

Trader Joe's "this mango walks into a bar..." Cereal Bars

This past weekend was pretty cool. We did lots of hiking, biking, and camping. It kicked off with my birthday on Friday. And I'm getting to the age where I'm supposed to hate my birthdays because they're reminders of how old I am. But I still like them because they're good excuses to eat lots of yummy foods. 

Then on Saturday, Russ took the foodie blogosphere to a whole new level with what is undoubtedly the most eloquent, inspiring review of frozen waffles in the history of mankind. It seems a shame to follow it up with this mundane look at cereal bars. But in the end, not every breakfast food review can be a transcendent, life-changing experience I suppose. 

Also, I took video of a cow on the freeway with my phone and it wound up on the evening news. Then Sunday was Father's Day and I spent it taking a walk with my dad and picnicking in a nearby park. Good times all around.

Through it all, I was snacking on these "this mango walks into a bar" bars. I like them at least as much as their predecessors. See: strawberry/blueberry (complete with terrible "walks into a bar" jokes) and pumpkin varieties.

Texture-wise, they're exactly like the other flavors. The cereal-esque coating looks and tastes exactly the same. It's moist, it's bready, and it does what it's supposed to doholds the fruit filling right in the middle of the bar.

And as far as the fruit filling goes, I was pretty impressed. It tastes like mango, it's significantly sweet, and there's plenty of it. Sonia thinks they're "not bad" and gives them three and a half stars, adding that she quickly got bored of them after her initial pleasant reaction. I see where she's coming from, but I think they're better than "not bad" and have to throw out four stars here, as I have with all previous incarnations of "walks into a bar."

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.


  1. Since they have fruit walks in a bar. Why not they just change up to "this cake walks in a bar" or even cookie butter filled bar.

  2. Uh oh..."this cookie butter walks into a bar..." sounds dangerous!