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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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Trader Joe's Stacked Eggplant Parmesan

If someone asks you if you've tried "Trader Joe's Eggplant Parm," you've got to ask them if they mean this Stacked Eggplant Parmesan or, you know, that other abomination. Because in my opinion, this stuff is in every way superior to that Trader Giotto's eggplant dish that comes in a tray. The nutrition info for both products is comparable, although the serving size for the Stacked is somewhat smaller than the other dish. The only good thing about Trader Giotto's Eggplant Parm is that our review of it sparked a dialogue about this delicious offering. I'm super glad we tried it.

Far from being chewy like the previously-reviewed parm, the stacked variety, if anything, is too supple and soft. I understand some people prefer their eggplant on the crispy side. If you're in that boat, then I guess you might have a legitimate complaint about this particular product. I felt like it flaunted a nice "melt-in-your-mouth" quality, but Sonia thought it fell apart a little too easily. That's not to say she didn't enjoy it. She loved the flavor. And what's not to love? It's a collection of every stereotypical tasty ingredient commonly found in Italian food all mixed in and "stacked" on amazing eggplant. Especially impressive was the ricotta cheese. Tomato, bell pepper, and bread crumbs help round out the taste and texture.

We ate ours with pasta, and it worked really well. I'd be perfectly happy eating this dish all by itself, or you could slap a slab of this in between some quality Italian bread and make a sandwich of sorts. I'm not known for my culinary creativity, but I'm sure some of you guys have come up with some interesting ways to eat this entree. 

Apparently there's a third TJ's brand eggplant parm product that has somehow eluded us up to this point: Trader Giotto's Eggplant Parmesan Towers. Let us know if any of you have tried that one and we'll add it to our shopping list. Sonia and I haven't been on a proper TJ's run in a hot minute—we actually had these stacked eggplant parms a while back—but now we know there's a Pok├ęstop right next to the local TJ's, we have another good reason to go!

Four stars a piece.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.


  1. Never thought of putting it between two slices..... its pretty good for a TJ product... our packaging shows the word 'grilled'....or is there a similar eggplant pkg.?

    1. The eggplant parm product I mention in the first paragraph has the word "grilled" on the package. We didn't like that one, though...

    2. I liked the grilled better.. eggplant wasn't mushy...

    3. If we're talking about the same product, you're right, it wasn't mushy. It had the consistency of leather!

  2. The box of breaded eggplant slices are amazing- the outside bakes up crispy but the inside is stil that soft silky eggplant. Makes a great semi homemade eggplant parm with some sauce and cheese or a tasty sandwich filling

  3. seconding unknown's comment - the breaded eggplant slices are amazing
    after several messy, sloppy attempts to bread and fry eggplant myself, i asked my mother what her secret was. first, she told me that breading things was really easy and was i using enough milk? then she said, now i just use the trader joe's - so easy to make and no mess.
    now i make eggplant parm regularly with this product
    i tend to stay away from parm products that have both sauce/cheese pre-made as i have a feeling that, at best, they are better when stored and frozen/refrigerated separately? who knows. but these breaded eggplant cutlets are great

  4. I tried this for the first time last week and I really loved it. I wasn't a fan of the Trader Giotto's one either. It wasn't bad, but I just didn't care for the flavor.