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, September 16, 2016

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chai & Almond Bar

No, I didn't crop the picture a little too close or accidentally leave out a letter in this product title. I also had to correct Sandy a couple times too, despite her usually being a stickler about such things. The state forest near her alma mater of Clarion University is Cook Forest, and if you call it Cook's...*guh*. Shudder. Brace yourself.

So when she started calling this product Trader Joe's Chocolate Chai & Almond Bark, I had to give it to her back. "Look! There's no 'k'! It's just a bar! C'mon! Jeez! Get with it! Ugh!"

Turnaround is fair play. It can also put a damper on the one night of the week that the mom-in-law's out of the house, after the kids go to bed, when you get to have some quality adult time doing adult things...like drinking beer and playing mancala.

Anyways, no "k." It's just bar. Doesn't matter that it looks like a bark, eats like a bark, barks like a bark...it's just Trader Joe's Chocolate Chai & Almond Bar. Bars can be square, I guess.

Dang tasty bar. Just look at how gorgeous it is - a thick, milk chocolate base, with some darker chocolate marbled up on top, with full roasted almond nestled in fairly amply - very few bites without. By myself, I wouldn't have thought of infusing chai tea with chocolate - but it definitely works here, in a way I can't quite explain. It's there, and very present, but as pleasant accompaniment and not a dominant flavor. It's well balanced with the milder milk chocolate, while still accentuated by the dark, with the almond adding a roasted earthy bite. Well done.

And as I said, it's thick. Thicker than a normal chocolate bar, for sure. Sometimes, chocolate with this kinda girth can be hard to gnaw through, but that's not the case. Our teeth glided through each bite, with the only interruption being one of those tasty nuts. A tougher bite would have killed any goodwill with this bar, so thank goodness TJ's got this right.

Sandy and I gulped down the whole bar over a few games, with the last bite being wagered on who won a particular round...I lost :(. She's the one who found it on a solo shopping trip and couldn't recall the price...$3? $4? Whatever it was, it's worth it. Will definitely buy again...and again.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Chocolate Chai & Almond Bar: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. Hey! My husband and I are Clarion alum, as well! Go Golden Eagles! Can't wait to find this at our local TJs. Looks good!

    1. Courageous. Confident. Clarion. See ya at ALF!

  2. I love this blog. Not only does it inform me of which new TJs treats are worth buying. It also helps confirm I made the right decision by skipping marriage and kids! Sheesh, every blog entry is filled with picky toddlers, annoying spouses and inlaws!

  3. Going to seek this out on my next trip to TJ's.

    I have a bone to pick, however. Perhaps Starbucks started it, but it is now so widespread it's ubiquitous... Chai IS spicy tea, so saying chai tea is redundant. Learn of which you drink, people.

    That said - it's not your fault, just a pet peeve of mine.

  4. Just bought this, it is SO good, I couldn't stop myself from eating half the bar. I hope it's still in stock the next time I go back to Trader Joe's!

  5. I was skeptical about all of those flavors mixed together but it's good!