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, March 1, 2017

Trader Joe's Mini Chocolate Hold the Cone! Ice Cream Cones

These are like little ice cream cones for dolls. Or, if you're a dude, you might prefer action figures. Not that they made food-themed accessories for G.I. Joes... But hey, I just thought of something: what if G.I. Joe actually IS Trader Joe? Like, he retired from active military service and then used his international contacts from around the world to ship various foods to his trading post..? They're both elusive to the media, they stay out of the limelight, they have extensive foreign connections, and they're both named JOE. Coincidence?

At any rate, these cones look and feel like they should be eaten by toys...or very young children...or very small people. But make no mistake, they are made of actual ice cream. And they will melt if you let them. But they won't. Because it takes about three seconds to eat one.

They're snackable, if perhaps a tad gimmicky. The chocolate ice cream is sweet and flavorful. The coating is firm, crisp, and chocolatey, and the cone is nice and fresh for a cone that's been frozen, ostensibly for weeks or months, and heavily packaged. Eight in a box, $2.99 for the set. The vanilla flavor was unavailable at the particular TJ's we shopped at last week, although I'm sure we would have enjoyed them at least as much as the chocolate variety.

These would be great for parties. They're more hors d'oeuvres-ish than your average Nutty Buddy ice cream cone or Drumstick or what have you. And I guess you could make the "built-in portion control" argument if you have a nasty ice cream addiction or something, but they're simply not practical for everyday snacking. For that reason, Sonia gives them only three and a half stars. See the picture above for hand to mouth to cone size ratios. Keep in mind, if anything, Sonia's hands and mouth are slightly more diminutive and daintier than a normal person's—er, I mean the average person's. 

I can't punish these little fellas for not being something they're not even trying to be. They're yum-tastic and perfect for group snacking. Four stars from me.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.


  1. I have been getting these for my daughter as desserts when I prefer that she has something very small. They're perfect for a four year old! I eat about half of the package in one sitting!

  2. hahaha, if I have to eat a half package or a whole box to fill the sweet tooth, then I'll just get a bowl of ice cream

  3. I love that they're small. Satisfies my sweet tooth without eating a bowl of ice cream. These are one of my favorite things at TJ's.

  4. Too small for me, unfortunately. It makes me want more.

    1. Sometimes less is more. And other times, it's just less.

  5. The chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches are delicious!

  6. If i had a kid i would totally buy these as a way to bribe them to finish a healthy dinner or as their dessert treat while i had a proper scoop of ice cream. But something so small would leave me unsatisfied and still craving a "real" dessert

  7. They should make with nuts! Mini drumsticks. They should find a supplier seperately so no cross contamination will occur

  8. These are bite-sized and tasty, but they don't hold a candle to the MUDD PIE! :P