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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Half a cookie.

Wait. Half a cookie?!?!?!?!

I'm a guy, and aside from the bathroom paint job that's sat idle the past couple months, I don't do anything halfway, much less when it comes to one of the best things ever: food.

I don't eat just half a burger. I don't drink just half a beer. I may on occasion eat only half a pizza, but that was mainly back in college. That hasn't happened for a while. And I don't drink just half a coffee, unless it's the tepid brownesque swill from the work pot.

And I sure as heck don't eat just half a cookie.

Unfortunately that's the serving size for a Trader Joe's Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie, and to doublr down on my woes, my lovely bride is the serving size enforcer. It says half, you get half. I had the indignity of having to share my cookie with her the other night, so tonight, right before writing this, when I had the chance to go whole cookie all by my bad self, I manned up and did it.

Ooof.

These choco-squared TJ's cookies are no joke. A little crisp, a little moist, a little chewy,and they're definitely heavy on the chocolate, as one might expect. It doesn't really hit how potently choco-licious these cocoa-concoctions are until eating a whole cookie...by the end I had had enough. The big choco-chunks made a nice varient to the overall doughy softness, that had a just a little greasy crisp to the outside. It reminded me of something, but couldn't quite think of it...

"Like the corners from a brownie pan," Sandy said.

Yes. That's almost precisely it.

As one may expect, these cookies are atrocious for you. Gotta treat yo'self sometimes and after having salad for two meals, one of these didn't hurt too much from a caloric intake perspective. My taste buds begged to differ - by the last bite, it was enough. Not that I'd ever admit that, and if given the chance I'd eat another whole one...but if my wife or kids asked for a bite, I may choose, out of my grace, to not be so greedy as to keep the whole cookie for myself.

Not too many negatives. Sandy wishes she could eat a whole one without feeling guilty, limitng her score to a 3.5. A couple bites I had tasted a little salty - not necessarily in an unwelcome way, but it was definitely a little uneven. The four pack cost around $4, so it was a mid-level value at best. I'll go with a 3.5 as well.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Trader Joe's Rainbow Wrap


Taste the rainbow, friends. Other than Skittles, this is probably the most colorful thing I've eaten in a while. Actually, I haven't had Skittles in years. This might be one of the most colorful things I've eaten period. Let's see: we've got red beets, orange sweet potato, yellow hummus and chick peas, green spinach, and a purplish tortilla. What? No blue? No indigo?

Whether Roy G. Biv approves or not, this is a great lunch for a hot summer day. It feels and tastes fresh, and it won't weigh you down too much. There are plenty of savory and earthy flavors here, and the sweet potato lends just enough natural sugar to keep it interesting.


The beets weren't overly beety. They're not pickled, so they simply lend a bit of earthy crunch to the mix. The curried hummus was flavorful but not overbearing. The chick peas? I've mentioned how I feel about chick peas before. If anything, I'd just ask for more of 'em.

Sonia wanted the sweet potato chunks to be just a tad softer than they were. They were much firmer than either of us expected, but unlike my loving wife, I was okay with it. They were somewhere between the texture of a water chestnut and that of a chunk of regular potato in a potato salad. We both see why they might want them that way—the wrap may have seemed a tad "soggy" if the sweet potatoes had been too soft. As is, they provide a little body and texture, and contribute the most "meatiness" of any of the ingredients.

Granted, we had some other snacks along with it, but just this one wrap was enough for Sonia and I to share for lunch, and it was quite filling. We're eating less and less meat these days, and feeling better about it all the time. This vegan item is $4.49 at TJ's. Four stars a piece.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Repeat Customer Podcast: Beyond Cookie Butter




A few weeks ago, our very own Russ and Sandy Shelly got to be guests on a brand new podcast called "Repeat Customer." They showed the podcast's host, Toronto-based Mio Adilman, around their local Pittsburgh TJ's—his very first visit to a Trader Joe's store.

Also check out the podcast on iTunes and Zendesk!