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Monday, July 25, 2022

Trader Joe's Grain Free Cheeseburger Flavor Dog Treats

Man, that logo looks familiar. Where have I seen that before? Oh yeah, it's pretty similar to a well-known burger joint for people. Has Trader Joe's captured the famous flavor of an In-N-Out Burger in a tiny, crunchy dog treat?

In a word: NO. I sampled the biscuits myself, and I can tell you straight up, they taste nothing like a real hamburger. Despite the fact that there is some real beef and cheese in the biscuits, the dominant flavor here is not unlike dry, bitter falafel, probably by virtue of chickpeas being the main ingredient. If you ask me, they're not particularly appetizing even if there is a faint whisper of actual meat and dairy in there...

But then again, I'm not a dog. Our canines LOVED these. They're crispy and crunchy with a texture not unlike classic Milk-Bone treats. They're easy to break apart into smaller bite-size chunks in case you have smaller mutts like we do. Alfred and Sadie go NUTS when this box gets shaken. They come running with the quickness and begin hastily doing tricks before they're even asked to.

Next time you get fast food takeout or fire up some burgers on the grill, you don't have to leave Rover out of the fun. $2.99 for the box. Would buy again.

Four paw prints a piece from Sadie and Alfred for Trader Joe's Grain Free Cheeseburger Flavor Dog we'll throw in an extra half a paw print for nice presentation.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Trader Joe's Layered Beef Tostada

 Fast food cravings are pretty infrequent these days. 

Chick-Fil-A? Maybe once every couple months, and somehow, somewhat ironically, mostly on a random Sunday. Wendy's? About on the same schedule, but also rarely/ The fabled golden arches, or as my four year old likes to say, "Mick-ell-Donnells'? Maybe once a year, if only for a breakfast sando, or if the kids are hangry on a road trip, I'll consider. 

Taco Bell? Practically once a decade...which is a lot more often than Burger King...but anyways....

If I were more of a Taco Bell fiend, I'd likely be more familiar with the "Mexican pizza" that's not on the menu rotation any longer from what I gather, and that the new Trader Joe's Layered Beef Tostada at least somewhat emulates and may serve as a somewhat suitable replacement for. 

Where do we start with this near disaster, though?

First, I guess, the basics. There's a beef and bean paste-like substance sandwiched between two tortillas that serve as the base of this offering. It's bland and nondescript without anything to it. Atop the top tortilla, there's a handful of cheedar cheese, some diced poblanos, sliced black olives and green onions all kinda haphazardly strewn about. It's as sloppy looking as once can imagine.

No matter, bake it up and it'll taste great, right? Everything (and I mean everything) is pretty much devoid of anything resembling flavor. It' uninspirational. Just tastes like soggy cardboard. Oh, there's the word, soggy. Baked up at 425 for slightly longer than the recommended 18 minutes, it's still a wet, jumbled, not crispy or crunchy anything. It's a soggy jumbled mess. 

How can something go so wrong? Poblanos (or perhaps more aptly, poblandos) just aren't a pepper worth featuring in a dish. In a school play, they'd be a tree, not Snow White or one of the dwarves. And everything else just doesn't have anything to make up the slack. There's no spice, ni pizzazz, no flavor...just bland mush. Which, come to think of it, is exactly how I consider most of my Taco Bell experiences to be, so perhaps this is the perfect pizza to compare them with. 

If I were to ever eat this again, i'd need to bake longer and load up on some salsa or some sauces or something. But more likely than not, I'm just gonna skip it from here on out. 

My lovely bride was a touch more forgiving and said she'd try again as part of a snack or something. But she shared much of the same observations, so good to know it wasn't just me. 

So disappointing. It's an airball that shoulda been a slam dunk. Awful stuff. Just skip it, and hopefully that freezer aisle real estate can be reallocated soon enough to something much more worthwhile. One spoon from me, two from the Mrs.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Layered Beef Tostada: 3 out of 10 Golden Spoons.

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