Trader Joe's - Whats the big deal?
I live near Trader Joe's and am always amazed by the lines. I've gone in a few times but haven't seen anything that I had to have.
What am I missing?
What are the must have items that you can't get anywhere else?
I like their pre-cut vegetables & big bags of frozen poultry & fish. It's cheaper than what you can get at whole foods, but of similar quality. Their produce & bread is hit & miss. But for basics like spices, flour, sugar, and certain frozen items - you can't beat the price/quality combination anywhere.
I'm not sure that TJ's can sell alcoholic beverages in NYC -- I don't think so -- but the basic attraction *for me* has never been the alcohol (though sometimes they have a good deal on a beer or distillate that I like, I often find the wines lacking). No, as the above post says, really high quality packaged goods (frozen, bottled, etc.).
So its about packaged foods?
Therefore if I am into cooking (and prefer to do all the chopping myself) stick with the farmer's market and Whole Foods? I am not a fan of frozen veggies or poultry.
In NYC they do have a wine store next door and have already made my mind up about there. Some good deals, I like the Columbia Crest Cab for a good value but the two buck chuck (actually $3) was awful.