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Jul 19, 2014 02:35 PM

Favorites from the new Trader Joe's

Here are a couple things I've found at the local Trader Joes at Great Hills Trail that seem extra special, extra delicious or unique from what I can find the local Central Market, HEB, or Whole Foods.

The first time I went into a Trader Joes in New York, I was confused, didn't 'get it', and I couldn't find what I was looking for.

Next time at a Trader Joe's in San Francisco, it was much more interesting. And, I learned that interior photos of their beautiful Thanksgiving display were not allowed and "against the law"...

Now that there's a Trader Joe's in the 'hood, I've had a chance to leisurely peruse it without being 'on the clock' while on a work trip. Here are a couple products I like and things appreciate about the local Trader Joes.

1) Individually wrapped goat cheese discs, 4 or 5 to a package

PERFECT for adding one to a bowl of their Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper soup from a carton.

The individually wrapped part means less waste to me, since not everyone likes goat cheese.

2) Trader Joe's Raisin Rosemary Crisps

First impression: that's a strange combination of ingredients.

First taste = WOW. Delicious. These are GREAT plane food / purse food to make the hunger noises go away.

3) Small leaf, peppery arugula

HEB's organic arugula doesn't seem like real arugula to me - the leaves are way too big and the taste is different; not as peppery.

I tried to bring 2 containers of small leaf arugula back from a graduation trip in May, but the heat in the luggage compartment made them a little sad and limp.

Trader Joe's arugula is small leaf and peppery, just as it should be to start a great salad.

4) Trader Joe's has Cremant !!!

Discovered Cremant while in Alsace region of France last Christmas. It's a sparkling wine that to me, tastes like a "winier", more flavorful and interesting champagne than any other I've had. Not that I have champagne that often - which is exactly what a wine grower in Alsace complained to me about - he felt Americans should drink Champagne more as an every day wine vs a special occasion wine.

In Strasbourg or Colmar, everyone from "ladies who lunch" to blue collar workers begin lunch with a glass of Cremant.

Trader Joe's is a Crémant de Bourgogne for just $10! Not sure how that version differs from Crémant d'Alsace which I had and really enjoyed. Will try it and report back.
Location: At the beginning of the beer aisle towards the front of the store, near the front of the score. Bottom shelf.

What else?

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  1. You might be interested in this thread...there's a new one every month:

    1. The marinated artichokes in glass jars are a good start for a quick and simple pasta dish. I chop them up and cook some onion or shallots (99¢ for a little bag of 2 or 3) and some cut up small tomatoes, then add the drained artichokes, the marinade and some cooked pasta, grate a bunch of Parmesan or pecorino over it and it's dinner. Or you can just throw a package of the fresh tortellini in and stir-cook it in the liquid until it's tender. Quicker than take-out!

      The Crèmant de Bourgogne is really nice, as is the Prosecco. My favorite fizzy is a good bit drier, cheaper and not as sparkly, the Portuguese Vinho Verde in the tall green bottle, now blessedly with a screwtop (the tiny mouth was damned hard to find a cork for!).

      1. Sweet100s ---- definitely see carolinadawg's recommendation if you have some TJ's love and adventure in you. I predict you'll fit right in.