Too often in this world we don’t get a chance to tell those we care about how we feel until it is too late. Well, I’m not going to let that happen to me! Trader Joe’s, you are awesome and I love you. From your delicious trail mixes, specialty beer, three buck Chuck, pre-cooked chicken sausage (amazing), sauces and desserts, to the way you rip off my iPod every time I shop there. The last two times I went there TJ’s was piping in Radiohead and Bob Marley. When was the last time you heard Radiohead at a grocery store?
As for delicious food, I would specifically like to speak about several different TJ’s specialties that have won my heart. For an appetizer, start with Trader Joe’s Horseradish Hummus and Trader Joe’s Pita Chips. Combine these two and life is grand. I had never found a horseradish hummus before I first spotted it at TJ’s and have seen it nowhere else since. Too bad? Not really, because no one could do it as well as TJ anyway.
What better way to wash down horseradish hummus than beer? TJ’s has a wonderful beer selection, but I usually get Trader Joe’s Bavarian Hefeweizen.
Delicious and refreshing, I have yet to wear this out and move on to another of TJ’s beer offerings, but no doubt I eventually will. And that one will be great as well.
Finally, I have to say a word about the greatest sandwich cookie known to man or beast. The Joe-Joe. Joe-Joe’s would be best described as similar to an Oreo, but some of the greatest minds in cookie engineering have made a better cookie.
The tops of the cookies easily peel away if, like my son, you enjoy removing the top of the cookie and eating the crème filling. Oreo has not mastered this trick and it is still possible to break your Oreo (especially if you are six) when you try to unscrew the lid. Unforgivable. Joe-Joe’s also have about as much crème as a Double Stuff Oreo, so they are more robust on top of their superior engineering. TJ’s offers them in three flavors: vanilla cookie with vanilla crème filling, chocolate cookie with vanilla crème filling, and my favorite, chocolate cookie with chocolate crème filling. They used to offer a chocolate cookie with a peanut butter filling that was incredible but it has been discontinued. I never received a satisfactory answer as to why they did this, but years ago I sent a dead fish wrapped in newspaper to TJ’s Corporate HQ and feel better about the whole thing now. Ain’t no time to hate. Amazing how the sending of a dead fish washes away the anger…
I plan to have a segment in the future called “Jeremy and Trader Joe’s Semi-Homemade is better than Sandra Lee’s.” In that feature I will show how you can make a healthy and delicious dinner for a family in 20 minutes (suck on it Rachael Ray) using products purchased at TJ’s (except for shallots, which I use a lot and TJ’s does not carry.) I often say that we here at Epic Portions have the most intelligent readership on the web, and most of you have brains and know how to combine pre-made ingredients. I don’t think I’m some kind of genius, but since cooking duties are mine every night I appreciate a simple, healthy meal that tastes good, the kids like, and saves me a little time and effort. Contrary to popular belief, making dinner every night with a six year old and a one year old roaming loose in the house is not the easiest thing in the world. If my time savers can help anyone with similar duties and keep them from watching Sandra Lee than I have done something positive. And I promise, no tablescape bullshit.
So there it is, TJ’s. It doesn’t matter if you feel the same about me, or that your cashier made my daughter cry, I still love you. Maybe next time I’m there you can dim the lights and play some Barry White. I can’t get enough of your horseradish hummus, babe.