- Excellent prices. Truly, they're competitive with an average supermarket, and sometimes LESS expensive for a higher-quality item (like milk).
- Yummy things I can't get elsewhere, like their house brand Ultra Chocolate Ice Cream.
- Samples in little cups of things I might actually LIKE, unlike Costco, where sometimes I feel like they're just trying to use up crappy products by giving them away for free.
- The clientele. UGH. I can handle the sandals-wearing crunchy granola earthy types. I got used to those while going to college in Berkeley, and they're harmless enough. They get their organic quinoa salads, and I get my cut-rate smoked salmon. Something for everyone. What I simply can't abide are the hideously yuppified moms and their pampered (translation: overindulged and ill-behaved) Jayden/Kayden/Kylie/Mileys. Blech. The kids run all over the store, and the moms are oblivious (seriously, do they not notice that their offspring are climbing the produce bins, or are they just pretending?), since they're totally preoccupied by choosing the right brand of fat-free organic no-hormone string cheese for Riley/Regan/Karly's lunchbox.
- Overkill. Some of their food is way too overly-flavored for my taste. I just plain don't want a chai-chipotle-curry-double-garlic ANYTHING.
- Lack of parking. Most times when I go, I have to do the parking lot shark thing, staking out a portion of one aisle and feeling like a great big stalker as I try to figure out which Prius each human/cart combo is headed to.
Atomic Auntie's Current Fave Trader Joe's Stuff
Trader Joe's Gone Bananas! (One Bite at a Time!)
Trader Joe's Wild Mushroom & Black Truffle Flatbread
Trader Joe's Unpasteurized Orange Juice
Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Tomato Soup
Villa Italia Italian Blood Orange Soda
Trader Joe's Edamame in Pod
Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Mini Pretzels (Dark)
Trader Joe's Asparagus Risotto
This list isn't by any means comprehensive, considering that I can't seem to get out of Trader Joe's for less than $75. Doesn't matter what I buy, either -- the total will be $75. It's uncanny. But these are pretty much my staples, the always-gotta-buy items that I like to have on hand at all times. So if you're in town, stop on by Casa de Auntie sometime. We're serving fancy soda and our special-recipe homemade risotto, and you can even join us for a round of Orange Juice Roulette (stomach pump optional). Bon appetit!