My opinion of Trader Joe's has evolved quite a bit in the last year. I used to think it was nothing more than a store full of tofu and vegetarian sausage for dirty, stinking, hippies who remain, sadly, unpunched. But I've discovered after a few reconnaissance missions that they also sell real food. And, unlike Whole Foods, at good prices.
I've gotten hooked on a couple different wines there. The first is Il Valore Chianti. I like this wine as much as any bottle I've had, including those in Italy. It is dry, earthy, and bold. And it's only $8.99! The second is Villa Borghetti Luna Pino Grigio. It is very light, crisp, and dry. And only $8.49! At these prices I could afford to become a wino! Dare to dream.
Trader Joe's also has the best baguette in Columbus Ohio, hands down. It's not as good as the worst one I've ever had in Paris, but it's pretty darn good.
Today I found some little apple-cereal bars in the checkout lane for $1.69 for a box of 6. I haven't tried them yet but my experience so far has led me to believe they will be very tasty. And they are very low in calories and fat. When you are like me and have a body chiseled out of stone, you treat it as the temple it is.
All in all, I like Trader Joe's. It would be better without all the people (but what wouldn't be?). And I could certainly do without all the holier-than-thou emphasis on local/organic/green. So help me God, the next person who tells me organic food is "so much healthier" than chemical-pumped, genetically engineered, corporate farmed, air-freighted, pesticide-doused food that I love, is going to get stabbed in the eye. Eat what you want, I'll do the same, but don't pretend those chemicals and methods aren't used for good reasons.
And it is clearly a Communist front group. All one must do to find proof is look at the bumper stickers in the parking lot. Maybe someday I'll do a bumper sticker post...