After my so-so review of Trader Joe’s Flourless Chocolate Cake, I feel compelled to share my more concrete feelings on the store itself. It is an awesome place to shop! I highly recommend it.
It is a good 20-30 minute drive to our nearest Trader Joe’s (Reston, VA), and I pass uncountable grocery stores along the way. For those reasons, I don’t make the trip often, but, each time I do, I am reminded what a wonderful experience it can be. The staff is friendly, courteous, helpful, and everywhere! As you wander any given aisle, you are likely to pass at least one staff member, restocking shelves or assisting a customer.
On my last visit, I asked if they had any gluten-free beer. As it turns out, they do not (the three or four brands they used to carry did not receive positive reviews), but, in asking the question, I was given a packet listing the foods and beverages Trader Joe’s does carry in which no gluten ingredients are used. An entire packet! It lists everything from bakery items to dairy to salad dressings. Hallelujah! Gluten-free shopping made easy. It doesn’t get much better than that…or does it?
The foods, whether organic or not, are minimally processed and offer much shorter ingredients lists than you will typically see on most packaging in your average grocery store. The pricing is generally more reasonable. And, to top it off, not only does Trader Joe’s offer numerous gluten-free options, quite a bit of what we’ve sampled is delicious! In fact, Trader Joe’s brownies make our Top 1o list. (More on that to come.)
Find out if you have a Trader Joe’s in your area. If you do, take a gander! I predict it will be worth the trip.
UPDATE: Our latest batch of Trader Joe’s gluten-free brownies was not at all yummy as we remembered. We’ll try again soon, but, for now, I’ve updated our favorites list with Pamela’s brownie mix, a tried and true goodie.