New Austin Trader Joe’s! NEW AUSTIN TRADER JOE’S! Really, what else is there to say besides that?!
I’ve been waiting for this moment since I first moved to Austin. Trader Joe’s was a staple of my lifestyle in Seattle, and a big hole was left in my heart (and stomach) when I moved down here and realized there was nary a TJ’s to be found. BUT NOW! Finally one of these tiki-themed grocery heavens has opened and I am bursting with joy. Rob and I made a visit a few weekends ago and I think I started frothing at the mouth a little bit.
For the uninitiated, let me tell you what you’ve been missing. Trader Joe’s is a tropical-adventure wonderland of quirky culinary delights. We’re talking cheap yet good wine, unique snack foods, an inexpensive fancy cheese selection, seasonal treats (right now lots of pumpkin, maple, etc. stuff), hippie health foods, weirdly great frozen apps… so many reasons to love this place! And guess what, it’s suuuuper affordable! I have nothing but love for Whole Foods and Central Market, but Trader Joe’s wins hands down when it comes to grocery prices. And friendly employees! Everyone who works here is so fun and unpretentious, I always have a good time chatting with them during checkout. (Verdict is still out on whether they appreciate my witty repartee as much as I enjoy theirs.)
Just look at that wine display. $5.99! If I bought a bottle of $5.99 wine at HEB I would assume it would be awful, but here at Trader Joe’s, the <$10 wine is wonderful. Even the fabled Charles Shaw (aka Two Buck Chuck, although these days it costs $3-4) is seriously tasty.
What else should you buy at Trader Joe’s? Well, they really get into the holiday flavors – and so do I! Which is why I recommend their Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps, a seasonal play on their year-round Raisin Rosemary Crisps (which are also amazing). These guys are the perfect companion to TJ’s Blue Cheese Pecan Dip. It’s seriously cracktastic. Bring this to your next holiday get together and I promise it will be a hit.
Best Trader Joe’s products I also recommend: gorgonzola cheese crackers, jars o’ coconut oil, dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar, boxed organic soups, TJ’s brand brie and/or blue cheese crumbles, really cheap protein bars, pumpkin spice Greek yogurt, pre-peeled and chopped butternut squash, ALL OF THE WINE, TJ’s ice cream (their half-and-half vanilla/orange is crazy good), any of their nut butters (or if you’re feeling naughty, cookie butter – yes, cookie butter). I could go on, but I’ll spare everyone.
Go say hello to the new Austin Trader Joe’s and tell me what you think! It’s in Rollingwood, at 2805 Bee Cave Rd, Austin, TX 78746. Just a short jaunt down Mopac.