The Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe's Volume 4

The crew from What's Good at Trader Joe's? weighs in with more than 26 new reviews

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

The intrepid reviewers at What's Good at Trader Joe's have reviewed more than 320 of its products.

Sugary Impulse Buys

You know that row, with all the frozen goodies down below and the candies up above? That’s Temptation Lane right there, partner. There’s way too much to choose from, so we might’ve missed one of your favorites, but we’re the ones with the blog.

1. Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter (10 points)

Butter — good. Cookies — even better. Combine the two, and yeah, we’re tempted to never eat a solid cookie ever again. Words fall short.

2. Trader Joe’s Journey to the Center of the Cookie (9 points)

These warm, gooey, choco-swamped, fresh-outta-the-oven, awesome-with-ice-cream cookies were our constant temptress when we (Russ and Sandy) gave up sweets for Lent. Don’t ask us how we made it through.

3. Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Wafer Cookies (8.5 points)

Combine dark chocolate and peanut butter and wafers and cookies and what’s the result? An empty bag in minutes. Those with low willpower, avert your eyes.

4. Trader Joe’s Gummy Tummies (8 points)

If they only more closely resembled penguins (as advertised) instead of frumpy bird-shaped hags... regardless, the Gummy Tummies are soft, squishy, and sweet yet not too sugary. They just might be the perfect gummy.

5. Trader Joe's Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds (7.5 points)

We tend to think these are a tad overrated, but that doesn’t mean they’re not any good. If these nutty treats were left off the list, our fans would be storming the castle with pitchforks.

Biggest Disappointments

Don’t confuse these with our worst rated items. It’s not like you really need us to tell you that the Name Tag Classic Lager isn’t any good. Instead, these are the products that failed the most to live up to our pretty reasonable expectations, with a suggestion of what to get instead.

1. Trader Joe’s Breakfast Burritos (2 points)

Breakfast: The most important meal of the day, and should be the hardest to screw up. Somehow, TJ’s did. It ought to be impossible for eggs, potatoes, and bacon to be so bland and nondescript, but yeah, you’re better off with cardboard. Much better option: Trader Joe’s Breakfast Scramble.

2. Trader Joe’s Chicken Breast in Poblano Sauce (2 points)

You say poblano, I say po-BLAND-o, and yeah, you’re better calling the whole thing off. Absolutely void of any redeeming qualities. Blecch. Much better option: Trader Jose’s Chicken in Red Mole.

3. Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi (3.5 points)

Really? Just look at the end result. That’s gnocchi??? As one of our readers suggested, they look a lot more like Trader Meow’s Dijon Hair Balls, and after a while, they seem to taste only marginally better. Much better option: Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Frites.

4. Trader Jose’s Pizza Al Pollo Asado (5.5 points)

Usually, Trader Jose dishes do well for us. If it weren’t for the soggy, crumbly, plain ol’ nasty corn masa crust, this pollo pizza would be delicious. Doesn’t matter how you make it — it’s a mess. Much better option: Trader Jose’s Mini Chicken Tamalitos.

5. Trader Joe’s S’mores (5.5 points)
A s’mores-inspired ice cream sandwich should be a surefire slam dunk, so when the end product is a melty mess that lacks in both the graham cracker and chocolate department, well, we’ll pass. Much better option: Trader Joe’s Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches.

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What's Good At Trader Joe's?The Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe's Volume 1The Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe's Volume 2The Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe's Volume 3The Best Drinks at Trader Joe's

Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. Follow Arthur on Twitter.