You folks really seem to love the Trader Joe's reviews, so here's some more for you. (I actually have a lot of them, so I thought I would break it up into two segments; the other one will be here next week.)
"It just came out yesterday," she replied - perhaps she thought I'd come in the day before, purchased one, ate it, and returned the next day for more - "and it's really good."
I took this with a grain of salt, because in somewhere between 400 and 600 visits to Trader Joe's over the years, I have never once had someone tell me a product wasn't good (not that I expect them to or fault them; I understand it's their job). But it turns out she was underselling the pizza: it is not only fantastic, it might possibly be the best-tasting cheese I have ever tasted on a frozen pizza. And there are five of them: Mozzarella, Grana Padano, Manchego, Provolone, and Pecorino. The arugula was about as good as you can expect from frozen and baked leaves.
And there are cherry tomatoes on the pizza. Come on, Justin, I thought to myself. You're in your 30s now. Give 'em a try.
So I did. And I didn't like them at all. But overall I loved the pizza.
Still, I'm up for the challenge if that ends with a higher-quality food, so I fried these pieces. But they didn't get done enough in the center. One of them was okay, but the other was still cold. I've had Trader Joe's fish sticks before and I find those much better than these battered fillets. But I don't have any pictures of the sticks. Maybe next time.
But having said that, TJ's tartar sauce is really good. Probably the best jarred sauce I have ever had. It's got a small amount of dill and a noticeable amount of jalapeno, though that adds more flavor than spice.
(By the way, the reason I'm doing the two things I mentioned earlier is that: 1) it's probably 105 degrees in my living room, and 2) the Red Sox are playing the Rangers, who are in a pennant race with the Angels. Yes, I could go into the bedroom and watch the game in the cool, 65-degree air-conditioned room... but that's a smaller, non-HD television. I like being cool but I like HD baseball more.)
CHICKEN CILANTRO MINI WONTONS
Sometimes I steam the dumplings but on this occasion I cooked them potsticker-style: in a little oil in a pan for a few minutes before I added some water and covered the pan. These are great. The chicken and cilantro flavor is noticeable, the dumplings are very low in calories, and very inexpensive. They make a great snack, or two people can split a bag as a meal if you add a side dish like rice or veggies.
When Elizabeth and I get frozen TJ's pizzas for dinner we cook two of them (or sometimes three if we want to have leftovers) and split them. But when this one is involved, I always end up eating most of it (which is fine with her as long as I let her have most of the Piadina or Tarte D' Alsace).
VIETNAMESE STYLE CHICKEN WRAP
But the Vietnamese wrap is probably my favorite, and the only one that I eat on a somewhat consistent basis. (Meaning at least once every couple of months.) Chicken, mixed greens, carrots, and jicama, all wrapped in a green tortilla and served with a ginger lime dipping sauce that actually tastes of both of those flavors.
If you have a deli or wrap restaurant near you that you like, I am sure almost anything they make is as probably better than this. But for what it is - and only $3.99 - it is not bad.
"They are very good. They taste like mashed up strawberries, not artificial at all. And it's not too sweet or sugary."
On Monday night we were at TJ's and decided to cook pizzas for dinner. I got this one instead of the Pizza Parlanno so that I could have a new pizza to photograph and write about. (Yes, my desires are sometimes trumped by my need to blog.) I wasn't expecting it to be anything great. But it turns out that it was fantastic. The cheeses all complemented each other wonderfully. I'm going to get this one again and add some fresh herbs next time.
Or maybe one of these days I will cook every single frozen pizza Trader Joe's offers and just do a post on that...