November 05, 2010

Trader Joe's is open for business!

Jeffrey and I went to check out the new Trader Joe's grocery store at 6305 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines.  It was their grand opening, and the place was crazy busy. 

Here's what we thought:  although Trader Joe's is a small store, if you want organic convenience foods, this is the place to check out.  We liked their selection of cheese and their fresh produce.  There were unusual items, like pea sprouts, that just plain looked interesting. 

Their meat selection is very small, but does include some cuts of lamb, which is a meat we like quite a bit and have to search to find sometimes.  Jeffrey was also impressed by the many types of sausage available.

But- because the store is small, many other categories of foods don't have a lot of variety or space devoted to them.  The tea selection was very limited, for instance, which was disappointing. 

To be fair, if wine is your drink of choice, there was a whole wall devoted to it.  There were also convenience and snack foods in abundance, which is great if you don't like to cook.  But since we do, most likely we'd prefer to make something from scratch rather than buy a packaged frozen version.

We bought several things to try:  a garlic and herb goat cheese;  peeled, cooked chestnuts (my favorite! and almost impossible to find);  Trader Joe's own brand of gourmet flavored jelly beans;  and a frozen Thai custard dessert.  The chestnuts are wonderful;  I opened the package to taste-test them, and more than half the package somehow... evaporated. Heh. 

In conclusion, although I don't think Trader Joe's will ever be our primary grocery store, we did enjoy shopping there for non-essential treat items.  We'll enjoy the experience a lot more once the crowds have thinned out, too.

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