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Trader Joe’s in Albany: We’re Goin’ In!

August 14, 2012

Ok, one more Trader Joe’s-related post. Sorry, we just can’t help our excitement. On Sunday we finally ventured to the strip mall that houses the California-based grocery store that is so beloved by its fans around the country. We expected a massive traffic jam, both with cars and with people at 11:30am, but we were pleasantly surprised. We cruised into the parking lot, directed by a police officer, and found a space almost instantly (ok, we had to walk about 50 feet to the front of the store). Inside it was definitely busy, but no busier than we remember any run-of-the-mill Sunday back in California. And it just felt so good to be there – like we were home. We had to keep reminding ourselves not buy everything we saw that we wanted, as we have done when stocking up at TJ’s in MA or downstate. This one was in our own town! We could just come back in a few days! Or tomorrow! Or a few hours later! We’ll just have to get used that. We did stock up on some frozen meals and lunch-type items like the lobster sushi roll, kim chee fried rice, black bean and cheese enchiladas, ginger sesame noodle salad, green chile and cheese tamales, spicy Thai chicken salad, and the Middle Eastern Feast (falafel, pita, hummus, and tabouli). We also picked up a jar of their awesome tomato-less corn salsa, a box of Joe’s O’s cereal, all natural Hansen’s soda, and their delicious dried tortellini. We also picked up a couple of sweet treats that we hadn’t tried before – Fleur de Sel caramels and their Stone Ground Salt and Pepper Dark Chocolate. The caramels, supposedly made with hand-collected sea salt from the French coast, tasted just like plain old caramel candy to us – not sure where the salt went. The dark chocolate was very interesting – we could definitely taste the salt, and the pepper came through in the back of the throat after swallowing each bite. It was a good layering of flavors; the chocolate was sweet and a little bitter, and then the saltiness and the bite of the pepper came through. Not sure if we’d get this regularly, but it was quite unique.

And with that, we promise to go for a while without posting about Trader Joe’s…unless something blog-worthy arises. Enjoy.

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