Friday, April 20, 2012

Give the People What They Want: Unless its a Trader Joe's Turkey Meatloaf Muffin

Note:  It has been reported that the Sarasota, Florida Trader Joe's store will open September 7, 2012.  (How about adding a Tampa Bay store, Trader Joe's?)

Hello Lily On The Lam Readers:

I have noticed that my blog posts on products from Trader Joe's tend to get a lot of hits, so if that's what the populace likes - that is what Lily On The Lam is going to deliver!

If you're a regular reader, you may recall my blog post where Miss LM and I hopped into her vehicle and road tripped to Naples, Florida to Florida's first ever Trader Joe's.  Now I have a confession to make -- I was arrogant when I went on that road trip.  I did not do any internet research on what the best and worst Trader Joe's products were.  I had shopped at Trader Joe's in California, Connecticut, New York and Minnesota, so why would I need to do any research?  Oh yes, I thought I knew it all.  I was wrong.

Had I not been so arrogant, maybe I would have spent some time searching the internet for food blogs talking about Trader Joe's products.  Then perhaps I would have found Nathan's blog "What's Good At Trader Joe's?"  Or's blog post on Trader Joe's products.  Or Shine at Yahoo's article on the best and worst products at Trader Joe's.  (Mistake #1)  

Oh yes, if I had not been so arrogant to assume that I, using my mere little brain, could determine what products were good and were not good at Trader Joe's; maybe I would have read even just one of these articles listed above that warned me to stay away from ...


OK maybe they're not from hell, but name a city where food has no flavor and I am betting these rock hard lumps are from there.

Oh the package had so much promise - a little turkey meatloaf muffin topped with spinach and parmesan mashed potatoes. A complete meal in a cute little package.  I was sold the moment I saw the box.  In fact, I bought two boxes.  (Mistake #2!)

I opened the package and saw these frozen beige rounds,  

Hmmm, perhaps they'll look better once I take them out of their plastic tray.  Hmmm... nope.

Is this freezer burn?  Where's the spinach that is supposed to be in-between?  I looked at the package again.  Hmmm ...

I followed the microwave directions and this is what I pulled out of the microwave.

I looked back at the package.  It suggested that I could make this blob "fancy" by just fluffing the potatoes with a fork before serving.

I fluffed the potatoes and this is what it looked like post-fluffing.  Does it look fancy to you?

This is a sliced side view.  Ohhh I guess there is the spinach.

Next - the taste test.  (Mistake #3)  The meatloaf was dry and flavorless.  It was like eating a hard sponge.  I could not taste the spinach.  The potatoes were watery and artificial-tasting.  They were advertised as parmesan mashed potatoes but there was no trace of parmesan flavor.  All in all, it was pretty disgusting.  While there are many Trader Joe's products that I enjoy, this is not one of them.  I won't be making the mistake of buying these bland rocks again.

The lesson learned?  Do a little research before you hit Trader Joe's - it will save not only money but taste bud horror!

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