Every month I look forward to book club.
It’s a women’s book club that initially formed after the election via social media. We take turns choosing books written by women of all genres. I’ve learned I’m really good at is waiting until the very last minute to cram in each month’s book!
Besides the conversation and exposure to books I might not choose to read myself, I like trying new restaurants. Of course the places have to be conducive to a book club gathering (not too loud, not too small, not too busy where lingering at a table is going to cause an issue). We live all over the Twin Cities and rotate restaurants in different parts of the cities.
Restaurants have included Cooper’s Pub (fantastic veggie burger), Ginger Hop (loved their curries – though on the sweeter side) and Delicata (fantastic pizza with a crisp crust) and . Last month we met at Hy-Vee Market Grille in New Hope, MN. Yup, that’s Grill with an E.
I visited Trader Joe’s with the intention of buying the three, strangest frozen food items I could find for this taste test.
I lost my nerve when I encountered microwavable shrimp tacos sprinkled cotija cheese and an unsettling cheap bag of frozen paella listing “fish powder” as one of its ingredients .
See my running list of things we’ve tried at Trader Joe’s.
In the end, I chose three items that peaked my curiosity. I’ve walked by them on many visits, wavering on whether or not I wanted to finally buy them. After work one evening, I heated them all up for dinner. Here’s my thoughts:
Living in cities hours from the nearest Trader Joe’s has left me really excited about living near a Trader Joe’s again. In St. Louis, we have so many types of grocery stores, specialty meat markets, and bakeries. There are farmers markets, too. I try to explore a different combination each week.
What I like about Trader Joe’s the best is that it offers reasonable prices for fancy-ish ingredients. Like every Trader Joe’s I’ve visited, the employees are friendly and the parking lot is a death trap. Here’s a rundown of some of the most memorable foods we’ve tasted, categorized on a spectrum between “Favorites” and “Meh.”
Tacos are love.
At least to me they are. You can keep your Valentine’s candy and roses that will just die anyway, and stuffed bears holding hearts. You can also keep your poetry, unless it’s about tacos, of course. Mexican street-style tacos are like everything nice in food cradled between two soft corn tortillas.
This weekend, we continued our St. Louis taco quest. Previous outings brought us to La Tejana, Taqueria El Bronco and Taqueria El Bronco again (and again).
A while ago, Whiskey & Soba mentioned how El Morelia, a Mexican grocery store in nearby Bridgeton roasts al pastor on a spit for Saturday and Sunday taco lunches. I never forgot this.