Denver has just entered the 21st century. We finally have a Trader Joe’s – two in fact!
Before my husband and I moved here from California we begged and pleaded with TJ’s to consider opening a store in Denver. But the archaic liquor laws here and the fact that at the time there were no other TJ’s in the mid-west meant it wasn’t going to happen. Fast forward 15 years and TJ’s has arrived!
We waited a good week before we ventured near the Colorado and 8th store – heard the lines were crazy long and the parking near impossible. The next week my husband and I were excited to make a date night of the event. It was pretty great. No longer did we have to wait for a trip to a coast or New Mexico to stock up on our favorite TJ’s products. No more shipping wine into Denver when we were lucky enough to drive near a TJ’s. We’ve even been known to check a box of Two Buck Chuck as luggage and bring it home. Now we could take home anything we wanted – even perishables – and know that we didn’t have to wait another year to restock. Having our Denver TJ’s is really dream come true.
The lines in Denver have died down now and if you haven’t made the trip yet – now is the time. A friend told me about this blog post of favorite TJ’s products, so I thought it would be fun to create my own. This is just the tip of the iceberg though and I’m sure you’ll find your own favorite products as you become more acquainted with your local TJ’s.
After you read through my top 10 – tell us what your favorite TJ’s products are.
#1: Wine and Beer
The wine and beer selections are amazing at TJ’s. Just be sure you visit the Colorado and 8th location in Denver if you want alcohol – the archaic liquor laws are still in effect. Most people know about Two Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw) and yes, that’s great wine. In fact it won two years in a row at a little wine tasting party that we host. But I think even more worthwhile are the Trader Joe’s Coastal and Reserve products. They are amazing and still very, very reasonable at $5-$10 a bottle. I was told that a $10 bottle of wine from TJ’s is really like a $20 bottle and I think that’s very true. As for specific recommendations for beer, that’s out of my league, but if you like beer you’ll be sure to be pleased with their selection.
#2 Marcona Almonds with Rosemary
#3 Mandarin Orange Chicken
Definitely not the healthiest thing in the world, but sure is yummy. Tastes very much like Chinese take -out when you skillet saute it. My kids gobbled it up and I must admit I sneaked a few pieces for myself.
#4 Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
#5 Curry SaucesBefore TJ’s I would shop at Whole Foods for the best versions of these bottled simmer sauces. TJ’s offers them as well and they are a great way to start a simple meal with sauteed chicken or vegetables. We like to serve them over jasmine rice and with a side of naan. TJ’s has a frozen naan as well, but we haven’t tried it yet so can’t speak to whether it’s worth getting or not.
#6 Dried Fruit
#7 Prepared Salads
If you need a quick lunch or are packing a lunch to go you really can’t beat the prepared salads (and sandwiches) from TJ’s. We buy them for ski days and just to have on hand for a quick lunch. Be sure to read the labels though, so are not exactly low-fat or lean in calories. But they are all yummy!
#9 Prepared Indian Food
#10 Pita Chip Crackers