Gas. Having it or getting it is two things that I don’t want to be reminded of when I enter a grocery store. While I’ve lamented about having to walk the fat gauntlet, Trader Joe’s in Lincoln Park wants me to be reminded of, I guess my lactose intolerance?!?!?
Upon entering from the 2nd floor parking lot, I was greeted by a cornucopia of cheese. Outside of the Wisconsin World Dairy Expo, I can’t recall seeing so many choices. If you’re a lover of the stuff (and I am), I can certainly say that half of your grocery budget could be taken hostage before you even get to your list. I was also pleasantly surprised by the variety of pâté and mousse offerings.
As I pursued the store, I wish I had been there during the heat wave in July. The place was colder than a polar bear’s ass. But what really took me back was frozen food section. Above the exotic microwavable dishes from Asia to Latin America (Bibimbap Bowl, and Tikka Masala) was an abundance of sweets. Here’s where the plan of eating before you shop really comes in hand. From Pound Plus Chocolate bars (never ever to enter my house during PMS), to chocolate-covered dried fruits (blueberries, cherries, and cranberries) pretzels and what ever else could be dipped in chocolate (my dream would be chocolate-covered Ruffles) a battle is taking place for your attention and basket.Why? They place the shit at EYE LEVEL. Then to add insult, the bread section has – gasp- diversity. If you’re on a no-carb diet this ain’t the place to go. From Ciabatta (and Brioche Rolls, Ficelle and Pugliese) to Parker house rolls,there are too many temptations!!!
The only downside I found was among the lack of condiments and rice. Overall if I lived in this “suburbanized” neighborhood, I’d have to mix TJ’s up with another store. The store hits mostly the basics and adds in a few good tricks for cooking a good meal but as a Midwestern gal, not enough meat and potatoes staples to stay with in my budget.
1840 North Clybourn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614-7923
Open Daily 9am-10pm