For the sixth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2012."
Recently, I engaged in a conversation with a few friends about what specific items we buy from Trader Joe's, 5600 N. Port Washington Rd.
No one, it seems, goes there for their main shopping experience of the week, but lots of folks seem to swing by frequently or occasionally to grab particular items – and whatever else happens to "jump" into their cart.
Here is a list of items I always buy (when available) at TJ's and will travel across town for. And feel free to share your favorite items via the Talkback feature.
1. Edamame. Trader Joe's frozen edamame is the most flavorful edamame I have ever eaten. It is so rich that it almost tastes like there's butter on it. I buy two or three bags at a time because this item has gotten so popular, it's sometimes out of stock.
2. Citrus body wash. For years, this was under $2 a bottle (it's now, I believe, just over $2). I love the wake-you-up zingyness of this stuff. Plus, it lathers well so you don't need to use very much per washing.
3. "Two Buck Chuck." It's actually "Three Buck Chuck" here in Wisconsin for a bottle of Charles Shaw wine. This is Trader Joe's house brand vino, and for the price, you can't beat it. Or maybe I've been drinking it for so long now my taste buds are dumbed down. It doesn't matter. At least two bottles of the Cab Sav wind up in my cart every time.
4. Tortilla chips. I love the selection, from flax seed to longboard shaped, and the TJ's chip aisle is now on my short list of happy places. I have tried so many different chips over the years, something I almost never buy at a "regular" grocery store. But this is both the beauty and the curse of TJ's: it makes me adventuresome and splurgey.
5. Speaking of splurgey, I also find myself wanting to buy a tub of ginger snaps every time I'm in there. I could not eat ginger for years because I ate so much of it to fight morning sickness when I was pregnant with my son, but I nibbled on one of these spicy cookies last years after almost a decade of going ginger-free and now I can't gobble enough of 'em.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.