A love story at Trader Joe’s

Why has it taken me so long to be formally introduced to Trader Joe’s? I know … what galaxy am I from … right?

Before last week I only knew some basic tidbits about Trader Joe’s. First, it is a grocery-related type of establishment started way out west in California. Second, they are apparently famous for selling Two Buck Chuck … a “cheap” wine beverage. That’s it! I knew nothin’ else about the place. Hey, I live in the Houston area. We’ve only just recently gotten a couple of Trader Joe’s locations. It made huge news here in Texas.

The fun part about writing a blog is sometimes you gotta go on a field trip when an idea creeps into your head. With camera in tow, I drove the 20+ miles to the Houston location on South Shepherd to figure out for myself just what was so special about Trader Joe’s. Oh, and get something for dinner. I’m always struggling with what to make for dinner.

So Trader Joe’s opened a store in an old building that used to be a bookstore … that used to be a movie theater. The theater was called the Alabama Theater. Hubby and I saw “Love Story” in that building when it came out on one of our first dates. I still recall the tears in Rick’s eyes. We were waiting in a long line to go in. And no … the tears had nothin’ to do with the storyline. The dude was knowingly going to watch a chick flick.

Thankfully, Trader Joe’s kept lots of the architectural elements of the old theater building. I liked that. The bright red grocery carts were also a nice touch. I was a little confused about the Fearless Flyer. I think it’s a list of specials but I could be wrong. I put one in my cart to read later but it disappeared. I think the check-out lady swiped it. Recycling must be one of their agendas.

I wandered around and around the aisles for about an hour picking up a few items here and there. My daughter told me I would do that. My friend, Beth, told me the mac and cheese with four cheeses on the frozen food aisle was awesome! Got it! Oh, and don’t forget about the cheesecake in the bright blue box, also frozen food.

I took a picture of the famous Two Buck Chuck. Totally expected it to be packaged in a plastic bottle. Wasn’t I surprised to learn Chuck is actually Charles Shaw Winery? And the glass bottle and label is actually quite nice looking. Oh, and it cost $2.99 and comes in lots of “flavors.” Wasn’t brave enough to get a bottle. Next time.

Just so you know … I’ve never had an In-N-Out Burger either. I know … I might as well be from Pluto … and it isn’t even a planet anymore!