The new Trader Joe's opened in Chapel Hill at the weekend. My cupboards were bare, well at least my fridge was, so I headed over to check it out last night. I'm glad I wasn't there on the weekend because apparently it was a madhouse. They had trouble keeping the shelves stocked. That's a good problem to have if you are a supermarket! Apparently a delivery was coming today so this evening would be a good time to go.
All I really needed to buy was some milk, fruit, and cheese. Seventy-five dollars later I left the store with all kinds of interesting things at good prices, less than Harris Teeter and Whole Foods for comparable items: 8oz of goat cheese, smoked mozzarella, dried wild mushrooms, raw almonds, sugar coated macadamia nuts, a whole marinated pot roast, a block of Ghiradelli dark chocolate, a box of frozen profiteroles, frozen French green beans, coffee and more.
Other things looked good like the proscuitto and pancetta as well as the variety of inexpensive cheeses, nuts, dried fruits, coffees and the European butters Plugra and President (these take bread and butter to a whole new level of delicious). The frozen fish and seafood tempted me but my freezer is already full of trout and shrimp from the coast.
The nuts are a great value. I never met a nut I didn't like. My favorite are marcona almonds that are blanched and lightly salted. They are great with cocktails. In fact, all you really need to do is put some in a bowl and pour the drinks.
I'm looking forward to trying the profiteroles, small cream puffs filled w/ ice cream. Easiest, elegant dessert on earth: open a box of frozen profiteroles and arrange three on a plate. Make this chocolate sauce and drizzle generously over the profiteroles. YUM!
I bought some dried orange slices but I am not sure what to do with them. Maybe some mulled wine or tea. I know what I will do with the dried mushrooms: wild mushroom risotto with marrow.