I Braved the New Trader Joe's Only to Discover That They Have Zero Cold Beers

Categories: First Look

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Alice Laussade
Central Market + World Market = Trader Joe's.
I had never been to a Trader Joe's, but I thought I generally understood the concept: Before you go to your friend's house for dinner, this is where you stop by and pick up a six pack of an IPA and some manner of fancy food bullshit so that your guest duties are fulfilled. Trader Joe's is what would happen if Central Market and World Market got drunk at a luau and made a convenience-store baby (assuming, of course, that World Market decided to keep it).

Continuing team coverage of this important news event:
- The Opening of Greenville's Trader Joe's: No Drama, Fewer Lines and Actual Parking
- 10 Things I'm Excited About Buying When Trader Joe's Opens on Greenville Today

But there is not one thing that anyone needs that is available in this store. I'm confident that Trader Joe's is a social experiment put on by the people of Stuff White People Like. And so far, it's working. The place was packed with people like Mitt Romney is packed with stupid.

The layout of Trader Joe's somehow makes less sense than the layout of Forever 21. It's just a bunch of miscellaneous shit in a room that someone went through and price-tagged. This leads people to wander in forever-loops through the store, passing the free-trade coffee they were looking for eight times before they actually see it.

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Alice Laussade
Plenty of organic hemp protein powder. No cold beer.
I was on my own forever-loop quest for a six-pack of cold beer. Because it's summer. And summer needs beer always. I found the warm beer, the warm wine -- but surely somewhere there was a refrigerator dedicated to a few six-packs, right? This is Texas.

For a moment, my quest was interrupted by a gaggle of fitness people in their fitness clothes talking about their fitness and blocking the entire aisle. I turned around to exit the aisle in the other direction, and a group of beards talking about their fear of probiotics blocked my way. There were several groups of people throughout the craziness that were just hanging out, blocking the aisles, chatting it up with friends as if they didn't live in the same city and had just run into each other after a 10-year hiatus, "I LOVE HUMMUS, TOO! I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M HERE AND YOU'RE ALSO HERE AT A FANCY GROCERY STORE RIGHT NOW!!" A grandma and I locked eyes. She shook her head at the chaos and rage-pissed her Depends.

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Alice Laussade
So many people. So much unabashed love of packaged food goods.
After elbowing my way through the very-excited-slash-panicked-to-be-spending-money-on-organic-chocolate-covered-cherries-on-a-Sunday-afternoon masses, I approached one of the 500 smiling employees.

"Important Question: Where is the cold beer?"

Employee: "Um... no. No, we don't have that anywhere."

Aaaaand I'm immediately done here.

Random customer nearby: "Oh, look -- there are more veggie corn dogs in this freezer case, too, sweetie."

More. Frozen. Veggie. Corn dogs. What say we get some of those veggie corn dogs out of the refrigerator case and fill it with six-packs, huh, Trader Joe's (if that's even your real name)? Why did you freeze veggie corn dogs in the first place? Were you afraid they were going to go bad? Impossible. They couldn't possibly go worse than they already were at conception. There are so many refrigerators in this place refrigerating things that aren't beer. It's unsettling. It's unnatural. Put beer in your veggie drawer, Trader Joe's. It's what everyone else in America does.

I don't care how many bags of freaking amazing horseradish cheddar chips you stock in that store (and you do have them, and they are a fantastic product), I'm not coming back until there's cold beer.


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124 comments
victor.t.sandoval
victor.t.sandoval

Dear God Alice Laussade,

You seem to have stirred the Traders Joe's cult into a serious gar-boil. The commentary down here from the TJs cult is probably why people think Dallas is so pretentious. 

vinzago
vinzago

Gosh.  Where on Lower Greenville can you find a cold beer?  I wonder...

Bobby Dragon Cramer
Bobby Dragon Cramer

People like you are the reason others from all over the state/country talk about how pretentious Dallas is.

Sonya Kuris
Sonya Kuris

So you do shop at Walmart! Sorry, not sorry!

Alice Laussade
Alice Laussade

Wow. You guys love warm beer. I'm just asking them to move what they're already stocking into the fridge they already have. I get that that's totally unreasonable, though.

fir3walker
fir3walker

Is this the Dallas Observer's HELP WANTED sign?

ty__
ty__

This is a terrible article.  Did the author actually get paid to write this?

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Some of these people must be new to Wonderland.

Obummer
Obummer

Yo eyez availablez fo’ somez mo’ beerz uh diplomacy.

phronsieone
phronsieone

Poor Alice. I hope she checks into rehab soon. Her writing style seems to indicate a cold-beer withdrawal. Trader Joe's is where I do the majority of shopping for my family of 6. Great products at a reasonable price. I don't buy much of the convenience food, but do but a lot of TJ's organic. Perhaps Alice was too shit-faced and jonesing for some cold beer to see what is clearly in the shelves, especially the entire half aisle devoted to the coffee she couldn't see.

I don't recommend shopping there on a weekend, it's crazy. Oh, and everything I've ever purchase there is great- except the taco seasoning sachets. It was so spicy it burned our lips.

cajunscouse9
cajunscouse9

I should have known after seeing who wrote this piece that it would be without any value in knowledge and entertainment.

Ambelleina Warwillow
Ambelleina Warwillow

Thank you for this. I've only been to TJ's once up in WI and didn't buy food there; I didn't realize they don't have country of origin on their labels and that they refuse to work with the Non-GMO Project to verify their claims...very shady. How can they not provide commonly requested info concerning clean foods and expect people to blindly accept their claims?? I'll be steering clear!

Bobby Dragon Cramer
Bobby Dragon Cramer

Haha judging where I shop by a comment just like you judged the original post by their exaggeration of exercise is very intelligement. Enjoy living in your superficial bubble.

Sonya Kuris
Sonya Kuris

Thanks! Apparently I'm about as crazy as you are intelligent. Keep shopping at Walmart..

me0028
me0028

How the fuck do you get people to advertise with our rag ?

Christina Shannon
Christina Shannon

I would have to say that this would make MORE likely to shop here. I can shop for frozen things or refrigerated things without having to be inundated with alcohol. Wait to go Trader Joe's!

Zoestercoaster
Zoestercoaster

TJ's, where you go when you're stoned or hungover as fuck and need some goddammed frozen chicken tikka massala for $2.49 right the shit now. Woebetide the soul who comes between you and your massala.

TJ's is great for cheap shit that's double the price at Whole Foods or hell, even Sprouts. I saw yerba mate for HALF the Sprouts price, and I'm a Sprouts shopper. I'll still get my produce at Fiesta and my bulks from Sprouts, but nothing beats a two dollar bottle of sparkling white wine and Trader Joe brand Orange Juice to make mimosa's when you're trying to wean yourself off a hangover the alcoholic's way: by drinking more.

Mark Edington
Mark Edington

I don't understand that either. I have been to at least five different Trader Joe's out here in Portland, OR, and not one has cold beer.. some kind of weird rule I guess.

Bobby Dragon Cramer
Bobby Dragon Cramer

I thought Trader Joe's is known for having their own beer, you can't blame the author for hoping that some is cold. It's a grocery store, and I thought that was normal. The article is very over the top though. That being said the craziest person in these comments is Sonya Kuris. Congrats.

Jennifer Collins
Jennifer Collins

Whole Foods Market all the way, baby! A bar at every store, drink while you shop, and hundreds of cold beers!

Joel Montfort
Joel Montfort

Lets see.. You're on lower greenville with only about 24 bars within a stones throw. There's a 7-11, a walmart and 2 liqueur stores too. If you weren't so busy feeding your habit you might have noticed.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Dropped by the Plano TJ's this weekend with the wife, since we were already at Half Priced Books on the way to Costco.  Biggest clusterfuck I've seen in a long time.  The parking lot of full of idiots who can't drive (which is most of Plano on a Saturday, honestly.)  Inside was nothing but Plano Pod People... not going anywhere.  I don't mean that they were just standing there, I mean that they all seemed to just be making little six foot circles wherever they happened to be.  The beer selection was appalling, AND hot.  The $10 wine they were sampling was such horrid swill that I sure as hell wasn't spending $3 on the Chuck.  

Other than the $5 slab of chocolate and the green tea mints, it was a complete waste of time.  Whole Foods all the way.  Food you can actually eat instead of snacking on, and COLD, QUALITY beer.  WF even fills growlers now.

TJ's starts coming to town at the same time that WFs starts putting in BARS.  Way to be a decade behind, california asshats.

Facebook comments delenda est.

thechuckwilliams
thechuckwilliams

Foodie meals on a WalMart budget. It's a great place. The produce is top notch. The meat section pretty much sucks, but if I want good meat, I go to a butcher. Or Central Market.

Tip: The $2.99 mini heirloom tomatoes are a steal, and taste like little pouches of heaven.

Maybe I should write for the Observer, and not this douche-nozzle.

donicus
donicus

Alice, may I call you Alice?  Are you really that obtuse? Did you really think it was a 7-11 on steroids? Nope, it's a specialty market. Just because they didn't have cold beer, that makes it bad? And did you REALLY have to write the Mitt Romney line? I would say if he's what you considered stupid, you must be a full blown idiot, considering that you aren't nearly as successful as Mr. Romney is. Next time you want a cold six pack, 7-11 is right down the street.

serena.sutton
serena.sutton

I'm all for some funny, cynical humor ... but rage-pissed her Depends? Really? That wold be funny if my friends said it, but I thought I was reading the Observer, not somebody's Myspace blog. 

The LAST place I'd go to just grab a cold six pack is a place like this... that's what beer stores or gas stations are for. They've got ice, coolers and refrigerated beer. Pretty obvious.

So were you there to review and write about TDs or just find beer and decided then to write about it? And kudos to you for being cooler than every other Dallas cliche.... which is a cliche in itself, by the way. 

This article was just sad.

BrAndy FisHer
BrAndy FisHer

we went yesterday! and Love it:) we will be back for those chocolate covered potato chips:)))))

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

There are some excellent American cheeses that are a fraction of the cost of their namesake imported ones.  But, I wish they would come up with their own names.  Italian Asiago, for example, is worlds apart from domestic Asiago, but the domestic one is a delight in its own right.  There are many, many others.  American vintners caught on to this long ago, when they began to use varietal names instead of say, Burgundy, Chablis, Chianti.

T.j. Gray
T.j. Gray

Love the "outrage" over this opinion piece. Alice don't give a fuck what you think! Get some of that cheap wine, get tanked, and chill the hell out.

JustSaying
JustSaying

You realize that warm beer can be chilled in like 5 minutes in a cooler filled with ice and saltwater, right? So unless you plan on drinking in the car, buying room temperature beer should not be a concern. Especially if it's cheaper there. But I suppose that would not fit with your narrative.

A grandmother pissed her Depends? You sound like a 3rd grader that thinks comedy gold is making fun of the fat kids.

phronsieone
phronsieone

Gee, I don't know if there's any place to get cold beer on Greenville. . I know that most homes have a nifty new-fangled device for storing things like six-packs, that when put in warm and left for a while, can be removed cold! Imagine that!

Zoestercoaster
Zoestercoaster

@Bobby Dragon Cramer They're more known for their wine.


vyvyanlouise
vyvyanlouise

@everlastingphelps 

You forgot the Cookie Butter.  It's perfect PMS food.  But yeah, other than those few things, it's got nothing on Ruibal's Carrollton market and Whole Foods.

thechuckwilliams
thechuckwilliams

FYI, early in the morning, most of the Greenville-ites are still sleeping off a night of debauchery. Go at 9am on a Sunday. Half of the douches are in bed, the other half are at church.

Lurch
Lurch

@donicus Specialty market for people who think they are special. As for Willard, figuring out how to extract maximum amounts of money out of people and employees doesn't mean he's smart, it means he's mean.

markzero
markzero

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz BTW the best cheese I've had from Trader Joe's recently is actually a cheddar from New Zealand, that I think goes for under $6 a pound. Dry and has a slight apple crispness. 

Zoestercoaster
Zoestercoaster

@JustSaying I absolutely cannot abide food pretentiousness. Maybe because I'm seriously, for-realzies poor, and fresh produce is kind of a luxury, so I can appreciate cheap, delicious prepared food. TJ's offers an alternative to Whole Foods or Central Market, or even Sprouts, that, while they're not completely comparable, is a pretty decent alternative.

I live paycheck to paycheck. I'll take what I can get. Us proles can't afford them uptown fancy groceries.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz What does 90 year old pussy taste like? Depends. That's a funny Depends joke. Seeing a 50+ year old and making a Depends joke is a hacky. But then again, Alice has never pretended to be clever.

J_A_
J_A_

I did upchuck the first (and last) time I had some Charles Shaw

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