Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Nothing to Do With Dallas: Trader Joe’s

These people only look happy.

In a post below, Andrew Chalk reports on the opening of ALDI market in Frisco. As usual, the conversation in the comments section steered off course and ended up with several readers obsessing about Trader Joe’s. The ubiquitous Twinwillow says, “Ahh, if only we got a few Trader Joe’s, I’d be a very happy camper!”

This statement brings up two questions. One: Are people who camp really happy? Two: Does Dallas  need a Trader Joe’s? I recently revisited my old TJs in SoCal and I was not overly impressed. Sure it’s a cool store, but it’s no longer unique to the food scene. There was a time, not long ago, when I would have agreed with the Willowman. But the culinary winds in Dallas have shifted. Now we have more options for funky groceries. It may not be ALDI, but I’d love to see an H-Market open inside the loop. I be happy as an animal-style camper if they’d open an In-N-Out next door.

UPDATE: Whoopsie, Kim Pierce is talking TJ’s too.

  • JI

    I just don’t get the cult-like attraction to Trader Joes and In-N-Out Burger…any style.

    Sure, they’re fine and everything, but do you guys obsess over them because we don’t have one anywhere nearby?

  • iroguy

    I have to agree that TJ does have some interesting items, but truly not all that unique in DFW. As for In and Out I have yet to figure out the draw. They are okay at best but not all that big a deal. I suppose it’s like my friend who moved up north and now somehow thinks that whataburger is something special.

  • DallasDude

    Probably so, JI. But I think many people dream of happier times in their old SoCal digs. I can hardly blame them, but certainly agree with your assessment (JI and NN) that we are pretty fortunate in Dallas with our choices, and the competition for the home dining buck seems to be fueling nicely.

    As for our buddies at Super H, for me, the bloom is somewhat off the rose. Freshness issues seem to plague the mega Korean chain, and I am pretty much back to my old familiars in the Asain market category.

    The new dumpling shop in the SH food court, owned by Chef Hsu, is a welcome addition. I live for for the little buggers.

  • Alec White

    We recently moved from Dallas to San Diego and I can’t tell you how much we miss the Dallas food scene. TJ’s is OK (“The place where the over-educated and underemployed shop”) and you can’t beat the SD weather, but Dallas wins hands-down when it comes to good food.

  • Spring Bride

    Having lived all my life in SoCal and moving to Dallas a few years a go, I STILL email TJ’s and ask when they will be coming to Texas (Dallas specifically). Their prices are so much better than Whole Foods and while their variety isn’t like a Central Market, I will happily shop their any day for most items because of the prices. Am I being nostaligic, no. I’m still shopping at Whole Foods, but sometimes I cringe at my bill when I check out.

    As for In-and-Out, yes it’s good, but I think people who are NOT from CA make a bigger deal out of it than it is for the most part. I actually laugh when my TX friends make a big deal of it when they visit CA.

    While I miss the hills and beaches, I’m glad to be working and living in TX which is much more stable and business friendly than the mess in CA. No plans to move back, but lots of plans to visit.

  • luniz

    I’ve always felt like TJ’s is vastly overrated. And of course you have your subset of posters who seem to get overly excited about the next best thing, whatever it is. Sort of like women who collect things that are “to die for”. Sprout’s is cheaper and better than TJs anyway.

    You have to admit that In N Out is *significantly* better than McD’s, Waterburger, etc. It’s still just a fast food burger, so a silly thing to get overly excited about. But I’d probably eat there once or twice a year if we had one. Otherwise I don’t have any reason to eat fast food hamburgers, especially now with that Grazing Cow place opened in Plano.

  • Twinwillow

    I’d be very happy if the HEB people would open a store in Dallas.
    But, now with Aldi’s opening stores all over Dallas, I would imagine our market is getting close (if not already) to being saturated with grocery stores of all kinds.

  • luniz

    The HEB people have opened several stores in Dallas, they’re called Central Market..and Aldi could open a million stores and it wouldn’t have any affect on the demand for CM or probably even HEB.