Minneapolis has a Trader Joe's. It opened a mere seven days ago. And it's not actually in Minneapolis. It's in St. Louis Park. Close enough to the border, though.
I was very excited to visit the new grocery store. Mostly because of the world-renowned "Two Buck Chuck." In most (or some?) of Trader Joe's stores, the cheap wine is actually $1.99. Unfortunately for us in Minneapolis, it's $2.99. Oh, the horror! Three dollars for a bottle of wine? And it's not Boone's Farm. Oh. Wait.
Quite frankly, given Minnesota's ridiculous Lutheranized liquor laws, I was worried about there even being a liquor store. But I know there are ways around it. Shoot, pretty much every grocery store in Mankato has an attached liquor store. And the Byerlys in the metro have the same. It's not as convenient as being able to pick up your wine and beer in the same room, but in the same building isn't too bad.
Lucky for me, Trader Joe's is right on my way to Target and the gym. How can I not go, when I drive past it several times a week? That's absolutely convenient.
I had to run to Target after my walk around the lake tonight to get some allergy meds. As I drove past Trader Joe's, I saw real, honest-to-goodness parking spots. How could I not stop? Well, there was not a single reason for me not to stop. So I did.
There's not a lot of parking there. Inside, it was crazy; so many people and we're all new to it. So, there was a lot of lollygagging in the aisles and many, many logjams. Lots of empty space on the shelves. That's to be expected, though, I suppose. And since grocery shopping isn't exactly my most beloved activity, well, I'm not really sure why I even went into the grocery store part. Probably because I was hungry.
Even though there was a lot of empty shelf space, I managed to grab a few things. I got a loaf of Italian bread (now in the freezer because there are no preservatives and I decided to not make grilled cheese for dinner), a jar of organic tomato-basil marinara sauce, grilled vegetable and black bean burritos (two, frozen) and wasabi peas. The wasabi peas are de-freakin'-licious. I think they are better than Target's. And $2 cheaper, too. However, I need to check the amount in each bag to see if it's really cheaper or just a smaller amount.
And of course, I couldn't neglect the liquor store. It was lovely and cool in there. I imagine a wine cellar would feel the same. Sadly, there was much empty shelf space. And no actual liquor -- just beer (a very small amount) and wine. There was a large display of Purple Moon Shiraz (ooooh, I love shiraz!) for a whopping $3.99. The wine prices ranged from $35.99 (the most expensive I saw, but I didn't look all that closely) to the wonderful Two Buck Chuck at $2.99.
I picked up two of the Two Buck Chuck shiraz. There was a merlot and a sauvingnon blanc. And possibly another, but I couldn't see what it was. As I sip my last glass from the first bottle of my Two Buck Chuck, I'm a) a little drunk and b) very, very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the wine. I'm absolutely not a wine snob. I drink what I like. I like Yellow Tail, which is pretty freakin' cheap. As long as it tastes good to me, what the fuck do I care?
So, I should really get my ass back there and buy a case of Two Buck Chuck. You really can't go wrong if you're not a wine snob.