Trader Joe's, the grocery store with the cult fan following (it is really good!) well known to many in other parts of the country (L.A., NYC, etc.) has finally reached our far flung city. It opened an hour ago across US-1 from the Dadeland South Metrorail Station. Yes, instead of opening Downtown or somewhere on the beach, where chain stores making their South Florida entree often open their show-offy first locations, Trader Joe's opened down south. Go figure. To give you the early report, and to score some free samples, Curbed is on the scene with an up-to-the-minute account of events:
9:00 AM: Parking sucked. It wasn't the gridlocked standstill that it could have been, but there were precious few spots to be had. Curbed finally scored a space at the City Furniture next door.
9:02 AM: Walking in now... iPad with data connection and wireless keyboard in tow, laptop slung over shoulder in case they have wifi. Professionally prepared or overkill?
9:10 AM: Ohhh balloons and lots of middle aged semi-bald men wearing leis. How festive!
9:20 AM: The atmosphere is quite festive. They have flower bouquet holders for the shopping carts but no wifi.
9:25: AM: Fuck! Just announced over the P.A.: City Furniture will begin towing in 15 minutes, An alternative lot is two blocks away. This liveblog is on hold to go save the Curbedmobile, however long that takes. Bye!
9:50 AM: And we're back! This liveblogging is a pain in the ass. You try balancing an iPad and a wireless keyboard in a shopping cart.
9:55 AM: There's a live band out front. Some people are wearing plastic leis. An employee is walking around offering chocolate covered blueberries.
9:56 AM: Live blogging is working so much better now that we've tossed the keyboard and turned to good 'ol Siri/voice dictation.
9:58 AM: Still looking for the free samples. So far just those chocolate covered blueberries.
10:00 AM: So much good looking food! We didn't have breakfast. They have a huge variety of pre-prepared dishes. They have about a million different kinds of salad, lots of sushi, lots of couscous/tabouli/hummus type stuff.
10:05 AM: Interesting/unusual looking offerings include Speculoos cookies, pumpkin bread pudding, $6 'sparkling wine from France.' Apparently not from the Champagne region of France though. Awkward?
10:09 AM: Finally, free samples! Ginger cookies with goat cheese on them.
10:11 AM: Spinach and kale balls in the frozen food section. Appetizing?
10:13 AM: Woo hoo! Very big wine/beer section. Like a whole quarter of the store.
10:15 AM: Score! Found the Two Buck Chuck. It hasn't been killed off by inflation. There's tons of it actually. Oh, and it's actually $2.99.
10:19 AM: They just announced Burger King is towing from that lot too. Good thing we're not parked there.
10:21 AM: Picked up some pumpkin butter.
10:23 AM: They have almond butter that's only like a dollar to two more than regular peanut butter! Anywhere else it's like twice as much. $6.
10:27 AM: They have pumpkin everything! Very seasonal.
10:29 AM: They have three kinds of dried mango, including freeze dried.
10:31 AM: Most of the stuff in here is store brand. Lots and lots of variety for a space that seems to be about one eighth the size of Publix.
10:35 AM: They have eight different varieties of dark chocolate with almonds, including whole, clusters, bark, thins, bits, with or without sea salt, etc.
10:40 AM: Latest addition to the shopping cart is roasted pistachio dark chocolate toffee. $3.99
10:41 AM: And dark chocolate covered marshmallows. Price $2.99.
10:47 AM: Like most Trader Joe's the store is decorated with murals of local scenery. Lifeguard stands, South Beach, the University of Miami stadium, botanical gardens. (Fairchild Garden?)
10:48 AM: The strip mall we parked in is now towing people's cars. Got to go. Peace out Trader Joe's. The food looks delicious. Sorry we couldn't buy anything and risk a tow. Still haven't had breakfast.
· Trader Joe's Pinecrest coverage [Curbed Miami]