Wrote this late last night, just got around to posting it.
Like many others I was very excited to have Trader Joe's start opening stores in the Northeast. They certainly provide lots of pretty good food items at pretty reasonable cost.
Increasingly though I don't find myself going there quite so often.
As a rule, I have found the prepared foods to be not so exciting. Burritos, indian food in a frozen packet, huge frozen cheesecake, all eh. Cheap yes, but often not worth the calories. Some things are great, chocolate mousse cake, etc. But very hit or miss.
Don't get me wrong, for supplies for a cocktail party on a budget they are great: cheeses, smoked salmon, salami, crackers, etc. Great. Just be sure to eat the cheese quickly, because as several other posters have noted, they often spoil quickly.
But I must admit, locally here in Boston if I went to Formaggio Kitchen, I might spend 3X the dough, but everything would probably also be 2X as delicious.
And I have noticed considerable price creap lately. Cereal, Soy Milk, and other items that used to be a real bargain, now are the same as the much more convenient supermarket.
I guess my feeling is bottom line that TJ's is pretty good, and sometimes cheap, but no longer the "Must go" place it was for me when they opened.