I encountered my very first Trader Joe's when I first moved to MD after graduating from college. I had heard some good things about it, but never had a chance to go until I found out there was one within walking distance to the house I was renting in. Now, I am within driving distance to several Trader Joe's from both work and my current apartment, luckily for me.
What I really like about Trader Joe's, oddly enough, is their packaged and frozen items the most. This might seem weird since normally I'm not a fan of frozen foods (except for ice cream, ha). But they have such a HUGE variety of random items that you probably can't find elsewhere. Also, I like the atmosphere and the easygoing returns policy- if you don't like something, just return it. Easy peasy.
Some standouts in my book:
- Trader Joe's brand Greek yogurts
- Whole-Wheat Low-Carb Tortillas
- Miniature Peanut Butter Cups
- Frozen Soycoutash
- Coffee Ice Cream
- Strawberry Fruit Floes (frozen fruit bars)
- Garlic Naan Bread
- Frozen Korean BBQ Short Ribs
- Frozen Mac n' Cheese
I really could go on and on. Also, I like that they have "other-brand" stuff there for less $$, like the No-Pudge Brownie mix and Fage yogurt.
I will say this though: I personally cannot shop just at Trader Joe's and be able to get everything. I like going to farmer's markets and regular grocery stores, and Trader Joe's can't replace either of those completely. You're not going to be able to get EVERYTHING at Trader Joe's, especially if you have brand loyalties elsewhere. But, what you can get there is fun, cheap, and tasty for the most part.
By the way, the reason why I posted all this in the first place is because I was browsing through this site: Trader Joe's Fan. It's a comprehensive site of all things TJ's, and a good resource if you're considering buying something new on your next trip.