Missing Trader Joe’s, but…

One of the saddest things I had to leave behind in So Cal (besides my friends, family and In-and-Out Burger) is the fact that there are no Trader Joe’s anywhere in Canada.  Sigh.  They don’t even have one in Buffalo or Niagara Falls; the nearest one to us is in Detroit, at least a 4 hour drive away.

Oh, Trader Joe’s, how I miss thee!  We could always count on you for exciting, quality foods at reasonable prices.  And, your Fearless Flier made me laugh each month.

God must have known how difficult it would be for me to leave behind such accessible gourmet delights.  Because right up the street from us is another culinary wonder:

Now, this is in no way a Trader Joe’s equivalent.  But, instead, I have been graced with an amazing Chinese supermarket with wonders aplenty, at very reasonable prices.

Tone Tai has amazing fresh fruits and vegetables, a seafood market with live fish, a long meat counter specializing in pork and beef, and aisles upon aisles of Chinese, Korean, Caribbean, Filipino and Canadian staples.   We’ve found delicious frozen lake bass for $1.88 a pound, fresh pork chops for $1.29 a pound, and the most beautiful green beans for only $.66 a pound.  Plus, we get the excitement of trying to figure out what a lot of their packaged products are and what in the heck people do with them.

Check out what I saw today for the first time, folks.  That’s right, fresh Durian!  I’m still not brave enough to try one of these, but I have to say, I’m impressed that they have some to sell (so long as I don’t have to smell it!)

Tone Tai is no substitute for Trader Joe’s.  I still miss walking down those TJ aisles to purchase some 2 Buck Chuck, fantastic cheeses, cool sauces, and my peppermint JoJo’s at Christmas time.

But Tone Tai is a gift in its own right to me, promising good food at cheap prices, and a bit of adventure!


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About iammonicasue

I'm just gal who was born and raised in So Cal, who has lived my whole life in California... until now. I moved to Toronto in August 2010 and this is my blog about the differences I'm discovering between the home I came from and the home I'm getting to know.
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6 Responses to Missing Trader Joe’s, but…

  1. Doug says:

    Didn’t you ever go to a Ranch 99 Market? They’re all over CA – Chinese supermarket chain, they have durian and all kinds of weird stuff. I pop by occasionally for seafood or because there’s this kind of Singaporean cookie I like.

    • iammonicasue says:

      We never did Ranch 99 as they were a bit far from us, but we did go to SuperHMarket, a fabulous Korean grocery store in Diamond Bar. We just can’t believe how great the prices are at Tone Tai compared to other Canadian grocery stores. And tell me more about these Singaporean cookies! Maybe I’ll go hunting for them up here!

      • Doug says:

        You might try anything from the brand Khong Guan but in particular their lemon puffs are nice – not that sweet.

  2. xapis says:

    I missed Trader Joes when we moved too, Monica! I think our closest ones are in Detroit and Ann Arbor but that’s only a 45-60 minute drive for us, not 4 hours! If you ever make the pilgramage to Detroit, maybe we can meet up for coffee. 🙂

  3. Eleanor says:

    We’re Canadians living in So Cal, but will be moving back to London, Ontario, after 5 years. We will miss TJs and hope to find the equivalent to TJs. Ah well, at least there is Target now…

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