First to start off this taco review we must praise and thank Trader Joe’s for always bringing great products to the market. Trader Joe’s really stands out because they do a fantastic job creating a community and truly making each store feel like a community grocery. They are often more affordable due to the products being private label. There’s also a greater sense of pride in quality when their name is quite literally on almost every product in store.
Anyway…The same person who told me to make sure I review Carlito’s Barbecue Taqueria (my current #1 taco spot) also told me I need to review a prepared taco kit, specifically from Trader Joe’s. This Fourth Of July we decided to skip the hamburgers and hot dogs for something a little more American…yes tacos, nothing more American than our melting pot of cultures, food and taste.
Besides, as Roman Craig, played by Dan Aykroyd in the movie The Great Outdoors (1988) once said..
“Hotdogs! You know what they make those things out of, Chet? You know?”
So let’s forget the the hot-dogs and hamburgers this summer, let’s grab some tacos. You’ll find the Trader Joe’s Beef Sirloin Taco Kit in their meat aisle. The kit has everything you need and will serve 2 people just fine if your’e both having 3 tacos each. The kit will come with 12 pre-cooked flour tortillas, instructions will tell you to double on the tortillas, we decided a single works well. In addition to the marinated beef and tortillas in the Trader Joe’s taco kit, you’ll find a small bag of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (oddly enough with the blue Apron logo on it), a large jalapeño pepper, a small bag of salsa and guacamole. I picked the whole kit up at the Trader Joe’s Hoboken, NJ location for $9.99. For a pre-made store taco kit its pretty damn good and surprisingly you’ll be shocked to see that it ranks higher than quite a few taco spots I’ve tried.
Outside on my deck I uh….cooked on an electric griddle (great for pancakes too) my grill was out commission (dirty & out of propane). Open up the sirloin pack and you’ll see it’s been marinated in there nicely. It’s going to retain its brick shaped stature, with your *clean* hands break it apart as you drop it on the skillet. You’ll want to break it up a bit as you cook.
As the the sirloin cooked I sliced up the large fresh jalapeno and roasted it up, we picked some Mexican crema and ripe avocados from Acapulco Plaza. Finally we threw the tortillas on the griddle to heat them up. So off the bat the seasoning is amazing on the meat; this completely makes the kit, the tortillas are flour but made pretty well and are fairly light.
Overall I think this is a great value at $10, it’s quick to make, delicious, filling and even the salsa is more like you’d find in an actual taqueria. So for Mexican home cooking without the full authentic experience of making the tortillas it’s quite good. Again this kit in my opinion ranks higher than a few places I’ve reviewed. The two downsides to this kit is the “guacamole” and the tortillas. I wouldn’t call it guacamole, it’s more of a guacamole flavored sauce. While good, the ingredients are chemical packed with preservatives, which is kinda of expected since avocado doesn’t do well with air. The tortillas are better than your average taco kit, I just prefer corn, again it’s a matter of freshness, since corn tortillas have a less than stellar and shorter shelf life.
- Solid Taco Review Score: 7.2/10
- Taco Price: $9.99 for all you see here *crema, and avocado sold separately*
- Location(s): somewhere near you at Trader Joe’s, make it in your kitchen or on your deck with the same thing you make pancakes on.