Monday, December 14, 2015

Day 348 - Gnocchi al Gorgonzola

Guys, we visited ANOTHER TRADER JOE’S!  This one was remarkably close to home – when I check Google maps it is only 7.7 miles away, but we had never been there.  How embarrassing… 

We went to the ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA Trader Joe’s.  We had gone to The Little Theatre of Alexandria to see their production of “A Christmas Carol” (note:  we had seen another production of the same show the night before at Ford’s Theatre, and a production of “The Nutcracker” the night before THAT!  Christmas, Christmas time is here!!).  After the show we really wanted a Mega Crunchy Salad with a Bite (very recently reviewed here - ) so we stopped into TJ’s.  Sadly, they were out of that salad L.  But it was a fun chance to check out our 23rd Trader Joe’s for the year. 

Look - another Trader Joe's visited!  #23 for the year.  (And look - I got new boots!)
The Alexandria store was nice.  We visited on a Sunday evening and it was very quiet and calm.  The main aisle of the store near the registers is really wide and uncluttered, which was cool.  We met a great employee in the wine section named David (he would have to be nice with a name like David, right??).  He helped us pick out a bubbly wine for New Year’s (we are heading to Florida where the nearest TJ’s is 90 minutes away so we were THINKING AHEAD!).   He walked us through the difference between actual champagne (which is pricey, even at TJ’s) and bubbly wine.  I will let you decide which of those we chose (look, you know we live on a budget, so spoiler alert, we are drinking BUBBLY WINE for New Year’s J ). 

He also talked about wines that get “corked” (sounds sorta nasty, doesn’t it???) and suspected the bad bottle we had of Grand Reserve Meritage that we hated (the worst wine we reviewed - it got only a 1/2 star:  wine that tasted like petrol reviewed here ) had indeed been “corked”.  He was just finishing up doing a tasting that included a Grand Reserve Pinot Noir and, though I was nervous to get back on the Grand Reserve band wagon, we tried it and liked it.  Color us the proud owners of a bottle of that, too.

It says "Amazing as a side!" right on the sign, yet we ignored that.
Now, onto a review.  This is for Gnocchi al Gorgonzola, which we did not purchase at the Alexandria location.  You can either heat this on the stove top or the microwave, but both methods take 7 minutes.  Weird, nuking stuff is normally faster.  The bag has 3 servings.  Some of the ingredients listed include:  Emmental, gorgonzola, hard grating cheese (wonder what variety that is??), and nutmeg. 

David – “These gnocchi are nice, they have a very good taste.  The sauce is nice but this dish needs to have MORE SAUCE.  More sauce, and more “cheese-ness” – more gorgonzola in the cheese tastiness.  For that reason I give it a 3.5.”

Find these in the frozen department.  The GNOCCHI, not David.  Usually you can find David with me.
I just noticed that David is getting photo bombed in this shot.
I agree with part of what David said.  I like the TEXTURE and the TASTE of the gnocchi.  I think, quantity wise, there was enough sauce, I just don’t think it has enough taste.  It needs to be more cheesy. 

This is how it looks when you dump it in your pan - the cheese blobs are sorta gross looking
I think this would be a better side dish than a main dish.  The sign mentioned that and we foolishly ignored the advice.  J  It definitely needs green veggies or something else with it to give it a taste counterpoint.  Without that it is too bland.  We had it with asparagus and shredded Brussels sprouts (reviewed here -   - I cooked them differently this time and did not do the recipe on the package as I did in that review.  This time I just made them with olive oil and lemon juice and they were much nicer).

See, it looks tastier after it is cooked.
I agree with David’s score of 3.5.  This tastes like a winter dish.  It is heavy.  This would be good to eat if you were out skiing all day and came in for a hot meal.  Or, say, if you were a LUMBERJACK and had been out chopping wood (in your flannel shirt) all day. 

Price – $2.99
Rating – 3.5


  1. I am painfully jealous your regular stores have wine..!! If you didn't get the Lambrusco it's my favorite bubbly anything, more fruit "grape" flavor than others. TJs has red and white, the red is better, it's slightly sweet but not really. And literally $5/bottle. no special occasion needed!

    I love the plain package of gnocchi over by the pasta, maybe you guys would like that better and add your own favorite cheesey touch...

    1. Don't hate us for our wine... :)

      Thanks for the Lambrusco recommendation. We popped into a TJ's tonight to get a MEGA CRUNCHY SALAD WITH A BITE for a long road trip tomorrow and grabbed a bottle of red Lambrusco while we were there. Wheeeee - par-tay coming soon.

  2. I made this tonight as a quick summer one pan meal. I crumbled up some bacon I had leftover and tossed in some tofu for protein. 10 minutes and I had a full meal for two. Loved it.

    1. Well now you have made me hungry for this dish... :) Especially the addition of bacon! Great idea.

      P.S. - the words "leftover" and "bacon" are never two that will be uttered in our house... If there is bacon, it is eaten... :)