(As told by Katherine and Nina, while devouring these snacks during a hobo-style picnic in the new Trader Joe’s parking lot, patiently awaiting our Safe Ride rescuer)
While Trader Joe’s may be a zip code away from our lovely campus, the sparkling new store is well worth a trip. Prolong the monotony if you choose, standing in another seemingly endless dining hall line, holding out hope for that fabulous, mouth-watering and flavorful meal, only to be routinely disappointed as you submit to yet another PB&J, or perhaps your forty-third plate of couscous, whatever that is, or potentially even that bland salad full of the same ingredients you used yesterday and last Tuesday and every day before that. Or, alternatively, hop on the free shuttle and travel to a universe full of satisfying (and nutritious) options to break the cycle of mundanity and pamper yourself because, hell, you deserve it, you hardworking college student. Read on to learn about our sweet and savory discoveries – they’re worth the risk of additional hibernatory pounds.
Guacamole Hummus ($2.99)
Adios, bland dining hall hummus! Tree huggers and animal lovers have a new amigo in this dynamic pairing of veggie divinities. Grab a carrot or some pita (or, honestly, just a spoon) and dig right in. The label even says Trader Jose’s, so you know it's legit.
Because sometimes we fuck up, and nothing says sorry quite like a colorful, aromatic arrangement with a shelf life of about 26.5 hours. If you’re feeling creative, put together your own apology bouquet. Colorblind and artistically-challenged? No sweat; for you, they have pre-designed arrangements that are sure to spice up drab cinderblocks or icky apartment tabletops.
Crumpets and Pumpkin Butter ($2.79 + $2.29)
Take a temporary Nutella reprieve and feel cosmopolitan while you admire Evanston’s falling leaves. This British delicacy, smothered in jack-o'-lantern sauce, will have you murmuring, “Cheerio, man, cheerio.”
Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans ($4.49)
Keep calm and cram on: the cure for all-nighter discomfort has arrived. Let the chocolate soak into your soul and wash away all your midterm worries. The consensus we reached? Dessert that offers a jolt of caffeine beats hot cookie bar any day.
Double Chocolate Cookie Dunkers & Cookie Butter ($4.79 + $3.69)
Now that Breaking Bad has officially come to an end, it’s time for a new addiction. Picture the decadence of a biscotti-shaped chocolate chip cookie, half of which is already covered in chocolate, further dipped into a peanut-buttery substance with the flavor of a sugary, gingerbread cookie. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth or simply attract friends to your dorm or apartment, this is the combination you need in your cabinet. If you need more convincing, the combo costs less than $10. Nom.
Cherry Cider & Pumpkin Cereal Bars ($2.99 + $1.99)
It’s positively unethical to go through the entire fall season without consuming cider, but we wouldn’t be Northwestern students if we didn’t find a way to eccentricize traditions. Go for the cherry cider (100 percent juice) instead of ordinary apple this year. Bonus points if you find a way to heat it up. And is it even possible to resist a brand of pumpkin bars named “This pumpkin walks into a bar…”? It shouldn’t be.
Pita Bite Crackers & Roasted Red Pepper, Eggplant and Garlic Dip ($2.49 + $2.49)
So Stacy’s Pita Chips are about as well known as Stacy’s mom these days, but pita bite crackers? Original. More original? The flavor (and color) of the roasted red pepper, eggplant and garlic dip that happens to be the crackers’ soulmates. Plus, this dip can be a nutritious swap for the mayo we listfully spread on sandwiches. Aesthetically pleasing and nutritious, this snack has got it goin’ on. Did we mention the dip costs less than a ride on the El?
Apple Cinnamon Goat Cheese with Everything Bite Size Crackers ($2.49 + $1.99)
While an 8-ounce log of goat cheese may not be at the top of your refrigerator needs, this concoction is well-worth it. We promise. A smear of caramelized apples layers the creamy goat cheese, and paired with Everything Bite Size Crackers, you will experience a rich crunch that evokes fall and overall pleasure. Hello, new favorite comfort food. This is a limited time item, so hop on the shuttle ASAP!
Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds ($3.99)
We have no idea what turbinado sugar is, but we totally dig these luxurious sweet-and-salty treats. Disclaimer: You may finish the entire carton in a fit of midnight drunchies. They’re that good.