A funny thing happens whenever Brian and I move to somewhere new.
The place we left seems to get...cooler.
We lived in downtown Rome, Georgia for the first year of our marriage, right on Broad Street in an old and rundown but pretty cool little loft apartment. We spent our evenings wandering up and down Broad Street, which is the heart of downtown Rome, eating at Schroeder's New Deli and window shopping. Then we moved to North Carolina. And Rome got STUFF. Like gourmet food shops and bakeries on Broad Street. And a Ru San's - our very favorite Atlanta sushi place, the sushi place where we had our first date. And Starbucks in the Kroger that we shopped at. Meh.
But we lived in Charlotte which was pretty cool. And then we moved to Shelby, NC. And guess what happened? Our road in Charlotte got STUFF. The very road that we lived on for TWO WHOLE YEARS now has a SUPER Target, a Mimi's Café, and A STINKIN' IKEA. An Ikea, people. Now. After we're gone. Why, oh why???
Ok, so the point. We've discovered something else that our old neighborhood in Charlotte has now that it did not before. A Trader Joe's. And boy, do we love Trader Joe's. Have you ever heard of them? Been to one? If not - GO! Check out the locations, find one near you, and go! Trader Joe's is a great little grocery store that people in California are lucky enough to get to shop at all the time. They carry lots of organic and all natural products, gourmet and hard to find foods, and their own product brand which is well priced and delicious!! So far we've tried Trader Joe's brand cookies (yum), Korean short ribs - a must buy, and several other items including Israeli couscous (large pearls of couscous instead of very small), cheese, pizza dough, and French onion soup. The only thing we have not been crazy about so far was the soup - Brian thought it was a little bland. Trader Joe's is also home to Charles Shaw wines, better known as "Two-Buck Chuck." We've tried a couple of bottles with some of our dinners, and for cheap wine it's pretty good!
One of my very favorite Trader Joe's purchases of late has to be the pizza dough. They sell fresh made pizza dough in little bags. You take it home, roll it out (which includes tossing it in the air if you are brave like my husband), top it, and bake! We made two, one with olives, peppers, and mushrooms and one with fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, and mushrooms (hey, we like mushrooms). It turned out like fancy artisan pizza that you get at overpriced pizza places but cheaper and made at home!
And I have to admit - this just makes Trader Joe's even cooler. They use proper grammar.
I can't help but wonder what will come to Shelby after Brian and I move, and what we will miss from this town when we move on to the next.