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Thai Joe's Lemongrass Chicken Stix

I tread on the side of caution when it comes to Trader Joe's Asian food. I also set lower expectations because then it doesn't hurt as much when the food is "meh." I usually go for the non-Chinese Trader Joe's food though because the disappointment doesn't sting as much. I haven't had the heart to try too many Chinese dishes because home turf letdowns hurt almost as much as that pass on the 1-yard line the Seahawks pulled a few weeks ago. Which brings me to these chicken stix. The name reminds me of a Burger King fry-shaped chicken nugget product from a few years ago, not these egg roll wannabes. 

"Tantalizingly tasty, exotic, crispy & crunchy spring-roll wrappers filled with lemongrass-flavored chicken...delightful!"

They're quite small. Two dinky little stix for one serving. Each stix is about the length of my index finger. Girls wear shoes with heels bigger than these stix y'all.  They're stuffed reasonably well though for their size. They definitely taste more like veggie spring rolls than chicken ones, mostly because the cabbage and lemon grass overwhelm whatever else might be hiding inside. In fact, I might as well be chewing a straight up lemon grass stick. While it's not unpleasant, it does make me feel like a cow chewing its cud. 

As you can see, I made no attempt to make these look more appetizing than they actually are.

I think middle America would enjoy Trader Joe's asian food best. Questionable authenticity but exotic concept with some cutesy name/packaging. They might actually have Thai restaurants named "Thai Joe" out there.  $3.29 for a box of 5 servings (mine had 11 stix) isn't too bad if you're comparing it to what the theoretical "Thai Joe" restaurant might charge for two spring rolls. But if Thai Joe really wants to up his game, he better add some fish sauce - these stix were lacking that signature acidic sour taste. 

TL;DR: Thai Joe's Lemongrass Chicken Stix. Spring rolls with LEMON GRASS. Meh. 5 out of 10. 


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