Best Zen frenzy - 2007
Regulars have their reasons. Thai lime & chili peanuts. Chocolate-covered pretzels. Instant spicy chai latte mix. Personally, I queue up at least once a week for the outrageously cheap pomegranate juice, $4.49 a quart, about half what you'd pay for an over-designed bottle of Pom. If the mobbed aisles and massive checkout lines intimidate, a trip to the holistic hell of Whole Paycheck—organic raspberries! from Peru!—helps justify the wait. But the best reason to endure the ordeal of waiting in line at Trader Joe's (aside from the premade pizzas, and the tasty Camembert, and the $1 marinara sauce, and . . .) is because it isn't one. Maybe it's the dorky West Coast decor, or the superhumanly mellow employees, but nowhere in the city will you find so many hungry citizens crammed into so small a space fiending over the same rapidly vanishing products behaving so well. In its inimitably frantic way, the place is positively blissed out.