Bwog braved the line yesterday at Trader Joe’s and would like you to be well-informed before you make the harrowing 40-block trek to buy groceries. Because you might get really pissed if, say, you showed up there tomorrow only to find there is no wine.

That’s right: unlike its Union Square brother, this Trader Joe’s is drier than a cabernet sauvignon. State law requires they open a separate wine shop to sell it in, and as of right now, Trader Joe’s has no plans to build a new wine store in addition to the existing one in Union Square. THANKS, PURITANS.

Winelessness aside, there are some redeeming qualities—like the fact there’s this whole grocery store thing going on. Sure, you can’t make sangria out of them, but basic staples are considerably cheaper than Westside and Fairway, and Trader Joe’s is big on organic without imposing the significant financial penalties of Whole Foods. They also have a wide range of inexpensive specialty ingredients, such as toasted sesame oil—that’s right, toasted—and spices. And not just the typical spices like cinnamon and oregano, but also those weird ones you buy for that one meal you cook your boyfriend and then forget in the back of your cabinets only to smell it for weeks afterward whenever you open the door.  Oh, plus there’s the Pound Plus bar of chocolate, a highlight of their extensive candy selection.

In addition to being cost-efficient, it’s also quite fun. They have those cool escalators you can put a grocery cart into. Chances are, you’ll spot your TA. The walls are decorated with weird memorabilia. They have free samples of prepared meals, and free coffee. And the best part: at the check-out, to let you know that a register is free, an employee will hold a big red flag with their number on it and wave it calling “23” until you present them with your groceries. Semaphore!

There really is something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just someone who wants to make a recipe other than Easy-Mac for the first time…that doesn’t call for wine. No wine. (Ugh, Puritans.)

Enjoy the photos, and go try it for yourselves!