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Trader Joes Suggestions Anyone???

I will be taking a trip into the city a couple times this month picking up the relations from the airport. That means a major shopping spree at Trader Joe's. Anyone have any suggestions on what to buy there? I always pick up the same goodies so I would love suggestions of favorite finds from fellow Chowhounds. I am uo for anything and will be bringing a mammoth cooler!!! Food,wine, household goods... anything!

Thanks ahead!

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  1. some of my random faves:

    fage total greek yogurt (other stores carry it now, but tj's is still the cheapest)
    reduced fat santorini salad dressing
    thai chili-lime peanuts (actually, all their nuts & dried fruit rock!)

    honestly, your best bet is to take your time ambling up & down the aisles, browsing all the items. i usually stumble upon new & interesting cheeses, condiments, cereals & snacks when i do it that way. depending on the location, some stores also have a dedicated "new products" kiosk (it's typically near the coffee grinders and/or wine section). you can always check out the latest stuff there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 1_healthnut

      I will do that AND take your suggestions! That is how I discovered pistachio bark. Heaven!

    2. ________________________________________
      Here's my list of favorites at Trader Joe's AND whole Foods!

      TRADER JOE'S:

      Crackers and chips:
      Stoned wheat thins
      Parmesan pita toasts
      Blue bag potato chips
      Trader Giotto crostini (best crackers for cheese I have found)
      Mini multi seed rice crackers
      Snap Pea Crisps ( i am completely and helplessly addicted)

      Frozen:
      Stir fry snow pea mix
      French green beans(HARICOTS VERTS- stir fry these; do not blanch))
      Grilled corn
      Mandarin orange chicken (in a pinch) ; Stir fry Citrus Chicken
      Chicken spring rolls- both Coconut and Lemongrass types
      Tamales- Grn chili and cheese, and Chicken
      Mini Beef Tacos ( i have detested all their other frozen mexican products- skimpy fillings and poorly flavored)
      Mushroom Ravioli
      Tr Joe’s Spinach Pie (not Filo Factory version)
      TJ's eggplant parm in filo (good flavor but yes it is mushy)
      Exotic mushrooms/shiitakes
      Edamame
      Artichoke hearts(nuke 2 min.; much better than in jar)
      Tarte d'Alsace w/ gruyere and ham(what a tremendous product)
      Turkey Stromboli
      Calamari rings( good for quick protein/seafood addition to a soup or entree)

      Indian(vaccuum packed in foil pouches in box):
      Eggplant ; Dal ; etc.

      Deli:
      Niman bacon
      Niman ham/corned beef
      Cilantro lime noodle salad
      Spinach, red chili, flour tortillas
      Mexican layered dip
      3 layered Hoomus
      North Atlantic (navy label)smoked salmon
      Grated parm in navy blue bag(watch out- this can go moldy)
      Aged Old amsterdam gouda w/ black rind
      Goat cheese crumbles(for salads)
      Greek yoghurt w/ honey on the side
      Greek tzatziki yoghurt sauce
      Pate in mini loaf- shaped crock

      Baked Goods:
      All scones
      Almond croissants
      Triple ginger gingersnaps in tub

      Dry Goods:
      All nuts/ roasted sunflower seeds
      Thai chili lime cashews
      Raspberry chocolate trail mix
      Dark chocolate bars- the single source ,and the larger tr joes bittersweet and extra dark ones( i use all these for baking)
      Coffee

      Cans and Jars:
      Canned hearts of palm( neat addition to salads; though some of theirs are too fibrous)
      Thai Coconut, Mojito and Moroccan simmer sauces
      Vodka marinara sauce
      Salsa with corn and black beans
      Salsa verde
      Black truffle oil (better than the other cheap[less than $25] ones i've tried)
      Black tea unsweetened, in jug (the bottled one is better but more exp.)

      WHOLE FOODS MARKET:

      Packaged Starches:
      Seeds of Change 7Grain Pilaf(TREMENDOUS ), and Cilantro Quinoa
      Casbah Saffron Jasmine Rice
      Casbah? Moroccan Rice w/Lentils ,and Couscous w/Lentils and Tomatoes

      Chips etc:
      Barbara's Cheese Puffs in White Bag (the ONLY great cheese puffs i have ever found);
      Frontera Chipotle Lime Tortilla Chips

      Frozen:
      Blue Moon sorbets- grapefruit campari, and peach melba
      V cornmeal pizza crusts (TREMENDOUS;the ONLY pizza crust for me,but i pre-bake 7 min. before topping)
      Nature's Touch veggie patties- vegetable medley and spicy black bean- good low carb starch
      Rudolph’s Whole Rye Bread, brown wrapper- The most toothsome hearty Rye bread i have found -for toast- not sandwiches)

      Bread:
      Pigs Fly- Dark Rye , Harvest
      Iggy's- all theirs but especially Francese(though the holes are a drag)

      Chocolates:
      Vosges Bars- esp. Red Fire Bar and the Barcelona with salt and smoked almonds
      Newman's own peanut butter cups
      Orange Choc. bar :Black and Green, and Chocolove

      Cheese dept.:
      Fresh ricotta
      Red pepper and feta spread in jar
      Vermont cheese co. lightly salted or unsalted butter in yellow paper-wrapped tube
      bruderbasel smoked cheese- for pizza
      Parmesan (their new wisconsin parm is very very good, as cheaper alternative to the expensive italian ones)
      Danish feta in a jar (with herbed marinade which can be used to marinade lamb or chicken or beef; add red wine vinegar first)
      Fresh ravioli- Smoked mozzarella and Red pepper; and Lobster; and Pea and mascarpone
      Cilantro pesto (Bear pond farm)

      Dairy:
      Eggs
      Lifeway Raspberry Kefir

      Salad Dressings:
      Cindy's: Chipotle ranch, Cilantro, Deeply Roasted Sesame, Greek with Feta and Olive,
      (Cindy’s Ranch and Creamy Miso need work)
      Annie's Goddess
      365 Peanut Sauce (for peanut noodle salad)

      Seafood:
      Trout, Skate ( both are very flavorful fresh fish that won't break the bank)
      Charlie Trotter's 2 gravlax types
      Frozen minced clams
      Smoked scallops
      Whole foods teriyaki orange marinade next to seafood
      Meats:
      Assorted Chicken Sausages

      Deli:
      Risotto Cakes
      Masa Cakes
      Cilantro Fritters
      The best deli Corned Beef i have had
      Turkey/Smoked Turkey
      Sesame Noodle salad
      Roasted Beets
      Guacamole-not low fat
      Corn tortillas
      Red pepper hoomus
      Quiche
      Teryaki Chicken Wings

      Soups:
      Corn chowder(i add cooked shrimp, smoked and regular scallops,clam juice, cilantro and pesto to this)
      Clam chowder(i add more clams, and corn to this)
      Tomato fennel soup (i add cooked wheatberries or brown and wild rice, and/or chopped ham to this)
      Butternut Squash Soup

      Produce:
      Peeled garlic
      Mixed sprouts- for salad
      Chanterelles

      Jars:
      Arrowhead crunchy peanut butter and almond butter
      Maple syrup- (grade B for stronger flavor)

      Spices:
      They are the only ones who carry my fav curry powder-Sun brand Madras-in small gold square can- TONS better than any other brand,(even from Indian food stores).
      Bulk:
      Flours, Grains, Spices, Dried Fruit
      Ginger Chew candies

      1. My lord! I may have to seek out a Whole Foods. There is a market similar to Whole Foods in Poulsbo (WA) on the way home. I may try to find some items on your list there. I am still trying to get over the fact that some TJ's have delis! None of mine do! I mourn.

        So far I am definitely going for greek yogurt, santorini dressing, chili lime nuts, both coconut and lemongrass spring rolls, mushroom rav's, tj spinach pie, tarte d'alsace (OMG) and calamari rings. I just read off my list so sorry about misspellings. Luckily I have a cavernous freezer!

        I am still in shock over TJ's having a deli! I am beginning to think my loved ones who shop there have been sheltering me. GASP!

        You had to mention those Pea Pods????? I had JUST purged then from my memory! I could gorge myself on those crunchy bits of heaven. I have tried the calamari steaks, Curious about the rings...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Wanda Fuca

          Poulsbo - would that be Central Market? I haven't been to that one, but do shop at the Shoreline and Mill Creek ones every now and then. There's a lot of overlap in character between these and Whole Foods. The only Seattle Whole Foods that I'm aware of is in Ravena/North University district.

          If you cross over on the Edmonds ferry, consider stopping at 99 Ranch, a large California/Asian grocery on hwy 99 (used to be a Kmart).

          I'm close enough to a Traders to shop there regularly, buying things as much for price as uniqueness.
          - handmade flour tortillas (best around)
          - cereal selection, like healthfood shops, but much cheaper
          - nuts - good selection and prices
          - baking items - oat bran, ground almonds, King Arthur flour
          - 69cent pastas; also wide italian style noodles
          - frozen vegies, I especially like the green beans from France
          - good price on eggs, butter
          - chocolate, esp. the lb plus bars

          I used to get most of my cheese at Traders, but get less because prices have gone up. Central has a pretty good selection of cheese. The Mill Creek one often has a lot of cheese samples. There's a Thriftway on Ballinger Way (north Shoreline) that has a good cheese selection as well. There's also a cheese monger in downtown Edmonds.

          For a massive selection of hot sauces, and bargin prices on cheeses and lunch meats try DD Meats in 'downtown' Mountlake Terrace.

          paulj

          1. re: paulj

            a new whole foods just opened up in south lake union, fyi.

            1. re: mcgillfoodie

              Holy crap, that place finally opened?? I'm shocked. They had quite a unique interpretation of the phrase "coming soon."

          2. re: Wanda Fuca

            wanda, its not tr j that has the deli; it's whole foods!will be happy if you find the list useful.

          3. I LOVE the french rose (cote du rhone, I think)with the Coq on it. about $5 and darn tasty.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LeBone

              Excellent! I will pick up a bottle or so and if it pleases "Chez Fuca" I will purchase a case when I drop the guests back at the airport. Thank you.

            2. -Pita Chips (multigrain with sesame seeds or sea salt)
              -Joe Joes (like Oreos, but better...they have the Candy Cane ones right now...yum!)
              -Frozen pizzas
              -Banana Crisps (if you can find them....we haven't had them in our MD store in awhile...NOT the chips, but the crisps)
              -Nuts/Trail mix
              -Truffle Brownie mix
              -Simmer Sauces for a quick meal
              -Frozen Naan
              -Pound Plus Chocolate Bars
              -Edamame
              -Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (in a box...really good)
              -Chicken Broth