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Aug 15, 2007 07:21 AM

New To Trader Joe's - Top Faves??? [Moved from General Topics board]

Trader Joe's officially opens here in Charlotte NC this Friday and I'm giddy with anticipation. So chowhounders, tell me what are your favorite products please! I know I will go in there and will be completely overwhelmed and want to buy everything. I may need to medicate myself beforehand.

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  1. The bakery and dairy items will be provided locally.

    You will have to try bakery items yourself to see which you like and if they are fresh or not. The dairy items in Southern California are provided by a well knwn high end Dairy. If you have such a Dairy in your area and see 'fancy' yogurts, cream topped milk and such, it most likely will be provided by that place and at a substantially lower cost than elsewhere.

    1. We just love Trader Joe's. Try their mini beef tacos, four cheese pizza ,apple strudel, & lemon sorbet in lemon shells---all in the frozen section. Chocolate covered pretzels, gingerbread cake, preseasoned roast beef (just bake & serve) are really terrific.

      1. For frozen food, TJ's cioppino and tilapia fillets are very good.

        Their tiramisu is funny looking (it was obviously cranked out by a machine), but very tasty.

        I don't know about the NC TJ's, but the west coast stores have all sorts of fantastic beer and wine bargains. Sadly, the east coast ones -- the ones that are allowed to sell alcohol -- have narrower selections and higher prices.

        1. Nuts, dried fruit, wine is what TJs started out with and still does so well and cheaply. Also, the best deals on vitamins. In my experience, in TJs in a few regions, avoid produce unless you're desperate. Just tried the dried mango for the first time this week, and it's so amazingly delicious. I love the thai chili cashews. Another nut mix called something with "global" in it is addictive. They've got these big bars of chocolate that grace many a pantry. But everybody has their favorites, so you're smart to ask -- I grew up with TJs, but still taking suggestions.

          BTW, I save a lot of money by buying cat litter there ;)

          1. I forgot to mention coffee and tea. I do most of my shopping for coffee and tea at TJ's. TJ's coffees aren't up there with, say, Peet's or Terroir, but they're very good for the price. I love dark-roasted coffees, and TJ's "Ultra Roast" Sumatran is a mainstay of mine.