FH Trader Joe's top ten hits? And will Amish survive?
What's your favorites? Let's share...friendly staff and clean store in queens, am I dreaming or what??? I've seen one or the other, but it's hard to find both....anyway really glad to have them so nearby to me. I feel bad for Amish though, not sure if they can survive, and they're so nice there. Not sure if anyone realizes but the salad bar at Amish is half off after 7pm and they have really good calamari salad there, and some other good fresh things...
Well, I've been twice so far, and this is what I liked:
-raw pistachios--much cheaper than elsewhere-but not as good as CARMEL on 108th st
-frozen large cleaned uncooked shrimp--good price and good quality
-salmon with skin on in the fridge section
-free range chicken breasts (but at $7 a lb, they are not a bargain--bell and evans are at that price or less at Iavorone or Metro Meats)--but it's convenient if you need in a hurry
-spicy tortilla chips at $2 a pkg, for large, can't beat that
-frozen onion soup--
-vanilla yogurt milk (alot cheaper than silk)
-fage greek yogurt
-portebello mushrooms--good price
-date coconut rolls
-raw cashews--excellent quality and good price
-trek mix--cranberry almonds cashews--good but high in fat and calories
-spinach ravioli refrig section
-mushroom ravioli refrig section
-red pepper and artichoke tapenade
-soy ginger vinagrette dressing
-dr,.prager's veg burgers--good price but limited selection--wish they had the spinach pancakes as well
-price on flowers is good
-organic string cheese
-satay noodles in green box
-frozen brown rice--surprisingly crunchy and good
this is what I didn't like:
-frozen lasagna--eh tasted frozen
-frozen potato and cheese pirogi--heavy, glumpy --did the boil and then fry method with onions and butter
-produce overall looks pretty poor--you need to get there just when they put it out
-chocolate covered ginger--tasted medicinal
-goat cheese--not the best quality
-mushroom risotto (frozen)--liquid doesn't absorb well, and not any better than the boxed versions available elsewhere--and the portion isn't that large either.
-sushi looked scary--maybe okay if you're in a pinch for lunch
-same for the salads--good price but only if you work in the area and need a quick cheap lunch
and this is what I'm wondering about if it's any good before I buy?
-Wild frozen scallops
I make my own, so didn't get:
hummus--but the selection looks good
Your thread keeps growing. :) I have an addition...their frozen dessert is very impressive. I tried their Karat Cake (carrot cake) and their chocolate mousse cake (can't remember the exact name) and absolutely everyone thought that they were great. I was very surprised. Recently I purchased the cappuccino cake, haven't tried it yet but looking forward to it.
lombia, have you tried most of their dessert? Which one would you say is your favorite? I think the two cakes I tried are better than the ones sold at the Italian bakery on Metropolitan.
their chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches are very good, the vegetable gzoya are okay for a quick dinner but stay away from the gzoya dipping sauce, use the General Cho instead--their Raisin Bran cluster cereal is great, also.
Tortillas are okay if on the heavy side, but decent enough for wrapping stuff up quickly...
CHocolate chip trail mix bars are good, but vanilla ones are kind of nauseating..
The coconut ice by Amy's I think..is great. Another really tasty sweet thing they have is the orange covered chocolate pieces in the plastic containers over the frozen seafood aisle, the raspberry ones are kind of gross though.
One thing not to buy there is their chicken breasts at about $6.99 or 7.99 a lb, I got my last batch at whole foods on sale for $3.99 a lb, all free range, and delicious.
Some faves from TJs:
Not a health nut but the multi-grain tortilla chips in the light blue bag are really good.
Pre-seasoned frozen wild turbot; very convenient.
Bruschetta in the jar.
Decent selection of frozen apps in a pinch. Mushroom turnovers are nice.
Frozen haricot verts rock.
Agree that produce mostly sucks but the non-organic romaine hearts last FOREVER and are very reasonable. And when I need a fresh pineapple fix, the cut up pineapple in the produce section rarely disappoints. They sell out of it quickly though.
Trade Fair is scary, it's off topic to mention why here, but suffice to say it included a disgruntled worker and a very big blast...Stop and Shop is on Union Turnpike technically on the Glendale/Forest Hills Border--easy way from Rego Park there would be to take 63rd drive all the way to Woodhaven Blvd (you'll be right near the Dunkin Donuts)--you'll be making a left onto Woodhaven--Keep going on Woodhaven until you get to Union Turnpike right after the overpass and shortly after passing TRADER JOE's (on Metrop) and Home Depot on your left---stay in your left lane and then make a left onto Union Turnpike, go about 1 block or so, you'll see a left turn lane into Stop and Shop plaza---there's a Starbuck's there also. Park upstairs because the parking pillars are murder there...;big clean supermarket where you can park for free---and they're open until midnight...and yes, the Trader Joe's list has grown---but I really don't care for their prepared frozen stuff, but I really like the frozen haricot vert---
Had to jump in on this one. Here's my two cents:
Most of my staple shopping is done at Stop & Shop. And I think their prices have come down a ton lately. I used to save $20-$30 dollars on my weekly trip there (with my card); now it's more like $6-$8. Don't know if they are trying to be more competitive, since they used to be noticeably more than the Key Food/Associated stores I went anyway because it was so close and CLEAN.) And I am cracking up about that damn parking garage because the only serious mishap I have every had with my car was hitting one of those pillars!
Like the Natural a lot but since I only walk there (can't park downtown) I avoid it once it gets cold (cos its about a 15 minute walk from my house). They do have the nicest produce tho and they finally take credit cards!
Love TJ's, we were very psyched when they finally opened (altho now that it is so close and accessible I don't get the charge I used to get when we had to schlep out to Merrick to go). Something no one mentioned (that I saw) was the fozen appies. We like the chicken shumai, the samosas and the spanikopita (sp?). And we got the frozen latkes around Hannuakah time and they were totally decent. Not like mamas...but very respectable nonetheless. (God forbid I should make them myself.)
I love the adventure of Trader Joe's, and I think of all my purchases there as frills or impulse buys. One thing that is always excellent is the vacuum packed frozen fish. It stays forever in the freezer, and tastes fresh when you finally do make it.
I agree that the junk food is excellent. I like the dunkers cookies (but then I like almost all cookies, so you cannot go by that) and the chocolate candy. They finally got my favorite candy back - Cafe Rio hard candy. They had discontinued it at one point, but it is back.
Try the Gingery Chew candy - fantastic
Granola of various flavors
Soy salad dressing
I'll think of more later, I am sure.
let's hear it for stop & shop on Northern! i've been going there for a few years, and while I still miss the awesome Shop Rites of my native NJ, I can't complain. trader Joes, on the other hand, is great for fun,extraneous ingredients but you certainly can't do your whole shopping there. My faves:
nuts (waay cheaper than most grocery stores)
cookies ( did anyone try the limited edition holiday ones? they were like oreos but with a peppermint filling? YUM)
frozen gyoza- (dumplings with shrimp, veggies, pork- great for a quick weeknight dinner or snack)
staples like sea salt, spices, oils. My Mom swears by their salt-free items, like peanut butter and ketchup.
Let me tell you what almost turned me off food completely! Kang pao chicken in the section near the frozen pizzas. I can't even describe the foul smell that emanated from the package when I peeled off the plastic after microwaving. My husband was my test subject (I know I am so terribly mean), because I just wouldn't dare. He took one bite and with the most intense frown said "It tastes the same way it smells." This calls for a mild vulgarity, it smelled like wet and sweaty men's socks! :( We had to toss it out and then take the garbage out. Did anyone have a similar impression of that dish? If anyone is thinking about trying, for Pete's sake just stop thinking!
you should have brought it back, they encourage you to try things, and if you don't like it for any reasons, they say to bring it back. I've done that with several things trying to find something that my 2 year old would eat as well as my husband--some hits and some misses. --no problems with returns--but I also spend about $80-100 a week there.
The Trader Joes cereal (flakes) with dried cherries was amazing. I'm going to give the rest of their cereal aisle a serious look next time.
For staples, I like the Key Foods in Ridgewood (on Myrtle Ave roughly near Fresh Pond Road). It's relatively large, I've never seen it very crowded, they always have plenty of cashiers available, and they have some Middle Eastern and Eastern European items, as well as my staples. I'm not a fan of Key Foods in general, based on years of shopping at the truly awful Key Foods in Williamsburg, on Grand and Lorimer. But the Ridgewood Key Foods is ten times better.
I have come to fine that TJ's is great for junk food shopping, cereal and other random items but its not a place for weekly "regular" shopping. I find that I buy things here that I would never even look at in a Stop & Shop. I have tried several dessert items and they are fair in quality. The chocolate on many of the items is waxy and not great quality, but they have the packaging down!
After waiting with such eager anticipation for TJ's to open, I feel just a tad let down. I don't know what I expected. If I never heard of the place, I would have been thrilled. Its just that I had such high expectations.
The conclusion that I have drawn is that its a great place for upscale basics and ingredients, like olive oil, fancy vinegar, yogurt, dried fruits and nuts, granola, tofu, and the good prices on some branded upscale products. I like that they have some organic meat--not just the so-called "natural" that other supermarkets have.Would like to see grass fed. Their private label prepared foods are hit and miss at best. I had a rack of lamb that claimed to be pre-cooked, but after scrupulously following their directions, was cold and raw in the middle, not well trimmed, and tough in places. Their artichoke ravioli was not as good as stuff I've gotten at Costco. It will take alot more experimentation before I can draw a final conclusion. Lets all keep comparing notes.
i never, ever go there for daily meal needs. TJ's is what i refer to as "fun food shopping". it's where i go for the extraneous side sauces, dips, marinades, etc. or, if i need to stock up on things to munch on b/t meals, i pick up their huge variety of chips, cookies, trail mix, yogurt, etc. their frozen food section is the pinnacle of on-the-whim food shopping - if i spot something interesting and unusual, i'm game.
so, i recommend not to consider this your go-to place. i will still continue to go to the super stop & shop in my neighborhood weekly, on northern blvd & 48th st in LIC/woodside. TJ's i save for if i have some extra cash for the month to spend on not necessary food items. it's fun and i always walk out excited to try the new things i purchased.
I agree with a lot of what each of you have said. I don't do my heavy shopping there, but it is fun to pick up some things that can quickly be turned into a meal. I have tried some of the frozen salmon "stuffed" with different things (actually sorta spooned on top, I think). They claimed one had a shrimp and crabmeat stuffing. It tasted pretty good, but it clearly was "essence of shellfish" flavoring the stuffing. I like the frozen asian veggies and stir-fried veggies. If I have some chicken, beef or pork around, all I have to do is stir-fry that, then add the veggies and there's an instant half-way healthy meal. I also used the combo frozen shrimp, scallops and calamari in a similar way and it was decent and reasonably priced at only $5 or $6 for a 1-lb. bag. Also, the frozen veggie fried rice at $1.99 is pretty good.
A lot of the munchy, snacky foods are very reasonable, only $1 for a lot of the chips and I think less than $3 for a container of hummus. $5 for honey-sesame almonds or cashews is a pretty good price also.
I tried a couple of the mini-pizzas from the refrigerator section and they were pretty good--greek and another one with mozzarella and tomatoes Both also pretty good. Another thing they call a tart (very thin crust, cooks fast), where they had the Mexican stuff, I think, had gruyere, ham and creme fraiche, also pretty good.
Can you say lazy single person?
re: Shayna Madel
Oh yeah, you reminded me I bought the pizzas in refrig area also, liked the greek one in small boxes 2 to a pks for about $3 I think...greek one good, the other one tomato and something else, so so...
Dark chocolate bar trader joe 71% was good also..
Bought the maple syrup, too..and banana waffles frozen (waffles taste very heavy like banana fake flavoring, but my they're for my 2 year old, who seems to be eating them...anything he eats we're happy about! Skinny kid!
Thanks for the ideas, will keep notes next time I go, and get some of those frozen asian veggies heard they were good, too from another person as well.
In response to the Whole foods, Stop and Shop, post...I used to buy alot more at whole foods, but it's a shlep to the city to do it, and I usually just go to the one in Manhasset--but their produce is just too pricey for me, I buy seedless grapes at Stop and shop, apples at stop and shop, and other seasonal stuff either at Natural or whole foods if stop and shop doesn't have.
The problem with Natural, besides the obvious one of parking is that they are just really really expensive, and the place is difficult to get checked out of quickly and manouever around. Also, besides the very nice checkout women, many of the other employees are nasty there, and it's just not very pleasant shopping there. I much prefer Stop and Shop where everyone is very nice and the place is CLEAN. Natural always looks grimy, look at the floor, and see how all the stuff on their shelves sits there forever...check the dates! It's a convenient place but it's kinda grungy in many ways..I just stick with the produce and some dairy stuff that I know moves often.
Also at Whole foods in Manhasset, they are really nice as well. But, I do get most of my fresh herbs and lettuce needs from Natural---but for example, a pommello is $2 at Stop and SHop, an it's $3 at Natural, same exact brand and size. Baby Holland eggplants are $5 a lb at Natural, and they are $3 a lb at Stop and SHop, the Beets at Stop and Shop nice ones with beautiful leaves are $2 and at Natural they are 2.75 for little dinky ones with rotted leaves and $4 for Organic ones. Stop and shop consistently has beautiful farm fresh cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, shallots, rosemary, mint, and ginger root....so, yes, I go around to a few places to satisfy my vegetable groceries, which are important when it's the majority of what I eat.
Stop and shop also has a good deli for coldcuts boars head-they wear gloves, are super helpful, and they know how to slice THIN! As far as the parking lot pillars go, park upstairs it's much safer to maneouver around, and it's usually empty, park in the other lot upstairs next to the new express elevator which puts you down toward the back of the store. Easy in and out. I also love the fact they are open until midnight.
The pizzas I tried were the ones for $4.49 in the refrigerator section on the right side just past the flowers, which are well-priced. I will look for the others.
As far as Natural is concerned, I am very fortunate in that it is basically 1/2-way between my office and my apartment, which are walking distance from one-another. Yeah, that's right, no real commute to work, but the parking garage is a killer. The everyday produce is usually competitive or only slightly more expensive than the other places right in that area and the quality is typically noticeably better and sometimes better than some of the bigger markets. It's the more "gourmet" produce where they soak you sometimes, as well as with the stuff on the shelves. I won't buy certain things there just on principle (unless I am pressed for time and do not want to hassle with that disasterous Trade Fair), because I know they are overpriced on those things. I haven't noticed the expired things, but I will keep an eye out--thanks.
I don't hate Stop & Shop, but it's just not in a convenient place for me. I will definitely keep your advice about the parking lot in mind and may pop in there as part of my next TJ run. Thanks for the parking hint.
I have never been a major fan of Whole Foods. I am not a vegetarian, vegan or organics person, so that part of these places is not critical to me. I use places like Whole Foods and TJs to break the boredom. I look there more for things I can do quick when I just do not feel like going through too much trouble for one person.
My mother lives just east of the Manhasset Whole Foods, so I can easily make it on my path to or from seeing her, which is at least 2-3 times a month, or if I need to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond upstairs, but I generally don't go there. There is very little they have there that I would miss if they were gone. They are vastly overpriced on their produce for the most part. Their cut fruit is beautiful, but I don't see $10 for a 2-lb container of fruit salad. I thought they might be overpriced due to the neighborhood they are in, but I have been in a few in suburban, north part Dallas, Tx and they are as ridiculously priced there as here in NY.
If I find any other atypical stuff that works out well (or not), I will post accordingly...
I too had been one of those eagerly anticipating TJ's and I'm really glad they are so close. I went last Saturday and it was crowded but frankly it was more people going through the aisles and browsing. At the registers, there was maybe 1-2 people at each one actually buying things so it was easy to check out.
I like that a few brands I normally buy - Fage, Barbara's, Kashi, Nature's Path - are cheaper there. And I love their selection of nuts - their half salt roasted peanuts are terrific and next time I go I want to get their marcona almonds. I bought a jar of their masala simmering sauce and made an easy version of chana masala at home which was really good. The capers are great. And I am a big fan of their pizzas. I also recently developed a wasabi pea addiction and theirs are very good.
I haven't had good luck with that mushroom risotto either. I'd rather spend the time to make it myself.
To add to the discussion above re: FH area grocery stores - my boyfriend and I used to go to Stop & Shop for the most part and then fill in with Amish Market, the Natural and Whole Foods. Then we realized our grocery bill was about $200 a week. This is for 2 people. We decided that WF had all the things we ever needed (aside from household stuff which we usually get at Target) and so we do one big trip each week, supplemented by a weekly visit to the tiny but terrific farmer's market at Atlas Park. Our bill is down to about $125. We still have plenty of food each week and don't skimp but it turned out going to a bunch of different places, we just ended up buying more because we were there. And frankly shopping at WF just feels a lot nicer.
Janie, excellent list as usual! Wanted to try the artichoke spread, next time. Was their a large mushroom variety or not so much?
By the way, two suggestions:
1)Best olive oils, I find, are not from Italy (at least not the common imported ones) but from Spain. Associated has a big plastic bottle of an amature looking extra virgin olive oil from Espana, it's so fragrant, just fantastic! $9.99 and totally worth it, if you like your olive oil tasting a little fruity and herbal and olivy.
1) Fresh sushi for takeout is sold at the Fish Market on Lefferts near Denny's pizza. Simple, rolls and slabs of fish, but very very fresh.
they had portobello mushroom caps, baby brown mushrooms (cremini), some shitake--you have do dig a bit to find the best looking ones..also had the larger stuffing size mushrooms--nothing too fancy or exotic if that's what you're after..
prices were fair..
Haven't had a chance to get over to the Farmer's market at Atlas because I work on Saturdays..wish they had it on sundays as well..
Olive oil sounds good, will check it out...I bought some very good Spanish olive oil at Amish on sale as well....
I get sushi from Metro Sushi on Metro in Kew Gardens, but I shop for my fish at the fish market on Lefferts that you refer to---although I haven't been there lately, because I'm following a fairly vegan diet with a bit of protein weekly..and I've been having the trader joe shrimp which is easy to deal with...but I like their salmon, squid, shrimp, at the fish market, and their tilapia..unfortunately they don't sell dry scallops---
Update on Trader Joe's hits--and some discontinued items--was told they are no longer selling the frozen uncooked cleaned shrimp in large that was about $8.95 a bag---I really like the quality of these, and had bought many since they opened...they said they are looking for different vendors but it will be a long while before they will have uncooked frozen shrimp again, boohoo.
TRADER JOE HITS:
-the raw frozen shrimp but now it's no longer stocked as of last week!!!!
-orange cranberry pieces
-Trader Joes cinnamon cheerios cereal
-fig bars trader joes
-rosemary almonds (good but very salty!!)
-Trader Joes spanish organic olive oil
-calamata olive tapenade
-roasted pepper artichoke tapenade
-italian wedding soup (refrigerater section)
-salmon filets refrig section--when they put them out and they're fresh
-non sorbate prunes
-spicy tortilla chips (taste just like the original taco flavored Doritos, think circa 1976!)
and no MSG!
-trader joes tongol tuna
-frozen brown rice
-soy meatballs (my 2 year old likes them, and he hates everything)
-date coconut rolls
-trek mix--cranberry almonds cashews--good but high in fat and calories
-spinach ravioli refrig section
-mushroom ravioli refrig section
-raspberry dressing (it's exactly like Annie's)
-soy ginger vinagrette dressing
-price on flowers is good
-organic string cheese
-trader joes grapefruit juice
-trader joes cocoa--not bad--but not great
-haricot vert frozen-------excellent, have made many salads with them
tried lots of other things, but they're on my out list...........and their produce just generally sucks. I cannot buy produce wrapped in plastic, and their Mexican organic avocados are completely brown inside, yuk.
Agree with your list except a few things, and I haven't tried many that you've mentioned.
-Cocktail sauce was excellent, nice and spicy.
-Flowers often look wilted so I am not sure about the bargain.
-Trek mix is excellent, except when it's stale.
-Their frozen ginger carrots are absolutely revolting. The package includes hershey kisses shaped concoction made out of processed butter, some herbs and ginger, the whole thing looks scientific and smells scary.
-Soy yogurt is interesting.
-soy milk is good and so are the eggs
-pizzas are decent
-their chocolate chip and macadamia cookies are great and addictive
-Their selection of cheese and the prices is the best thing in the entire store! Their Italian Mountain, Iberico and Basque cheeses are exceptional. Haven't tried their feta or the beer cheese.
- Tofu is great and so are the packaged French beets, already pre-peeled, I use them in my greens and goat salad. I was skeptical but they taste great.
a couple more additions I forgot:
-chicken sausage spicy precooked, but not nearly as good as uncooked chicken sausage from whole foods--but good in a hurry
-split pea soup with lemon and ? something I can't remember..it had whole peas in it which I can't stand, and it was just kind of weird tasting--
Heard that other items were good:
-precooked chicken strips frozen
Selection is definitely not as plush & fresh as the Union Square branch but I still appreciate TJ's coming to Rego Park.
Organic Milk - very good price
Hummus - love the TJ garlic hummus but not so much the regular (too sour)
Cereal - nice variety
Produce - not that fresh looking (at least not on a Tues eve)
Bread - again, didn't seem that fresh...every loaf I touched felt a bit hard/stale
Not at this location:
Sesame flatbread - awesome with the garlic hummus but couldn't find any
I was also one of the excited ones, maybe that was the problem for most of us. We waited so long, with such anticipation, our expectations climbing with increasing speed and vigor.. and then the store. For the majority of my shopping I still prefer Stop & Shop on Union Tpke. The selection is just larger and the prices aren’t bad, a huge variety of meat and apples.
I am terrible with prices, I hardly know what's a good bargain, I just buy what I like and get reprimanded by my husband later. I once bought a pomegranate champagne vinegar in a delicate, tiny glass bottle (1.7 oz) and then looked at the receipt, it was $11 and tasted just like wine vinegar. But I do know one thing, Associated on Metro is the most expensive supermarket, with hardly any deals and terrible meat and fish! I advise against buying those two items, it's almost never fresh. Keyfood is slightly better with some deals and decent meat, S& S is still the best. But I digress...
TJ was fun, creative and definitely “gourmet”. I was interested in their flourless chocolate cake, I liked the "unusual foods" element of TJ. Out of curiosity I bought dried Dragon Fruit (looks like thin slices of beets), cashews and peanuts with chili sees and pineapple ( I like). The bruschetta is excellent and I am wild about their selection of nuts.
I will still like to see a bigger variety of bulk tea, which is hard to find. More produce selections and more Spanish olive oil. Oh, their cheeses are not bad either, I bought an Italian Mountain Cheese very flavorful and great texture.
All in all, not bad, but not what I expected either. Stop and Shop still rules, along with a Korean deli across from Associated for their herbs, fresh kirbys and most vegetables.
Sorry that TJ's was not what you thought, but glad that you like it for what it is. I think you have pretty much captured the essence of TJ's. TJ's does not pretend to be the kind of store where you can shop for everything you need, all the time. Could some people pull that off, yeah, I'm sure they could. The bottom line with TJ's is that it has a funky, eclectic selection and some products you don't see around much or that you don't seem elsewhere at all. And while a lot of their things are quite well-priced, it's not a "bargain" operation either.
As far as "supermarkets," I am in the part of Forest Hills near Queens Boulevard and the supermarkets around here are just not that great, especially if you are spoiled by the depth and breadth of the inventory of more suburban markets. They just renovated a Key Food on Queens Boulevard, but it is certainly no bargain. Trade Fair will pass for real basics and admittedly they have some interesting Middle Eastern stuff you don't see everywhere, but sometimes I feel like killing myself by the time I get through the checkout line. C-Town on Austin is just plain scary/grungy. If I want a "real" supermarket, perhaps when doing holiday cooking, I make a run up to College Point and do a Waldbaums-Target-BJ's run, or, I just wait until I am visiting my mother on Long Island over the weekend and shop out there.
If you want a place that has consistently pretty good/good produce and organic and "gourmet" things, try Natural on Austin Street. The everyday produce is competative with the supermarkets in the neighborhood, but the quality is much better. They also have some more unusual produce, but that stuff is no bargain. Be warned, parking is a disaster, and don't overrun your time on the parking meters, or you will be ticketed...
re: Shayna Madel
Oh, I have always loved Natural! Their flowers are terrific, almost identical quality to florist shops only with more decent prices. Roses are the same everywhere, after a few days they don't mature and bloom, instead the retire prematurely.
You're absolutely correct, TJ is definitely a side choice, but definitely a good one. You should really try Stop & Shop on Union Tpke, they are not grimey like most supermarkets, have a huge selection and staff is very friendly. They have williamsburg pickles, and fage yogurt, as well as tons of varios vinegars, pastas, rice and pasta sauce (Rao's, Patsy's, Cento). Anyway it's worth a try.
I have been to Stop & Shop and don't really have anything against it, but it's sorta not in the direction of where I usually go to shop and run errands. And that parking lot with those idiot pillars! I live on the opposite side of Queens Blvd and guess I just usually head north and east to do my thing. I may develop a new "shopping loop," what with TJ, BJs and S & S all on that side of the blvd, just for a change of pace...Natural has a fair variety of vinegars, oils, dressings, pastas and sauces and considering that some of these things are specialty items, the prices are competitive.
re: Shayna Madel
Oh, I know exactly what you mean about pillars! I am always afraid to scrape the side of my car.
This is against the teachings of my mother, but I buy based on my wants and needs and the quality as opposed to the deals and practicality. I guess you can guess who is more financially savvy.
I would visit Natural more often, but it's hell finding parking around there. I hate parking on Austin, don't mind a bit of a walk but not all the way back to Metropolitan Ave. If I could just figure out when would be the best time to visit it and what time of the day would I be able to find parking without feeling like I am on a carousel.
I want to find Bonito flakes, I wonder if they carry them. Linda's Organic has a terrific selection as well. They want to expand but have no space. Perhaps one day they'll move and stretch out the little shop.
I agree, I prefer Stop & Shop to all other places in the Forest Hills/Rego Park area. Fruits, veggies & meats are always fresh and it's one stop shopping.
I understand that TJ's is not a traditional supermarket but there isn't anything compelling enough at TJ's for me to go regularly.
I supplement my grocery shopping by visiting the Asian supermarkets in Flushing as well. Country Markets (formerly C-Town) on Yellowstone Blvd ain't bad.
I've been getting nut butters from TJ's since the 80's on the West Coast. They don't have the variety they once had (no more Hazelnut, for one thing) but the ones they do have are good and less oily than some of the competitors'. I particularly like the Cashew-Macadamia nut blend..
Yesterday was my 1st real experience shopping @ TJ. Not bad, though def. not worth the hype. I work 2 miles from the Queens location and I 'm happy to have it as an option. It's one of those places that has it's quirks and you've got to be able to live w/the limited fruit 'n veggie selection, no beer etc. Hell, even w/the limited selection and private label heaven or hell, it's way better than Gristedes/Red Apple crapola market in my hood (UWS). This will make it even more fun when the jerk who owns the hellish store that is Gristedes runs for mayor. More choice, more selction makes for a healthy democratic movement.