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New Trader Joe's yea/nay thread 2nd quarter 2010

shaebones Apr 6, 2010 11:22 PM

It's April! Time for a new thread.

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  1. mollyomormon RE: shaebones Apr 8, 2010 05:51 PM

    yay for the the almond butter with golden flaxseeds!

    1. s
      shaebones RE: shaebones Apr 11, 2010 07:29 AM

      I usually make my pancakes from scratch. Got a box of multigrain pancake mix from TJ's last week. Used buttermilk instead of milk, added a tsp+ vanilla and dotted w blueberries before flippin' them over. The family thought they were the best panckes EVER!

      7 Replies
      1. re: shaebones
        mollyomormon RE: shaebones Apr 11, 2010 10:31 PM

        thanks! I am definitely checking out that mix!

        1. re: shaebones
          greygarious RE: shaebones Apr 18, 2010 12:01 PM

          I like that mix too, but not as much as Kodiak Kakes, which a friend used to send me when she lived in the Pacific Northwest. It's not sold in New England though I hear it is in FL, go figure, and online. If you ever have a chance to try it, do. It's all whole wheat but not at all bitter or strong, and all you add is water. Thanks for rebooting the thread. I didn't want to come off as a control freak so I was hoping someone else would do it!

          1. re: greygarious
            alkapal RE: greygarious May 15, 2010 12:54 AM

            miss gray, i'm glad that you rebooted the thread! i like people with initiative!

            1. re: alkapal
              greygarious RE: alkapal May 17, 2010 12:39 PM

              It was shaebones' initiative, not mine. Didn't want to seem too anal aboout it - which reminds me that at work, if I didn't change the toilet paper roll in the ladies' room, the new one would perch atop the empty cardboard cylinder for days, until I couldn't stand it any more and performed the transplant....on the bright side, that way it always rolled over the top and not the "wrong" way (from below)!

            2. re: greygarious
              givemecarbs RE: greygarious May 17, 2010 12:00 PM

              I think TJ's people are just better than Costo shoppers. Last spring I tried to start a new Costco thread but nooooooo. That thread has become huge and repetitive. Since I post on both that makes me subject to severe mood swings and loss of identity. But the pure TJs folks that only post here and avoid that nasty old Costco thread are superior human beings. He he he. I was sick for April Fool's Day so I just had to start later. I am so just kidding here. :) Last week my friend wasn't sure if he liked pumpkin seeds enough to eat a whole bag of them and asked if there was any way he could have a sample first. The employee he asked was very friendly and happy to open up the bag he was wondering about. He bought the seeds and now they have more noshes for their break room.

              1. re: givemecarbs
                alkapal RE: givemecarbs May 17, 2010 03:22 PM

                they'll open packages for samples, if one simply asks.

                cool slam on the costco deal. hey, what's up with that? start a new thread already.

            3. re: shaebones
              coney with everything RE: shaebones Apr 19, 2010 06:43 AM

              I used that mix last night to make dumplings...they were a little heavy but tasty nonetheless.

            4. buttertart RE: shaebones Apr 15, 2010 09:27 AM

              I love their natural peanut butter but found out the hard way the (plastic) jar isn't microwaveable...had had it in the fridge and wanted to soften it up a bit...1 min at 30% power...at 30 seconds the rim of the jar had sparked and basically caught fire, I presume because of the foil left around the rim from the "safety" seal. A mess. More fool me.

              6 Replies
              1. re: buttertart
                jenscats5 RE: buttertart Apr 18, 2010 01:01 PM

                Oh wow, I've never tried that but good to note. My ANPB never seems to fully harden in my fridge.

                1. re: jenscats5
                  Ruth Lafler RE: jenscats5 Apr 19, 2010 05:50 PM

                  I never keep peanutbutter in the fridge -- it's not like it spoils, although I suppose eventually it could go rancid.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    buttertart RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 20, 2010 06:39 AM

                    I didn't used to until a friend who is a food-safety nut told me I was risking aflatoxin...which I don't really know is true or not, I thought it had to be in the peanuts used to make the PB to taint it. The jar says to refrigerate it so I did. The part transferred to a glass jar is now on my counter as all its predecessors were.

                    1. re: buttertart
                      Ruth Lafler RE: buttertart Apr 21, 2010 06:51 PM

                      I think you're right: the aflatoxin is already in the peanutbutter, and toxins aren't affected by refrigeration. A quick google shows that almost all peanutbutter contains small amounts of alflatoxin, with the maximum allowed regulated by the government.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                        buttertart RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 22, 2010 06:00 AM

                        On the counter it stays then. It's quite good but a bit sweeter than I really like, must be the Valencia peanuts.

                2. re: buttertart
                  Dommy RE: buttertart Apr 19, 2010 09:57 AM

                  Yeah, that foil is reactive, you have to peel it off completely, especially if exposed to the microwaves...


                3. southernitalian RE: shaebones Apr 19, 2010 02:27 PM

                  I was in on Saturday and picked up the fat free feta on the advice of someone on this board. It's horrible. On the other hand, I got a crate of clementine's for $6.99 that are terrific and the 12 ouce jar of salsa verde is almost gone.

                  1. n
                    nickdanger RE: shaebones Apr 20, 2010 12:54 PM

                    Triple fruit treat - mango, cranberry, blueberry dried fruit. Not as good as all fruit mix, and twice as expensive, as it is only 8 oz., but since the all fruit mix is never coming back....

                    1. m
                      maryv RE: shaebones Apr 21, 2010 02:45 PM

                      I just tried the 100% Columbian instant coffee and was pleasantly surprised by it. (I think they have two kinds with similar labels - maybe "100% Columbian Instant Coffee" and "Instant 100% Columbian Coffee"? Anyway, I got the one that says it's surprisingly close to fresh brewed.)

                      And the peanut butter with golden flaxseeds is making my breakfasts a little crunchier.

                      1. Antilope RE: shaebones May 1, 2010 03:23 PM

                        Yea for the Trader Joe's Dark Sumatra Whole Bean Coffee. Freshly ground beans brewed in a french press and it's Heaven in a cup.

                        Yea also for the Trader Joe's Chocolate Orange Sticks. I was raised on the Sweet's brand orange sticks, but the Trader Joe's version blows those away.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Antilope
                          werewolf RE: Antilope May 6, 2010 09:11 AM

                          Those darned orange sticks are too addictive, though. Is the Dark Sumatra an instant coffee?

                          1. re: werewolf
                            toodie jane RE: werewolf May 6, 2010 06:55 PM

                            No it's whole bean

                            ahhhh, coffee... thy name is Sumatra

                            1. re: toodie jane
                              alkapal RE: toodie jane May 15, 2010 12:57 AM

                              tj's sumatra is good -- it's much "rounder" than starbuck's' version.

                              1. re: alkapal
                                woodleyparkhound RE: alkapal May 21, 2010 11:41 AM

                                I like the Ultra Dark Sumatra (I think it's called) too - in the mostly red, cylindrical container. I don't have a use for the containers though, which is unfortunate. I'd like it better if it came in flimsier packaging.

                                1. re: woodleyparkhound
                                  alkapal RE: woodleyparkhound May 21, 2010 04:06 PM

                                  i try to re-use all containers, but those are somewhat flimsy....

                                  1. re: alkapal
                                    buttertart RE: alkapal May 25, 2010 09:17 AM

                                    That's my biggest beef with their coffee. I hate the packaging. Uses up too much counter/cupboard real estate as well as being essentially unreuseable.

                                    1. re: buttertart
                                      Sloth RE: buttertart Jun 9, 2010 10:00 AM

                                      Donate the empty cans to a local library or daycare center. They can use them for crafts, storage, etc. Teachers and librarians are the best at re-using and recycling.

                        2. toodie jane RE: shaebones May 6, 2010 07:02 PM

                          I'm liking their newish baked potato chips. Not cardboard like the other brands. They must be sprayed with oil, then baked. They have some fat, but marginal compared to regular fried chips. In Regular, Hickory BBQ, and Salt & Vinegar

                          I want Double Rainbow ice cream back. The store personnel swear the TJ's brand IS made by Double Rainbow, but all but the vanilla is awful. Grainy and not creamy. Vanilla is OK, but somehow not the same lucious quotient as DR.

                          The chocolate coated pretzels are sinfully good.

                          There's a a new Tuscan country bread in plain and whole wheat (100%) that's pretty good. Under $3 for a large oval loaf. Very flavorful. A good bargain.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: toodie jane
                            jessicheese RE: toodie jane May 14, 2010 07:47 AM

                            I've tried the Tuscan whole wheat and it was delicious.
                            I also bought the New Orleans style coffee with chicory and it's awesome!!

                            1. re: toodie jane
                              Vetter RE: toodie jane May 15, 2010 10:24 AM

                              I've been eating the TJ's vanilla ice cream, and it's not remotely grainy. Seems to me to be a lot like Double Rainbow. Wonder if we're getting different formulas/batches?

                              1. re: Vetter
                                toodie jane RE: Vetter May 16, 2010 08:18 AM

                                "all but the vanilla"

                                I suspect the poor containers of coffee that I've gotten were crystallized because of poor handling (thawed, then refrozen) but the mint is chaulky and nasty. Always.

                                1. re: toodie jane
                                  Vetter RE: toodie jane May 18, 2010 05:53 PM

                                  Wow. Now I'm really perplexed. The mint is my favorite and it's sublime! I swear, I'm no ice cream idiot. I make it all summer long--I know creamy. Maybe we are getting different products under the same label?

                            2. southernitalian RE: shaebones May 7, 2010 11:08 AM

                              How about artichokes as big as your head for $.99!!!

                              1. alkapal RE: shaebones May 15, 2010 12:59 AM

                                nay: corn crackers with chive & onion.

                                the cracker tasted like a round, thicker yellow corn tortilla chip, with very little aromatic or flavor boost from the paltry chive and onion "addition."

                                it's a corn and "jive" cracker.

                                it might be good as a tortilla chip substitute for dipping some onion dip (;-), but it was a little pricey, imo. won't buy again.

                                (safeway has -- had?-- terrific "everything" crackers in a good size oblong shape. safeway keep playing whether they'll keep them in stock. excellent value, if you can get them!).

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: alkapal
                                  Dommy RE: alkapal May 15, 2010 08:45 AM

                                  Yeah, I was disappointed with the crackers too, I should have seen it coming, but they tasted like dusty fritos...


                                  1. re: Dommy
                                    alkapal RE: Dommy May 16, 2010 03:23 AM

                                    dusty fritos -- that's it precisely, dommy!

                                    speaking of fritos, has anyone tried the reduced-sodium fritos?

                                    1. re: alkapal
                                      toodie jane RE: alkapal May 16, 2010 08:21 AM

                                      no, but the Frito 'big scoops' are very much like the lamentedly-gone-forever TJ's whole grain stoneground corn chips, which I use as the crust for a savory chipotle white cheddar smoked salmon cheesecake. Can't do it without them.

                                      1. re: toodie jane
                                        buttertart RE: toodie jane May 16, 2010 08:29 AM

                                        Now come on, you have to post that recipe, it sounds stupendous. Please...

                                2. u
                                  UnderemployedInNYC RE: shaebones May 17, 2010 02:19 PM

                                  Yea to the wine country chicken salad with dried cranberries and celery and pecans. Its not new but I only tried it a few days ago and was blown away by my awesome lunch (I put it in one of the apocryphal pitas with some fresh lettuce and it was perfect to eat at work).

                                  Nay to the sea salt pita puffs. They weren't nearly salty enough given the emphasized sea salt ingredient.

                                  I love Trader Joe's. I can actually afford my groceries.


                                  1. d
                                    d_doubleyew RE: shaebones May 17, 2010 10:19 PM

                                    New to me: Jarred Bruschetta, Gourmet Chicken Meatballs (refrigerated), Parbaked Demi-Pain Rustique. Made for a quick and tasty supper.

                                    The next day, had leftover meatballs for lunch with Trader Joe's Brown Rice Penne pasta and my home-made garlic scape pesto. Yum!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: d_doubleyew
                                      Dommy RE: d_doubleyew May 19, 2010 02:14 PM

                                      I adore the Jarred Bruschetta... and those gourmet chicken meatballs are much better than the frozen turkey ones (And they also freeze wonderfully!)


                                      1. re: d_doubleyew
                                        d_doubleyew RE: d_doubleyew May 22, 2010 10:58 PM

                                        I froze half of the chicken meatballs and then had some for dinner today in TJs whole wheat pita pockets. Those meatballs may be my new favorite thing! Delicious! (Although, I always feel that I should be making items like this at home...oh well.)

                                      2. yamalam RE: shaebones May 19, 2010 09:01 AM

                                        Maybe my expectations were too high, but I didn't think the Gorgonzola Crackers were cheesy enough, and they were relatively expensive.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: yamalam
                                          obiwandog RE: yamalam Jun 28, 2010 01:39 PM

                                          bland, bland, bland. completely agree with you on flavor and price

                                        2. alkapal RE: shaebones May 19, 2010 02:00 PM

                                          wasn't ga-ga over the little butter cookies dipped in chocolate. thought they were quite generic-tasting. ;-(.

                                          1. s
                                            smr33 RE: shaebones May 20, 2010 01:39 PM

                                            Can't believe nobody has mentioned the pimento cheese. Ate an entire container in two days (and am resisting the temptation to open the 2nd container lurking in my fridge). No, it's not real homemade pc, but it's mighty tasty and certainly much, much better than any of the store versions I've tasted.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: smr33
                                              cbrunelle RE: smr33 May 21, 2010 07:03 PM

                                              I was about to post Nay to the pimento cheese. But then I'm new to pimento cheese, so maybe I don't know what to be looking for. You can have the rest of mine!

                                              Yea to the sweetened dried hibiscus flowers. They're pleasantly inexpensive, and I always serve them at cocktail parties, because I enjoy watching my guests try to figure out what they are. Most people end up deciding they are fruit roll ups for adults.

                                              1. re: smr33
                                                DianeCGW RE: smr33 May 24, 2010 06:21 AM

                                                I didn't care for the pimento cheese either, but my husband loved it!

                                              2. l
                                                lynnut RE: shaebones May 21, 2010 01:31 PM

                                                TJ's Macaroni and Cheese in the freezer section is AMAZING. 5.5 minutes in the microwave and it's utter pasta and cheese perfection.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: lynnut
                                                  jenscats5 RE: lynnut May 25, 2010 10:19 AM

                                                  Totally agree!!

                                                2. b
                                                  bulavinaka RE: shaebones May 21, 2010 06:00 PM

                                                  TJ's jarred piquillo peppers from Peru. The flavor is fantastic and they're so darned convenient. These have gone well in every dish I've prepared them with so far. Even my kids will eat these without picking them out.

                                                  12 Replies
                                                  1. re: bulavinaka
                                                    alkapal RE: bulavinaka May 21, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                    how do you use them, bulavinaka?

                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                      bulavinaka RE: alkapal May 21, 2010 09:48 PM

                                                      Sausages are a natural. Italian sausages with fennel are good. Compound that with pasta. No tomato-based sauces - you want to let the peppers do the singing. Soups, salads (chic peas, onions, herbs), even seafood. Paella-type rice dishes or blended in soups (butternut squash/piquillo/shrimp).

                                                      1. re: bulavinaka
                                                        alkapal RE: bulavinaka May 22, 2010 03:42 AM

                                                        thanks, bulavinaka. i'd only seen them used on josé andrés show (which i adore).

                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                          bulavinaka RE: alkapal May 22, 2010 05:57 AM

                                                          I vaguely recall that show - I'm just too lazy to find it. :) His lead I would follow any time. Jose is a culinary treasure and a great ambassador for Spain.

                                                          Just about all of the piquillos I've poured out of the jars have been perfectly intact. This inclines me to suggest that they would be great for stuffing as well. With summer around the corner, I could see this as a perfect opportunity to stuff the peppers with a good tuna or chicken salad.

                                                          1. re: bulavinaka
                                                            alkapal RE: bulavinaka May 22, 2010 02:30 PM

                                                            ah, beautiful idea -- on some dressed butter lettuce!

                                                            (i'm already concocting the salad in my mind. somehow "jicama" jumped into the mix ;-).

                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                              bulavinaka RE: alkapal May 22, 2010 03:18 PM

                                                              Wow - sounds like summer is already here! Love the dressed butter lettuce and jicama jumping into the mix. I recently had a wonderful tuna (albacore) salad with no mayo. I think it was just a little olive oil, wine vinegar, diced red onions, capers and a sprinkling of herbs mixed in with the albacore. The jicama would be a great addition. And the butter lettuce? This would be the bomb on a warm night. What do you think about wine pairings - rose? Any sugggestions? :)

                                                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                alkapal RE: bulavinaka May 22, 2010 03:25 PM

                                                                a medium rosé would be delightful, i think. also, what about a medium white from the loire?

                                                                i hear the sheltering oaks beckoning us out to the patio! come, enjoy the late afternoon, see the crystal sparkling with wine, feel the cool hint of a breeze.

                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                  bulavinaka RE: alkapal May 22, 2010 05:42 PM

                                                                  I don't think I've had a white from the Loire - but you've caught my interest! Your wonderful prose makes me think I've stumbled upon the love child of Joanne Weir and Gary Soto... :)

                                                        2. re: bulavinaka
                                                          Dommy RE: bulavinaka May 24, 2010 08:58 PM

                                                          Ooo! I've been staring at that jar on the aisle for AGES, but have resisted because a) my fridge is nothing but CONDIMENTS already and b) I still have about 10lbs of Hatch Chiles I'm working though...

                                                          But the mention of paella just got me. Plan to make it soon...


                                                          1. re: Dommy
                                                            bulavinaka RE: Dommy May 25, 2010 12:00 PM

                                                            I just made a soup using TJ's (low salt) roasted red pepper and tomato soup as a base, roasted the last of my butternut squashes, sauteed some leeks, blended those in with some chicken stock, added that to the red pepper soup, sauteed some good italian fennel sausage from Claro's and set that aside, sliced up some carrots, cauliflower and potatoes and sauteed in the sausage fondant and added that to the soup, then sliced up the piquillos and for the soup as well to really give it that roasted red pepper punch. Once the veggies were cooked through, I added back the sausage before serving, grated a little red pepper asiago (also from Claro's) and served with some crusty bread. Very filling but all in all pretty healthy as well. And the piquillos really added that extra roasted red pepper umph to the soup.

                                                            1. re: bulavinaka
                                                              givemecarbs RE: bulavinaka May 26, 2010 12:58 AM

                                                              My friend got six boxes of roasted red pepper and tomato soup all bundled together at Costco, and then learned to his dismay that he didn't care for the soup that much and gave the boxes to me. I'm on my last one now and I've found them very useful in recipes. I'm so used to being able to reach for a box maybe I'll try the TJ's brand.

                                                              1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                bulavinaka RE: givemecarbs May 26, 2010 10:12 AM

                                                                I never tried Costco's product but the TJ's brand is useful for just as you described - I like using it as a base. Another thing I like about TJ's soup in this case is the fact that they offer both a regular version as well as a low-salt version. It comes in handy for me since I'm trying to watch my sodium intake, and as you know, as one starts to add ingredients, salt may already be in those as well, and it starts to add up quickly. This version lets me decide how much salt to add at the end.

                                                    2. coney with everything RE: shaebones May 24, 2010 06:42 AM

                                                      I tried the TJ Vintage soda--no HFCS--both cola and root beer.

                                                      Nay to the cola, it didn't have a really deep cola flavor. But Yay to the root beer!

                                                      And I got my first carton of lemonade (refrigerated case) this year--I remember really liking it last year, but this year it tasted different, like it had artificial sweetener in it. So I'm going back to Paul Newman products for the rest of the summer.

                                                      16 Replies
                                                      1. re: coney with everything
                                                        Dommy RE: coney with everything May 24, 2010 02:37 PM

                                                        Thanks for the report on the Cola... weliked the rootbeer, but like Sparky's a bit better. :)


                                                        1. re: coney with everything
                                                          alkapal RE: coney with everything May 24, 2010 04:13 PM

                                                          have you tried making "country time" lemonade? i like it -- esp. the pink lemonade. bonus: works well with fresh grapefruit juice and vodka.

                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                            coney with everything RE: alkapal May 26, 2010 05:34 AM

                                                            "country time" from TJs or do you mean what we used to call "chemical lemonade"?

                                                            1. re: coney with everything
                                                              alkapal RE: coney with everything May 26, 2010 06:10 AM

                                                              probably! http://ozbo.com/Country-Time-Drink-Mi...

                                                              i like it! it doesn't *taste* chemical-y.

                                                              i never had it as a kid.

                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                buttertart RE: alkapal May 26, 2010 06:20 AM

                                                                They must have jazzed it up because when it came out in the 70's it was very odd-tasting!

                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                  alkapal RE: buttertart May 26, 2010 06:21 AM

                                                                  i think it must've been improved, then. people i've served it to also liked it.

                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                    buttertart RE: alkapal May 26, 2010 06:23 AM

                                                                    I'll check it out. It once was as alike to lemonade as Tang is to OJ. (Not that artificial flavors are to be sneered at.

                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                      alkapal RE: buttertart May 26, 2010 06:24 AM

                                                                      get the PINK lemonade. i can't vouch for the yellow.

                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                        buttertart RE: alkapal May 26, 2010 06:25 AM


                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                          coney with everything RE: buttertart May 27, 2010 07:21 AM

                                                                          I don't know...no lemons were harmed in the making of this beverage:

                                                                          Sugar, Fructose, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Contains Less than 2% of Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Maltodextrin, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Citrate (Controls Acidity), Magnesium Oxide (Prevents Caking), Calcium Fumarate, Artificial Color, Yellow 5 Lake, Tocopherol (Preserves Freshness).

                                                                          I'm not saying regular lemonade is a health drink, it's mostly sugar too, but I like my lemonade to actually have some lemon in it.

                                                                          1. re: coney with everything
                                                                            buttertart RE: coney with everything May 27, 2010 07:32 AM

                                                                            Well, the citric and ascorbic acids derive from citrus fruit, what is lemon juice but water, these acids, and fructose I suppose? I prefer lemon juice itself too really.

                                                                            1. re: coney with everything
                                                                              alkapal RE: coney with everything May 27, 2010 03:30 PM

                                                                              here is something to check out, coney! http://www.citrech.it/English/Informa...
                                                                              see esp. the "chemical composition of citrus."

                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                coney with everything RE: alkapal May 28, 2010 05:56 AM

                                                                                Alkapal, I understand that citric acid, etc. are components of lemon juice, but why tease out the components when Mother Nature gives us lovely lemons already tasty?

                                                                                But chacun a son gout!

                                                                                1. re: coney with everything
                                                                                  alkapal RE: coney with everything May 28, 2010 06:37 AM

                                                                                  sure, fresh lemonade is preferable, but i thought the thing here was convenience.

                                                                                  isn't that what your lemon drink products are about, too -- the ones you are seeking? to wit >>>"""And I got my first carton of lemonade (refrigerated case) this year--I remember really liking it last year, but this year it tasted different, like it had artificial sweetener in it. So I'm going back to Paul Newman products for the rest of the summer."""<<<

                                                                                  plus, there is the convenience of the country time being a powder mix, so it can sit in the pantry.
                                                                                  but i understand your point completely.

                                                            2. re: coney with everything
                                                              givemecarbs RE: coney with everything May 26, 2010 12:54 AM

                                                              My TJs also has orange creme vintage soda and I like that.

                                                              1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                coney with everything RE: givemecarbs May 26, 2010 05:33 AM

                                                                I'll try that too at some point, the cola and root beer were the only ones that were in the "individual bottle" part of the shelf when I was there last.

                                                            3. southernitalian RE: shaebones May 24, 2010 09:05 AM

                                                              I'm gonna add a yea to the 12 ounce bag of frozen aspargus spears. I can't remember what I paid but it wasn't much. They are so good! I'm bummed when reading this thread because although there are two TJs in my city, I have searched thoroughly but a number of the items on this thread aren't available here.

                                                              1. g
                                                                gordeaux RE: shaebones May 24, 2010 07:29 PM

                                                                So, I am a fan of the vacuum fried banana chips. I popped into a tj this past Sat, and saw vacuum fried pineapple chips. They were 1.49, and I figured wtf and bought a bag. I usually balk at cooked / dried fruits, but these pineapple thingies are my new favorite. Seriously. Also, another snacky item: Sour Cream and Onion corn puffs. But, those vacuum fried pineapple chips are great. Big YAY!

                                                                1. c
                                                                  chinchi RE: shaebones May 26, 2010 01:38 PM

                                                                  The frozen seeded rolls are my new favorite item.

                                                                  1. m
                                                                    mdepsmom RE: shaebones May 27, 2010 10:48 AM

                                                                    Has anyone tried the baby back ribs? I just read about them in the most recent Fearless Flyer and wonder how they are.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: mdepsmom
                                                                      mdepsmom RE: mdepsmom Jun 26, 2010 11:19 AM

                                                                      I'm going to reply to my own post, since no one else has ;) I tried the baby back ribs last night and really liked them. They're very tender, fall off the bone, with lots of meat. I wasn't crazy about the sauce, though. I used some of TJ's All Natural BBQ Sauce that I happened to have in the fridge (it's my go-to bbq sauce) and that improved the flavor tremendously.

                                                                      Not a huge rack of ribs for $9.99. I ate 2/3 of them and could have easily eaten the rest if I didn't want to have any sides. So you'd definitely need 2 racks for 2 people.

                                                                      1. re: mdepsmom
                                                                        walker RE: mdepsmom Jun 28, 2010 08:35 AM

                                                                        I tried them once and THEN looked at the info on back -- the calories are unbelievably high so won't be buying them again.

                                                                    2. j
                                                                      joe777cool RE: shaebones May 27, 2010 05:21 PM

                                                                      FYI - the garlic naan makes a tastey and quick pizza crust. I put in the microwave for about 30 seconds then topped with sauce and cheese and baked at 400 for about 8 minutes. It came out a bit crunchier than I personally like but could easily be fixed (unless you like it crispy)

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: joe777cool
                                                                        IndyGirl RE: joe777cool Jul 10, 2010 12:59 PM

                                                                        I adore the TJ's garlic naan. One of my favorite TJ's products.

                                                                      2. j
                                                                        joe777cool RE: shaebones May 27, 2010 05:26 PM

                                                                        A big NAY to the baked goods (Warwick, RI location)

                                                                        cinnamon rasin bread was stale from day 1, a day after we bought it and at least 3-4 days before expiration. The plain mini bagels were moldy 3 days later (7 days before expiration)

                                                                        I will be returning both.

                                                                        1. m
                                                                          mem79 RE: shaebones May 31, 2010 09:14 PM

                                                                          A friend and I roadtripped to St. Louis Trader Joe's to stock up on groceries and wine. While deciding what purchases to make, we got a picnic together that included the three chevre selection (double pepper, garlic and herb, and plain) and the triple ginger cookies. The cheese was great and the cookies were deemed our "crack cookies" of the weekend. They were great and a second tub has made it onto my shelves. I'll be eating from my freezer for the next month and I'm looking forward to the experience. I did get the cherry preserves, they looked great and I'm toying with an idea with them and puff pastry!

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: mem79
                                                                            operagirl RE: mem79 Jun 1, 2010 04:45 PM

                                                                            Mm, yes, those triple ginger cookies are one of my favorite things from TJ's. I hardly ever buy their cookie tubs though, because it's hard for me to exercise portion control. The tiny chocolate chip cookies are great, too.


                                                                            1. re: operagirl
                                                                              IndyGirl RE: operagirl Jul 10, 2010 01:00 PM

                                                                              I'll third this--those ginger cookies are amazing. I actually don't buy them anymore for the same reason OG mentioned!

                                                                          2. c
                                                                            chococat RE: shaebones Jun 1, 2010 03:23 PM

                                                                            Two thumbs up for the caramelized nut mix-- almonds, cashews, and walnuts with a substantial caramelized sugar coating. Hints of vanilla and salt. I was expecting more of a "butter toffee" flavor, but quickly became addicted to them regardless.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: chococat
                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: chococat Jun 1, 2010 05:10 PM

                                                                              something tells me you'd like the Hot & Sweet Sesame Nuts...

                                                                              1. re: chococat
                                                                                Vetter RE: chococat Jun 2, 2010 08:21 PM

                                                                                Those caramelized nuts were the first thing I've ever justified an actual trip back to the store! They tasted sicky-sweet and chemical-vanilla to me. Nay!

                                                                              2. a
                                                                                aunteejoy RE: shaebones Jun 2, 2010 03:18 PM

                                                                                My recent finds...

                                                                                Bite sized pita crackers - have some sort of "off" taste/smell

                                                                                Strawberry/Raspberry/Lemon Froze Fruit Bars
                                                                                Coffee and Cream Ice Cream Bars
                                                                                Baked Rice Snacks (frozen)

                                                                                Tokyo Style Soba Noodles

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: aunteejoy
                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: aunteejoy Jun 2, 2010 05:52 PM

                                                                                  i haven't had the pita crackers, but when i hear "'off' taste/smell" i immediately think rancid or stale. any chance the package you got just wasn't fresh? unfortunately TJ's isn't the best about freshness quality control...

                                                                                  1. re: aunteejoy
                                                                                    littleflower RE: aunteejoy Jun 27, 2010 06:29 AM

                                                                                    I loved the pita bite crackers with sea salt - just wish that there was more of a "sea salty" flavor to it. Otherwise, absolutely delicious with Sabra's Roasted Pine Nut Hummus.

                                                                                  2. alkapal RE: shaebones Jun 2, 2010 05:34 PM

                                                                                    yay: brown jasmine rice.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                      armagnac RE: alkapal Jun 12, 2010 02:00 AM

                                                                                      Use it all the time.

                                                                                    2. alkapal RE: shaebones Jun 3, 2010 05:50 AM

                                                                                      why oh why does mr. alka ever bring home a loaf of bread from trader joe's? he brought something yesterday, and when i saw it, i knew -- just KNEW -- that it would be crummy. and i was not disappointed. even the squishy crust resisted the serrated knife. it was like trying to cut "the blob" or mr. stay-puft.

                                                                                      1. n
                                                                                        nosey RE: shaebones Jun 8, 2010 07:13 PM

                                                                                        We tried the frozen cheese enchiladas and found thenm to have chemical taste. They also disintegrated while trying to serve. We tried the seasoned chicken tenders and they had the same chemical taste.

                                                                                        1. j
                                                                                          joe777cool RE: shaebones Jun 9, 2010 06:15 AM

                                                                                          On you next visit, if you dont leave with a bin of the dried cherry/granola cookies......well then you forgot something. Thank me later

                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                            sparkareno RE: shaebones Jun 9, 2010 10:04 AM

                                                                                            I have to give a thumbs down to the frozen mango sticky rice. The rice comes out all gummy and there is hardly any coconut flavor.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: sparkareno
                                                                                              newfoodie RE: sparkareno Jun 9, 2010 12:12 PM

                                                                                              I was looking forward to trying that - thanks for the heads up!

                                                                                            2. MplsM ary RE: shaebones Jun 11, 2010 10:12 PM

                                                                                              Ginger mango chutney. I throw a jar of that chutney into the food processor, add other ingredients for a tomato base BBQ sauce, cook until caramelized around the edges and the result is tasty beyond compare.
                                                                                              Chocolate chips. I don't know why these are the best chocolate chips, but other brands kind of pale in comparison.

                                                                                              Their version of Sun Chips. The worst thing, except for an errant bug, I've tasted this year.

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: MplsM ary
                                                                                                bulavinaka RE: MplsM ary Jun 11, 2010 10:15 PM

                                                                                                Yah, those pseudo-Sun Chips are really bad. It's as if TJ's didn't even try them before giving the thumbs-up on the contract. I think I ate three before tossing the bag.

                                                                                                1. re: MplsM ary
                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: MplsM ary Jun 12, 2010 02:31 PM

                                                                                                  "Chocolate chips. I don't know why these are the best chocolate chips, but other brands kind of pale in comparison."
                                                                                                  because they're made by Callebaut!

                                                                                                  1. re: MplsM ary
                                                                                                    jrmd RE: MplsM ary Jul 19, 2010 06:49 PM

                                                                                                    I agree, their chocolate chips are the best. They used to be $1.99/bag. I just noticed that the price is up to $2.29.

                                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                                    mdepsmom RE: shaebones Jun 13, 2010 02:57 PM

                                                                                                    Dark chocolate pretzel bark. 7 oz of sublime goodness for 99 cents. Doesn't get much better than that.

                                                                                                    Coffee and cream bars. I was expecting these to be on a stick. They are very small and not very satisfying. They'd be so much better dipped in dark chocolate, imo.

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: mdepsmom
                                                                                                      dagrassroots RE: mdepsmom Jun 15, 2010 12:46 AM

                                                                                                      Yes; panang curry sticks in the frozen section.

                                                                                                      1. re: dagrassroots
                                                                                                        Dommy RE: dagrassroots Jun 15, 2010 09:29 AM

                                                                                                        What do you serve them with? I'm at a loss...


                                                                                                        1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                          dagrassroots RE: Dommy Jun 15, 2010 07:03 PM

                                                                                                          Eat them plain as a snack.

                                                                                                          You could dip them in some sour cream or plain yogurt as well.

                                                                                                      2. re: mdepsmom
                                                                                                        jrmd RE: mdepsmom Jul 19, 2010 06:50 PM

                                                                                                        The dark chocolate pretzel bark is ridiculously good. Sadly (but probably for the best), it is discontinued "for the season".

                                                                                                      3. alkapal RE: shaebones Jun 15, 2010 05:24 AM

                                                                                                        fresh green beans in plastic bag, already cleaned. very nice. $3.24
                                                                                                        fingerling potatoes in the mesh BAG -- good and at $1.99 a bargain (much cheaper than their other fingerlings).

                                                                                                        1. alkapal RE: shaebones Jun 17, 2010 05:04 AM

                                                                                                          mr. alka loves the root vegetable chips, and i think they are pretty good, but i'm not thrilled. they are not well shaped and are not all crispy.

                                                                                                          1. g
                                                                                                            Girl Friday RE: shaebones Jun 22, 2010 03:46 AM

                                                                                                            I can add to this post in as much as I know where a lot of artisan breads at the TJ's in the local Boston area are from Jessica's Bread in Woburn. I used to use Jessica's for my own bread when I was a catering chef and I would always go in and find them packing the Trader Joes bread. I can be sure of the tuscan, sliced tuscan, ciabatta and rolls. If it's chewy and bread, it's probably theirs.

                                                                                                            1. f
                                                                                                              Fritz RE: shaebones Jun 26, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                                                                              Spanish EVOO - excellent and inexpensive
                                                                                                              Powerberries - yeow!!!
                                                                                                              Dark Chocolate Nibs - in a tiny metal can

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Fritz
                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: Fritz Jun 26, 2010 01:49 PM

                                                                                                                +1 for the nibs - half the price of Sweetriot!

                                                                                                                1. re: Fritz
                                                                                                                  mollyomormon RE: Fritz Jun 26, 2010 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                  those powerberries are goooood.

                                                                                                                2. s
                                                                                                                  shaebones RE: shaebones Jun 27, 2010 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                  Multigrain bread. Its located where the french bread is. Its unsliced and has a bit of sweetness to it. My new TJ addiction. :/

                                                                                                                  1. o
                                                                                                                    obiwandog RE: shaebones Jun 28, 2010 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                    Roasted red pepper and eggplant dip/spread - good on its own, excellent when used to jazz up spaghetti sauce
                                                                                                                    Pinot Grigio Sausage great sliced and served with cheese and crackers
                                                                                                                    Frozen Spinach and Artichoke dip - I'm not usually a big fan of these, but this one is pretty darn good and my wife who does normally likes these say it is "the best"

                                                                                                                    Nay: almost any bread sold here in plastic bags (like a grocery bread aisle) - their fresh "bakery" bread is very good, but this stuff - I have yet to find anything I like

                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                      joe777cool RE: shaebones Jul 10, 2010 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                      I believe it was on the 1st quarter post - but the Garlic Fries? Not for the faint of heart. Luckily the words "too much" and "garlic" just dont go together in my book. They were delicious......reminds me of the fries I got in a few different ballparks out west. My SO HATES it when i coolk them however....say it stinks up the house.

                                                                                                                      too bad for her!

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: joe777cool
                                                                                                                        IndyGirl RE: joe777cool Jul 10, 2010 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                        I love the garlic fries!!

                                                                                                                      2. greygarious RE: shaebones Jul 10, 2010 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                        A third quarter thread is up:


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