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New Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd Quarter 2011 [old]

No foolin', it's time to reboot.

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  1. Thanks grey! Tried the mango lemonade. Kind of a meh. Not returning it or anything but too sweet for my taste. The MVP lately has been the mini cinnamon buns in the frozen section. Have had people over for coffee twice this month and got lots of nice comments about the rolls. They make the house smell wonderful too. Didn't try to pass them off or anything but need to pick up a couple of packages of rolls on my next trip. Very nice to have on hand.

    4 Replies
    1. re: givemecarbs

      Ditto the Organic Strawberry lemonade - meh. Maybe more than meh. I think if you tried to give a kid that lemonade they would swear off organic forever. Not a pleasant taste.

      1. re: tokyo

        Agreed. I want to like it, but it's just a little too sweet, a little too sour, and has a weird aftertaste.

        1. re: thursday

          Agree on the strawberry lemonade. Took one sip and the rest went down the drain.

      2. re: givemecarbs

        I thought the organic strawberry lemonade and organic mango lemonade were too sour (and a little too intense) so I solved the problem (and am very pleased with the results!)
        I like to take either of those lemonades and mix them with a little organic white grape juice (maybe 4 parts lemonade/1 part white grape). Then I add about an equal amount of seltzer to the mix and have mysself a really healthy and delicious soda.

      3. Trader Giotti's chocolate almond biscotti. Swoon-worthy!

        1. I tried the Tarte aux Champignons because it's cousin the Tarte d'Alsace is one of TJ's best items. The former has various mushrooms, Parmesan, and Emmenthaler but it sure tasted like blue cheese to me. It was nice, but the Alsatian one is better.

          6 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            The Tarte d'Alsace is a staple in my freezer. I have trouble sharing it - I could eat a whole one by myself. I overcook it a smidge - I like them on the crispy side. I'll have to try the Champignons though for a change!

            1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

              Agree that the Tarte aux Champignons isn't as good as the Tarte d'Alsace -- it was OK, but tasted a little flat to me. The Tarte d'Alsace is one of my favorite TJ's products, not only because it's delicious, but also because it's about the lowest-calorie pizza-like thing in the store. So don't feel too bad about eating the whole thing on occasion!

                1. re: dtremit

                  Agreed. The mushrooms are a little...funky tasting.

                2. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                  What am I missing about the Tarte d'Alsace? It gets consistent rave reviews, but I thought it was very bland. I was especially disappointed that the onions didn't really seem to be caramelized, just caramel color added. The onions themselves were bitter. I added some thyme to the final product to boost the flavor, but it didn't really do it. To each his own, I was just surprised that I didn't like it.

                  1. re: tokyo

                    I am addicted to the Tarte d'Alsace. It is so so very yummy.

              1. Lazy, yes, but I tried their frozen sweet potato fries and enjoyed the convenience. I usually make my own but it was nice to open a bag, season, and bake.

                They were sampling the Rio Red Grapefruit Juice recently and I bought some. Very tasty, even though a label look reveals it's blended with white grape and lemon juices. I don't mind, tastes good and I'm thinking it will make a refreshing boozy drink. I think I'll pour a bit into my fizzy water right now. :)

                Must try the Tarte d'Alsace next time.

                My favorite buy from the last trip was a sweet little begonia plant for the kitchen.

                1. Tried the Asparagus Risotto for the first time: quick and serviceable dinner for two with roasted asparagus from the Hollywood Farmers Market on the side.

                  Spiced pineapple -- very addictive.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: d_doubleyew

                    I keep both the asparagus and mushroom risotto in the freezer for a quick meal. I always add fresh asparagus and chicken to flesh it out.

                    1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                      The mushroom risotto is very good. Very heavy on the mushrooms, with rice playing second fiddle.

                    2. re: d_doubleyew

                      Spiced pineapple -- very addictive.
                      ~~~~~~~~~
                      the dried chile spiced stuff? i only bought it once because it's too dangerous :)

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I've never noticed spiced pineapple. Is it dried, canned, frozen? What is the spice profile?

                        1. re: greygarious

                          it's dried, in a plastic bag on the shelf with the other dried fruits. very soft and easy to chew (not tough or sticky), and heavy on the chili powder - the spice is definitely at the forefront, and you get the sweetness and pineapple flavor on the back end.

                          but a word of warning that this is one of those polarizing TJ's products - you either love it or hate it. i've seen comments from several Hounds who said they returned theirs after trying it.