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Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 4th quarter 2011 [OLD]

Eagerly awaiting the holiday season Fearless Flyer.,,

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  1. Yay: Chocolate covered sunflower seeds. (It is also the perfect size container.)

    2 Replies
    1. re: GraceW

      Ooh I will have to try those - TJ's has a really good selection of chocolate covered nuts and I bet sunflower seeds with chocolate are just as good.

      1. re: littleflower

        Their milk chocolate covered raisins are great!!

    2. new product yea! hot and sweet pepper jelly. great on goat cheese. i'm going to try it in a butternut squash soup tonight--i think it will add a lovely note of spiciness.

      1. huge nay, shiitake mushrooms and tofu. took a bite, throwing the rest away as we speak. inedible. the plain white rice was/is the best part.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ns1

          I had that last quarter and deeply sympathize. It was beyond foul.

          1. re: artemis

            I actually liked the flavor. However I was beyond annoyed that there was probably a tablespoon of tofu in the entire tray. Granted mist frozen entrees are short in the protein but this was just ridiculous.

        2. quasi-nay

          chicken egg rolls. instructions say 4-6 minutes (which resulted in cold egg rolls), I did 15-20 in the oven.

          End result was "decent", pretty much what I expected (High school egg rolls), but at the end of the day not very good. Edible, just not worth buying again.

          I'm going back to return this + the rice/tofu mentioned above.

          1. Yays - Chopped 8 veggie mix. It's all crunchy (I think there's carrots, celery, red cabbage, green cabbage, pepper, broccoli and 2 others) and very tasty and incredibly convenient. They were demo-ing it with the canned chicken as a quick, easy chicken salad and I bought both and am loving them.

            1. Huge YAYS -

              1) Trader Joe's Non Dairy Creamer in the Original flavor (in the refrigerator section near the milk and juice). This creamer is a lot better for you (no partially hydrogenated oils that some of the other creamer-mates use) and tastes delicious in my coffee.
              2) Cabot Whipped Cream - again no hydrogenated oils used/ingredients all natural
              3) Kerrygold Butter for $2.79! A steal!
              4) Organic Gala Apples - $.79 a piece - much cheaper than the $1.25 per apple I paid for at another grocery store.

              Yay - TJ's Vintage Cola - this actually tastes more along the lines of a cherry cola but was refreshing and tasty nonetheless. Also, it goes down easy without the phosphoric acid that traditional colas use.

              15 Replies
              1. re: littleflower

                Re: the Kerrygold - great price, eh? Everywhere else it is $4.25 or more.

                1. re: EM23

                  Absolutely! I know that the number of other brands that TJ's carries are few and far between, but Kerrygold butter is one that I hope doesn't get discontinued. You know, that is a good question for all of you out there...what are some other good brand names that TJ's carries? Two that come to mind are Country Choice organic oatmeal and Cento's canned anchovy filets.

                  1. re: littleflower

                    I don't recall the price but McCann's Irish oats (in the round tin) are cheaper at TJ's than other stores. And the Niman Ranch bacon too but they recently stopped stocking it :-(

                    1. re: EM23

                      Miss the Niman Ranch bacon, and I can't find it anywhere else around (at least not for a decent price). I had to resort to buying a package of A. Farms "Sunday Bacon" from another store which I heard is pretty tasty, and nitrate free.

                      1. re: EM23

                        the TJ's applewood smokes bacon is awesome.

                        1. re: ns1

                          Just tried the Applewood bacon today - excellent!!! Thick, delicious meaty slices that, IMHO, is much tastier than the Niman Ranch. $3.99 for a 12 oz. package.

                          Thanks ns1 for the delicious recommendation!

                          1. re: EM23

                            NP, I always have a pack on hand

                          2. re: ns1

                            love the TJ's bacon. and i use the "ends and pieces" version to cook with. cheaper by the pound and totally delicious.

                        2. re: littleflower

                          I get my CLIFF bars at TJ's ... MUCH less expensive than at the local stores!

                        3. re: EM23

                          Yes, half of what the local Kroger-owned store sells it for. On my first visit, I made a list of things that they carry for much cheaper. Kerrygold, water crackers, Westsoy Soy milk and fresh raviolis come to mind.

                          1. re: tracylee

                            I haven't tried any of their fresh raviolis - what are some of the best flavors (assuming they have more than one kind) to try?

                            1. re: littleflower

                              most of them are pretty good, just don't follow the recipe for butter sauce.

                              1. re: littleflower

                                The triangular butternut squash ravioli was awful. Very sweet.

                                1. re: irishnyc

                                  It's pretty sweet but good if you cut it with the right sauce.

                                  We went all TJ's and has the butternuts squash soup, withTJ's Arrabiata sauce. Added some crispy bacon bits (also TJ's applewood smoked bacon ends, cut/chopped up into bits) to add some saltiness.

                                  Had some lovely sweet/salt things going on with the butternut squash/bacon.

                          2. Not really a Yay or a Nay, but more of a Meh: Pumpkin Ice Cream. It doesn't taste like pumpkin at all. It does, however, taste like egg nog, which I love. So, I was disappointed because I was looking forward to pumpkin ice cream, but I did like that if I closed my eyes, I thought I was eating egg nog ice cream.

                            Another Meh were the Lemon Bars (in the freezer section). My husband was craving lemon bars the other day, but I'm pregnant and have a toddler, so I wasn't feeling up to making the amazing Cooks Illustrated bars I usually whip up. I thought these might be a good substitute. And they were fine, but don't follow the directions to microwave them for 30 seconds (for those too impatient to let them sit on the counter for 40 minutes). That was about 25 seconds too long. I also tried letting them sit on the counter, but even when defrosted, the texture was just off. Not too surprising, I guess, but still a bummer.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Erelgi

                              Mmm...eggnog flavored ice cream sounds really good, but can agree with you that if you are expecting a pronounced pumpkin flavor then I too would be a little disappointed. Along the same lines as the lemon bars - I tried the peach pops which I know others really liked on this board, but I did not like that 95% of the pop was peach pieces...was expecting more of a "peach juice" pop.

                            2. I am not a coffee drinker (I love the smell and the occasional coffee coolers etc), and I really like Espresso Pillows (crunchy toffee espresso bits covered in dark chocolate).

                              1. Yea to the Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips - the sweet milk chocolate, with the salty crinkle cut chip is darn addictive.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: gnomatic

                                  Oh, second that! Got that yesterday and the fam hoovered that down. Also got a pour and bake brownie pouch. Basically a Capri-Sun like bag of brownie batter for $2.99. I'll report back once I bake it up

                                  1. re: GeeBeeEmm

                                    So I baked up the pour and bake brownies in a pouch. It was...okay. It had a weird foam texture, like I would imagine that furniture cushion-eating lady on "My Strange Addiction" would appreciate. It was a dense, chocolatey sponge cake. Not unpleasant, but not the typical brownie texture. The kids loved it.

                                  2. re: gnomatic

                                    i have to confess i was relieved to see the milk chocolate - not my thing. if it was dark, i'd have a problem...

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      goodhealth, that was exactly my reaction when a friend on fb mentioned these. I bought a bag for my family, and have no desire to rip into it.

                                      1. re: Bob W

                                        Well, Mrs. W gave them a try and her verdict: a big NAY. Said Mrs. W, "It was like eating chocolate-covered lard."

                                  3. dbl yeah - pumpkin spice coffee!
                                    yeah-hazelnut coffee creamer
                                    yeah-cherry/pomegranate FAGE yogurt

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Kitchen Queen

                                      FAGE Yogurt is off the hook. And the flavor combos are outstanding. NB: BJ's Wholesale Club has a 12-pack alongside the alternative 12-pack of Chobani (Mango, pineapple, black cherry). Yogurt heaven for me.

                                    2. Yea: frozen polenta with spinach and carrots. The frozen "pellets" of polenta allow you to use only the amount you need -- very convenient. I added chopped fresno peppers before microwaving.

                                      http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-fl...

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: d_doubleyew

                                        Ditto on the Yea! I add more veggies to it too....peas and spinach. Too 'cheesy' tasting with the veggies in the bag but MAJOR yum!

                                        1. re: d_doubleyew

                                          We had this for dinner the other night, with a can of chickpeas added for protein. My husband said it was really great and couldn't imagine how I whipped it up so quickly. He was surprised it was frozen from TJ's! Thanks for the tip, d_doubleyew!

                                          1. re: Erelgi

                                            love that polenta with spinach and carrots. I usually add a bit of freshly grated parmesan to make it over the top. Also love the qinoa with zucchini and carrot?

                                        2. Was shopping hungry yesterday and grabbed a Southwest Salad - it was pretty good and I really liked the dressing.

                                            1. Got a bag of organic red pears - can't remember the exact name - they are fantastic. Juicy, delicious, not grainy at all.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: chompy

                                                I will have to try those...I love that Trader Joe's carries a lot of organic fruits at prices that are much lower than other grocery stores.

                                              2. nay on the new Organic Crunchy PB with Sea Salt. kinda bland, not nearly enough roasted peanut flavor for my taste. disappointing because i had high hopes.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  the new organic peanut butter is disgusting.

                                                  a non-organic valencia peanut butter just hit the shelves though, and it's got a lot better roast flavor. i think it's a fine substitute for the organic valencia.

                                                  1. re: missinglink

                                                    ha! i just had a conversation about all this with a fellow PB-lover in the aisles at TJ's yesterday. we were lamenting the demise of the OG Valencia, and griping about how crappy the new OG product is. (i actually told the manager that he might want to let corporate know the feedback on it has been pretty negative.) i can't bring myself to eat non-OG peanut products because the conventional crops are so laden with pesticides & chemicals. so, since my beloved Kirkland is gone as well, i'll just stick with fresh-ground organic at WF and the occasional jar of Santa Cruz Dark Roast for now.

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      My protein intake will never be the same. I cannot believe it is all gone.

                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                        'my' Thai restaurant says there's some sort of peanut shortage...crop failure thing going on? His wholesale price for peanut butter has more than doubled.

                                                        thanks for the heads up on tj's organic--I'm about out.

                                                        1. re: toodie jane

                                                          'my' Thai restaurant says there's some sort of peanut shortage...crop failure thing going on?
                                                          ~~~~~~~
                                                          yeah, it's been in the news for several months. that's why TJ's *and* Costco discontinued their popular organic PBs.

                                                          http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/14/marke...

                                                2. Picked up a couple of items that I needed at TJ's tonight...
                                                  YAYS:
                                                  1) Hot Dog Buns (to go with the Organic Hot Dogs that I already had on-hand) - relieved to see a bakery-style bun without the phrases "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" and "high fructose corn syrup" in the ingredients list. Warmed them in the oven and they were quite tasty.
                                                  2) Beef Chili in a can - yes, I am confessing to having bought chili in a can instead of making it myself, but I needed it to put on the hot dogs for dinner and when I looked at the ingredients list I did not see the phrase "mechanically separated" beef so I decided to try it. It was really good, albeit I strained the beef and beans out b/c I just wanted a smooth chili sauce to put on the hot dogs. The sauce was delicious and had a slight kick to it due to the spices.

                                                  Bought but yet to try....TJ's refrigerated fresh pizza dough - heard it was really good, and the price - $1.00! Hope it is as good for homemade pizzas as I have heard others say that it is.

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                    I've used the pizza dough, best to buy the plain white one, even then you have to wrestle with it a bit to get it to shape.

                                                    1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                      Great, thanks - yeah, that is the one that I bought. This is my first attempt at making homemade pizza, so I will report back to everyone how it came out with TJ's pizza dough.

                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                        We've found that you need to let the pizza dough rest at room temperature for an hour for best results - otherwise, it shrinks back a lot when you're trying to shape it.

                                                        1. re: goodeatsgal

                                                          Awesome tip, thanks...I have heard anywhere from 15min. to an hour of resting time outside of the refrigerator, but I agree with you in thinking it would take more along the lines of an hour for the dough to reach the desired temperature for working with it.

                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                            A maybe meh to the TJ's refrigerated pizza dough...used it Sunday night after having bought it on Friday evening. I took it out of the refrigerator and let it rest for an hour on the counter...floured my hands and my counter surface (didn't have a rolling pin - I am not much of a from-scratch baker but perhaps need one for rolling out pizza dough) then worked the dough with my hands in a clockwise motion until it was stretched thin (after having watched many do it on TV this way). The dough became pretty crispy on the bottom and sides when I pulled it out of the oven, yet the middle was kind of well...doughy. Also it had a strange smell to it when I pulled it out of the bag...slightly sweet. I think I will just try another batch next week with a new TJ's ball of dough to see if I just bought a bad ball of dough.

                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                              i wasn't happy with the TJ's pizza dough.

                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                I found the TJ's dough ok., not great. Tried three different kinds. It seems to sell well in my area. Then I found the Bova foods retail store near me in PA. I buy their frozen balls of dough now. Since they sell to area restaurants I was able to pick up a reasonably priced rolling pin and a heavy duty pizza cutter.
                                                                I would spring for the rolling pin if you have room to store it littleflower. I tried to make do without one for quite awhile and now I love how I can just lean on the pin and smoosh the dough flat easily. It's therapeutic!

                                                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                  Sadly I need to change the meh to a nay...used the other half of the dough reserved from last night, and the crust just smelled and tasted off. I am disappointed since it only cost $1.00 which is an excellent price, yet shouldn't be too surprised precisely for the fact it was only $1.00! :-) I have not seen Bova givemecarbs in the stores, yet will keep an eye out for it. My other option is to try WF's fresh refrigerated pizza dough, but the price jumps up to $2.99...only worth it if it is REALLY good.

                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                    litteflower,

                                                                    I have been baking my own homemade pizza, but never make my own dough. At .99 to 1.29 per pound in my area it's just not worth the effort to make my own. Anyhow, I have tried TJ's also am not impressed. Whatever local grocery store in your area, should have frozen ones within the price I quoted. I don't think that the dough at WF's is any better than my Market Basket for .99 cents a pound. But, I have found a couple of tricks over the years. Take your dough out of the fridge or freezer and place it in a bowl lined with a tablespoon of olive oil. Take a towel and dampen it and cover the top of the bowl. Let it sit on the counter all day and when you are ready to bake it, flour the surface of your counter and take the ball out of the bowl and place it on top of the floured surface. If your dough has risen to a large ball, punch it to the the air out and smooth it back to the small ball with your hands. I have never used a rolling pin to get the dough into my pan. I stretch the dough into the desired shape I want. It will only do this if the dough is room temperature though.

                                                                    So, I encourage you to find a grocery brand you like, or your local pizza place, or even my local farm stand sells it for .99 cents. Just keep lookiing a bit. ;)

                                                                    1. re: mcel215

                                                                      I appreciate the informative reply, mcel215 - I happened to do an online search for best store-bought pizza doughs, and found an article showing where TJ's actually came (shockingly) in tied for second out of the 5 that they tried. The one that I saw in a local gourmet store today was a frozen pizza dough by Il Forneio (sp), a fancy italian L.A. restaurant, was ranked 5th out of 5 - did not receive good reviews, and it was fairly pricey at $2.39 for a dough ball smaller than what TJ's provides. I found it hard to believe that the pizza dough from TJ's was ranked 2nd favorite out of the 5 that the focus group tried - I found TJ's to be off-tasting. Thanks for the pizza dough making tips, and I will continue to search around my local area for a good already made pizza dough - and hope that I find one a lot better than what I experienced with TJ's.

                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                        the pizza dough is very meh. you know i go to my local pizza place and buy dough from them. they sell it to me for only $2 and it's infinitely better than the TJ stuff.

                                                    2. Yay on the Pumpkin Butter. But I would *never* make the soup from it they suggest on the jar. Ack ptui.

                                                      I haven't used a cake or muffin mix in eons, but the pumpkin muffin mix called out. We LOVED the muffins. Repeat buy. Will be making a whole bunch for a children's after school Halloween party.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: Atomica

                                                        How was the pumpkin taste in the muffins - I hesitated on purchasing it due to a bad pumpkin nut bread experience at another gourmet store. The pumpkin bread at the other store was too spice-laden for me, I am looking more for a smooth, light pumpkin flavor.

                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                          You might like these muffins, then. Not too spice-laden. If they had been, my 6-year-old probably would have turned her nose up, but she really likes them. I would probably add less sugar than called for, and they took longer (in my oven) to bake than the box indicates. And for those who like extra spices, those can of course be added.

                                                          1. re: Atomica

                                                            Oops, I messed up in that post last night. There is sugar already in the pumpkin bread/muffin mix. You add eggs, oil, and water.

                                                            1. re: Atomica

                                                              The pumpkin muffins sound yum - glad that you did not find it too spice-heavy. Warm pumpkin muffins with butter fresh out the oven - okay, sold! I will add this to my TJ's list for next week, thanks for the review!

                                                          2. re: Atomica

                                                            I used their organic pumpkin puree in a soup with coconut milk (can) and chicken stock. Added ginger and various seasonings, and it's really good.

                                                            1. re: tracylee

                                                              That sounds delicious. What are the ratios you use, 1:1:1?

                                                              1. re: carbonara

                                                                yes, 14 oz can chicken broth, 14 oz can coconut milk, 15 oz can coconut puree. I used tandoori seasoning and a Todd's Crabby Dirt (a spicy rub mix) for spices after the fresh ginger and black pepper.

                                                                1. re: tracylee

                                                                  i love that name, "todd's crabby dirt." ;-).

                                                          3. Don't know if these are new or not, but big yay to the Fruit Frenzy bars. Sweet, fruity and tart all together.

                                                            1. yay: organic "baby" (my term) arugula.

                                                              yay: stockmeyer prosciutto from germany -- good value. did well in risotto. ;-).

                                                              yay - but not worth the price -- smoked trout. **very** thin trout for 10 bucks.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                sounds yum to the prosciutto...I don't live near an italian specialty store to buy it, and another major natural foods store wanted upwards to $16/pd. for it. I almost reached for the packaged prosciutto at TJ's but held back due to not knowing what kind of quality I was going to get out of it.
                                                                yum also to the smoked trout...not a huge smoked salmon fan but a huge trout fan...never tried the smoked trout but $10/thin trout sounds a bit pricey.

                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                  littleflower, i can recommend the canned smoked trout, but it is just a different animal from the regular smoked trout. i haven't bought smoked trout for a while from whole foods, but i recall that their applewood smoked trout was meatier than the skimpy trout from trader joes. i guess i should have known it was thin, but i was still surprised at *how* thin it was!

                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    thanks for the tip...I will compare the WF applewood smoked trout w/ TJ's smoked trout in price/value.

                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      Okay, I have to ask, what do you mean by the trout was "thin"? It sells by weight, so 3 oz of trout one place is the same amount as 3 oz of trout at another place. I love this, so I'd really like to understand so I can make a good judgement for me.
                                                                      Thanks!

                                                                      1. re: ruthieren

                                                                        it is literally " thin" compared with other smoked trout fillets i have purchased,, say, at whole foods. here is what i like: http://foodmuses.com/2009/06/27/smoke... tj's is thinner.

                                                                        additionally, ounce for ounce. i'd say it seems around the same price as others i've purchased, so there is little or no price advantage -- unusual for trader joe's. have you compared different smoked trout fillet prices with the price of the trader joe's? maybe i am misrecollecting the per ounce prices. what are the other prices that you have encountered?

                                                                        in seeking to find the net weight of the tj's trout, i was googling around and found this:

                                                                        here is an amazon link for the "duck trap" product, and the packaging looks IDENTICAL to that of the trader joe's product. (does the trader joe's have their own name on the package, or not? i don't recall) / http://www.amazon.com/Duck-Trap-Smoke...
                                                                        if the tj's is the same, then it is an eight ounce package.

                                                                        a price comparison data point:
                                                                        http://www.wisconsinmade.com/gift-ide...

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          the tj's trout is duck trap brand and is $12.49/pound. so, it is much cheaper at tj's….. if amazon sells two 8 oz. pkgs. for $20. guess i have been out of the smoked trout market for too long!

                                                                          but it is still "thin" ;-).

                                                                          whole foods yesterday had no smoked trout. i used to get a whole applewood smoked trout there -- and i seem to recall it had a paper wrapper (over plastic?).

                                                                          ~~~~~~~
                                                                          i've noticed that either alouette or rondele cheese is half the price at trader joe's than my other grocery stores.

                                                                  2. re: alkapal

                                                                    Thanks for the tip on the arugula. Didn't realize they were offering that. I don't know what the fuss is over spinach salads. Arugula over spinach any day of the week for me.

                                                                    1. re: Atomica

                                                                      yes, i know what you mean -- and i am a spinach fan…but for salads, or even with prosciutto and burrata, i'll take arugula (there, good with basil in the mix).

                                                                      the "baby" arugula that is organic is picked younger and is finer than the regular "baby" arugula.

                                                                  3. Nay for the Lobster Ravioli. Even though it was supposed to be new and improved. I didn't get any lobster taste from it at all. Won't buy it again.

                                                                    Yea for the artichokes. Recently large ones for $.99 ea. And in the past the package of baby artichokes. Very yummy.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Atochabsh

                                                                      I agree on the Lobster Ravioli....it was not good at all. Very disapointing.

                                                                    2. ok, not yay nor nay: texas-style bbq brisket (refrigerated case). it was fine, but it didn't knock my socks off. meaty, strong tomato--based bbq sauce -- about six (seven?) dollars for approximately two-three large lunch sandwiches.

                                                                      ~~~~~~
                                                                      i wasn't happy the last time i got their stoned wheat crackers, which used to be my go-to cracker for good flavor and crunch. maybe i need to give them another chance. i do like the rosemary raisin crisps, but those are more limited in how one may use them.

                                                                      1. I don't know if they're new or not, but the Peanut Butter and Rolled Oat bars are great.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: irishnyc

                                                                          Another "don't know if it's new" item, chocolate filled French toast, is good--not over the top sweet. I would, however, give it another 5 minutes in the oven next time. It was still cool in the center after 25.

                                                                          1. re: Jeri L

                                                                            Thanks for the tip Jeri. I almost always have to extend the cooking time on TJ's vittles.

                                                                            1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                              We just tried the chocolate French Toast over the weekend. It tasted more like bread pudding (the outside was crisp, but the inside was doughy). I didn't like it much but I don't really like bread pudding though.

                                                                            2. re: Jeri L

                                                                              I just picked this up today. It's definitely new, the cashier said they just got it in a couple of weeks ago.

                                                                            3. re: irishnyc

                                                                              Are these the chewy PB bars that have the PB drizzle on top of them? Those are good.

                                                                            4. Question - has anyone tried TJ's boxed turkey gravy (broth?) located in the soups/broth section? I am looking for a turkey gravy for a quick meal of open-faced turkey sandwiches that is more natural than the jar kind from the supermarket that I have been using. I may just end up making my own using turkey broth if I can't find a more natural turkey gravy substitute.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                I did try the turkey gravy last year, and found it bland in the extreme.

                                                                                1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                  Thanks coney with everything - I think I will probably just try making it homemade by making a roux of butter/flour, adding organic turkey broth, and seeing if I can find someone who sells naturally raised turkey legs in order to use the bones for added depth of flavor. I can cook the turkey legs in another pot with aromatics and use the broth to make the gravy then shred up the turkey for the open-face turkey sandwiches. I will make a big batch of turkey gravy and save leftovers in the freezer for later use.

                                                                              2. Yea on the frozen sweet potato gnocchi with butter and sage. I'm not a particular fan of either sweet potatoes or gnocchi, but something about this called to me (the butter and sage, presumably). I cooked it in a skillet (and it took quite a bit longer than 8-9 minutes, but that's ok) because I wanted them to brown a bit, but I might also try microwaving to see if you get something creamier. But either way, a lovely, light taste. Oh, and my daughter grabbed the gluten-free granola, who knows why, but that stuff is addictive--very crunchy and maple-sweet. Not exactly granola-like, though.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                  butter and sage sing the siren song. ;-)).

                                                                                  1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                    the GF Granola is their repackage of a product from Bakery On Main:
                                                                                    http://bakeryonmain.myshopify.com/pro...

                                                                                    back when it first came out Bakery on Main was doing a demo at my local Whole Foods, and the woman who was handing out the samples was *so sure* i would love it. i picked up the bag to read the ingredients, looked at her and said "This isn't granola, it doesn't even contain oats." she was completely flustered but managed to recover enough to insist that it was delicious and i really should try it...so i did. poor woman - she could clearly tell from my facial expression that i didn't like it, but of course i felt the need to say it outright. i told her it was too sweet for me and tasted like sugary corn cereal...which is exactly what it was! they finally came out with *actual* granola made with GF oats a couple of years ago, but since it contains canola oil & added inulin i won't go near it.

                                                                                    anyway, i really didn't mean to yuck your yum - more often than not the sweetness level in foods many people enjoy is just too much for me. but we do agree on one thing - that stuff ain't granola ;)

                                                                                  2. the chocolate covered potato chips are a little gross to me. too sweet and too salty, and the flavors just seem odd together. also, I think the chips are sloppy looking and odd sizes. there is not much in a bag

                                                                                    I don't buy much produce from TJ but I have purchased nectarines and mandarins. I was actually impressed with how good the fruit was. and I am open to getting more of my fruits there

                                                                                    the lemon heart cookies - very good, crisp and hard cookie. very buttery tasting and you can definitely taste hints of lemon and almonds.

                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: chops888

                                                                                      I loved the lemon heart cookies- so much I had to toss them because I would not stay out of them.

                                                                                      Did not like the chocolate covered chips either- I think it they were dark chocolate and thin chips they would have been better- did not like the texture of the thick ripple chips.

                                                                                      1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                        wait, you THREW OUT COOKIES you had already bought because you liked them too much?

                                                                                        that makes no sense to me at all.

                                                                                        unless you mean that you "tossed your cookies!"

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                          i've done this too - better in the trash than straight to the hips :(

                                                                                          1. re: janethepain

                                                                                            what....no self-control ;-))?

                                                                                            put them in a zip-lock and freeze those babies.

                                                                                            i am too cheap to throw away good stuff. i have a short sleeve of girl scout thin mint cookies in the freezer.

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                              How would the freezing be a deterrent? Thin Mints are best frozen, if you ask me.

                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                +1 on being too cheap to throw away good stuff. I do have a habit of taking things to work that I want out of my house triple stat! Night shifters in the ER will eat damn near anything.

                                                                                                I freeze goodies too and find it works quite well. Altho, if I'm really jonesing then I will defrost with abandon.

                                                                                              2. re: janethepain

                                                                                                I just quickly put them away in my work bag, and bring them to work. I pretty much use my co-workers as human garbage disposals for all my left over snacks & baking experiments....

                                                                                            2. re: brilynn79

                                                                                              I cannot imagine throwing away good-quality food because you'd rather not have it around.

                                                                                              Hide it, give it away, etc. Don't waste food.

                                                                                              The lemon heart cookies are fantastic.

                                                                                              1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                Lemon is my favorite, so I knew better to buy them in the first place. My nutrtional intake is more important than my budget, which is why I love single serving packages.

                                                                                                What you do with your leftover is up to you, mine go in the trash.

                                                                                                1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                                  That's the danger of TJ's -- it's so easy to go there for something like milk or eggs and end up with a basketful of snacks, wacky condiments, and new flavors of chocolate :)

                                                                                                  I use what I buy. I do not throw away good food. Ever.

                                                                                            3. re: chops888

                                                                                              I, OTOH, did not like those lemon heart cookies at all.

                                                                                              1. re: Atomica

                                                                                                I thoought the lemon cookies were okay. Like a lot of TJ's cookies (at least to me) they are subtle and kind of grow on ya. No pun intended. :) They went well with tea. As for wasting food I did a double take about trashing the cookies as well. But then I have my friend John. Anything I don't want around the house for any reason I just feed to him on one of our card playing outings. Works well.

                                                                                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                  I love the lemon cookies dipped in a cup of tea. I brought a bag to the office so I have something to get me over the afternoon hump.

                                                                                                  1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                    I think most of TJ's cookies have something in common--too much sugar overpowering any other flavors. That said, the Bistro Biscuits are really good.

                                                                                                    The lemon cookies--I didn't like the taste or the texture at all.

                                                                                                      1. re: Atomica

                                                                                                        ditto that on the "lemon" cookies. poor stale flavor, stale texture. Waste of calories.

                                                                                                  2. Nay to the Halloween Joes (pumpkin shaped w/orange filling). The filling has a weird flavor (doesn't taste like the normal whitle filling) and the cookies are too hard. Looking forward to the Peppermint Joes.

                                                                                                    Yea to the peanut butter filled pretzels. Not new to the store, but new to my home. Like that the pretzel is thin enough to easily bite through, but hard enough that they didn't crush in bag.

                                                                                                    16 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                      Eagerly awaiting the return of the Peppermint Joe Joe's and overall excited that November 1st is almost here - this is when a lot of TJ's best items come out until the end of the year. Note to self: must remember to stock up on enough of these items to last me well into 2012! What items are you all looking forward to that usually re-appear during the holiday season?

                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                        Is that when the peanut brittle arrives!?!? I wonder if they will have an Advent Calendar! I have never had a Pep-mint Joe Joe.. but everyone raves, so maybe I will have to try it this year.

                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                          GraceW they are one of the most sought after TJ's items ever produced...word of advice - buy a box (or more than one) if you see it on the shelf...people will stock up (aka hoard) up on Peppermint Joe Joe's, so they are often low on stock during the holiday season (they fill them up though with the next shipment)...only to disappear shortly after Christmas.

                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                            I don't really care for Oreo's (the chocolate cookie part tastes like nothing to me.. like cardboard) but people keep talking about the Peppermint Joe Joe's so... maybe. I have enjoyed white chocolate covered Oreo's once--so maybe that would be good, worse comes to worse if the Joe Joe's bore me.

                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                              Newman's Own are realy quite good if you are looking for a minty Oreo type, available all year round at regular grocery stores.

                                                                                                            2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                              I've actually already seen advent calendars in my Trader Joe's (Oakland, CA)

                                                                                                              1. re: betterbeheaven

                                                                                                                Those advent calendars are wonderful, especially since they're only a buck. I buy two and send one home with my friends for their daughter (we've been buddies since she was a toddler); starting 12/1, she calls me every morning and we open the appropriate windows together. We've done this for two years and I plan to keep up the tradition. And FWIW, the chocolate's good quality, too. :)

                                                                                                              2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                FYI peanut brittle is now in - located in my TJ's store on the shelves right above the frozen items. Good price, too - only $1.99 a box I believe.

                                                                                                              3. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                Last year, my husband bought me a box of assorted Joe Joe's they were selling for the holidays. All were chocolate covered. I can't remember the flavors, but they were absolutely delicious. I think one was peppermint. Our store here in MD said they should be arriving any day. I will stocking up on these!

                                                                                                                1. re: beach57

                                                                                                                  I bought that assorted box too - and it ended up getting eaten in about 2 days! There was gingerbread in white chocolate, peppermint in dark chocolate, and other two I don't remember but all were delish! I will buy these as gifts for the smaller token gifts on my list. SOOO good!
                                                                                                                  Also, this is the time of year when TJ's finally carry's pate; theirs is always good at a good price. Can't wait!

                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                    Good to know the peanut brittle and special Joe Joe's are in... I will now proceed to avoid TJ until March. ;o)

                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                      Based on this thread, I asked the tasting station to open a box of the dark chocolate covered peppermint joe joe's to try. Of course, she graciously obliged. I'd never had a joe's joe's before, and was not keen on oreos as a kid. But oh dear god. Junk sweet crunchy chocolate snacking at its finest. I could not leave without buying a box, but put it straight into the freezer to space out consumption. 150 calories a cookie is scary, especially for something that tasty.

                                                                                                                      1. re: artemis

                                                                                                                        I didn't realize that you could ask them to open a package of something for you to try!

                                                                                                                        1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                                                                          yes, and they are happy to do it….then they take it to a tasting station for others to taste as well.

                                                                                                                        2. re: artemis

                                                                                                                          D'oh -- of course they should be frozen! I have an unopened box at home, and it will be going into the freezer tonight.

                                                                                                                  2. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                    +1 on the PB pretzels - one of the few snack foods I keep around. I keep ziplocs in my car at all times for a great little hit of carbs and protein when I don't have time for a meal.

                                                                                                                  3. No more arctic char!!!! It was so good. Apparently there were problems with the vacuum seal and they don't know when it will return. Are there other great frozen fish? I tried sashimi cut sword fish and I wasn't impressed.

                                                                                                                    1. i haven't had them THIS year, but i had them last year…and their halloween gummy tummies are the best! they're available now. the flavors (orange and blackberry) are better than the cherry ones around valentine's day -- although those are darned tasty, too.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                        We got the Ghoulie Gummies and they rock! For some reason, orange/blackberry is all over the place this year. The kids got some halloween gummi bears that are orange/blackberry too. Awesome combo.

                                                                                                                        Also, Jelly Belly is pushing orange/blackberry as an alternative to orange/licorice for the 98 percent of the population that doesn't like licorice. 8<D

                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                          Saw those halloween gummies candy today, but unfortunately right as I was leaving the store. They have them reduced to $.99 now - hope they still have some in stock in a few days b/c I am interested in trying the orange/blackberry flavors.

                                                                                                                      2. Has anyone tried the chocolate french toast from the frozen aisle? We picked up a package but have not tried it yet.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. Nay and a BIG NAY on the Beef Pho Soup. Totally tasteless.
                                                                                                                          Perhaps instead of adding water, add chicken stock or beef stock and salt plus a squeeze of lime.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: selfportrait93

                                                                                                                            Great... just bought it but hadn't tried it yet...

                                                                                                                            1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                              they have an excellent return policy....

                                                                                                                            2. re: selfportrait93

                                                                                                                              I second that. Tried adding both soy sauce and siracha and still didn't love it. Plus I thought the meat was too fatty.

                                                                                                                              1. re: selfportrait93

                                                                                                                                Just finished the Beef Pho soup for the first time, and have to agree. SO tasteless that I wondered if I forgot to add some sort of seasoning packet. Sriracha and rice vinegar (didn't have limes) couldn't save it.

                                                                                                                                Perhaps instead of adding water, cook up the pho broth yourself and add it, haha.

                                                                                                                                1. I saw someone on TV making freshly squeezed lemonade and I had a huge craving for it, yet no lemonade in my refrigerator. I then remembered the lemon and lime that I bought last week at TJ's, and thought...hmm...I can make a small glass of freshly squeezed lemonade with it. I went to take the lemon out of the refrigerator, and sadly it had begun to mold. The lime looked perfect, and I keep fruits and vegetables in my refrigerator all of the time and they never mold like that, especially not in under a week;'s time. Perhaps it was a fluke, but if you buy the lemons from there, you may want to consider using them up within a few days time. Change of plans - will make a *very small* glass of just freshly squeezed limeade instead! :-)

                                                                                                                                  1. Someone over on the Home Cooking board said that the refrigerated soups are back! (She was looking for a recipe to duplicate the lentil soup with ancient grains.) I haven't seen them, but then again I wasn't really looking for them--anyone else seen them? I want the chicken and barley, myself.

                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                      The butternut squash soup in the cardbox box thing was terrible.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                        I know. I meant the refrigerated soups in plastic tubs, over in the deli section. They were awesome.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                          anything in particular (besides the chicken and barley)? i don't think I've actually seen these at my local TJ's

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                            I really like the Maryland crab chowder. It's nice and creamy with a bit of a spicy kick.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: duncanhayden

                                                                                                                                              I liked the Maryland Crab as well, but thought the Lobster Bisque was bland.

                                                                                                                                    2. Pork Masitas-"A Cuban Style Recipe" marinated roast pork, black beans with rice, and sweet plantains. It's a stretch calling it "almost 3" servings--it made a decent dinner for two. The black beans and rice are a little clumpy but taste better than they look, pork is good and the plantains are indeed sweet, but starchy enough that you are pretty sure they're not bananas. As a quick microwave meal it's pretty good. I followed the instructions, using 8 minutes on "defrost" (half power) and added a bit of extra time to the final heating--6 minutes instead of the recommended 3-4.

                                                                                                                                      1. Was pleasantly surprised by the Tom Yum soup - lots of flavor, good balance and actually can get spicy when you "mash" the included dried peppers a bit. Will be stocking up on them the next time we go.

                                                                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                          agreed. good enough that we always have 1 in the freezer just in case

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                            Ha, I just bought another two! Really satisfies the salty-spicy-sour craving, especially post-drinking.

                                                                                                                                            Really, this stuff is probably better than 90% of the tom yum soup served in most Thai restaurants.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                              ok, now which section is this in? frozen?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                yup, frozen in a bag.

                                                                                                                                                take the frozen bag, break it up into little ice chunks, throw it into a microwave container for like 5 minutes. boom, done.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                  thanks, i'll look for it. i love tom yum. do you doctor it?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    we doctor pretty much every soup we buy...but not this one.

                                                                                                                                                    lots of lemongrass flavor already.

                                                                                                                                                    don't get me wrong, it's not uber super authentic or anything, but most certainly good enough and for a frozen product available at TJ's....

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                      i have experimented with the thai tom yum soup concentrate pastes from thailand. so far, they have been WAY off base.

                                                                                                                                                      when i go to thai, i am a sucker for som tam (som tum) and "well-done wok-charred pad kee mao with minced chicken." finally, a couple of days ago, mr. alka understood the caramelized goodness. i let him share some nice mouthfuls from my gai pad kee mao. LOL <heads up locals...thai square is ON its game! <new decor, but absolutely top notch dishes..>

                                                                                                                                                      mr. alka used to think i was picky by specifying how i wanted it. now, he is a convert. that is both good and bad.

                                                                                                                                                      i have to say that i learned this wok hei umami goodness from a little restaurant here in d.c. years ago. my law partner and i would go to gorge (literally -- ain't proud -- ain't denyin') at the now-gone-and very-lamented-loss "pan asian noodle house" near dupont circle. this experience thoroughly spoiled me and turned me into a reverse-soup-nazi-critter re gai pad kee mao. i know what i like and what i want -- and i'm not afraid to ask for it.

                                                                                                                                                      ~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                      sorry for the digression… i wax (defectively) poetic about my food swoon.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                        We like it too! We don't have any local authentic Thai restaurants so I don't know how authentic it is, but it tastes good! It was spicy enough for me if I just pour all the spice in without mashing the dried pepper. My husband likes his food spicier than I do so we'll try that next time. Maybe add a couple of drop of fish sauce since recipes seem to call for it? I like the veggie dumplings too.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                          i think fish sauce would throw off the balance personally

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                            The package says it's made in Thailand.

                                                                                                                                                            I found the soup really delicious, but the lemon grass was quite woody.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                        Please forgive the Tom Yum uninitiated...I recently began eating real Thai food (read: other than the standard Pad Thai - my favorite now is Pad Pak), but I have yet to try Tom Yum soup. I have an allergy to shrimp, and when I researched Tom Yum on the internet I saw that it sometimes contains shrimp...does anyone know if TJ's does include it in this soup?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                            Awesome, I will put this on the TJ's weekly shopping list - thanks, ns1.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                  Is it vegetarian or is there shrimp in it?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                                                                                                    no shrimp, but i'm almost positive i recall seeing fish sauce on the label when i looked at it...hopefully someone can confirm either way for you.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                                                                                                      There's a link to the ingredient list above provided by ns1.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                        thanks for pointing that out. i stand corrected - no fish sauce.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Nay--licorice allsorts: just sloppy. It looked like someone chewed them, spit them out, and put them back in the bag and/or someone set them next to a lava-lamp.. and let them become deformed. Also there are only 3 types of things in the bag.. allsorts makes it sound like there are tons of variety..

                                                                                                                                                    Yay-Mini-mini PB Cups: these would work well in cookies, but they were definitely good in oatmeal

                                                                                                                                                    Nay--Yogurt star cookies: I have wanted to try these for a while. Ew. They are too fruity tasting for me, and I love fruit. Maybe the yogurt covering is too sweet-sour? I don't even know. I am going to feed them to teenagers---since they eat anything.

                                                                                                                                                    I don't know if it is just me, but I feel like the products in the chip-pretzel aisle are staying the same price but getting smaller. This is probably good for waist-lines and good for me since I am alone and don't want things going stale.. but if I had children and/or a husband (usually they eat things right?) then I would probably be annoyed. (Examples: Hawaiian BBQ chips used to be bigger bag, a lot of the pretzels, the Kettle corn, etc.) I think the corn-puffs have stayed the same, but I stopped buying them because my roommate where I last lived was addicted and would eat them at 2 am...

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                      I have heard good things about the mini PB cups...will have to give those a try. I am not surprised to hear that some of the products at TJ's are reducing in size/amount...in this economy, I have seen time and time again where not only are many manufacturers reducing the product size, but they are actually charging more for less. I will have to keep an eye out for this at TJ's now as well.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                        not surprising at all that snack prices have gone up -- commodities prices have been increasing. the stupid ethanol program doesn't help with corn product prices either. http://futures.tradingcharts.com/hist...
                                                                                                                                                        QE 1 & 2 are no help for the value of the dollar, either.

                                                                                                                                                        dumb policies distorting markets do not aid consumers.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Stopped in to our local TJs to pick up just two items recommended here: Bay Blend whole bean coffee and Kerrygold butter. $62, and some cents later we toted out three bags of "groceries".

                                                                                                                                                      Big winners, the Bay Blend coffee, and Mission Street Brown Ale. The jury is still out on the Kerrygold butter--I completely bolixed up the baked potatoes that were the butter delivery system! Many other staples that haven't been sampled.

                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RedTop

                                                                                                                                                        The Kerrygold Irish butter is fantastic - tastes amazing and the cows are grass fed, with no growth hormones or antibiotics given to the cows. You just can't beat TJ's price at ~$2.70, because I have seen it elsewhere for well over $1.00 more than that.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                          Kerrygold butter is a great buy at TJs. Our local Harris Teeter grocery store sells it for $4.99.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: RedTop

                                                                                                                                                          Another winner: Ponti Dry Italian Vermouth--1.75 litre, $4.99.

                                                                                                                                                          Contributes to a very tasty Gin Martini.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RedTop

                                                                                                                                                            Also very handy to have on hand when you just need a splash of wine to deglaze a pan or make sauce. It has a screw top bottle and it seems to keep well for a long time after opening.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pamf

                                                                                                                                                              that is a LOT of vermouth!

                                                                                                                                                              ours in virginia don't sell vermouth, if i recall (but then again, i've never looked for vermouth there).

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                In Michigan they sell wine/beer, no hard liquor, and I've seen vermouth.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                  I think RedTop meant it is a 1 litre bottle, at least that's what I usually get.

                                                                                                                                                                  Of course, your local laws will determine what TJ's can sell.

                                                                                                                                                                  Look for it on the bottom shelf, with sherry, marsala and other types of fortified wine. It's usually kind of hidden.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pamf

                                                                                                                                                                    Yep, just re-read the back label: 1 Litre.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pamf

                                                                                                                                                                      i'll definitely check it out -- thanks for the tip.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Someone posted a while ago that TJ no longer carried Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese. They now have their own product (a tub labeled This is Not a Tub of Cream Cheese), and, I am sorry to say: ick. It had a layer of liquid on it, most of which I poured off, and then it seemed lumpy and weird, so I stirrred it up, and it still lacked the structure and consistency of the Tofutti (which I can get at the regular supermarket, and I will do so in the future). Too bad.

                                                                                                                                                              I scored the last of the frozen pie dough this weekend (it was out last week)--has anyone tried it yet?

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                                                Second the ICK. Talked my hubby into trying the tofutti version when his cholesterol went skyward. He was surprised at how much he didn't mind it. After trying this stuff, he wants to go back to real cream cheese. This will send me occasionally into a "real" grocery store for the real fake stuff. (though it is less expensive at kosher markets if you have any convenient.)

                                                                                                                                                              2. Surprise Yea: KBC Pumpkin Ale. I love beer, and usually disdain both TJ's beer offerings, and pumpkin beers across the board, but this one was a hit. Not overly spiced and mild, enjoyable pumpkin flavor... a little lean in terms of mouthfeel, but overall, surprisingly quaffable.

                                                                                                                                                                Echo the yea for the Pumpkin Butter too... delish on English muffins. And yea for the Wasabi Seaweed Snacks... good way to scratch a wasabi itch, because they definitely aren't short on sinus-clearing spice!

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nsjjhp

                                                                                                                                                                  Try the pumpkin butter mixed into plain yogurt! great stuff

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for posting the pumpkin butter/plain yogurt idea. That sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                2. Another "don't know if it's new" item. Had one of the frozen Gorditas for breakfast this morning. The first couple of bites I thought it was bland and completely lacking any of the promised peppers, but by the end of it I thought it was pretty good--good enough to buy again, in fact.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jeri L

                                                                                                                                                                    Gotta jump in - I loved the idea but quite disliked the product. It was bland - a little spicy but tasted mostly of starch. Add that to the fat and caloric content and it just wasn't worth it to me.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Nay on the Apricot Almond tart. I don't think this is that new, maybe seasonal? But it's been calling my name every time I see it and I finally splurged and bought it - mistake. The crust is very buttery and good, but almost too buttery or too thick - it tastes a little like undercooked shortbread. The apricots were very underripe and therefore crunchy, which was offputting, and it seems most of the almond flavor comes from the toasted almonds sprinkled on top, which means the whole thing isn't very almond-y. It wasn't horrendous, just not very good.

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thursday

                                                                                                                                                                      I bought that several years ago and was disappointed. Serves me right for not reading the ingredient list beforehand. Inexplicably, it contained citron, which completely overwhelmed the other flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                        Yes! That's what it was! Hadn't read the ingredients either - but it was definitely overwhelmingly citron-y!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'm enjoying the Sir Perry pear cider as we speak. It's not too sweet and the pear flavor is not pronounced--more like a medium-dry hard cider.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Waiting for sea salt chocolate caramels... YUM. New wasabi-flavored nori is great and cheaper than anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: melcal

                                                                                                                                                                          The sea salt chocolate caramels are to die for! I will be stocking up on these as soon as I see them in the store.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Just enjoyed (too much of) the frozen pumpkin cheesecake. Didn't even wait for it to thaw.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Just an FYI...seeing that it is November, I called my local TJ's and asked if the Peppermint Joe Joe's are in yet...she said no, but that the holiday items have just started trickling in this week...

                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                              Just got back from our TJ's (Alexandria, VA -- Old Town), and I have 2 boxes of Peppermint Joe-Joe's in the cupboard! I got two of the last boxes. They had a ton of holiday food out at our store, including Fleur de Sel caramels, which I've never had from TJ's before but which I generally love. The cashiers freaked out when they saw them in my cart--even they didn't know the caramels were back! The only thing that kept me from buying way too many holiday sweets was that it's only Nov 2, and we still have two large bowls full of Halloween candy. Also don't want to OD on the peppermint-flavored treats this early in the season. :)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Erelgi

                                                                                                                                                                                I am in VA as well - not Alexandria but relatively close by, and just called to reconfirm with another store employee who said they have not come in yet, but are due in this week! He said that they have the chocolate covered Peppermint Joe Joe's in now, but not the regular ones just yet. I will also have to pick up the sea salt caramels which sound yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Erelgi

                                                                                                                                                                                  I did a run for milk last night (Detroit area) and found both regular and chocolate covered peppermint Joe-Joes. Bought a box of the chocolate covered ones, and some pumpkin ice cream...

                                                                                                                                                                                  $44 dollars later, including my half gallon of milk...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                    Laughing out loud coney with everything, you are not alone...I along with I am sure many on this board have gone to TJ's for "just one thing" and ended up with a grocery cart full of items. I just called my local TJ's for a peppermint Joe Joe update but they said the shipment has yet to come in of the regular peppermint Joe Joe cookies. Erelgi, I mentioned how the Alexandria store has them in so why does my VA Trader Joe's not have them in stock, but they said the Alexandria store comes from a different warehouse. I think I still may go up to the store and try to stock up on other holidays items that have come in stock this week and go back another day for the peppermint Joe Joe's...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                      Definitely try the Old Town store. I've found the products that other people say are always out of stock at their store are often in stock at the OT store. Not sure why, but it's a nice perk! I've also noticed that they have more things in the morning and earlier in the week (which is probably the same everywhere). The Peppermint Joe Joe's were on the back wall of the store, as you're walking to the produce section...along with all the other holiday goodies. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Erelgi

                                                                                                                                                                                        I will have to check out that TJ's when I am in that area...we are a good 3 hours away, but lucky to live nearby not one but two TJ's...now if only they could be as fast bringing out the products as your store does then I would be an even happier shopper!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. I've been eating dollops of the pumpkin ice cream on the crispy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that come all miniaturized in a tub. So good, yet so bad. They go down too fast.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Yay to pumpkin cream cheese. The cashier recommended pairing it with their triple ginger cookies. DELISH!!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: beach57

                                                                                                                                                                                    I had to resist the urge to buy the lemon triple ginger snaps cookie ice cream - I have heard really good things about this item and love lemon custard ice cream and ginger snaps. I will have to try the ice cream soon - and also made a mental note to tell everyone who asks me what I want for Christmas that I would like TJ's gift cards so that I can buy more "fun" items without creeping too far into my food budget.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Nay:

                                                                                                                                                                                    Large chocolate macaron from the fresh bakery section. I don't know what possessed me to buy these as it is a losing proposition - macarons go stale fairy quickly and large macarons are hard to do well. Anyway, dry, meh flavor. Not worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Decent:

                                                                                                                                                                                    The new concorde chocolate dessert is gluten free and not bad. Reminds me of a lot of the frozen desserts you can get in France. Heads and tails above what you can get here (sorry Sarah Lee), but you won't mistake it for a fine bakery.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. More yay/nays...yay to the new peanut butter and oat bars - chewy and peanut buttery goodness - I added a sprinkle of sea salt on top of the bar which made it even better...not sure what I think about the dark chocolate covered peppermint Joe Joe's. They still do not yet have the regular peppermint joe joe cookies in stock, but the manager was standing in the cookie aisle when all of a sudden he broke open a box of the dark covered ones and proceeded to give everyone on the aisle samples (very cool and why I really love Trader Joes). They were good, but wow...SO rich...I could only finish half of one before having to stop. I saved the other half in a napkin and put it in the freezer when I came home - going to see what they are like frozen before I buy a box of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                        i feel like you on the choco-covered peppermint joe-joes. they are extremely rich. i bought a box last year, and have eaten only 4-5.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Yays to the Golden Rounds crackers - they taste just like Lance's Captain Wafers crackers but the ingredients list read better (I went through almost an entire sleeve of crackers in one sitting - addictive) and also yay to the parmesan-romano grated cheese in the can. I grew up using that combination on top of spaghetti, and although it is not freshly grated still tastes much better than what other brands have to offer.

                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                          I have to revise my yay on the parmesan-romano grated cheese in the can. On closer inspection, I noticed that the cheese did not look white/yellow...it had a slightly greenish tint to it. I poured some out on a plate and sure enough...it had gone bad. :-( I only had it opened less than a day, too and in a cold refrigerator so I am assuming it was already like that in the store. I will chalk it up to a bad can since I have bought this many times before without any issues...but definitely this one is going back to the store for a refund. I will try another can later on, hopefully from a different batch.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                            That's blue cheese for free! It has happened to me with grated cheese from supermarkets or Costco that I have transferred into a jar for refrigeration, then poured from the jar directly into simmering sauce. I assume steam got into the jar, causing mold which tastes like blue cheese. I would return the container, too, but don't think it would harm you to eat it. In my case I wiped off the blue around the rim and used the rest.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a real bummer. I donated several cans of this to the local food pantry and they flew out the door - hope your TJ's just had a bad batch. Even if someone returned it the pantry has no refund to offer because it was a donation.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Yay - Wintry Blend Coffee. OK, so I didn't think to buy coffee while they had the Pumpkin Spice Blend, but the Wintry Blend has black and pink peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon. Another "Doh!" I didn't realize that it was already ground, so I'll have to figure out the measurements, since I've been grinding whole beans for the last couple of years. Anyway, I had it this morning, and it was really good!

                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                              The Wintry Blend Coffee was a big NAY for me. i loved it last year but this year i feel like coffee is super weak. i used 3 tbsps and it was still too weak for me. and the spices made it taste like someone dropped a chewed up spearmint gum into my coffee. i think the nay part is the coffee was too weak for a drip cup. i'd like to try the gingerbread flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                Actually, I meant to come back and update this since first posting. Maybe because it was weak coffee, drinking it brewed as is didn't work after the second pot. So what I've been doing is adding a couple of scoops in with my whole beans when I grind them for just a hint of spice flavor. Works much better for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                                  tracylee, that's a great idea. it's not so much that i minded the flavors but with the combination of weak coffee it tasted like already chewed spearmint gum. too bad i went to return it. perhaps i'll pick it up again and try your method :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bought another canister of regular beans yesterday and the cashier made sure I knew that they were whole beans (I guess some people get confused). We talked about the Wintry Blend, and she said she had the same issue with the pumpkin spice blend that was really weak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not a fan of the Wintry Blend, but I love the Gingerbread. I look forward to its return every year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                                                                                    i was going to try the Gingerbread next. sounds more up my alley...

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Choc covered Peppermint Jo-Joes and Candy Cane Green tea showed up at my TJ this weekend:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. My local TJ's still has not received a shipment of the Peppermint Joe Joe cookies yet! Two of the workers said that all they have received in stock so far this year are the dark chocolate covered ones. Anyways - here are a few more yays...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1) Vintage Root Beer - This is the best root beer I have ever tasted - sooo much better than the ones you find in the regular grocery stores. Not only does it not contain HFCS, but it actually has real vanilla, wintergreen, sassafras, birch, and anise extracts in it. It is refreshing to see a root beer made without artificial flavorings to make it taste like root beer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  2) Ghoulie Gummy Tummies - $.99 is a steal for these - I agree with another reviewer that the blackberry/orange combo really goes well together, and I like that they are not too sugary-sweet tasting.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  3) Pumpkin Cream Cheese - I reviewed this last year and thought it was a tad too much on the sweet side, but this time around it was perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I dont know if this has been mentioned but YEA for the pumpkin bread/muffin mix. I made it today in a loaf pan, substituted half of the oil with applesauce (and, for reference, the recipe calls for large eggs and I only had med so i added an egg as well) plus I topped it with mini choc chips. Amazing! I think it might be kind of bland alone, but with nuts or cranberries or apples i bet it would be awesome. I'm going to get a few more boxes before its discontinued!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Biggest NAY of any product I've ever purchased at TJ's: brown rice tortillas. They sounded interesting. Turns out they fall apart and taste like cardboard. Wait, that's an insult to cardboard. I'm actually going to return them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                        yeah, that's a bad one. chewy, crumbly, sticky, pasty...and unfortunately they're made by Food for Life, so the only "alternative" isn't any better because it's the same exact product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        if you want to save yourself a trip back to the store, you can make them edible by cutting into strips or triangles and then baking or frying as chips. for savory flavor season them with salt/herbs/pepper. for sweet, use a little sugar (or maple syrup or honey) and cinnamon or other complementary spices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I appreciate the tips, ghg. They're definitely going back, though. So wrong in every single way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Yay for the Thai green papaya salad in the freezer section!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: houndgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                          ooh, i had the diametrically opposite experience with that salad a while back -- but maybe they have changed the horrid dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 2 Yays and a Meh:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1) Candy Cane (Peppermint) Joe Joe's are finally in stock at my store! As much as I adore these just as is - in order to take it to a whole other level I sprinkle a dash of TJ's Sea Salt on top which really brings out the flavors of both the chocolate and the peppermint filling with a slight salty background - YUM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2) My TJ's had a set of 4 Imported Fruit Preserves - Raspberry, Strawberry, Orange and Apricot in a very festive holiday wrapping/container. Priced at $4.99, this will make a perfect gift when paired with some croissants or scones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          MEH

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Strawberry Kiwi Juice - I didn't hate it but did not really like it either. Only had a little bit then realized then flavors (they mixed it with a few other fruit juices) just didn't mesh very well together for my taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          New TJ's product - Corn Spaghetti....??? Has anyone ever heard/tried corn spaghetti, or is this just a TJ's new creation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This week my TJj's got in all the holiday goodness; in Burien, WA, just south of DT Seattle. We have the major TJ's stop for anyone in West Seattle, or west of seattle and south for now, so they have all the goodies in full amounts - for now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bought chocolate covered pep jojo's (how can you not? If they are not around or sold out for the rest of the year?) These will only be shared with special friends. Perhaps, this year, even doled out in a celophane wrapped pack to friends who would rather have this taste than a macaroon in their hostess/host basket of goodies...
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bough TJ caramel sea salt chocolates (in a box, and I can hear the salt rattling around in their - not openend yet, so not sure of the state of the goodies), but on checking out the checker said that yes, the 'hounds had descended, and the REAL salt carmels are in a wooden box. I had 3 people behind me in line, and no time left, so this is a question for hounds on this thread. What is the packaging for the salt TJ caramels you eat and give?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                              personally, i adore the salted caramels in the wooden box. not so much in love with the salted chocolate caramels, though ymmv. the chocolate is hard, and in my view, gets in the way of the caramel flavor. also, while i am a salt-addict (just ask my physician!), i find the salt on those chocolate ones to be pretty aggressive. but the fleur de sel caramels in the wooden box? softly yielding, buttery, salted joy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chez Cherie,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Then next time I am there, I will buy the wooden box! AS you say, what I got seems to be kind of cheap from the packaging to the sound of flying salt if I move the box; have not opened it yet (will probably keep for a hostess gift for someone who is not a great cook:). and buy the wooden box for those I love, and... me:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                              New TJ's product - Corn Spaghetti....??? Has anyone ever heard/tried corn spaghetti, or is this just a TJ's new creation?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                              specialty gluten-free companies have been making it for a long time. i haven't tried the TJ's, but i did try one from a vendor at a trade show a few years back...that crap wasn't fooling anyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL! Yes, corn spaghetti just sounds ugh...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i could definitely find ways to make tasty dishes with corn pasta - in fact, there are probably many interesting ways to play off the corn flavor. it's just not really a substitute - taste OR texture-wise - for wheat flour noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    have you worked with the corn noodles yet? bought some fusilli but have not made it yet. Was jonesing for gooey fontina mac and cheese when I bought it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Nay - frozen bibimbap. Pretty much just tasted the sauce and nothing else. Both husband and I independently reached the same conclusion that the bibimbap we had while we flew with Korean airline was better. I haven't had bibimbap elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                this is not korean bibimbap

                                                                                                                                                                                                                it's meat + veggies on top of rice with sauce; taken in that context, it makes a fine work lunch meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Agree with ns1. I liked it as work lunch, not necessarily as an example of authenticity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you had the bibimbap they serve on Korean Air, you've had some really good bibimbap, actually. The frozen stuff they have at TJ's is pretty mediocre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I live 45 minutes away from the closest one but my grandmother lives a few blocks away so whenever i go over there i stop at trader joes for beer and cofffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Nay--German spice cookies. Crunchy powdered sugar and dry cookie inside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yay--Frozen hashbrowns. Takes the trouble out of shredding potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe? The European dinner mints. Depending on how minty you like things, the mint oil in these can be a bit overwhelming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yay--Peppermint Jo-Jos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nay--Strawberry Organic Soy Yogurt. Runny and tasted plain bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: stargazer2190

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Yay--Frozen hashbrowns. Takes the trouble out of shredding potatoes."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Been eating these for months. 5-10 minutes on a non-stick pan = done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I used them as a base for breakfast burritos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: stargazer2190

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yes, the dinner mints are super minty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and the german spice cookies…are you meaning the lebkuchen, by any chance? i usually get several packages of those, and didn't realize that they would be in so soon. but i guess it is "that time" of year already. my, how time flies -- even when you're not having fun. LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        lebkuchen are dry by nature. Like biscotti they're terrific dipped in coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: toodie jane

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hi toodie jane!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i've had lebkuchen in nuremberg, so am familiar with fresh lebkuchen. i also used to receive annually a gift tin of commercially-made lebkuchen varieties shipped from germany ("schmidt" brand). tj's are dry compared with both examples.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tj's were dry this year and last year…. i bought only one pack this year, and didn't even finish it. their destiny will be "the dipping." ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wow--they must be baaaad. Stale as well as dry perhaps? I'm a bit jealous that you've eaten the Real Deal in- country. I took a cooking class from an Austrian woman who taught us how to make these--complete with the royal icing swirlies. They are great with coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not the first of TJ's cookies to be less than great. I am still mouring the deletion of the shortbread buttons of past years--they came in a brown bag with a window. The Best! Used them for coffee time, dressing up with lemon curd. They are gone with the Wind. Other replacements are *meh*...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Did you try the spongey German spice cookies? I love these... spicy pillows coated with sugar or chocolate glaze. Wish they had the ones with the marzipan filling...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: toodie jane

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i didn't see the spongy german spice cookies, but i would have pounced on them if they'd had marzipan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              my extended family and i liked the cranberry white chocolate dippers a while ago. those cookies may still be the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the choco-covered jo jo's are way too sweet; and i had one of the holiday flavored-filling jo jo's recently and it too was very sweet. i'd like them to make cookies without so much sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Not a new product - but meh to the frozen Chicken Drummettes (boneless chicken nuggets). Positives: All natural ingredients and 3/4 of the chicken nugget was moist and delicious. Negatives: Breading kept falling off (this is minor) when I dunked it in sauce, lacked flavor so I had to sprinkle some spices on the coating to boost it up, and the center 1/4 of the nugget was noticeably much tougher than the outer 3/4 of the nugget. The first time I cooked them I thought perhaps I had not cooked them enough (although I cooked them 16 min. versus the 12-15min. suggestion on the package). This time I cooked them for 18 minutes and still the same problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh that's odd. I bought a box after we tested them at the tasting station and they were perfect. I think I cooked them for about 15 minutes. I like that they are really meaty and nice quality chicken. Wonder if you got an odd batch with the breading falling off as that didn't happen to mine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hmm...perhaps then it was just a bad batch as you have suggested...I liked the taste of the nuggets, so I think I will give another box a try and see how those are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have made hundreds of boxes of these nuggets for my 9 and 7 year old boys. I have had the breading fall off on occasion, but 95% of the time it's on there pretty good. My kids love them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. NAY:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hate to be a grinch... but the Chocolate covered Joe Joe's... too much. It is overthetop (especially in terms of calories and fat). I am glad I don't have kids, otherwise, I would definitely tell them no. (I know, I am a grinch! I would make them real Christmas cookies instead.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And I am glad I stopped going there, because the prices have climbed again in the last 2 weeks. Not that they aren't climbing everywhere, but if I have to drive out of the way to get there, then I might as well stick with high prices that are about the same but close by.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I do 99% of the grocery shopping in our small household, and I too have recurring sticker shock, Grace.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But for me, TJs is an infrequent indulgence, so I continue to enjoy the experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RedTop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have noticed prices have gone up this year on the just-arrived holiday specialties - especially the sweets! Most are $1.00 more - if they are chocolate centric.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But that is not just TJ's - there is a world wide shortage of cacao - supplies down about 14% this year due to drought. So, prices go up... sigh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. brand spanking new item spotted today and not tried yet, but *hoping* it's a Yea: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, $5.99 for a 16-oz jar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          anyone try it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ooooh...hoping for some reviews on this one as well - thanks for letting us know goodhealthgourmet. $5.99 for 16 oz. jar of organic virgin coconut oil is a good price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just bought it myself, but haven't tried it yet. Will report back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: thursday

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                looking forward to hearing your feedback!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thursday

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Update: Tried the coconut oil. I've never cooked with coconut oil before (or any solid fat save butter), so this may or may not be true of coconut oil in general, but it had a much slicker, greasier feel than olive oil or butter. We used it brown the skin before slow roasting chicken thighs, and also to saute some vegetables to mix with brown rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The skin of the chicken came out divine - much crisper than any other oil we've used. I didn't use any other seasonings on the chicken, and just a little raw garlic on the veg, so you could definitely taste a mild coconut flavor in both dishes, which was fine since we were trying it purposefully, but could be annoying if I was going for something more specific. I imagine any strong herbs or flavors would mask it easily, however, as we were looking for it and it was still mild. A little of the oil went a very long way, so I imagine this jar is going to last us quite a while. Resounding Yea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: thursday

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    this may or may not be true of coconut oil in general, but it had a much slicker, greasier feel than olive oil or butter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks for the report, and i'm so glad you discovered the joy of cooking with coconut oil! it's a fabulous substitute for butter or lard in baking as well. the mild coconut flavor is typical of virgin coconut oil like the one you bought, but there are more refined (expeller-pressed) products on the market that have a completely neutral flavor and no aroma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I bought some and tried it - not as good as my usual Nutiva but just fine. A little less coconut in the scent and flavor. But hey, I am not one of those people who can stand to fry my eggs in it, so that's okay with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It does make a loooovely body oil!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Vetter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thanks for the comparison. i have to get through my stash of Nutiva & Spectrum first, but if TJ's product sticks around i'll give it a try when i need to stock up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Been looking for coconut oil but didn't find it at TJ previously, guess they heard my request (even though I didn't formally request it :) Is it by the olive oil?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yes, it's right there with the other oils. it *just* came in this weekend - in fact it's so new that they didn't even have a tag on the shelf yet and i had to go ask about the price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great thanks! We were just there yesterday but I didn't bother to look since I looked just a month ago... hope it is good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I found it on the "new products" endcap and bought two jars. It's pretty solid stuff at room temps around here, but smells divine. I haven't tried it in cooking yet, but I did warm up a bit for a hair/scalp treatment yesterday. I'll report back when I use it for cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This made me laugh--when faced with an unfamiliar food my Dad used to say, "Eat it? Bury it? Rub it in your hair?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jeri L

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Your dad sounds like a real "card" as my dad was. Wish he was still around. I inherited his wacky sense of humor and food preferences, and wish I could trade some with him...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. We spotted a new item to us- reduced guilt mac and cheese in the freezer section. We are big fans of the guilty frozen mac and cheese. Has anyone tried this new version?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I remembered someone reviewing it from the last quarter's yay/nays...the reviewer gave the reduced guilt mac and cheese a "yay".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/793372

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I tried it many months ago and didn't like it but not sure why. As I recall, it was a really small amount of food but I don't think that was the reason it went on my nevermore list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oooh....the reduced guilt mac and cheese is a big player in my house. I love it and my little guy does too, so we usually share a portion of it as a side dish. I find it to be (as far as frozen mac and cheese goes) top notch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tried it and it was a big Yea. The reduced guilt baked ziti was a NAY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Frozen Creamy Polenta with spinach & carrots. A qualified "yea". Stove top prep needs more than the 5-7 minute prep time. Nice spinach presence. Finishes in the pot like a failed omelette. Taste okay. Not recommended as an entree as the bag suggests.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. TJs Wisconsin Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese. Nope. Very bland. Not all the cheese blends with the macaroni.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I don't know what possessed me, but I bought soy chorizo. The fact that it's in a plastic tube should have been the tip off. Nasty, nasty stuff. Avoid at all costs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of fans of this product. I actually like it a lot. The TJ version is a lot more crumbly than other brands like El Burrito or Melissa's. So if its a texture thing, and you're looking for an alternative to real chorizo, maybe you should try the other brands?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm an omnivore, and I love the soy chorizo! Great flavor, very crumbly, and seems to be 'greasy' like the real thing. I brown some in a skillet, scramble in some eggs, and it is delicious. One of the few soy products I actually like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like it too - I use it in a Sunday Suppers salad and it's great there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I haven't tried TJs brand, but most of the chorizos meat or veggie are in a tube. I use either/both for chili, depending on whether I'm going veggie or meat. The brand I buy calls it Soy-rizo, and it's the same texture as their meat ones. Have you tried other brands? Was it the spices you didn't like? The texture? I'm so used to just grabbing it, I'd hate to get a nasty surprise from the one from TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ruthieren

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It doesn't get more carnivore than my Iowa-raised husband, and he loves it. It's the only one of these I've tried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I'm surprised no one has reviewed the pumpkin pancake mix? If they did I didn't see it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Definite yea there. It smells good, the directions are correct, and the pancakes are just delicious. I actually bought a second box to keep on hand, and I rarely do that (we live in an apartment with limited storage space).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll also second the yeas for the pumpkin cream cheese. I ate it by dipping Stacy's gingerbread pita chips into it. Very good combination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tesslouise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I bought a box of this yesterday! I made them as soon as we got home - I got turned on to this last holiday season. Makes perfect pancakes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I meant to say, I did find a nay this past trip, as well...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I grabbed a box of the Vanilla Cinnamon Tea and realized after brewing a cup at home that it was the generic for a Celestial Seasonings holiday flavor I didn't care for (don't remember which one). I'll stick to the Candy Cane green tea, which is better from TJ's than from Celestial Seasonings, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tesslouise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i hated that vanilla cinnamon stuff too--blech. threw away the box

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tesslouise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like both the Vanilla cinnamon black tea and the candy cane green tea and have stocked up now that they both have reappeared. I only have the vanilla cinnamon tea once in awhile when I am in the mood for that flavor. I tend to crave a cup in the evening. Everyone in my family loves the candy cane green tea and I have to buy multiple boxes to keep the peace.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tesslouise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i'm so glad i saw this - i'm pretty sure Sis drinks the Celestial Seasonings candy cane tea, so i'll get her the TJ's next time i'm there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. has anyone tried the Dark Chocolate Mint Espresso Beans? i walked past a display of them yesterday and it just struck me as an odd concoction that wouldn't hold wide appeal. i know that there are mint-flavored coffees out there, but the idea of that flavor combination kinda nauseates me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh, and passing along a secondhand meh on the frozen Boeuf Bourguignon. off limits for me because it contains wheat, but Mom tried it last night. said it was "fine" but not great flavor-wise, and the meat wasn't as tender as it should be...and we both agreed that the amount of sauce/gravy in there is really excessive. i fished out all the meat and vegetables for her and there was still more than a full cup of liquid left in the container! i understand they're probably assuming you'll serve it over rice or something else to soak up some of it, but it was still just too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Haven't tried Dark Chocolate Mint Espresso Beans, bu t I love their Espresso Pillows (crunchy toffeed espresso bits covered in dark chocolate) in an orange/brown round tin, usually by the cashiers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i had those a few years ago - i liked them at first and then decided they were a little sweet for my taste, but i can see why people love them. but the mint aspect of those new espresso beans is tripping me up...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have never posted on CH -- I'm a professional lurker -- but I will stop flowering on the wall to say that the dark chocolate mint espresso beans are a yay here. I bought them for my brother, who is coming home for Thanksgiving, but popped open the container to taste test. Yum. If you like the flavors (mint, chocolate, mild coffee), definitely try them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  should've gone with my instincts on that one - it was like drinking bad coffee immediately after brushing my teeth with very minty toothpaste...definitely *not* a flavor i enjoyed. but hey, that just means more for you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hey, that sounds like a typical morning for me, so I might have to give these things a try. 8<D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Back home in RI, we started eating chocolate covered coffee beans as little kids. That plus coffee milk and coffee ice cream ensures a steady stream of new coffee addicts up there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Being a highly suggestible human bean, I just had to get the wooden box salt caramels last weekend. They're ok. I don't know what I was expecting but I wasn't as taken with them as I thought I'd be. On the other hand, they had some very nice CA satsumas and I love their soy chorizo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I felt the same way about the caramels in the wooden box. I hadn't had them before so I was excited to try them given the great reviews. I like them but don't love them. Same for the candy cane joe joe's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is kind of embarassing but I recently discovered a box I had stashed of the salt caramels from last year. Blush. They are still tasty but I eat them with a crisp apple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Going out on a limb by admitting this -- I got those caramels too and didn't think they were the most amazing thing in the world, either. They do, however, lend themselves very well to being smushed onto a square of TCHO dark chocolate. Yup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: operagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You just had to post that, huh? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Yea to the fig butter. Not too seedy, nice fig flavor. Was really good on a toasted baguette that had fennel seeds on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chompy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        glad to hear this - i bought a jar but haven't opened it yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I doubt banana chips are new at TJ's, but I'd never bought them until two weeks ago, when they had a display at the front with small bags for $0.99. I bought some for my husband---I've never liked banana chips. I opened these out of curiosity and, oops, devoured the whole bag over a couple of days before he even got to them. They were SO good, almost moist but still properly crisp, and none of that weird off flavor that these sometimes have. So when I was at another TJ's store a week ago and they only had larger bags ($2.99), I naturally picked one up. But these were awful. Crack-your-teeth dry and pretty flavorless. I'm not sure if they suddenly switched distributors, or if the bag had just been languishing on the shelves for too long---the exp. date is still several months away, though. Anyone else notice this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LauraK42

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You may want to take a look at the label. As I recall, the banana chips have either trans fats or a lot of cholesterol, or both. When I saw that, I put them into the dog treat jar and chucked the bag.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The dogs love them and only get one a day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No trans fats or cholesterol in this big bag...of course the little bag that was so good is long gone, maybe those were the ones with bad stuff in them! If so, it figures...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Big YAY to the Valencia Peanut Butter with Golden Flax

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. YAY- Citrus Chicken salad. i'm usually pretty picky about salad but this one does the trick. it's also not calorie laden like most of the other salads. while it's not perfect it works for a TJ salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY- freeze dried mango. my 3 yr olds favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY- pumpkins and spiders gummy candy. i know they're probably phasing this one out since it's halloween but great gummy candy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY- low sodium creamy tomato soup, if you add a shake of salt to it. i know it defeats the point but whatever, it works. i ate it with a baguette. i usually hate boxed soups but this one was ok.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NAY- on Wintry Blend coffee. as mentioned above the coffee was too weak for me. if you like light coffee with flavor this one may work for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Portabello Mushroom Condensed Soup - yay or nay? I bought it and was going to use it as the "cream of mushroom soup" replacement in my green bean casserole recipe for Thanksgiving, but did not want to ruin my GB casserole if it isn't good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay... doesn't have the same texture or flavor as campbells... I had such high hopes, but instead it was *le sigh*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for letting me know...I was leaning towards not using it in my Thankgiving green bean casserole, but your take on it confirms that I will try it on another day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Don't know if they're new, but we tried the "traditional latkes" potato pancakes this morning. A 5 for ease of preparation (20 minutes in the oven) and a solid 3 on taste. I'm surprised to see onion listed as the second ingredient. I thought they could have used more. That said, I will buy them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. For me the Yeas are:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - Peppermint Pretzel Slims
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - Peppermint Joe's O's dipped in Dark Chocolate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - Tofu Edamame Nuggets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nays are:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - This is not a tub of cream cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - Turkey gravy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://clubtraderjoes.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Love love the edamame nuggets. My TJ's is out of them right now, but they are simply delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are the edamame nuggets a snack food, or a frozen item?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frozen. They make a good little appetizer or a great dinner for a little kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They're addictive and the whole bag, as I recall, is only about 600 calories. They're really filling, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I can't remember if this has been mentioned:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Big NAY: Stuffing with chicken sausage -- comes frozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh...that is too bad to hear. What was bad about it? I was thinking of buying some to make a day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich, since I won't have leftovers of my own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: betterbeheaven

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was much worse (in my opinion) than no stuffing at all! Why don't you get a pkg of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix and make up a small batch? It's certainly better than this stuff from TJ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leftovers are (almost) the best part of Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Does it come with turkey? They were sampling the frozen turkey with stuffing the other day, which by the way the stuffing was good but the turkey piece that I got was a bit dry in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Yay to the Hansen Mandarin Lime all-natural soda - really refreshing, Yay to TJ's that they give you a choice of buying each 12oz. can individually instead of buying the whole six pack, and a huge Nay to the Hansen Pomegranate all-natural soda because it tasted like cough syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. anyone know if they are carrying the peppermint bark candy BARS (not in the tin, but the individually-wrapped BARS of the size @ 2 ½" x 5")

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            they've been discontinued….. drats. they were so much better than the stuff in the tin!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I picked up a couple new (to me) items this morning; haven't tried them yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Frozen blueberry scones - four to a box, you let them sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes then bake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Candy-coated licorice (think Good & Plenty - same size box as typical movie-theater candy).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Has anyone tried either of these?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frozen scones are delicious - great crumb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Beef Pho - previously posters were right. Bland. I actually like the beef pieces in it. I used chicken stock (reduced salt) instead of water, and if you taste the soup you can taste a little bit of the spice. But if you eat the noodles, even if you let it sit for 3 minutes as recommended, they don't soak up the juice and is quite tasteless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thai Vegetable Kao Soi with Crispy Noodles - not sure if it's new or not but it's new to me, and husband and I both really like it! The sauce will go really well with rice also if you happen to have some left over rice to go with it (it has quite a bit of sauce). Or you can just drink the broth. I read a review that said the veggie get soggy. When in my past experience with frozen lunches the veggies are always soggy so I wasn't too put off by it. Plus I don't mind soggy veggie too much... oh yeah, the instruction said the puncture the film 3 times. I punctured maybe about 6 times (don't ask me why) and the juice spilled over in the microwave. So follow the instructions :) The instruction also said you can put it in the oven instead of the microwave, but the cooking time is much longer (35-45min instead of 4-5min) so I opt for the microwave... maybe next time I'd try the oven if I am not hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Cherry picking here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TJs Multigrain Crackers, 10 oz pkg--Yea.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TJs Classic Original Water Crackers, 4.4 oz pkg--Yea.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Guyere Cheese wedge...last sale date, 11-24-2011. Moldy before opening--Nay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RedTop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've got to issue a NAY on the Mutligrain crackers. Good flavor, but half the crackers in my box were broken when I opened it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Speaking of which, big YAY for the Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah. The chevre topped with pistachios was also good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have come to some conclusions on my fascination with shopping at TJ's:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1) Shopping here gives the thrilll of a great find that you essentially lose in regular grocery stores. 75% of TJ's products I have tried are huge hits, 15% are misses (unfortunately sometimes way off the mark), and only 10% are just so-so average. Most grocery stores rank 75% average, 15% misses, and 10% so-so products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2) TJ's provides the element of surprise - they always keep us on our toes with new products to try and much to our dismay discontinue some great products. Grocery shopping here is never boring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3) Ingredients list on products read a lot better than many other grocery stores. More natural products without HFCS or Partially Hydrogenated Oils.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4) Prices are kept competitive and often are lower when compared to other grocery stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5) Liberal (within reason) return policy - very smart on their part b/c it allows for more feedback on products and keeps customers happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    With all of that said --- YAY to the boxed banana bread mix! I did add one mashed ripe banana to the mix, and it tasted just like it was homemade from scratch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree, but I still can't put my finger on why going to TJ's is a treat and going to the regular grocery store is a chore. I will willingly go to TJ's at 8pm, but the other store? Never. And why I will buy things at TJ's that I would never look twice at in the other store--like frozen pie dough. I bought it and actually MADE a chicken pot pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think it has something to do with the promise of all those dark-chocolate-covered things. I never get out without one, and I sometimes think my trips to TJ's are just a search for the perfect dark chocolate delivery system.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think the LURE of TJ's is the reasonable size of the store, the exciting mix of products, which often have exotic flavors you want from a resto you go to, but you can heat up in your own home, nevermind that sometime's they don't deliver...) The reasonable prices - esp. for dairy and higher-end produce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Plus, the lighting is more flattering than a big giant grocery store!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        All in all, they have created a mini market with an upscale twist, while having a good customer service vibe - the sampling, the info on the board at checkout that let's you know clearly they will get another cashier if lines are long, and that someone is there to answer questions; and added, the return satifaction gaurantee. What other store offers these things at the price and variety that TJ's does?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There was a time in the early 90's, when myself and all my friends were developing gourmet food products, (I.e, salsas, pasta sauces, spreads, new hummus combo's) and several were in the game specifically to hope that TJ's would either take on their product, or buy the company after it's successful run as an independent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Then came the DARK years, where TJ's had those products sourced from independents, and proceeded to copy the product, push out the small producer, and bring on their own 'Trader Jose", Trader Ming", etc. and reproduce the out-sourced products.... that was a very tough time, when I never wanted to shop at TJ's, as they seemed to be killing inovation and good independents with good product ideas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        These days, TJ's appears to be on a wave of their own. Coming up with world-wide ideas that most of us have (in the US ) not even heard of, that now we want to eat! Speculoos spread! Yeah! Coconut Oil? What do I use it for? Many frozen aptz. that we want but don't want to make...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I laud the change from overlord of small purveyors, to originators. But, I do miss the chance to get my hot-buttered-rum mix (frozen) into all your houses at the holidays, via TJ's, before they took over my recipe and brand..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Another venue is going to suffice... :) And, I love TJ's, truly, and glad they are not killing small marketer's anymore. That was a tough time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My local TJ's (La Jolla, CA) is now about the same size as an urban grocery store. Same type of lighting, too. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They have, twice. They took over the space that was formerly occupied by the book store (which moved downstairs), then they took over the space occupied by the travel store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wow. i've only been gone for a couple of years and i'm so out of the loop! must be a great space....though i always despised that parking lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The parking lot has *not* been expanded. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That is the case of pretty much every trader joes. Most of the ones I've been have had parking lots from #{!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's pretty much par for the course for Trader Joe's. I can only think of one where there was abundant and easy parking and I've visited dozens of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This discussion of TJ parking is funny. I'm in the Northern VA area, where I've shopped at four TJ's over the years. Three of them -- Fairfax, Tysons Corner, and Reston -- have horrifically bad parking situations. Finally, the fourth one, which is now my regular TJs, in Centreville has decent parking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My wife was from Falls Church and before we moved to Seattle many years ago, we would go to the one off of Rt. 7 (is it still there?). That one had the absolutely worst parking I've ever seen at a TJs. Bad enough that I didn't want to go there. Best parking in the Seattle area is the Issaquah one. Plenty and easy to get in and out of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, that's the one I referred to as Tysons Corner. Still there. When I worked in FC I used to go to this one pretty regularly, and sometimes I had to park across Route 7, which as people familiar with the area know, requires either a long, safe walk or a shorter, very dangerous walk to get across the street.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And the TJs itself is small and always crowded, with long lines to check out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BTW, the parking lot across the street serves, among other stores, a Whole Foods (which was originally a FreshFields, one of the smaller chains WF has bought over the years). Yuppie heaven! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yup! Fresh Fields! I miss it... I noticed that when I was back a couple of years ago, they had expanded it quite a bit from the original footprint, but that whole area has crappy parking if I remember.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yep, Whole Foods expanded into the space formerly occupied by the late Crown Books (part of the former domain of the Fightin' Haft Family).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Parking is not great over there either, but it's way better than over at the TJs. It's funny, the parking at the Reston Whole Foods (also a former Fresh Fields) in Plaza America sucks too. You have to go farther out -- to the gorgeous Fair Lakes Whole Foods and my Centreville TJs -- to get decent parking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You are bringing back the memories! Crown Books! The Haft family (what was up with that hair!). Only thing good to come out of the Haft family was Total Beverage (not sure they own it anymore). I used to frequent the one in McLean. I hear they are rapidly expanding towards the west coast. I wouldn't mind seeing something like that out here. Now that they just changed the liquor laws here in WA state, we are likely to see booze in Trader Joe's next summer. That is going to be very interesting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        they just built a brand new one about 5 miles from me.(until fairly recently, the m.o, was to take over existing space in strip malls, but lately they've been building new spaces)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it used to be a parking lot.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        they managed to mess up the parking in a perfectly good parking lot!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i can't imagine how this happens--maybe it's part of the zany persona--survive the bumper cars outside in order to enjoy the goodies inside! ;->

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The new TJs here in Salem, OR took over part of what used to be an Albertson's Grocery Store, and the rest of the building is still up for lease, so there's plenty of parking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Big Yay to the TJ's Crescent Rolls - they were delicious, in my opinion the best I have tried out there on the market. We used these for our rolls for Thanksgiving, and all were impressed. Right as I pulled them out of the oven, I brushed a little bit of melted buttter over the tops of each for that glistening effect...they were melt-in-the-mouth good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay to the Chicken Tikka Masala dinner, had a nice kick to it which I was impressed that a frozen dinner could achieve. I liked they extra sauce that I was able to spoon over the cumin rice, and only wished that the rice was a bit more tender. The rice came out a little on the dry side despite following the cooking instructions. I would buy this frozen dinner again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I purchased these after reading the new Fearless Flyer, and apparently my sweet tooth got the best of me shopping today...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HUGE HUGE YAY and perhaps now one of my top 5 favorites...Peppermint Pretzel Slims. They take TJ's pretzel slims and coat them with what I think is white chocolate, then add on a few peppermint sprinkles. Sweet, salty, crunchy goodness...I ate over half a bag in one sitting. Addicitive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY to the Candy Cane Coal - tiny crunchy dark chocolate coated mint pebbles. Taste just like a crunchy York Peppermint Patty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY to the Classic Holiday Candy Mix - 5 flavors - here are my favorites in order: Lemon Ginger (lemon with a bit of a kick from the ginger at the end), Cherry Cream (tastes like a cherry cream soda), Pomegranate, Passion Fruit, and Cranberry Orange. Great to put out if you are having guests over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littlelflower, the "classic holiday candy mix" -- are these the half-round shaped chocolates from belgium? i had them a couple of years ago, though lempn ginger was not in the mix. great value.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They may have changed the name - the "Classic Holiday Candy Mix" that I just purchased has 5 different all natural (made with fruit/vegetable juices) hard candies. They are square shaped and don't contain chocolate. I love these - they are a great value at $1.99 per box. Although these don't match the description you mentioned, they are worth a try if you like fruit flavored candies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ok, yes….different. but i do like fruit candies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              those belgian chocolates were worth blowing a diet off for a while! tj's probably doesn't carry them anymore. http://www.google.com/imgres?q=trader...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ;-(.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Came across this blog post (not mine!) http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/tr... I think the first item is the one mentioned here (you can click on the link there to see the blogger's review).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ummm, thank you for that nice link. that is a good blog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and...thank you for ruining any chance of staying on a diet this season! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            lol...the choccie ones oughta be called Pretzel Fatties...addictive

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Just picked up the "A Dozen Sweet Bites" today. It has caramel custard cakes, raspberry and cream cakes, and chocolate/mocha cakes. All very tasty. Kind of a more gourmet version of the Swiss Colony petit fours I remember growing up. I recommend taking them out of the tray and transferring to a plate while they're still frozen, because once they thaw they're really soft and hard to grab. I put each one on a cupcake liner and moved to a flat plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. arugula and parmigiano reggiano ravioli, from italy, in the refrigerated case. YAAAAY!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OMG. So going to try this now... overall, I've been happy with their refridgerated pastas...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hey dommy! it doesn't make a lot, so see if one container will be enough for however many you are serving (because they will want more). i just did a brown butter - fresh sage sauce, and then threw in some fresh cherry tomato halves and parsley to brighten things up with a little green and acidity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll just be for me and P. and then we'll serve with a Salad/Veg. So it should be fine! Will be on the lookout tomorrow! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Nay to the Pretzel Slims...really disappointed because I loved the Peppermint Pretzel Slims which had a great saltiness to them. The regular Pretzel Slims tasted like crunchy cardboard - I could detect NO SALT on them! On closer inspection, there is only one or two flakes of salt on each pretzel, if that. Blah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay to the Peppermint Chocolate Cake that they were sampling in the store - moist chocolate cake (think devil's food in color/richness) with a white peppermint flavored icing. Pretty tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay in my opinion to the Potato Latkes that they were also sampling...maybe it was the way that they cooked it, but the sample that I tasted was dry and not appetizing. So much so that I doubt I will be purchasing these.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    These look fun. I've never dared buy them - is the chocolate of good quality?