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May 31, 2012 12:04 PM

Please don't pounce on me! I know there are lots of threads, and I regularly read the quarterly yays [Trader Joe's]

and nays, but what would you choose first at Trader Joe's? We have a new TJs opening in Fort Worth in two weeks -- and many of us are eagerly awaiting its arrival. Many of you have a great deal of experience shopping at TJs, but many of us here, including me, have never even been inside one.

Armed with your experience, if you had a TJs opening in your area, what would be your first choices, your must-haves, on Day One?

Thanks from all of us who look forward to your responses.

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  1. Wine, assuming Texas allows TJ's to sell it. To me, thats the best, most high value item in the store. The prices are amazing, $4 to $7 a bottle for very drinkable, good wine. Nero D'avola, Aglianico, Vinho Verde, Prosecco. (edit: avoid the "2 buck chuck")

    Other choices: saffron, fresh flowers, guacamole "kit", whatever snack/cookie item currently on special...

    1 Reply
    1. re: carolinadawg

      Yes, they'll have wine and beer, and I appreciate the specific suggestions, carolinadawg.

    2. Chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels. You'll find these in the frozen aisle above the coolers.
      Frozen veggies (especially the green beans).

      Once you have those, explore the store.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Dee S

        Those sound good, Dee. And I look forward to exploring the store.

        1. re: Dee S

          Oh yes, the frozen haricots verts. They usually have washed/trimmed fresh haricots verts in the produce section also, and they are much cheaper than any other store in my area.

        2. The precooked grilled chicken strips from the frozen aisle. You will never come home from work late and wonder what's for dinner again. Just nuke them, spread some refried beans on a tortilla, fold up with the chicken, and eat.

          Also agree with the wine rec--that is a real bargain, as is the beer.

          1 Reply
          1. another vote for the wine, with a caveat. if you don't know the good from the bad, ask whomever handles the department to guide you to some tasty bottles - they do carry some good wines at great prices, but they also stock a fair bit of plonk.

            my faves:
            - bags of nuts, seeds and dried fruit
            - organic almond butter
            - Pound Plus chocolate bars
            - canned beans, sardines, tuna & salmon (BPA-free cans!)
            - bagged teas
            - dark chocolate-covered ginger
            - plain kefir
            - kumatos (brown tomatoes)
            - white balsamic vinegar
            - organic lemons & limes

            Mom & Sis absolutely love:
            - the Fillo Factory frozen spinach pie (not the individual spanakopita triangles)
            - frozen Kobe burgers
            - dark chocolate mint creams
            - Highbrow chocolate chip cookies
            - Cinnamon Roll Bread (not cinnamon swirl, cinnamon ROLL)
            - Balade light butter with sea salt

            i know there are more, but those are some of the highlights in our house...and if you're a dog family i can recommend some treats.

            10 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              They're not really Kobe, are they? I have Wagyu now, but not impressed. I have a doctor appt in two weeks which alway coincides with a trip to TJs and Whole Foods (directly across from each other, 5 minutes away from doc). A nice reward for an otherwise crumby day.

              1. re: coll

                they're Wagyu, but the product name is American-Style Kobe Beef Burgers. and they're honestly too fatty for my taste, but i'm in the minority in this house.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I know this is far off when this was posted... but do they still make "Cinnamon ROLL bread"--I feel like I have only seen cinnamon swirl bread (I am wondering if it would be good for the overnight-french toast recipe I use for company!).

                  1. re: GraceW

                    For me, Cinnamon Roll Bread is over the top, too sticky and sweet, but it's regularly stocked at the local TJ's (in NYC).

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Those Pound Plus bars are the greatest thing ever. We keep a stash in the house for baking. Went through a bunch over Christmas. Quality chocolate for cheap.

                    1. re: mtoo

                      Me too. Love those Pound Plus bars for baking.

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      GHG, I know you are one of the experts here on TJ's items and I saw in this thread that you like the bagged teas. Which kinds do you purchase, and if you have tried the green teas which is best? I have tried the English Breakfast (it's pretty good) which I am working my way through now. Also, any teas to avoid in particular? Thanks in advance.

                      1. re: littleflower

                        i like their decaf green, organic green, jasmine green, peppermint, and Irish breakfast. and if you like yerba maté, they sell the Guayakí for a really good price. i don't really do sweeter flavored tea, but my sis likes the decaf candy cane green and the organic ginger pear white. i'm also a big fan of the ginger Yogi Tea - again, a better price at TJ's than other places.

                        i don't recall ever having a bad experience with their teas. the coffee, however, is another story ;)

                    3. Thanks for all the great resposes so far!

                      If others have additional suggestions, we'd be thrilled to have them.