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Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

greygarious Jul 3, 2012 07:08 AM

There was some complaining about the quarterly division but since no one took the initiative to post a monthly version (an idea which had detractors), here's a new edition of the established format.

  1. j
    John Francis Jul 4, 2012 07:57 AM

    Yea - Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. TJ's sold its own until a year or two ago when they switched to some other brand. Now they're rolling their own, but it's almost identical in every way with the other brand, including the packaging. Which is good. I could do without the dollop of smashed red pepper in the center, but it's easily scooped out.

    1. Savour Jul 4, 2012 11:09 AM

      Yea to the smooth and creamy cilantro jalapeno hummus. Spicy enough but not too spicy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Savour
        aching Aug 21, 2012 04:38 PM

        I was served this at someone's house and thought it was incredible, then went through a container a week for about six weeks straight, and now feel kind of nauseated even thinking about it. But I think that's my fault, not the hummus's!

        1. re: Savour
          w
          wildehare Aug 24, 2012 06:25 PM

          Seconded. This stuff is amazing...I served it to guests and they couldn't stop dipping.

          1. re: wildehare
            m
            MysticYoYo Sep 5, 2012 08:14 PM

            The Mediterranean Hummus is just... okay. Nothing special, and I love Hummus.

        2. j
          John Francis Jul 4, 2012 04:24 PM

          Nay - Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs. Nobody liked the chicken hot dogs, and these are worse - the same off flavor and a texture with a very unpleasant "mouth feel." After all this, it's back to the uncured beef hot dogs, which are really very good - but of course they're beef.

          Yea - Fruit & Nut Trek Mix Granola Bars. Cranberries, raisins, dried cherries almonds, brown rice. Flavorful but not too sweet.

          1. j
            John Francis Jul 5, 2012 08:23 AM

            Yea - Seasoned Roast Beef. Another in the line of meat cold cuts that TJ's has been rolling out - it's not just sliced roast beef but seasoned with a bit of vinegar, kosher salt, onion powder, and garlic powder - a rub, I guess - and the slices are just the right size and shape for sandwiches.

            Yea - Dry Roasted/Salted Pistachio Nutmeats (Halves & Pieces). TJ also sells whole pistachios in their shells and unsalted nutmeats. These are delicious.

            Yea - Dry Roasted Pignolias (pine nuts). It's a commodity but you don't find pine nuts in every supermarket, and these are much smaller than the usual ones, "Product of Korea, Russia, and Vietnam - Roasted in the U.S."

            22 Replies
            1. re: John Francis
              l
              littleflower Jul 5, 2012 01:18 PM

              Speaking of TJ's cold cuts, I have to meh/nay their oven roasted turkey breast. Although some slices were okay, we noticed pieces that were sort of slimy and not appetizing to eat - will stick to the Applegate Farms Roasted Turkey Breast that TJ's sells even though it is a dollar more expensive.

              1. re: John Francis
                t
                thursday Jul 7, 2012 02:13 PM

                +1 on the pine nuts. I often roast my own walnuts, almonds, etc. because they're cheaper to buy raw and seems like they last longer (they probably don't), but pine nuts are so easy to burn or cook unevenly...These pine nuts are great to have on hand for quick hits of nutty protein into boring pasta dishes or salads.

                http://strangeandyummy.com

                1. re: John Francis
                  t
                  thesunflower Sep 9, 2012 06:49 PM

                  be careful of their pine nuts; for some they leave a lingering (3-10 day) metallic taste in mouth; something about the specific small pine nuts that cause the problem

                  1. re: thesunflower
                    j
                    John Francis Sep 9, 2012 10:17 PM

                    Haven't noticed this myself. Never eat them raw and usually cook them in recipes, which might mask such a taste if it's there.

                    1. re: John Francis
                      v
                      Vidute Sep 9, 2012 11:35 PM

                      It's called pine mouth and occurs with asian pine nuts.

                      http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm247099.htm

                      http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012...

                    2. re: thesunflower
                      NuMystic Sep 10, 2012 04:17 AM

                      I'm familiar with the whole pine mouth issue, but are you saying you've specifically heard reports of people experiencing it from these exact dry roasted pignolias bought at TJ's?

                      1. re: NuMystic
                        goodhealthgourmet Sep 10, 2012 04:26 PM

                        i experienced it first-hand from the ones at TJ's.

                        1. re: NuMystic
                          clubtraderjoes Sep 12, 2012 10:23 AM

                          Look on the bag. Either they are from somewhere in Europe or they are from China. If they are from China, watch out for Pine Nut Mouth. It doesn't bother me, but YMMV. Every bag I've seen from Trader Joe's is from China.

                          www.clubtraderjoes.com

                          1. re: clubtraderjoes
                            NuMystic Sep 12, 2012 10:47 AM

                            My package of the Dry Toasted Pignolias says "Product of Korea, Russia, and Vietnam, Roased in the USA."

                            1. re: NuMystic
                              clubtraderjoes Sep 12, 2012 03:02 PM

                              Yup, those are all the Asian variety. You want the European pine nuts.

                              1. re: clubtraderjoes
                                v
                                Vidute Sep 13, 2012 03:13 AM

                                Ummmm.......technically, Russia is in Europe. :)

                                1. re: Vidute
                                  goodhealthgourmet Sep 14, 2012 11:49 AM

                                  true. but unfortunately, even the ones that are harvested in Russia are often exported to China for processing/shelling/packaging, and then exported from there...and in the process, they can get mixed with the Chinese varieties.

                                  you might be interested in this:
                                  http://pinenutsyndrome.wordpress.com/...

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                    v
                                    Vidute Sep 15, 2012 03:49 AM

                                    gotcha. I'm one of those who has the sensitivity. I miss my pignoli.

                                    1. re: Vidute
                                      goodhealthgourmet Sep 15, 2012 07:15 AM

                                      you & me both!

                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                      NuMystic Sep 20, 2012 11:26 AM

                                      For those that don't want to bother reading the article, the key sentence is:

                                      "The case of Trader Joe’s pine nuts being a ‘product of Russia and/or Korea’ is moot, as 7 samples of Trader Joe’s pine nuts collected contained the same compositional mixture of P. koraiensis, P. sibirica and P. armandii pine nuts (the last of which is responsible for the taste disturbance)."

                                      All I needed to know. My unopened package is going back as I'm not about to take even a tiny chance of causing a dinner guest to suffer through pine mouth for weeks to save me a few dollars.

                                      Thanks for posting that article!

                                      1. re: NuMystic
                                        goodhealthgourmet Sep 20, 2012 02:08 PM

                                        glad it was helpful - i got pine mouth from the TJ's nuts, so i'll do what i can to prevent other Hounds from enduring the same misery!

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                          NuMystic Sep 23, 2012 10:21 PM

                                          So have you found a reliable source for the non-asian varieties? I'm fine with mail ordering in bulk if the price is worth it.

                                          1. re: NuMystic
                                            goodhealthgourmet Sep 24, 2012 06:51 AM

                                            if you can wait a few weeks, you can order some from this year's US crops (N Mex, Nev and Col):
                                            http://www.pinonnuts.com/products.html
                                            http://www.pinenut.com/pine-nuts-sale...

                                            read the fine print - they do offer some Russian options, so make sure you're selecting US-grown products, and if you don't want to shell them yourself, be sure to choose the shelled ones.

                                    3. re: Vidute
                                      c
                                      calny Sep 20, 2012 09:37 AM

                                      Moscow and St. Petersburg may be in Europe, but a significant portion of Russia is definitely in Asia.

                                      1. re: calny
                                        v
                                        Vidute Sep 20, 2012 09:45 PM

                                        True.

                                      2. re: Vidute
                                        b
                                        Bkeats Sep 29, 2012 05:47 PM

                                        Technically, I believe west of the Caucasus is Europe, east is Asia. Russia straddles two continents. You do know that Russia has a pacific coastline?

                                        1. re: Bkeats
                                          v
                                          Vidute Oct 1, 2012 01:11 AM

                                          Along with a sliver of stolen Baltic.

                          2. l
                            littleflower Jul 5, 2012 01:12 PM

                            HUGE yay to the Bavarian Bratwursts...wow - delicious flavor, went great with eggs (had them for breakfast) and not greasy as I tend to notice regular sausage links can be. This will go on our repeat buy list - only regret is that we didn't try them sooner!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: littleflower
                              j
                              John Francis Jul 13, 2012 03:01 AM

                              TJ's Bavarian bratwurst, actually Nürnberger Rostbratwurst, is much smaller than typical German brats, about the size of a breakfast link sausage, and TJ's looks like a weisswurst. According to Wikipedia, TJ's package of 8 sausages would be a single serving over there, as a main dish, and I wouldn't bother to heat & eat less than four. The flavor is excellent, as everybody says, but I want more sausage for my money.

                              1. re: John Francis
                                Gio Aug 22, 2012 11:47 AM

                                Yay for the Nürnberger Rostbratwurst from me too. Yes they're smaller than I expected but I made a 30-minutes cassoulet from a Jacques Pepin cookbook, Fast Food My Way (pg. 167 if you have the book). They worked very well for this quick and easy recipe that includes three different kinds of meat... so they added their flavor to the whole.

                            2. Rilke Jul 5, 2012 05:59 PM

                              Has anyone tried the "Gourmet Chicken Meatballs" in the refrigerated prepared section? The sun-dried tomato variety was tempting.

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: Rilke
                                Dommy Jul 6, 2012 09:09 AM

                                They are much better than the frozen ones, but not by much. They have more meaty texture, but a true meatball texture? Not really. Also, they are very salty...

                                --Dommy!

                                1. re: Dommy
                                  Rilke Jul 6, 2012 08:19 PM

                                  Thanks Dommy. Not a big fan of very salty. The soup suggestion below sounds good though.

                                  1. re: Dommy
                                    l
                                    littleflower Jul 7, 2012 12:17 PM

                                    Dommy, chez cherie and anyone else who has tried these - is the cheese from the provolone very pronounced in those chicken meatballs? I would prefer it not to be...thanks in advance.

                                    1. re: littleflower
                                      c
                                      chez cherie Jul 7, 2012 02:57 PM

                                      i wouldn't say the provolone is the most prominent flavor.

                                      1. re: chez cherie
                                        l
                                        littleflower Jul 10, 2012 08:24 AM

                                        thanks for the update on it...we'll give the meatballs a try

                                  2. re: Rilke
                                    c
                                    chez cherie Jul 6, 2012 09:37 AM

                                    pretty highly seasoned. i make a great quick soup by simmering them in tj chicken broth, adding a handful of arugula at the end, to wilt it. grate a little tuscan pepper cheese over the top=yum!

                                    1. re: chez cherie
                                      opinionatedchef Jul 6, 2012 10:13 AM

                                      smart girl you!

                                      1. re: chez cherie
                                        l
                                        littleflower Jul 6, 2012 10:49 AM

                                        Okay, there is only one word to describe that chez cherie - YUM! You have persuaded me to buy these chicken meatballs (I had been eyeing them for awhile now in the store) just to try this and I personally like things a little on the salty side.

                                        1. re: chez cherie
                                          Rilke Jul 6, 2012 08:19 PM

                                          Genius.

                                          1. re: Rilke
                                            sunangelmb Jul 26, 2012 03:24 PM

                                            Those chicken meatballs are the only 'meatball' I can get my 12 year old picky eater to eat. Thy are quick and easy, plus not much fat or calorie bombs. I say yea

                                          2. re: chez cherie
                                            pdxgastro Aug 25, 2012 05:54 PM

                                            Add some orzo pasta and you'd have Italian Wedding soup (which refers to a wedding of flavors, not a marriage).

                                          3. re: Rilke
                                            trolley Aug 3, 2012 03:44 PM

                                            they're like salt balls. i love salt and they were way too salty for me.

                                          4. j
                                            John Francis Jul 6, 2012 06:51 AM

                                            Yea - Fully Cooked Falafel (frozen). It's not low fat or low sodium, but it's delicious. I often heat up one or two for a quick snack.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: John Francis
                                              Rilke Jul 6, 2012 07:14 AM

                                              I was thinking about posting about these. I've had a bag in my freezer for months, but I just tried them earlier this week. Scrumptious!

                                              I heated up three, cut them into fourths, and put them on a salad. All other ingredients from TJ's too: arugula (rocket), halved mini heirloom tomatoes, halved marinated ciliegine mozzarella (Aiello brand), dressed with tzatziki sauce to complement the falafel. One of the best salads I've made at home.

                                              1. re: John Francis
                                                b
                                                butterfat Jul 24, 2012 09:48 AM

                                                These are a summer staple for us. I often eat them with a greek salad or TJ's dolmas and a quickly thrown together tzatziki.

                                                1. re: John Francis
                                                  NuMystic Sep 4, 2012 04:57 AM

                                                  Having bought these based on the recommendation here just wanted to offer a cautionary counterpoint to those that are used to getting falafel fresh on a regular basis.

                                                  My wife and I found these entirely unappetizing.

                                                  Flavor is adequate if salty, but where it complete falls down is texture. Ridiculously heavy and dense for falafel and we've eaten hundreds of varying qualities living in NYC. (greek, israeli, halal, turkish and franchise)

                                                  We enjoy falafel enough to tolerate all but the very worst, which unfortunately is the category we have to place TJ's even with the proportionately lowered expectations being frozen.

                                                  I'd choose any one of the many instant mixes over this if I needed a falafel fix and didn't have time to make it from scratch.

                                                  1. re: NuMystic
                                                    j
                                                    John Francis Sep 4, 2012 06:10 AM

                                                    There's no arguing about tastes, of course, but I lived amid a half-dozen middle eastern restaurants in Brooklyn Heights/Carroll Gardens for 20 years, and the TJ falafel compares well with most of the falafel I ate there. If not then I wouldn't have recommended it.

                                                    The falafel mixes may well give better results. I wouldn't know, as I don't do deep fat frying, and if I did, that would be too much trouble when I can get falafel that satisfies me for a few minutes in the toaster oven.

                                                    1. re: John Francis
                                                      NuMystic Sep 4, 2012 06:35 AM

                                                      Of course taste is subjective but can you honestly tell me that you don't find these heavier and far more dense than what you had served in restaurants? If so, I'm shocked as I've had falafel plenty of times in that very neighborhood and we found these to be leaden by comparison to the light fluffy fare available pretty much everywhere in NY these days.

                                                      As for the mix reference, they can be made in a matter of minutes without deep frying using only a scant 1/4" of oil in a pan. Heck, for how dense these were I've attempted baked falafel that came out marginally better.

                                                      As you said, taste is subjective, though a specific quality like density is objectively quantifiable. I have no doubt that a scale would bear out our experience when literally weighed against fresh ones of similar size from any of our local eateries. I could feel that from the moment they came out of the bag!

                                                      I do envy your enjoying them. We would have been delighted to have a ready to reheat option from the freezer, hence our giving them a shot.

                                                      1. re: NuMystic
                                                        b
                                                        butterfat Sep 7, 2012 10:19 AM

                                                        I agree they are really dense and I do miss the light crisp quality of fresh well-made falafel. I suppose for me the flavor is enough to make them a serviceable addition to a salad or plate of snacks, but they are not something to really savor on their own. Sorry they didn't work for you :(

                                                      2. re: John Francis
                                                        carminabee Sep 23, 2012 11:51 AM

                                                        John Francis, I've had moderate success in oven baking falafels. It's definitely not the same as frying but when I haven't wanted to make a big oily mess, it's worked.

                                                      3. re: NuMystic
                                                        carminabee Sep 23, 2012 11:50 AM

                                                        NuMystic, I totally agree with you and am so surprised that anyone familiar with good falafel finds this acceptable. I bought a package for a quick appetizer for my book club and was so disappointed upon tasting them I almost threw them out. I realized my friends were good cooks themselves and also avid TJ fans so I decided to serve them, realizing that my palate isn't the end all be all of taste and we could all learn a little. Not one of my guests liked them enough to buy them. The biggest complaint was the doughy, leaden texture and flat taste. I know there is plenty of variance in falafel styles; this one didn't do it for us.

                                                    2. opinionatedchef Jul 6, 2012 10:18 AM

                                                      grey, you might want to ask the mods to put this link to the 2nd qrtr TJ thread- in your opening post for this thread. thx for keeping up the thread!

                                                      TJ 2nd Quarter 2012:
                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841887

                                                      1. s
                                                        sciencediet Jul 6, 2012 04:27 PM

                                                        Yea to the white corn grits! They are supposed to be the takes-forever-to-cook kind, but I made them in the rice cooker and it can't have taken more than 15 minutes.

                                                        I like those falafels too--nice on a pita with some lettuce and tomatoes and the white bean hummus.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: sciencediet
                                                          coney with everything Jul 9, 2012 04:57 AM

                                                          Thanks for the suggestion of grits in the rice cooker, we bought these grits a while ago but have yet to cook them. Using the rice cooker sounds like a great idea!

                                                          1. re: sciencediet
                                                            b
                                                            butterfat Jul 24, 2012 09:50 AM

                                                            love the grits. I think I wrote about them last quarter, but I follow the package cooking directions and they turn out great (but I double or triple the amounts to have leftovers). They are fabulous topped with grilled veggies, caramelized onions, cheese, and TJ"s habanero hot sauce. Yum. For my husband I quickly sauté some minced garlic and jalapeño for him to stir into his.

                                                            1. re: sciencediet
                                                              carminabee Sep 23, 2012 11:54 AM

                                                              I was amazed at how much I loved the white corn grits. I expected them to be just like polenta but somehow I just so much prefer these grits. With my leftovers, I made oven baked croutons for soup and they were exceptional!

                                                            2. Bob Brooks Jul 7, 2012 01:52 PM

                                                              Yea to the Lamb Vindaloo. In the frozen section. Wonderfully spicy.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Bob Brooks
                                                                m
                                                                mspresque Aug 15, 2012 05:51 AM

                                                                yea to lamb vindaloo as well. Atleast have one every week for lunch. Needs a touch of salt in the curry though and its perfect.

                                                              2. c
                                                                Chi_Guy Jul 7, 2012 02:06 PM

                                                                Yay - Cocoa almond spread. Tasty and a nice change of pace from Nutella.

                                                                Mini brie bites. Creamy and luscious, esp at room temperature.

                                                                Nay - Eggplant garlic spread. Disgusting, takes like snot. Had to throw the entire jar out because no one would go near it.

                                                                1. l
                                                                  littleflower Jul 7, 2012 02:32 PM

                                                                  Yay to the Dark Chocolate Honey Mints...this one surprised me, since I normally am not a huge dark chocolate fan. The center is as soft as can be with a good peppermint flavor and a very subtle (almost unnoticeable) undertone of honey taste to it. The peppermint flavor balances beautifully with the dark chocolate. These are on the rich side, and was satisfied eating just one at a time.

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                    Rilke Jul 9, 2012 07:49 PM

                                                                    They are even better refrigerated.

                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                      s
                                                                      sciencediet Jul 12, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                                      I just tried these, based on your recommendation; when I first saw them I wondered why the heck dark chocolate needed honey, but you're right, it's barely there. They are basically York peppermint patties with a college degree. And I found I needed two.

                                                                      1. re: sciencediet
                                                                        w
                                                                        walker Jul 12, 2012 09:58 AM

                                                                        These are incredibly delicious; I don't know how I stopped at 2 (out of the whole pkg.) and gave the rest away so I wouldn't hog them down.

                                                                      2. re: littleflower
                                                                        themis Jul 14, 2012 11:00 AM

                                                                        I didn't like these, actually. I really appreciate that they're just three ingredients, and I like the balance between honey and peppermint flavor - but the dark chocolate portion is incredibly bitter - has no sweetness whatsoever. Can't bite or nibble them the way I can an actual peppermint patty because when it's just the chocolate on my tongue I want to spit it out. I might try freezing and chopping them for a mint chocolate ice cream mix-in, otherwise they'll never get used.

                                                                        1. re: themis
                                                                          l
                                                                          littleflower Jul 15, 2012 03:33 PM

                                                                          I can see where some think the dark chocolate is rather bitter. The dark chocolate coating on its own is fairly strong (well, I think it's because I am used to the milder flavor of milk chocolate) but when I bite into the mint and get a good combination of the chocolate and the mint center I personally thought they were very tasty and addictive.

                                                                          1. re: themis
                                                                            Rilke Jul 15, 2012 05:16 PM

                                                                            I went in knowing I wasn't getting a York pattie, and I like them both in their own way. These will not satisfy anyone looking for the York ones.

                                                                            Try freezing them (or just refrigerating them) and see if you like them any better. For some reason a bit of cold takes off the edge of the bitterness for me.

                                                                          2. re: littleflower
                                                                            k
                                                                            kinnickinnik Sep 8, 2012 09:19 PM

                                                                            YAY indeed - SO just came home with these - very nice flavour, and very satisfying

                                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                                              AmyH Sep 16, 2012 06:10 PM

                                                                              I agree, the dark chocolate honey mints are delicious! Amazing that the could make a candy like this out of just 3 ingredients.

                                                                            2. greygarious Jul 8, 2012 11:50 AM

                                                                              The newish almond croissants were mentioned last quarter but the TJ's I usually use did not carry them. More recently I got to one that does. These are outstanding - same packaging and baking directions as the frozen chocolate ones.

                                                                              I bought months ago, but just opened, the jar of sliced sun-dried tomatoes. I like them way better than the whole ones in the BIG jar that Costco sells. Costco's are darker and can be pretty leathery. TJ's are lighter in color and taste fresher - a better choice when making a super-fast

                                                                              dish of pasta sauced with a mixture of cooked onion, garlic, SDT, red pepper flakes, anchovy paste, and cheese. Gotta love that wide-mouthed, shoulderless Costco jar, though....

                                                                              1. tazia Jul 9, 2012 07:32 AM

                                                                                A number of relatively recent additions have made it into our regular rotation:

                                                                                Almondictive bits: these are fantastic; salty, sweet, and made with decent dark chocolate. These are my treat of choice now.

                                                                                Chickenless Mandarin Orange Morsels: vegetarian protein main dish that's easy to throw together for dinner and quite good. I usually add some of the soyaki sauce since the mandarin orange is a bit sweet on its own. One bag is a bit measly though, and we have to put two together to feed two of us, which leaves us with like half a serving of leftovers.

                                                                                Crispy Chickenless Tenders: fantastic dipped in the Sweet n' Hot mustard. I am quite sure these are rebranded versions of the Gardein Seven Grain tenders. $2.99 vs. the $5.49 for Gardein at Whole Foods. I was thrilled when I saw these are the same thing.

                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                1. re: tazia
                                                                                  Rilke Jul 9, 2012 07:52 PM

                                                                                  My mom bought me some Admondictive Bits. I shoved them, unopened, to the back of the freezer. They look and sound like everything that is right with the world and I am afraid to get, well, addicted. Almondicted.

                                                                                  1. re: Rilke
                                                                                    c
                                                                                    christy319 Jul 18, 2012 02:22 PM

                                                                                    Along the same lines, I just tried the choc covered sunflower seeds after a co-worker raved about them. Meh. Not worth the calories.

                                                                                    1. re: christy319
                                                                                      Rilke Jul 18, 2012 05:48 PM

                                                                                      I like those :(

                                                                                  2. re: tazia
                                                                                    AmyH Aug 24, 2012 06:00 PM

                                                                                    I couldn't find anything called "Almondictive Bits" at my local store. I did get some dark chocolate almond bits. Are those the same? They're good. Very good, really. But I keep wondering if I missed something even better.

                                                                                    1. re: AmyH
                                                                                      Rilke Aug 24, 2012 06:36 PM

                                                                                      Yes, they were renamed for whatever reason.

                                                                                      1. re: Rilke
                                                                                        AmyH Aug 24, 2012 07:14 PM

                                                                                        So the current name is Dark Chocolate Almond Bits? Or I'm eating old stock?

                                                                                        1. re: AmyH
                                                                                          Rilke Aug 24, 2012 07:48 PM

                                                                                          That's the current name :-) The original was Almondictive Bits.

                                                                                          1. re: Rilke
                                                                                            AmyH Aug 25, 2012 07:49 AM

                                                                                            That's good! It's a brand new store so I was hoping all the stock was new, too. They are delicious. Unfortunately my teenage sons have discovered how tasty they are!

                                                                                  3. LaLa Jul 9, 2012 05:04 PM

                                                                                    yea:Trader Joe's Smooth and Creamy Spicy Hummus...seriously like crack

                                                                                    yea:cat cookies for people...oh my

                                                                                    Yea: Trader Joe's Mini Cheddar Chipotle Potato Bites

                                                                                    great little party bite

                                                                                    yeaish: Trader Joe's Arancini Bites

                                                                                    good if you are just eating one or two...

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: LaLa
                                                                                      Rilke Jul 9, 2012 07:51 PM

                                                                                      I kept two tubs of the cat cookies for people in my classroom one year and handed them out to students periodically. Very popular.

                                                                                      1. re: LaLa
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        christy319 Jul 18, 2012 02:23 PM

                                                                                        I had that same feeling after trying an Arancini--one was pretty good, but I didn't want any more.

                                                                                      2. f
                                                                                        FitMom4Life Jul 9, 2012 07:57 PM

                                                                                        Almond Butter with Roasted Flax Seeds....totally addicting!

                                                                                        1. g
                                                                                          givemecarbs Jul 10, 2012 03:11 AM

                                                                                          Picked up some strawberries. TJ's version of cool whip and some fat free angel cake to assemble a lovely light dessert. This made four decent servings of strawberry cake but I did stretch it with three very small sliced peaches from a roadside stand.
                                                                                          This went over so well that I'm tempted to buy the ingredients again today. Easy, light, and didn't heat up the house!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                                            l
                                                                                            littleflower Jul 10, 2012 08:19 AM

                                                                                            Good to hear a review on the angel food cake...we were tempted to buy it before - will have to give it a try now that I hear at least one person enjoyed it!

                                                                                          2. c
                                                                                            chez cherie Jul 10, 2012 08:26 AM

                                                                                            this just in (at my store, anyway)---smoked paprika! so happy to see this, as i use it a lot in tapas and other dishes where i want a subtle smokiness. up until now, it has been a bit hard to find, so thanks, joe!
                                                                                            tonight it's gazpacho with crab, with a lovely dusting of smoked paprika. perfect for what promises to be a scorcher.

                                                                                            1. l
                                                                                              laliz Jul 10, 2012 01:25 PM

                                                                                              TJs frozen mac and cheese.

                                                                                              Never had it, they were giving samples on Sunday and it was delish. warning. One pkg = 1 serving at my house.

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: laliz
                                                                                                coney with everything Jul 11, 2012 05:22 AM

                                                                                                ah, you've discovered crack and cheese...my kid inhales it so I don't buy it much.

                                                                                                1. re: laliz
                                                                                                  v
                                                                                                  Val Jul 17, 2012 01:44 PM

                                                                                                  Do you mean the "Joe's Diner" mac & cheese? It really is great!

                                                                                                  1. re: Val
                                                                                                    opinionatedchef Jul 18, 2012 12:23 AM

                                                                                                    val, what cheeses are in it plse? thx.

                                                                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                      v
                                                                                                      Val Jul 18, 2012 06:17 AM

                                                                                                      Listed: cheddar, havarti, gouda and swiss.

                                                                                                  2. re: laliz
                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                    CurlieGlamourGirlie Aug 2, 2012 12:02 PM

                                                                                                    I actually can't get enough of the reduced-guilt mac and cheese. Find it just as tasty. My kid and I gobble it up together.

                                                                                                  3. c
                                                                                                    Craig234 Jul 11, 2012 02:11 PM

                                                                                                    Yea - Speculoos cookie butter, sort of a cookie dough flavor peanut butter.

                                                                                                    Yea - imported milk chocolate covered cherries; I normally don't like milk much compared to dark but these are great and better than the dark

                                                                                                    Yea - Dark chocolate covered mints, just good

                                                                                                    Yea - Sublime ice cream cookie sandwhiches

                                                                                                    Nay - the TJ version of Fruit Loops cereal, had a chemical harsh aftertaste

                                                                                                    Nay - the turkey meatballs were just a bit disappointing

                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                      John Francis Jul 12, 2012 07:56 AM

                                                                                                      Nay - Mushroom Ravioli (frozen). Nothing really wrong with it but very little flavor. The packaging mentions truffles but the "truffle oil" in the ingredients list is sunflower oil and "white truffle flavor."

                                                                                                      Nay - Roasted Potatoes with Roasted Peppers and Onions. Again, nothing wrong, nothing special. The packet of chopped peppers and onions, added in the last two minutes in the skillet don't flavor the potatoes, and the recommended cooking time of 14-16 minutes on medium high heat is too long or too hot; I killed the heat at 12 minutes as the potatoes were about to burn.

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                        Dommy Jul 12, 2012 09:05 AM

                                                                                                        Actually, that is what truffle oil is. A neutral oil+ White Truffle 'essense', which essentially is synethetic truffle flavor.

                                                                                                        --Dommy!

                                                                                                        1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                          John Francis Jul 12, 2012 11:05 PM

                                                                                                          Thanks, I didn't know that - always thought that truffle oil is, well, truffle oil.

                                                                                                          1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                            greygarious Jul 13, 2012 07:48 AM

                                                                                                            The brouhaha that goes on in culinary circles over truffle oil is about the "genuine" article, which is oil infused with actual truffles, as Dommy mentioned, and artificial stuff in which the truffle flavor is a chemical compound created by science. Some people claim it tastes like kerosene while others experience it as a decent facsimile of the real stuff.

                                                                                                            1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                              John Francis Jul 13, 2012 09:52 AM

                                                                                                              Thanks again. In this case I couldn't taste anything at all.

                                                                                                      2. g
                                                                                                        givemecarbs Jul 14, 2012 01:42 AM

                                                                                                        Well I finally got around to making my variety pak of croissants. Two chocolate and two almond were left out to rise overnight. The chocolate ones plumped up more and also took longer to cook.
                                                                                                        This worked out well for my friend and I as we had the almond croissants first and then took a break before inhaling the still warm chocolate ones. This experiment bears repeating, the croissants are again rising through the night. Talk about joy in the morning!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                                                          AmyH Aug 19, 2012 07:12 AM

                                                                                                          We had a "variety pack" of both the chocolate and almond croissants for breakfast this morning. Absolutely delicious. The kids loved them. They seemed to prefer the chocolate but I liked the almond better. Like yours, our chocolate ones also plumped more, but I baked them the same amount of time since they were all on the same pan. We will definitely be having these again, although not too often due to the calories.

                                                                                                        2. m
                                                                                                          mrsjoujou Jul 14, 2012 05:37 PM

                                                                                                          Nay- A dozen sweet bites. The selling point was, it is made in France. The box has four of the following:
                                                                                                          Chocolate and coffee" opera" cake- This was the only good one with a good coffee flavor
                                                                                                          Raspberry"Macaron Aux Framboises" cake- This one tasted like a cheap birthday cake
                                                                                                          Caramel and chocolate cake- The top layer of this one reminded me of an eggy creme brulee.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: mrsjoujou
                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                            christy319 Jul 17, 2012 03:56 PM

                                                                                                            Wow, I am really surprised to hear this! I love those and am VERY picky about my sweets. Our TJ's doesn't even carry these anymore and I am very disappointed about this.

                                                                                                            1. re: christy319
                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                              mrsjoujou Jul 18, 2012 10:19 AM

                                                                                                              When I was checking out I asked the cashier, if he has tried this product and he said he tried it a couple nights ago and only liked one of them. I guess we are all different.

                                                                                                          2. j
                                                                                                            John Francis Jul 15, 2012 10:35 PM

                                                                                                            Yea - Spanakopita (frozen). The cheese is a mix of feta and ricotta, less authentic maybe but it cooks up well - 20 minutes or so in the toaster oven. Precut into triangles. Very tasty.

                                                                                                            1. v
                                                                                                              vttp926 Jul 17, 2012 06:16 PM

                                                                                                              Meh to the sweetened dried strawberries. They really aren't sweet to me. Not like how a nice fresh ripe strawberry is. The texture is fine though.

                                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                                mishaps Jul 18, 2012 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                New to my house:

                                                                                                                Nay - Pad Thai Noodles in a box: I had low hopes for this, and it was even worse than I expected.

                                                                                                                Yay - Frozen southwestern chicken quesadillas. Fast and better than the ones at my local burrito joint. I serve them with some sour cream on the side.

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: mishaps
                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                  CurlieGlamourGirlie Aug 2, 2012 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                  +1 on the quesadillas. These are a freezer staple in my house.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mishaps
                                                                                                                    woodleyparkhound Aug 18, 2012 08:31 PM

                                                                                                                    Couldn't agree more about the utter vileness of the Pad Thai Noodles in a box - just shockingly horrific. Equally bad are the other meals in a box with the same brand name and sold in the same area. I bought one of each - probably the biggest error in judgment I've ever made at TJ's!

                                                                                                                    1. re: mishaps
                                                                                                                      aching Aug 21, 2012 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                      I really like those quesadillas too. I do find that they have a slightly sweet aftertaste that I could do without, but they are nonetheless delicious and quite a bargain.

                                                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                                                      John Francis Jul 18, 2012 09:24 PM

                                                                                                                      Yea - Mushroom Turnovers (frozen). Sautéed mushrooms and onions in a cream cheese pastry. Bite sized, a neat appetizer, but it's hard to eat just one.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                                        CurlieGlamourGirlie Aug 2, 2012 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                        +1 I love love love these.

                                                                                                                        1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie
                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                          Michele72 Aug 10, 2012 08:15 PM

                                                                                                                          I think they put something illegal and addictive in these things. AHMAZING.

                                                                                                                      2. Rilke Jul 20, 2012 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                        Yea - Le Delice de Bourgogne triple cream soft cheese. Apparently this isn't new, but I never noticed it before. Wonderful buttery flavor. I like it even better than the triple cream Brie. Just enjoyed it on some crusty bread; now going to try it on TJ's rosemary crisps.

                                                                                                                        1. opinionatedchef Jul 21, 2012 12:05 AM

                                                                                                                          while it's likely this is not new, I was REAlly impressed (go ahead, shoot me now) with the frozen Kung Pao Chicken. The chicken itself is very moist and i can't believe it, but i really like the sauce (though i know it's sweeter than in china, it was not cloying to me)and peanuts. The veggies are the one problem imo: miniscule amount and they had ice crystals so they don't stir fry properly (too much liquid) but i added alot more fresh veggies and it all turned out really tasty. Had it with my fav TJ rice- the frozen Japanese stir fried rice- and even though the 2 cuisines/flavor profiles are quite different, it still worked for us. Now part of our regular rotation.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                            a
                                                                                                                            aimeekm Jul 21, 2012 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                            New to me ...

                                                                                                                            Meh - Dark Chocolate Bars Filled with Speculoos Cookie Spread
                                                                                                                            Seems to be universally loved but to me the dark chocolate completely overwhelms the Speculoos spread. I actually could only barley taste the Speculoos at all.

                                                                                                                            Yea - Milk Chocolate Filled with Caramel
                                                                                                                            OMG, I wasn't expecting to love these, usualy more of a dark chocolate girls and thought the combo was a bit boring, but I LOVE them. It's sweet and creamy milk chocolate and the caramel is thin but pretty complex. These are going to have to be kept out of the house because I can't resist.

                                                                                                                            Yea - Vacuum Fried Pineapple Chips
                                                                                                                            Not usually much of a fruit chip person, but these are addictively good. Pretty crunchy with only a little bit of chew. Thje bag disappears pretty quick, so not a great value IMO

                                                                                                                            Meh - Freeze Dried Raspberries
                                                                                                                            Little on the tart side, but a nice crisp texture. Didn't love them, didn't hate them, can't see purchasing them again

                                                                                                                            Nay - Freeze Dried Grapes
                                                                                                                            Did not like these at all ... very crisp but had a bad funky flavor to both me and my mom. One grape each then the bag went into the trash

                                                                                                                            Yea - Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes
                                                                                                                            I had been eyeing these for a while, but figured they would disappoint like most store bought baked goods, boy was I wrong. They tasted fresh and almost home made, very rich. Could have had more peanut butter flavor and filling though, much heaverier on the chocolate than the peanut butter. After 2 days though they had definitely degraded in quality and tasted like a store bought cupcake

                                                                                                                            1. re: aimeekm
                                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                                              Craig234 Jul 22, 2012 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                              Try a jar of the speculous cookie

                                                                                                                              1. re: Craig234
                                                                                                                                GraceW Jul 24, 2012 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                I wish they sold the Speculous Spread in the small-squeeze packages like Justin's peanut butter company does (although NOT at TJs).

                                                                                                                                Also, I had a really hard time getting chunks of the Freeze Dried Grapes out of my teeth... hey are really crisp yet really sticky all at once.

                                                                                                                                1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                  Rilke Jul 24, 2012 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                  The teeth sticking ruined those for me.

                                                                                                                            2. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                              puzzler Jul 23, 2012 05:02 PM

                                                                                                                              Yes, the Kung Pao Chicken is very good if you add more veggies, like onions and celery. Lots of chicken and very tasty sauce.

                                                                                                                            3. Berheenia Jul 23, 2012 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                              Bread and Butter Pickles (not refrigerated section) - Yea
                                                                                                                              Rolled Oats and Choc Chip Fiberfull Granola Bars- Yea

                                                                                                                              1. b
                                                                                                                                butterfat Jul 24, 2012 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                                Qualified yay for the Stacked Eggplant Parmesan (frozen). I prepared it in the microwave and while the texture is not super impressive (kind of gloppy and mushy, definitely no crisp distinct layers of eggplant), the flavors were pretty good and it made a decent easy meal with a big salad. It is supposed to be two servings and that is what I did, but I could have easily eaten the whole thing myself :)

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: butterfat
                                                                                                                                  Berheenia Aug 14, 2012 06:35 AM

                                                                                                                                  ditto. good but 1/2 a stack is not a single serving.

                                                                                                                                2. dailywaffle Jul 24, 2012 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                  Qualified yay for the Fresh Rice Noodles in the refrigerated section near the tofu.

                                                                                                                                  Comes with (2) 6 oz. packets and is product of South Korea. They're decent if you can't easily get to an Asian market and you want to whip together a noodle soup for a quick lunch. 1 of the 6 oz packets is basically a serving, though the nutrition label on the back goes by 2 oz servings (yeah, right). They're remarkably high in fiber -- it claims 3 g per 2 oz. serving. I think it was also remarkably high in sodium - I threw away the package, but I want to say it was 280g per serving.

                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: dailywaffle
                                                                                                                                    Dommy Jul 24, 2012 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                    Can you explain how you cooked them? I found them a TOUCH too slimy and I did the whole 2 minute in boiling water and then an ice bath...

                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                                      dailywaffle Jul 24, 2012 09:35 PM

                                                                                                                                      I boiled them, maybe more like a minute & a half. I didn't rinse them, which I should have done. They were slightly slimy, but went straight into broth, so it didn't bother me all that much.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                        milklady Sep 12, 2012 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                                        I think I overcooked these, as they were definitely too slimy. My kids wouldn't really eat them due to slime. I will try again in soup, that sounds like a good idea, and will be sure to cook for a shorter time.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: dailywaffle
                                                                                                                                        trolley Aug 3, 2012 03:51 PM

                                                                                                                                        have to give a BIG warning to space cadets out there. these noodles are packed with one of those tiny packets that contain a chemical to keep moisture out. some of those packets are in sealed plastic but these are perforated. i ended up dumping the entire content in boiling water and a minute later noticed the packets in the boiling water. i ended up dumping the entire content bc i was skeptical on whether it leaked into the water or not.

                                                                                                                                        i took the noodles out of water immediately and tasted one and i would also not cook them at all. instead i would dump them in hot water and keep them al dente.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                          milklady Sep 12, 2012 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                          I had this same problem, and then had to fish out the little packet from boiling water. No fun!

                                                                                                                                      3. v
                                                                                                                                        Vidute Jul 24, 2012 10:08 PM

                                                                                                                                        Yea to Organic Concord Grape Jelly- not too sweet with a bit of a "winey" aftertaste.

                                                                                                                                        Super Tea to Caribbean Fruit Floes. Perfect relief for these non-global warming summer heat record days.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Vidute
                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                          littleflower Jul 31, 2012 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                          I too loved the taste of the Caribbean Fruit Floes, but kinda wish that there wasn't so many coconut pieces that I found throughout it (personally have a rough time digesting coconut pieces!).

                                                                                                                                        2. j
                                                                                                                                          John Francis Jul 26, 2012 04:51 AM

                                                                                                                                          Nay - Authentic Indian Masala Dosa (frozen). I may have mentioned these before. They taste good but fall apart when turned during reheating in the oven - not something I would serve to guests.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                            coney with everything Jul 26, 2012 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                                            I think I fried mine on top of the stove and they held together pretty well.

                                                                                                                                          2. l
                                                                                                                                            littleflower Jul 28, 2012 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                            Yays all around to my Trader Joe's meal tonight: TJ's Organic Tomato Basil sauce over angel hair pasta (okay, the angel hair pasta was the only thing NOT TJ's...think it was Barilla), TJ's Parmesan Romano Grated Cheese on top, TJ's Sweet Italian Sausage links, and garlic bread made from the french bread and their Kerrygold butter, and polished off a TJ's Vintage Cola. YUM....excellent meal, realized at the end of it that all meal contents were TJ's except for angel hair.

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                              John Francis Jul 28, 2012 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                              I've had the Sweet Italian Sausage and like it a lot. Yea for that, and also for the Fire Roasted Red Peppers and Onions (frozen), which I combine with the sausages for an Italian sausage sandwich or a meal on a plate.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                littleflower Jul 28, 2012 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                mmm...sounds like a good combination....love how TJ's has many delicious and nearly "ready-to-go" meal additions such as the frozen fire roasted red peppers/onions

                                                                                                                                            2. greygarious Jul 28, 2012 06:02 PM

                                                                                                                                              Qualified Yea: Moist Chewy Coconut BonBons - on the new products shelf yesterday. They are covered in dark chocolate. A clerk saw me reading the label and remarked that they are really good. They are a moister, higher quality version of Peter Paul Mounds, though I prefer the discontinued TJ version of Almond Joy. I guess I could accompany each bonbon with a separate almond.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                coney with everything Jul 30, 2012 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                mmmm...sometimes you do feel like a nut :)

                                                                                                                                                Those sound lethal though, love me some Mounds and Almond Joy but the nasty chocolate is offputting

                                                                                                                                                1. re: coney with everything
                                                                                                                                                  Rilke Jul 30, 2012 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I am afraid to buy them. I'm already hooked on so many TJ's chocolate items and I loooove coconut.

                                                                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                                                                CarmenR Jul 28, 2012 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                omg nay nay NAY to the new frozen pie crusts. They come rolled up and unrolling them totally destroys them- I tried re-moistening and then rolling them back together but they were totally unusable. They weren't just broken in a few places, but were completely smashed looking. This will be the first thing I return to Trader Joes. Back to the pillsbury ones for me...

                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: CarmenR
                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                  littleflower Jul 28, 2012 09:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Are these the same pie crusts that TJ's usually carries in the late fall/around the holidays?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                    thursday Jul 28, 2012 09:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                    They're also replaced the butter with Palm Oil - bought a box because they had them and I love to make pies with excess summer fruit, but I didn't realize they'd come rolled! And I didn't read the ingredients until much later... sigh. Going to have to figure out a way to make homemade in my tiny kitchen...

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: CarmenR
                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                    sciencediet Jul 29, 2012 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I have had this problem as well, but have managed to live with it (because the TJs ones don't have lard and the supermarket ones do). Taking them out of the box to defrost helps, and then unroll them both and use whichever one falls apart more as the bottom crust (it will stitch back together in the oven). I didn't know about the palm oil issue, though.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sciencediet
                                                                                                                                                      g
                                                                                                                                                      givemecarbs Jul 29, 2012 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I'm of a like mind sciencediet. The crust is annoying and falls apart for me too, but still tastes fine and beats rolling my own. I just tell myself it's a lattice top pie.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: CarmenR
                                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                                      chez cherie Jul 29, 2012 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                      i've found that if you defrost well, and keep the crust between the two sheets of plastic, unroll it onto them, and then roll it out between them, the crust will "heal" all cracks. i suspect that they went from the folded state to the rolled one because of the ease of use of the pillsbury dough. however, the pillsbury dough has a lot of preservatives, so its consistency is different. i agree that packaging this dough rolled was a mistake. bummer, because i've liked the tj butter dough for years.

                                                                                                                                                    3. greygarious Jul 29, 2012 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Yea with a caveat to the frozen Papperdelle with Chicken, Mushrooms, and Mascarpone Sauce. It's supposed to serve two. I'd say there's enough sauce for two portions, but not enough pasta.
                                                                                                                                                      The sauce is unctuous, with good chunks of chicken and 'shrooms. What pappardelle there are, are tender and taste like fresh pasta.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                                                                        christy319 Aug 8, 2012 02:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I totally agree about the portion--there should be more pasta. I also think this is a tasty dish though I typically think boneless skinless chicken breasts+pasta=an affront to Italian cooking. I guess I am making an exception for cheap frozen work lunches.

                                                                                                                                                      2. l
                                                                                                                                                        littleflower Jul 30, 2012 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                        A few snack item reviews...

                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Gummy Bears - LOVE these! They come in six different flavors, here are my favorites from most to least - Apple, Orange, Cherry, Strawberry, Pineapple (not much pineapple flavor, and finally lemon (lemon tasted a bit strange). I like that they do not taste at all sugary, in fact they taste very much like the fruit juice each is associated with.

                                                                                                                                                        MEH: Milk Chocolate Bar with Caramel....hmm....usually a fan of milk chocolate but I wasn't a huge fan of this one. I liked the dark chocolate with speculoos spread bar better. The milk chocolate bar with caramel to me was really too rich tasting and I didn't want to go back for more than one piece of it.

                                                                                                                                                        SEMI-YAY: Fruit Frenzy Frozen Bars - these are the popsicles that are made up of three flavors - raspberry, lemon, and strawberry. Meh to the raspberry portion as I kept wanting to spit out the raspberry seeds as I was eating it, then Nay to the lemon portion in the middle of the bar because it was extremely mouth puckering tart tasting, and finally Huge Yay for the bottom portion which was strawberry. Delicious strawberry flavor and hope that TJ's Strawberry Frozen Pops taste as good as the strawberry portion of this fruit frenzy bar.

                                                                                                                                                        1. GraceW Jul 30, 2012 02:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Ok. I tried a lot of things today--maybe you will disagree but these are my opinions:

                                                                                                                                                          NAY--chocolate covered potato chips--a friend said these were amazing, I don't get it. If you want salty and sweet, go for the chocolate covered pretzels.

                                                                                                                                                          NAY--Chocolate toffee popcorn--someone else said these were too soft, and yet I didn't get that comment.. until I tried them.. yes, eh there is just something off about them.

                                                                                                                                                          NAY--Lemon Heart Cookies--so bland. Hardly taste like lemon. Maybe a bit like cardboard.

                                                                                                                                                          NAY--Black truffle flatbread thing--I am a minimalist.. so it doesn't take much for me to like a flatbread, but this is missing something--maybe not even a third flavor, even some spices, who knows. But not worth it.

                                                                                                                                                          NAY--BBQ Sauce in the glass bottle--I've never met a more liquidy-drippy-water BBQ sauce in my life. And I am a condiment whore--so this is well-qualified.

                                                                                                                                                          NAY--Kung Pao Chicken--I grew up on the TJ Orange Mandarin Chicken once a week but also some good authentic chinese. The Kung Pao Chicken makes the Mandarin Chicken look close to authentic (Which is not even remotely true since it is basically chicken-nuggets covered in sauce)--which is to say: the Kung Pao Chicken hardly even tastes Chinese.... it has so many bell-peppers that it tastes almost like a 'Western dish.' I did appreciate the effort of including chili peppers and peanuts, but eh.

                                                                                                                                                          NAY--Teriyaki Chicken--This is made in the microwave.. which is odd because most bagged-entrees at TJs include multiple options. I would say it was very close to the Panda Express Terriyaki Chicken that we used to split with our mother once a year at the mall.. but Panda Express's was actually better (.. that's somewhat pathetic, no offense) because TJ's is so salty and the chicken is super fatty-rubbery.

                                                                                                                                                          NAY--Movie Theatre Popcorn--I am not a big butter person, but I really tried.. I SHOOK the bag, I stirred it up, I looked for 'yellow' popcorns.. none to be found. This does not taste like butter at all... so I can only imagine if you do like buttery-popcorn, how disappointed you would be.

                                                                                                                                                          Don't worry, I found a YAY or two.....
                                                                                                                                                          YAY--Herb Popcorn--This is really good. Especially if you like dill, then you will like this. And I think since it is spiced, you can't over-eat it.

                                                                                                                                                          YAY--Chocolate Ganache Cake--I wanted to take the raspberry Macaroon-bar-cake item to a party, but they don't have it... this was the only cake they had in the freezer section. It was fine, despite the fact that it was HELLA RICH. Please note, however, that on the box it says defrost for 1-2 hours... mine was on the counter for 30 minutes and it was already quite soft. So I would watch it.

                                                                                                                                                          Personally, I still have all of the items that I have listened as NAYs... but I think I would feel really bad taking 8 things or so back to the store. I might consider taking the 'non-cooked items back... the chocolate covered toffee, chocolate covered potato chips, the BBQ sauce, the Movie Theatre popcorn... but I have never taken anything back for a really long time. Thoughts?

                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                                                            littleflower Jul 30, 2012 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                            First of all, thanks for your detailed reviews....here are just a few of my thoughts as well on the items that I have tried on your list....

                                                                                                                                                            1) BBQ Sauce....I personally did like the Kansas City Style one...there are two kinds, not sure which one you purchased but I did not like the original TJ's BBQ sauce
                                                                                                                                                            2) Movie Theatre Popcorn....my thoughts exactly ... disappointed that the popcorn is labeled "movie theatre popcorn" leading most to believe it probably is very buttery in taste...no real butter flavor just lots of salt
                                                                                                                                                            3) Will have to try the Chocolate Ganache Cake...have heard quite a few yays on this one

                                                                                                                                                            As far as taking things back....my personal TJ's take back policy is that I will take back an item if I truly am dissatisfied with it and won't finish it nor can find anyone else who will finish it either, then will use that money to purchase more TJ's items with the money that I receive back. This way I am still kind of helping them out with their generous return back policy while getting to try more new TJ's items myself....so win-win.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                                              John Francis Jul 30, 2012 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                              TJ's makes at least two kinds of bbq sauce. The "All Natural" is pretty standard, red and thick, but I like it - not at all like your description. I haven't tried the other, Bold and Smoky Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce. Is that the one you dislike?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                GraceW Jul 31, 2012 12:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Yes--Kansas City Style is entirely liquid, as thin as water. (Unless in Kansas that is part of the style... ?)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                                                                  John Francis Jul 31, 2012 03:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  It could be an imitation of Arthur Bryant's original bbq sauce, which is liquid and vinegary. Calvin Trillin, a Kansas City boy, gave his considered opinion that Arthur Bryant's is or was "possibly the single best restaurant in the world." That doesn't mean you have to like their sauce, or TJ's if it's a Bryant's knockoff.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GraceW
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                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower Jul 31, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, the Kansas City Style IS the one in the glass bottle...perhaps you would like their other BBQ sauce better? Good luck!!

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                  Berheenia Aug 2, 2012 05:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Lemon Heart Cookies are a YAY when dipped in a hot cup of tea. Only way I have ever eaten them.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                                                                                    Atochabsh Aug 9, 2012 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    In defense of the Movie Theatre Popcorn.......if you are going to buy pre popped popcorn in this type of flavor catagory its one the best going. You can find Indiana Brand at over $4/bag that tastes similar. I know its not perfect, but at the price........its pretty good. My local TJs sells out of it frequently.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. j
                                                                                                                                                                    John Francis Jul 31, 2012 04:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yea - Reduced Guilt Wheat Crisps. A shameless imitation of Nabisco's Wheat Thins, the same size and shape and color and much the same taste and texture but with less salt, less fat, less sugar, and less $$$. I'll buy that!

                                                                                                                                                                    Yea - Reduced Guilt Woven Wheat Wafers. Another Nabisco knockoff - just like Triscuits except for less fat and salt. Also cheaper, I believe.

                                                                                                                                                                    Yea - This Apple Walks Into a Bar... Along with other fruit versions, yet another Nabisco knockoff, imitating fig (and other) newtons. A bar rather than a cookie, with soft dough so that the bar droops in your hand and threatens to break; I cut it into cookie lengths, which also helps me keep from gobbling down the whole boxful of 6 bars. Haven't tried the other flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                      Rilke Jul 31, 2012 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the Wheat Thins heads up. I like those but don't like the ingredient list -- betting TJ's will be better.

                                                                                                                                                                      Also, of the four "walks into a bar" flavors, fig is the best IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis
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                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower Jul 31, 2012 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I also like the This Strawberry Walks Into a Bar...very good quality, tasted like real fruit filling, slightly sweet but not too sweet...perfect for a breakfast bar!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. c
                                                                                                                                                                        chompy Jul 31, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        NAY - the Rainbow Peppercorns in a plastic jar with built-in pepper grinder. Our pepper grinder broke and we had no pepper in the house. I thought this would do the trick, but there is something about it that makes food taste like dirt to me. (I think the "Rainbow" consists of black, green, white and pink peppercorns).

                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chompy
                                                                                                                                                                          Rilke Jul 31, 2012 05:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Hmm, I disagree, we like the rainbow peppercorns.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                            gmm Aug 3, 2012 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I really like the Rainbow Peppercorns too. I think they have a much more interesting flavor than plain black peppercorns.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: chompy
                                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                                            John Francis Jul 31, 2012 11:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I bought the Rainbow Peppercorns when I ran out of black, and to tell the truth, I don't taste a really major difference. But I'm not happy with the grinder built into the bottle - you can't adjust the grind size and what you get ranges from chunks to dust. So I put the peppercorns into a proper grinder instead and throw away the bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. l
                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower Jul 31, 2012 01:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            HUGE YAY (10/10) for the French Toast (Frozen/Four Grain Bread): Admittedly, I was hesitant on purchasing TJ's French Toast b/c of the bad NAY experience I had with their Toaster Waffles a few months back (bland, tasted like cardboard to me)...however, the French Toast turns out to be one of my all-time favorite TJ's purchases. I cooked mine in the oven for 18 minutes on a wire baking rack, allowing the french toast to crisp up slightly on the bottom and around the perimeter where the crust was. The middle was perfectly slightly "french toast eggy", with a background sweetness of cinnamon to it. I added Kerrygold butter and a light sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to it (how I personally like to eat my french toast)...my only regret was that I only fixed one piece for breakfast instead of two! Definitely try this product if you like french toast - you can microwave it for 50 sec. or put it in the toaster oven for quicker results.

                                                                                                                                                                            YAY: South Carolina Peaches - .59 cents per peach (I like to pick my own peaches instead of picking up a flat of them...sometimes there are unripe or too ripe fruit inside of flats). Juicy, sweet, and tasted like they were freshly picked. I found them better than local peaches that we've purchased from farms around the area.

                                                                                                                                                                            NAY: TJ's Organic Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt Cup - chemical tasting and the strawberry was more like a gel at the bottom...perhaps I am spoiled by their delicious TJ's Greek Strawberry Yogurt but will not be purchasing the organic lowfat variety again.

                                                                                                                                                                            Anyone tried the Juice in the Box (the new large box of juice) in the Tropical Fruit flavor?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Rilke Jul 31, 2012 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Yea for the cultured coconut milk. I tried the blueberry flavor. The cashier told me that a lot of people have not liked it and asked if I still wanted it -- yes, I did, and I'm glad because it was good. A little gritter than yogurt and a different mouth feel . . . softer or something. This item is new to TJ's and I'm pretty sure it's made by So Delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                              Also yea for a non-new item that maybe someone hasn't tried: the Goddess salad dressing. We've gone through two bottles in a month.

                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                j
                                                                                                                                                                                John Francis Jul 31, 2012 11:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I don't limit myself here to new items. For people who have just discovered Trader Joe's, everything is new, and I'm glad to be reminded of older TJ stuff that I didn't know about or have passed on.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John Francis
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                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower Aug 1, 2012 05:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  +1 on this...there are so many items at TJ's that are fantastic yet I can only try items (old and new) a few at a time! Very much appreciate ANY Yay/Nay reviews on ANY item found there.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Aug 1, 2012 08:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                YAY to TJ's Original Lemonade (Carton of Lemonade found in the refrigerator section next to the Orange Juice): this is a seasonal item so will only be around for another month or two at most, really liked the flavor - perfect combination of a bit sweet and a bit tart which is what I look for in a lemonade. All natural, made with Cane Sugar instead of High Fructose Corn Syrup and tastes great - good find for 2.69 a carton.

                                                                                                                                                                                YAY for the price of the Capellini pasta imported from Italy - have yet to try it, but can't beat .99 for a pound of imported pasta from Italy! Hope the taste matches up to the value.

                                                                                                                                                                                Quickly went through a bag of Gummy Bears in two days...and very much hooked. We had to purchase another one and hopefully can show some more restraint on this bag! Like the fact that there is no squishy middle (although some of those gummy tummy flavors are okay), made with all natural fruit/vegetable juices, AND love the cute bear design on the front of the package!

                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                  opinionatedchef Aug 1, 2012 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Prob not a new item, but i was VERY impressed by the Gorgonzola Gnocchi. WOW!! perfectly balanced flavors and texture (not doughy/gummy/ hard.) For us, 1 bag serves one person. To each bag, we added 1/4 cup julienned canadian bacon and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts- during the last few minutes..

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                                                                                    Rilke Aug 1, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I love this item. I add peas and black pepper and get two servings out of it (I believe the bag says four . . . I eat small portions but that would be very small).

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef
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                                                                                                                                                                                      elise h Aug 1, 2012 08:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      is this frozen or refrigerated?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: elise h
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                                                                                                                                                                                        maudies5 Aug 1, 2012 09:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I really loved the roast red peppers stuffed with ground turkey and brown rice and good seasonings. That was until I read that the turkey was MECHANICALLY SEPARATED Turkey which translates into pink slime. I am so disappointed:(

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: elise h
                                                                                                                                                                                          opinionatedchef Aug 1, 2012 10:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          frozen. primary bag color is orangey.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                                                                          Briek Aug 7, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm also a fan of the Gnocchi! Easy dinner with some salad. Will definitely try it out with peas and pepper!

                                                                                                                                                                                          We've also been really big fans of the edamame nuggets. This has become a weekly purchase for us. They get very crispy in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal Aug 15, 2012 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            we love the gorgonzola gnocchi, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                                                                                              keiseats Sep 3, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              It's so good! And such a quick dinner. I like to buy the version with the tomato/mozzarella sauce also and mix them, then throw in some shredded spinach and red pepper flakes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            LindyCindy Aug 1, 2012 10:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Trader Joes recently opened here and we'd been waiting quite a while. This thread has been extremely helpful in deciding what to buy and what not to.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindyCindy
                                                                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                                                                              John Francis Aug 2, 2012 02:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Happy hunting! This thread has just started, and you'll find a lot more information (or at least opinions) in the Yea/Nay thread for the 2nd quarter, here:

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841887

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                opinionatedchef Aug 2, 2012 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                also, Lindy, there is even more TrJ discussion on the Chains Forum of CH, though inventory of stores does vary around the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. trolley Aug 3, 2012 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY- strawberry crusher according to my 3 yr old. i don't eat these but he loves them. a thumbs up.

                                                                                                                                                                                              NAY- although not a new item, Louis Latour Duet Viognier/chardonnay. Not a very good wine but what do you expect at $6.99? I have had some great value wine at TJ's at this price point but there's also many fails and this one is one of them. the wine tastes like chemicals. The grand ardeche is much better by Latour.

                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                                                                                Rilke Aug 3, 2012 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Hey trolley, is that sliced roast chicken you posted about on the last thread still available in your part of the world?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                  trolley Aug 3, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  you know, i stopped eating them. no reason why. it was if i fell in love hard and fast then i fell out of love just as fast. i think i went ga ga and overate them. so that said i have looked for them but i will tonight. i'll let you know. how about your side of the woods?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rilke Aug 3, 2012 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Couldn't find them, and my employee friend said she thought she knew what I was talking about, but wasn't sure. They might not be in the east coast TJ's at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                      trolley Aug 8, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      found them today! i also spotted them next to what looks like a similar item but roast turkey. you may want to ask another employee. the other day i asked if they had freeze dried mango and the guy looked at me as if i was from outer space. then another employee had to tell him what they were. this guy isn't new either so you just never know what they don't know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rilke Aug 8, 2012 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke
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                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Aug 8, 2012 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I haven't seen them lately at our TJ's (haven't looked for them either...so they may be there), but at the other TJ's about an hour away from me, they carried both the sliced roast chicken and sliced roast turkey last year and can vouch for both being of good quality and taste.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Aug 3, 2012 06:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                YAY?? - Snap Pea Crisps...originally was going to give this one a nay but added a little sea salt to them (brought out their flavor more, in my opinion) and found these strangely addictive after a few handfuls. Crunchy and really am thankful that I have something to reach for snack-wise that will hopefully divert my attention away from those TJ's Gummy Bears!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                YAY: Instant Miso Soup...yummy...good flavor for instant miso soup and a quick, healthy addition to a meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rilke Aug 3, 2012 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love those snap pea crisps. Easy to eat the entire bag at once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                                                    jsaimd Aug 3, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Take those snap pea crisps backpacking and for this veggie lover they were amazing. instant mashed potatoes, snap pea crisps and jerkey - on the trail shepard's pie. But back in the land of hydrated food I haven't bought any more of them

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jsaimd
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                                                                                                                                                                                                      christy319 Aug 8, 2012 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Those just tasted like grease to me! And not in a good way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                    sciencediet Aug 4, 2012 02:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    My 9-year-old could easily eat whole bag of those at a sitting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. gmm Aug 3, 2012 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay to the non-refrigerated bottled organic strawberry lemonade. Tastes very processed, not fresh at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gmm
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                                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower Aug 3, 2012 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      gmm, have you tried the TJ's Original Lemonade (seasonal) in the refrigerator section? We like this lemonade a lot, and tastes a lot fresher and more like homemade than some of the bottled lemonades do. The only other lemonade that we kind of like bottled is the Mango Lemonade, although it is a bit sweeter than traditional lemonade tends to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                        gmm Aug 4, 2012 06:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower - I have not tried the refrigerated lemonade. I've tried the limeade, and wasn't wowed by it. I'm due for another trip to TJ's so I'll give it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gmm
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                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Aug 4, 2012 07:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, it is good stuff...one of repeat buys every week. We even manage to stretch it each lemonade carton out by adding 1/3 to 1/2 of each glass with ice water and the rest with the lemonade...but that is just our personal preference with all fruit juices. Oh, and one more thing...this lemonade does contain a bit of pulp towards the end of the carton (assuming you don't shake up the lemonade carton each time you use it)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: gmm
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                                                                                                                                                                                                        anakalia Aug 3, 2012 07:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't know if this is new, or not, but I quickly became addicted to the Green Tea Lemonade... it does have a little 'bottled' taste, but it's not too strong, and the drink is really refreshing....

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. greygarious Aug 5, 2012 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        New or new to me is the frozen Szechuan style Beef and Broccoli. Shame on me for not reading the instructions before buying - it's too hot to cook and I assumed I could just nuke it. But it contains separately frozen bags of beef strips coated with cornstarch and breadcrumbs, broccoli florets, and sauce. You saute the meat, warm the sauce, and steam or nuke the broccoli before combining all three. I had fresh broccoli on hand so I returned the frozen to the freezer. Since I had to turn on the stove anyway, I sauteed carrots and onions along with the broccoli and beef, and used only half the sauce, adding soy, because of a low capsaicum tolerance. I had leftover plain cooked brown rice to go with it. Big YEA to the flavor and texture of the beef. Though they crisped up nicely, the beef strips were exceptionally tender. Unfortunately, they consider the bag to serve 3, each portion with nearly 2/3 of a day's sodium. I'd say the 24 oz bag is two servings, so it's closer to 3/4 of daily salt intake. I'll think about buying it again when I am able to get my shoes on. That won't be anytime soon, since I will cook chicken breasts and vegetables to use with the remainder of the sauce packet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious
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                                                                                                                                                                                                          givemecarbs Aug 6, 2012 02:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          What a fun review grey! I finally got around to trying the vanilla cake mix and was very happy with the results. The instructions called for a stick of melted butter which might explain why the cake was so yummy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I served the cake, still warm from my toaster/convection oven with TJ's version of cool whip and blueberries and blackberries. Very tasty!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                            opinionatedchef Aug 8, 2012 01:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            thank you for my guffaw of the day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: greygarious
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                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower Aug 8, 2012 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ha!!! Just re-read your post and got the joke.....!!!! Witty!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                greygarious Aug 14, 2012 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Does anyone know if TJ sells a sauce (on its own) equivalent to the one in the Sezchuan Beef and Broccoli? It tastes just like the sauce in the General Tso's chicken at my favorite Americanized Chinese restaurant, ChenYangLi. Since I am a hot pepper wimp, I used slightly less than half of the sauce packet, plus some teriyaki sauce, when I made the TJ beef. Subsequently used the rest, again with teriyaki, to make a delish chicken stirfry from the ingredients in my fridge. That dish was enough for three servings. I'd love to be able to buy just the sauce. I know it would be possible to recreate it but would prefer pre-made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. sunangelmb Aug 7, 2012 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I buy the savory thin mini edamame crackers every time. Only 120 calories in 38 crackers. They are very salty and have a great crisp factor. I also feel done after eating one serving, unlike pretzels where I can Hoover the whole bag. Satisfies my salty crisp cravings nicely

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunangelmb
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rilke Aug 8, 2012 04:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Hoover" hahaha. I feel this way about the crunchy curls. I think the serving size is 30 curls for 130 calories. And they're yummy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower Aug 8, 2012 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY: Ridge Cut Potato Chips with Sea Salt - very satisfyingly crunchy with just the right amount of sea salt added to it. A true potato flavor comes out in these - unlike many potato chips where you taste mostly grease and oil. There is a very thin (almost unnoticeable) line of potato peel around the perimeter of each chip (they aren't peeled). Also, the ingredients list very simply reads: unpeeled potatoes, sunflower oil, and sea salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY: Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin Chops - used these to make fantastic pork cutlets. These are very thin so cook up in no time, were tender, and a great price for quality pork (9 pork loin chops for 5.00).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also would recommend trying the Italian Capellini pasta - .99 for a pound of imported pasta from Italy and tasted great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rilke Aug 8, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I cannot buy the ridge cut potato chips (sea salt OR salt and pepper). I can't control myself, and I'm not usually a chip junkie. They're the best ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rilke
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower Aug 8, 2012 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah.....quickly going through the bag that we purchased just yesterday, and we're talking a BIG bag of chips that are filled with chips. The natural potato taste coupled with the crunchability of these make them one pretty irresistable snack. Can't wait to try them with TJ's Carmelized Onion Dip (another fantastic product that unfortunately we are out of)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John Francis Aug 9, 2012 12:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The ridge cut sweet potato chips are even worse - I can't even wait until I get them home, I open the bag while I'm still on the bus. No mas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          opinionatedchef Aug 11, 2012 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          so true, these pota chips are truly outstanding. in all seriousness, i keep wondering how they get them to be so Hard. I've decided it must be in the variety of potato; maybe they're bred for just that attribute.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower Aug 8, 2012 08:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyone have a "yay" recommendation for a fairly neutral (not very peppery) tasting TJ's extra virgin olive oil....looking for something similar to Bertoli EVOO, but would like to purchase our EVOO from TJ's. Is the President's Reserve EVOO most likely to be what we're looking for? Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rilke Aug 9, 2012 03:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, the President's Reserve is very mild.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            opinionatedchef Aug 11, 2012 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            we tried a bunch of them a year ago and settled on California Estate EVOO- for the qualities you mentioned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Gio Aug 16, 2012 06:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We bought the California Estate last week and used it both for cooking and for salads and quite like it. So a Yay ! from us. Also, TJ's sells a very good Greek EVOO and a Spanish one as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AmyH Aug 16, 2012 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I couldn't find the California Estate in our new store; they only had Italian, Greek and Spanish. Maybe it was sold out in the opening rush.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower Aug 18, 2012 10:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the suggestions...I don't want to yay or nay the President's Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil b/c it was tasty, it's just that I personally am sensitive to anything peppery and this one has a bit too much "pepper" background taste for me. I haven't taken a product back to TJ's in about six months, yet am tempted to with this one and may try my luck with another one of their EVOO's (perhaps California Estate??).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath Aug 19, 2012 09:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The California Estate has a bit of peppery finish, which I like about it, but it sounds as if it might not be the right fit for you. There's a Spanish organic EVOO in the same size/shape bottle as the California Estate for the same price ($5.99/500ml) that is mild and buttery, not peppery, that you might want to try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mcel215 Sep 5, 2012 02:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll add another yay to the Spanish Olive Oil for $5.95, I buy it all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cyclecat Sep 12, 2012 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Littleflower, I'd try the Kalamata olive extra-virgin if I were you, and I have tried them ALL. The California Estate was rated very highly by CR, but I find it to be very grassy. I use the kalamata for everything - cooking, salads, and dipping. I find its flavor to be fresh and slightly olive-y, kind of what I would expect olive oil to taste like. The President's Reserve is okay but kind of bland. This one has a nice olive flavor without hitting you over the head with it. I know it's more expensive than the others, but I think you will find that it's worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cyclecat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NuMystic Sep 12, 2012 08:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the tip cyclecat, based on your description we're going to pick this one up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Probably not what littleflower is seeking though as a "nice olive flavor" "kind of what I would expect olive oil to taste like" would push this well out of the "neutral" category sought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have you had Bertoli which was posted as a point of reference? Based on what you shared the "kind of bland" President's Reserve probably fits the bill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cyclecat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower Sep 12, 2012 09:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks to both cyclecat and NuMystic for your thoughts...I did try the President's Reserve and it was a bit too peppery for me. I have come to the conclusion that perhaps what I am seeking in an olive oil TJ's just doesn't have. I checked out the Cooks Illustrated olive oil comparison and think that I may have to resort to trying Colavita or just stick with Bertoli. In a perfect world TJ's would have an olive oil sampling (actually this isn't such a bad idea and quite feasible) day and let people sample all of their varieties. That may be the only way that picky me can decide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John Francis Aug 9, 2012 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nay - Organic Split Pea Soup (canned). It's vegan - no ham hocks or salt pork or anything to give it flavor, so it doesn't have much. Also, the peas are cooked down almost to mush. A lot of sodium, though I couldn't taste it. And the can contains 1½ servings - whaaa!? There's really nothing right with this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    givemecarbs Aug 9, 2012 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That is pretty annoying that the can is one and a half servings. Who do they think they are kidding? I had a can of this on hand and did actually split it with a friend.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To be honest I wasn't expecting much. I don't have to watch my salt yet and I think I even added some salt to my half. It was a quick snack that stores easily and it fit the circumstances. But there are better canned products to be found at TJ's. I had some leftover hot dogs and bought the canned beef chili to go with them. The chili was a tad sweet but for canned chili, not too shabby at all. I threw out the empty can but it was probably like twenty servings. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John Francis Aug 9, 2012 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the canned beef chili and the canned turkey chili too - have one of each in the cupboard. The can says 2 servings but I can stretch it with rice about as far as I want to - or I can eat it all. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John Francis Aug 10, 2012 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yea - Organic Lentil Vegetable Soup (canned). Not labeled vegan but elsewhere on the label it says "completely vegetarian." 2 servings per can. Soft mushy texture, which I don't mind, and a pleasant flavor that perks up with a bit more salt. Nothing wonderful, but OK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John Francis Aug 11, 2012 06:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nay - Organic Black Bean Soup (canned), labeled Vegan. From the look and taste you wouldn't know there are black beans in it. Mushy and bland, the kind of thing that gives vegetarianism a bad name. TJ's boxed Latin Style Black Bean soup has much more flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm nostalgic for Campbell's black bean soup, which we often had when I was growing up. Dark, rich, deeply savory, satisfying. It may not be as healthy as TJ's vegan stuff but I'd take that chance. Campbell may still make it but I haven't seen it in a food store for many years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rilke Aug 11, 2012 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh darn, I have a can of this in the pantry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            John Francis Aug 11, 2012 12:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe you'll like it better than I did. Also, I came across a suggestion in one of the TJ fan sites to add some whole black beans - TJ sells them cooked in cans, good stuff. And "adjust" the seasoning, meaning provide some.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dommy Aug 11, 2012 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Exactly... nothing that a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of cotija cheese can't cure! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Briek Aug 9, 2012 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay to the Spinach and Kale pie in the frozen section! Big portion for the price.. 2 of us ate it for dinner and then for lunch the next day. Definitely can taste the kale.. adds a slightly bitter taste but compliments the cheeses very nicely. Will be purchasing again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Briek
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        butterfat Aug 16, 2012 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        +1 on the Spinach and Kale pie. They were offering samples in the store and it was yummy. I'll buy it when the weather cools down a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bax Aug 10, 2012 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nay -- the butter pound cake. Both flavor and texture are a little off-putting, at least when eaten on its own. Might be improved with berries & whipped cream (but then wouldn't many things?). I should take it back for a refund but I've just been too lazy to do so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ?? -- the new Mexican-style stone-ground chocolate. I got the salt & pepper flavor. It's...weird. I didn't like it at first but it grew on me a little...not enough to be a "yea" but at least enough to not be a "nay." The gritty texture was expected, since it's that style of chocolate, but it still takes some getting used to. And it doesn't really taste specifically salty or peppery just...odd. I'll eat the rest of it, but I doubt I'll be buying it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YEA -- I know they're not new but I just recently tried the Baked Cheese Crunchies. The first few from the first bag there was a "Hey, these don't taste like Cheetos" reaction that soon gave way to "THEY'RE SO MUCH BETTER! They taste like real cheese!" These are definitely a new addiction for me (d'oh!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bax
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Aug 11, 2012 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Can also vouch for the baked cheese puffs (similar to Cheetos Puffs)...very good and cheesy without the day-glo orange fingers effect. Will have to try the baked cheese crunchies as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bax
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ruth Lafler Aug 26, 2012 01:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the comments on the salt and pepper stone-ground chocolate (sort of a Taza knock off). I was thinking of trying them but they're relative expensive for the amount.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rilke Sep 2, 2012 07:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hey Ruth, don't forget you can always request that an employee let you sample something ;-) We love opening stuff for customers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            jdash Aug 10, 2012 07:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay: frozen belgian waffles, edamame hummus, lemon gingersnap ice cream, mini stroop waffle cookies, unsalted whole peeled tomatoes, baby kale/chard lettuce, steamed lentils, organic white basmati rice, roasted Marcona almonds, Chimay beer, mini pain rustiques, ciabatta, pancetta, egg pappardelle noodles, frozen molten chocolate cake, frozen puff pastry squares, tarte Alsace, hearts of palm, Romano ceasar dressing, armenian spinach pizza, frozen wild salmon chimichurri, pita chips, roasted seaweed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No way: jarred pasta sauce- every one has oregano in it, which makes it taste like pizza sauce. Ready made salads- all have onions- ewww. Some of their fruit has no taste, even the organic ones, just blah. (berries, peaches, nectarines, apples), most ready made food- way to much salt. Their sushi- indelible and atrocious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jdash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              givemecarbs Aug 11, 2012 02:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Those pancetta, egg pappardelle noodles always jump in my cart. My favorite use for them is with my chicken paprika that I only make in the cooler months but I love them in my chicken soup too. I like to keep them on hand along with a jar of alfredo sauce for a quick meal. One of these days I will just serve them with butter as a side dish. I believe these would be more expensive elsewhere for not as good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rilke Aug 11, 2012 03:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wait, is that all one item?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  givemecarbs Aug 11, 2012 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that is what I get for copying and pasting Rilke. Just meant to copy egg pappardelle noodles but the pancetta must have slipped in there. That is what I get for posting when I'm really tired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rilke Aug 11, 2012 12:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lol, it's okay -- I just thought that sounded really good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: givemecarbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  toodie jane Sep 12, 2012 06:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  those are SO good! try them with blanched broc florettes, lemon zest, pan roasted garlic paste and pine nuts. Dressed with a good lemon infused olive oil"...., and gone to heaven"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: jdash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cyclecat Sep 12, 2012 06:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with everything you said, jdash, with the possible exception of two pasta sauces - the organic vodka and the puttanesca. I don't currently have any on my shelf so I don't know whether they have oregano, but I will defer to your assertion that they do. I guess I don't find it overpowering or distracting (in the case of the vodka), and the puttanesca has so many other flavors going on that the oregano wouldn't stand out anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. Rilke Aug 11, 2012 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Update: the Raisin Rosemary Crisps and the Delice de Bourgogne cheese are a heavenly pairing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Aug 15, 2012 05:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh yes indeed, it is a fabulous pairing! the savory rosemary and sweetness of the raisins plus the CRUNCH contrast so beautifully with the buttery creamy cheese for a WOWZA taste sensation. the sweetness of the raisins also brings out more complexity in the cheese's flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cyclecat Sep 12, 2012 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hear that pairing the Delice with the Apothic Red results in a transcendent experience, and I can't imagine that the raisin rosemary crisps would detract from that experience in any way :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Rilke Aug 11, 2012 02:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay for the marinated mozzarella. This is not actually Trader Joe's brand, but Aiello's, and I'm not sure it's nationally carried. Anyway, I haven't liked other marinated mozzarellas in the past, but the seasoning in this one is not so heavy that it takes away from the goodness of the cheese. Perfect with the tomatoes and basil growing in the garden.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        coll Oct 1, 2012 03:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've been looking for Aiello ricotta, maybe I will find it here? I'm going tomorrow and just put it on my list. Love all the Aiello products, wish they were easier to find retail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sciencediet Aug 11, 2012 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My latest favorite dark chocolate delivery system: the dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. Nicely tangy, although the seeds do get stuck in the teeth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I bought the Pound Plus chocolate for the first time today, and I have a question. I got the Dark Chocolate and the 72 Dark%. For baking, would you use the Dark when the recipe calls for semi-sweet and the 72% for bittersweet?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sciencediet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dommy Aug 11, 2012 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It depends on the recipe... There is quite a difference of sweetness and I tried this switch in a biscotti recipe and it just didn't work because the bitter-sweet chocolate was the main punch of sugar. However, for something like chocolate chip cookies where the batter might already have a fair degree of sweetness, it should work...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rilke Aug 11, 2012 07:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fair enough; I have only used them for sweet chocolatey things like brownies and cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: sciencediet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            opinionatedchef Aug 12, 2012 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            as a baker who thinks american baked goods are way too cloyingly sweet, i always use the 72% which i find still a little too sweet for me (so i just add a little more coffee powder which i always use anyway, to deepen the choco. flavor. A bit of black pepper also is neat addition [ try it in a corner of your brownie pan sometime; see what you think].)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sciencediet Aug 12, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Excellent. Thank you all. I agree about sweetness, and I will experiment!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sciencediet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower Aug 15, 2012 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Speaking of dark chocolate candies - have you tried the Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee Candies in the little bags? Only cost 1.50 per bag, and truly one of the best candies I have tried at TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sciencediet Aug 15, 2012 08:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No, I haven't seen those! Now I see below that they are by the checkout--I will look.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  opinionatedchef Aug 16, 2012 01:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  lf, i'm glad you really like these but for me they are just not a dark enough chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: sciencediet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  paulj Aug 15, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't recall the exact numbers, but I think semi-sweet is in the 50's% range, and bitter-sweet in the 60's%. My impression is that 72%, while popular with modern dark chocolate fans, is quite strong compared to standards from a couple of decades ago (at least in the USA).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TJ used to sell an unsweetened bar, and they still have small 84% bars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jsaimd Aug 16, 2012 12:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The terms bittersweet and semisweet have no real meaning. They are not regulated terms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good recipes will note if there is a specific % required/desired. If they just say semisweet or bittersweet you can use what you like the most. The problem comes when you get into high percentage chocolates like 72%. It can change the results of a baked good. You may need to reduce the amount of chocolate you use and add more fat or liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think the TJ dark bar is 53% though given that is Callebaut's most common baking dark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jsaimd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      paulj Aug 16, 2012 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Specifying the % is a relatively new practice, both in recipes and on packages. Most older recipes (more to 10 years old?) would have assumed you either had Bakers unsweetened, Tollhouse chips, or one of the Hershys varieties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: sciencediet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath Aug 16, 2012 12:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The "Dark" is 54%, FWIW. I'm a bittersweet partisan and so default to the 72%. The fair trade organic 72% Belgian chocolate in 100g bars is quite good, too, for I think $1.99.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sciencediet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      buzzardbreath Sep 24, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Definite YAY for the Pound Plus chocolate bars. I have used the Dark Chocolate for my favorite brownie recipe and it is wonderful. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower Aug 11, 2012 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MEH: Fully Cooked Bacon - quick to prepare, yes (in the microwave), but really missed the crispyness that I can only personally achieve with frying up previously uncooked bacon in a pan. I wanted to give this a go for convenience sake, but will try TJ's Applewood Smoked uncooked bacon next time I am buying bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Rilke Aug 12, 2012 01:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Definite yea - Organic Turkish Apricots. Not much to say, just quite yummy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yea/Nay -- Trader Jacques Shells with Brie and Asparagus. Nothing bad about it . . . just meh. You could do much better and tastier from TJ's freezer section for the calories (760 calories for the whole thing, which is two servings only in theory), for example with the Gnocchi al Gorgonzola mentioned earlier in the thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          toopie28 Aug 13, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yea: Balsamic Glaze - love this on my sweet cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Almond Croissants - OMG! My new fav. I bought both these and the chocolate ones due to you guys - tried the choc ones first - wonderful. Then the almond ones - LOVED them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nay: TJ's Svelte Ice cream Sandwiches - UGH - gritty and really bad. Maybe I got a bad batch but never again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nectarines - tasteless - WHEN will I ever learn not to buy fruit from TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: toopie28
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            trolley Aug 14, 2012 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I noticed the the Svelte ice cream is pretty bad when it's melted half way. i got a box last night and it's been 100 degrees out and i think the freezer at TJ's has been working overtime. got right home (3 minute drive) popped one out and it was grainy. however, when back to super frozen they're ok. the issue is that they're low fat and i think it's the nature of the beast when eating something like low fat ice cream. ice cream isn't intended to be low fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gio Aug 16, 2012 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I second the Yay of the Organic Turkish Apricots. They're perfect for sweet/savory dishes. Not too sweet and almost like fresh apricots. (my favorite fruit)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Vidute Aug 13, 2012 08:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yea- Fresh Ranier Cherries, Fresh Blueberries.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay- Fresh Noodles. Gummy texture

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. trolley Aug 13, 2012 10:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY- Pita bite crackers. way too good to be healthy. great with hummus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dommy Aug 13, 2012 10:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They make multi-grain ones that are AMAZING with cheese...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  trolley Aug 13, 2012 10:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just got those tonight and will dig in tomorrow. that's good news Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. AmyH Aug 14, 2012 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We just got a Trader Joe's in Albany! It's been fun trying new things, especially the perishable items that we couldn't buy from distant stores. So please excuse me if some of the things I yea/nay have been around for a while. They're new to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yea: shredded beef brisket in barbeque sauce. I really liked the sauce on this. I was glad I bought 2 packages, though, because the amount of beef is about 1/4 the capacity of the pan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yea: chicken in orange ginger sauce. This made a great meal.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yea: dark chocolate pretzels, smashing s'mores, dark chocolate non pareils, extra chocolate chip cookies, frozen chocolate covered banana slices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yea/Nay: white cheddar cheese corn puffs. Some of us loved these, some of us thought they could be use for packing material.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay: vegetable fried rice. Gak! Overwhelming taste of onion and red bell pepper, neither of which my family is fond of. Next time I'll make the orange ginger chicken with white rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rilke Aug 14, 2012 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can't go too wrong with the chocolatey stuff! :-) Try the Japanese style fried rice; you will probably like it better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    AmyH Aug 15, 2012 05:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks. It did look good and I probably should have gotten it instead. Daughter tried the kimchi fried rice (as a side dish with the bulgogi marinated beef) and really liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John Francis Aug 15, 2012 07:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The chicken fried rice is surely better than the veg variety - I like it. Also the fat free vegetarian biryani curried rice - you can add meat if you like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      AmyH Aug 16, 2012 05:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have also read on www.whatsgoodattraderjoes.com that the shrimp fried rice is quite good. I just thought the veg fried rice would be better with the orange ginger chicken. But plain white rice probably would have been best with it. The fried rice varieties might be better on the side of a marinated, grilled piece of meat, fish or tofu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John Francis Aug 16, 2012 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A friend tells me the shrimp fried rice was his first Trader Joe's product and he liked it a lot. Haven't tried it myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As for plain rice, I've been using TJ's brown jasmine rice for nearly everything and really like it. By "everything" I mean like jambalaya and gumbo too. It takes longer to cook than white, of course, but otherwise is no problem at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          AmyH Aug 16, 2012 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, I'll definitely try that brown jasmine rice!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            greygarious Aug 16, 2012 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Me too. I HAD been using brown basmati but a few years ago it was out of stock. A clerk suggested the brown jasmine and I've used that ever since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John Francis Aug 17, 2012 02:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I tried the brown Basmati rice first, brown because that's the kind of rice I like and Basmati because I knew the name from Indian food which I also like. But somehow the flavor wasn't what I expected and didn't appeal to me. Brown jasmine rice is next to it on the TJ shelves so I tried it out of curiosity, and like you, I've used it ever since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              AmyH Sep 12, 2012 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just tried the brown jasmine rice tonight. Very tasty. I don't think I had the amount of water quite right for my rice cooker, so some of it was a tad crunchy, but we didn't mind. And the taste was so good that we didn't miss white rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. alkapal Aug 15, 2012 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HUGE YAY for the Spinach and Kale Pie with Feta Cheese and Phyllo Pastry that comes frozen. It is a long, flat log shape (not round pie). Do not let it sit on counter, but do cook directly from freezer. It has a great, authentic Greek Spinach Pie flavor and texture -- AND you cannot make it yourself for $4.99! we both loved it, easily eating it for dinner, and the leftover for breakfast! ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        if you love spinach, go get it today!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PS, this is a much better value than the smaller spinach triangles, and another spinach pie thingie that i know they have (or had).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Briek Aug 15, 2012 10:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I second this! We loved it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Aug 15, 2012 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY: Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee Candies - one word...YUM!!! These are the candies in the little bags right near the checkout stands (at least they are at our TJ's store) and are only cost around 1.50 per pack. I was pleasantly surprised that the almonds and toffee were ground up in the center, so there were no big chunks of almond or toffee which for me was PERFECT. The dark chocolate went well with it, and I am more of a milk chocolate fan but still loved these candies. Try them out - they are delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MEH/NAY: Baked Cheese Crunchies...I know a lot of you on this board love these, but I just wasn't liking them. I much prefer the cheese taste of TJ's Baked Cheese Curls, and gave it a partial NAY because my package was on the stale side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY: Greek Apricot Mango Yogurt - TJ's line of of regular Greek (not the lowfat or nonfat) yogurts are absolutely the best yogurts I have ever purchased. We loved the Greek Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt and the Greek Apricot Mango is even better - the apricots and mangoes are diced up in the yogurt and tasted like they were freshly cut up in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rilke Aug 15, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Those Greek yogurts (strawberry vanilla, apricot mango, and honey) have been wonderful for my dad, who is trying to maintain his weight despite a very low appetite due to chemotherapy. They are his all-time favorite yogurt taste-wise and go down as easily as other yogurts with half the calories, and I feel much MUCH better giving him one of those each day than those nutritionally awful Boost and Ensure shakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower Aug 15, 2012 12:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Very sorry to hear Rilke that your father has to go through chemo, but glad that he has found these greek yogurt cups at TJ's. They are full of protein, calcium, with a decent amount of calories - all things needed for someone looking to put on weight. I myself am on the thin side and have tried boost/ensure to add some pounds on...they just aren't very palatable to taste. I too am living off of these TJ's greek yogurts now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                trolley Aug 15, 2012 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i'm so sorry about your dad :( it is a good way to gain weight. when my son was 2 he was really underweight and we ate this yogurt often. we often melted butter into applesauce but the yogurts were much better for him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rilke Aug 15, 2012 04:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Didn't mean to start a pity thing! But I appreciate the sentiment (you too littleflower :-) ). Just wanted to throw it out there as a tip if anyone else is struggling to gain weight / struggling with appetite. These yogurts are ~300 calories a pop and delicious, and don't sit on my dad's stomach like an equivalent amount of most other foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    trolley Aug 15, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh we've been down the ensure/boost road and it' not a very tasty one, especially for a 2 yr old. at least an adult can probably suck it down while holding your breath. the probiotics in yogurt are really good for people with compromised immune too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower Aug 16, 2012 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't yet tried the honey greek yogurt but looking forward to adding that to my ever-growing TJ's list as well. Great tip on these yogurts being good for those looking for something easy to eat, tasty, and good amount of calories to maintain nutrition. Keep us posted on your Dad, and hope he finds other foods as well that he likes and wants to eat a lot of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Aug 15, 2012 08:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One more YAY: Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil in a can - this was SO GOOD that I didn't even bother putting it into a bowl and adding a little mayonnaise and diced up pickles (how I used to eat tunafish sandwiches). I ate it with just a sprinkling of sea salt...and ate the whole can in one sitting. I am not sure about you all, but my tunafish memories have been confined to canned chunk white tuna in water from the famous label brand, and TJ's yellowfin in olive oil is leaps and bounds tastier than that. Only wish that the can included a flip top so I didn't have to bother with the can opener. If you like tuna even just a little bit - highly recommend trying this! For the quality of this product alone - a steal for 2.29 per can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mrsjoujou Aug 15, 2012 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I used to buy this all the time, but once I ate the whole can and my blood pressure was the highest ever at the doctor's office. Watch out for the sodium.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John Francis Aug 15, 2012 07:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The canned yellowfin tuna makes great tuna salad - more flavorful than canned albacore. Oil instead of water makes a difference in flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fhp Sep 15, 2012 01:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree about the Tuna packed in Olive Oil. I have been buying it for years for my Italian husband. I have just discovered that Fresh and Easy also sells an Albacore packed in Olive Oil that may be even better. I always use them when making a Putanesca Sauce with Tuna. Also try making a Tuna Salad without mayonnaise. Combine capers, dijon mustard, lemon juice. Make sure to always squeeze out the excess oil when you open the can. I always add a good olive oil to the mix. This is delicious with a Salad Nicoise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay also to Mango Sherbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fhp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower Sep 15, 2012 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nice tips there, fhp, thanks. Yeah, we do not live anywhere near a Fresh and Easy but TJ's Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil is absolutely superb. Mango sherbet sounds good and glad to hear it scores a "yay" from a fellow chowhounder. This will have to go on my ever growing "must try" list for TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. paulj Aug 15, 2012 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not quite the usual 'yea', but yesterday I came across an interview with the CEO (or is the former one?) of Costco who expressed admiration for the TJ business model - niche market with quality products and staff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GraceW Aug 15, 2012 09:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Uh oh, I wouldn't want some type of hybrid--Trader Jostco's.. that could be confusing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          trolley Aug 15, 2012 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that would be the end of me. hybrid TJ-Costco. I wouldn't stop shopping! we would go bankrupt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        chuchelo Aug 16, 2012 01:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yea - Speculoos spread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yea - Lime Fruit Floes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yea - Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yea - Refrigerated Biscuits

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chuchelo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          AmyH Aug 16, 2012 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I didn't know they had refrigerated cinnamon rolls! I'll have to look for those. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chuchelo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower Aug 18, 2012 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not sure if you have tried them yet, but along the same lines as the refrigerated cinnamon rolls and biscuits (and appropriately, located right next to them in the same section!) are the TJ's crescent rolls. I highly recommend them - they are buttery, flaky, and delicious - we like them much better than the famous name brand in the supermarket.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            vttp926 Aug 17, 2012 04:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay-not sure if it is new but it is new to me. Had a triple creamy brie with wild mushrooms. So So good especially paired with the everything cracker. My friend told me to take home the rest with me and I completely forgot, I now wish I had a TJ near me so I can get some more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: vttp926
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LAgirl2 Aug 18, 2012 05:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              +1 on the brie w/ mushrooms (not a new item, but one of my favorite cheeses @ TJs)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              shaebones Aug 18, 2012 01:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nay. Am I the only one who thinks that Speculos spread is gross?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: shaebones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Aug 18, 2012 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I liked the Speculoos cookie spread but must admit that after the novelty of it wore off, I am left with half a jar of Speculoos spread that isn't calling my name anymore. It was really tasty to try and experiment with, but isn't on my "repeat buy" list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Craig234 Sep 16, 2012 01:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I feel the same way. My reaction to the first couple jars was 'oh my gosh this is incredibly delicious'. After buying the first one, I went back and got five.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But then that wears off and it becomes kind of something you don't really want to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's weird, that doesn't happen a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: shaebones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  EM23 Aug 19, 2012 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, but I think we are in the minority. I find it overwhelmingly sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shaebones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GraceW Aug 19, 2012 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree the novelty wears off (make Puppy Chow with it.. and give it to teenagers).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, 'spreads' (like processed peanut-butter) have recently given me the question: "Why do we (in America) consider this 'paste' to be food?"--I cannot believe how much it now reminds me of edible paste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      emily Aug 22, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, spreads aren't just an American fascination; after all, Nutella is originally a European product. And what about Marmite/Vegemite?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On another note, what are most people doing with the Speculoos spread -- putting it on toast?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: emily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rilke Aug 22, 2012 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My fellow employees and I mostly eat it straight from the jar with spoons. You could also try it on strawberries or apple slices. Or pretzel thins (sweet/salty). Or on top of oatmeal or plain yogurt with sliced banana. Or on crepes or pancakes. Or baked into cookies. Or on top of cookies. . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: emily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bloombee Aug 22, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I eat it with apple slices. My kids like it on waffles or pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: emily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            woodleyparkhound Aug 22, 2012 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I eat it on top of cinnamon grahams with a glass of milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: shaebones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FitMom4Life Aug 22, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love the stuff. But I was hooked on the original Biscoff spread before I ever knew about Speculoo. I'm a Biscoff junkie!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          walker Aug 18, 2012 10:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know some of you really liked the new filo spinach and kale thing; I just had it tonight and it took WAY LONGER than 45 minutes to cook AND it was so salty I could not eat more than a taste of it; will not buy this again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: walker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal Aug 19, 2012 02:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            do you know your oven is working according to the temperature setting?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            we didn't find it salty, and we're not over-users of salt. maybe you got a bad batch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              walker Aug 19, 2012 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I keep an oven thermometer in my oven so the oven temp was right; you could be right that I got a bad batch. I kinda like salt but this was way too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal Aug 25, 2012 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                walker, i tried the product again, and followed the directions about leaving the pie in the paper tray to bake. you are correct that the instructions for the baking time are vastly understated. it calls for 45 minutes at 375, and i had to bake at least an additional one-half hour! i called to let the TJs know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                additionally, i noticed it was tasting saltier this go around. hmmm…. mr. alka doesn't think it tasted saltier this time. go figure!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                anyhow, when we had first tried it in the demo at the store, they were baking it OUT of the paper tray, on a baking sheet, which is how i did it the first time as well, and the timing was pretty accurate -- maybe an extra 5-7 minutes needed to get the brownness i wanted (or maybe it was my oven --ha!)…. but it did spread (leak) somewhat on the baking sheet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                so i agree 100% with you. they need tp revamp their directions and also reduce the salt. but i still will buy it….and eat something with it to reduce the saltiness….(i'm thinking it would be tasty with some cottage cheese, cream cheese, or -- of course -- some lebneh or greek yogurt).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: walker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              givemecarbs Aug 19, 2012 02:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TJ's stuff always seems to take longer to cook for me too. I've come to expect it. Sorry that you wasted all that gas/electricity on something you found inedible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                John Francis Aug 30, 2012 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like TJ's spanakopita and expected to like this, but agree that it's way too salty - and I like salt in my food. Don't care for the flavor of the feta cheese in it either. Two bites, the second to confirm the first, were all I could eat, so into the garbage it went. Extremely unusual for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For what it's worth, 45 minutes in the paper tray in a preheated oven was enough to heat it through and brown the pastry. I don't believe cooking it longer would have made it better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                John Francis Aug 20, 2012 05:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Blah - Quinoa Duo with Vegetable Melange (frozen). Flavorless except for a slight peppery edge. The vegetable melange is zucchini, sweet potato, tomato, and onion, and several herbs and spices are listed, but I can't taste any of them. Inoffensive but that's all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. puzzler Aug 20, 2012 07:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Big NAY on Trader Joe's Meat Lasagna in the refrigerated section.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The most tasteless pile of stuff I have ever gotten from TJ. Not bad taste or off taste, but NO taste. No taste of tomato or Italian sausage or ground beef, or Mozz or Ricotta or Parm cheese, or a single seasoning or spice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The ingredients list has all the usual things, but we couldn't taste any of them. How do they do that? How do you remove flavor?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: puzzler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    paulj Aug 20, 2012 09:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Did you try salting it? Sometimes just the right amount of salt is needed to make all the other flavors 'pop'. But having offered that excuse, I'll have to admit that few of their frozen entries have wowed me. In fact the thing like that that I regularly buy is their mini meatballs. Otherwise its the frozen basics like vegetables and fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John Francis Aug 21, 2012 03:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TJ's many kinds of frozen fish are very good, and I've taken to buying their frozen turkey burgers instead of making my own from ground turkey. Likewise the frozen meatballs, mini or not. Likewise the potstickers. But I haven't had much luck with the prepared and frozen entrées in the plastic trays. Maybe partly because I don't have a microwave oven, which they're designed for, and heating them in other ways doesn't work so well. But for me at least, they're on the wrong track.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower Aug 21, 2012 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can you please share with us what frozen fish you have had good luck with? I have only tried TJ's fish once a few years ago, and was left with lackluster results (I think it was a salmon dish). I love salmon, trout, and tuna, and it would be great in the wintertime when I can't easily (or cheaply!) get it fresh to be able to get it right at TJ''s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          John Francis Aug 21, 2012 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sure! I've had their just plain frozen salmon - sockeye, cohoe, king - and they were fine but more or less commodities. Standard stock in the freezer are Premium Salmon Burgers (seasoned) and either Battered Fish Nuggets or Reduced Guilt Fish Sticks when I feel like that kind of thing. Also had the battered cod and liked it but the price is a little high for my budget.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            John Francis Aug 21, 2012 08:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry, I meant the battered halibut, not cod.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              q
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Querencia Aug 24, 2012 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The crab-stuffed flounder is a bargain at $2.99 per portion and is (I think) very good. I also like their salmon without the pink food coloring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              paulj Aug 21, 2012 02:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              With the fish, I'm happiest with the plain fish pieces, not the fish 'dishes'. Aji tuna steaks comes to mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Aug 24, 2012 05:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the recommendations from both you and John...will def. try the aji tuna and reduced guilt fish sticks in the near future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. AmyH Aug 21, 2012 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Big yay for the Kettle Corn Cookies! Oh my goodness they are tasty! Very buttery, sweet and salty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          toodie jane Sep 12, 2012 06:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tasty, but way too rich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: toodie jane
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            AmyH Sep 13, 2012 08:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But they're small, so if you're able to stop at 1 or 2 then it's ok.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. aching Aug 21, 2012 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yea for the potato salad - it's just your basic, American-style potato salad, but it's properly seasoned, the potatoes are the right size and cooked properly, and it is the right blend of chunky and mashed (at least to my taste buds).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            butterfat Aug 21, 2012 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay for the (frozen) Battered halibut. It's on the pricy side, but makes delicious fish tacos (with TJ's corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, homemade creamy cilantro sauce, homemade pickled red onions and jalapenos, and homemade salsa). I never once regretted using my time to make three condiments and dialing in the frozen fish. It was perfect. Don't be tempted to use the (cheaper) Breaded Cod fillets instead. They are IMO much worse in texture and flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay for the Crisp Rice Cereal and the Graham Crackers. Basics but done really well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay for the (frozen) Palak Paneer. With a piece of buttered Tandoori Naan it makes a satisfying easy lunch, and the flavor is much better than it needs to be. I would be perfectly happy if I was served this curry in an Indian restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay for the (frozen) Mac and Cheese Bites (serve with TJ"s Kansas City BBQ sauce mixed with a splash of TJ's amazing Habanero Hot Sauce). Makes a great trashy snack while watching a movie. Nay for the Mini Cheddar Chipotle bites. Not inedible, but not very flavorful or interesting unless you pile a bunch of your own toppings on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay for the (new, frozen) Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli. Nice simple straightforward dish, makes a good easy lunch for me and my 3 year old to share. Not too salty and lends itself well to embellishment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RedTop Aug 22, 2012 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spent just less than $80!!! on our recent trip there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's the opinions so far:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Trader Jose's Dark Lager (imported from Mexico, $5.99/Six Pack). Emphatic YAY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Trader Joe's Artisan Reserve Vermont White Cheddar-Aged three years. Best Cheddar we've ever tasted. Emphatic YAY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Trader Joe's Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips. 7 oz., $1.99. Yay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Trader Jose's Salted Sesame Corn Tortilla Flat Breads. Terrific snack cracker. YAY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TJ's Pita Bite Crackers. Another nice cracker. Yay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Much more left to consume and report on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RedTop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gio Aug 22, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Trader Joe's Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips. 7 oz., $1.99. Yay"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My husband Yays that too. In fact he inhales them... I try not to look at them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RedTop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  q
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Querencia Aug 24, 2012 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The peanut-butter filled pretzel nuggets with salt on the surface. Every time I serve them they are the party snack that gets eaten first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower Aug 22, 2012 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  *OKAY* - Everything Pretzel Slims: I was in the mood for a bag of salty, crunchy thin pretzels, and these caught my eye. I loved the taste of the "everything" flavor combination on these pretzels as well as the crunch, I just wanted MORE of the "everything" flavor to shine through. Also, these really lacked salt - once I added some sea salt to them it perked the flavor up just a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY: Organic Apple Strawberry Fruit Wraps - tasty for only .50 per wrap - a nice healthy snack to chew on, and hoping something will pry me away from the TJ's Gummy Bears (still addicted to those and we're on our fourth bag in just a couple of weeks)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    christy319 Aug 22, 2012 01:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Meh on the Chicken Tamalitos (or something like that--the new mini chicken tamales). I thought the box implied they come with sauce but my box didn't have anything. They are okay for a work lunch if you bring salsa, etc separately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. greygarious Aug 22, 2012 08:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yea to the Thomcord grapes, which are sure to be temporary. They look like Concord but have been crossed with Thompson so they are seedless, and taste like both their parents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My TJ's has moved a short distance over the line from MA to NH, so it now has wine and beer!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meds mean I can't drink regularly, but I bought some hard cider, a brand of Riesling that I know to be a good one, and the former 2, now 3½ Buck Chuck, for cooking. The descriptions of the beers and ales were intriguing. The staff exceeded the helpfulness one always finds at TJ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sciencediet Aug 23, 2012 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Please report back on what cider you got and how it was! I'm a cider fan but I'm wary of the TJ's brand--they look like Woodchuck, which I know I find too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do recommend the Sir Perry pear cider (not a TJ brand).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sciencediet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          greygarious Aug 23, 2012 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I won't be trying it until crisper weather in the fall but if it's drier than a riesling I won't like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is not TJ's own label. I got the first variety listed: http://pupscider.com/SHTM/SHWC_HARDCI...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Forgot to mention: New, or new to me, is TJ's tomato paste in 4.93 oz tubes, product of Tunisia, for a mere 99 cents! I pay from $3 to $4 for the 4.5 oz Amore, an Italian product which might be more concentrated (it says double concentration but compared to what?). I have an Amore open so have not yet tried the TJ. The odd amount leads me to think it's a relabled foreign brand. Even if it is not as strong as Amore, it's less than a third the price so who cares. I know, it's cheaper to freeze small amounts of canned paste, and I do that. But when a dish needs just a tweak, nothing beats the convenience of the tube.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            greygarious Aug 25, 2012 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Today I opened the TJ paste tube and squeezed strips of both it and Amore into an oiled skillet. They are precisely the same texture and color! I did not taste them because tomato products vary within a given brand, according to the ripeness of the fruit and the season they are made. I think the visual comparison is the most germane in this case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          clubtraderjoes Aug 27, 2012 07:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love those Thomcord grapes. They only grow them in California right now and only ship them when they are ripe which is for a few weeks. I think they are one of the best eating grapes out there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Aug 23, 2012 06:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HUGE YAY: Cats Cookies for People (the regular kind) - tastes like a cross between a homemade cinnamon roll with the texture and consistency of a honey teddy graham. Can't. stop. eating these!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HUGE YAY: Everything Bagel Chips - after being a little disappointed with the lack of flavor out of the Everything Pretzel Slims, we decided to give these a try. Now, I've had bagel chips before elsewhere and definitely wasn't impressed (others had really no flavor), but these taste garlicky with a complexity achieved from the combination of the other ingredients. See above comment on inability to stop eating them - it applies here too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY: Organic Country White Bread - heard this a decent bread and decided to give it a try. Toasts up great and the ingredient list includes spelt, oats, etc....so it is a little more healthy than plain ol' white bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. q
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Querencia Aug 24, 2012 08:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mango ice cream-filled mochi. I dare not buy these as cannot resist, in fact, cannot walk past refrigerator. BTW a Chicago supermarket sells the identical product for roughly 200% of the TJ price. Ditto TJ's frozen chocolate lava cakes. Let us never take for granted TJ's very favorable prices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RedTop Aug 25, 2012 05:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay, Trader Joe's Chopped Lamb and Rice Dinner Premium Dog Food with Vegetables (22 oz can)--our girls split this for breakfast this morning and each wolfed down their portion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RedTop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Aug 25, 2012 09:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Laughing...I first read "Chopped Lamb and Rice Dinner" and was happy thinking this was a new TJ's dish (we love lamb and are always seeking new ways to try it), then realized this was food made for dogs not humans. Maybe TJ's will make a "people" version of it :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                John Francis Aug 25, 2012 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay - Sliced Muenster Cheese, both the regular and low-fat. No flavor at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  jmacd Aug 25, 2012 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Major yay - reduced guilt guacamole with Greek yogurt. It has a slight kick, great flavor, slightly chunky texture. While probably not for guac purists, I like it so much better than the other tj's guac I've tried (spicy, the avicado's number one). At 30 cal/2T, it's going to be hard to stop this from being a regular buy at my house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jmacd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    AmyH Aug 26, 2012 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree! THat reduced guilt guacamole is great! Awesome taste and texture. You don't even miss the extra calories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower Aug 25, 2012 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY: Organic Woodfire Sicilian Style Pizza - outstanding crust, best ever for a frozen pizza (very flavorful and crispy), sauce was perfect (not too sweet), and tasty roasted red peppers. Two things though...the "pearls" of mozzarella didn't spread well and the taste wasn't as good as expected, and I am glad that we didn't add the red pepper olive oil drizzle b/c even without it, the pizza had a slight albeit nice kick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY: Black Figs - the sweetest, juiciest figs I have ever tried. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY: Apple Cranberry Juice - the apple juice balanced out the slight tartness of the cranberry. Refreshing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NAY: Strawberry Fruit Floes - surprised with this one, thought it was waaaaaay too sugary sweet tasting. Not very refreshing IMO...although I know this is a winner for some, this won't be a repeat buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NAY: Peaberry Coffee - blech. Strong and bitter - glad this was just a sample at the station.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MEH: Ciao Pepperoni - taste was good, but it the edges didn't crisp up as well as other brands in the oven, and surprised to notice after purchasing it that it has Sodium Nitrites in the ingredients list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Sep 2, 2012 07:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      lucky you on the figs - the organic ones i bought yesterday get a big fat NAY. utterly tasteless. they're going back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower Sep 3, 2012 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry to hear that, GHG...yeah, as much as I love TJ's, sometimes (as another poster recently pointed out here...I think chompy) they can be a bit inconsistent on the quality of their batches they sell. Probably the same as many grocery stores, it's just when you taste one of TJ's many "wow" products you want it to always be that same A++ quality and sometimes they fall short. It doesn't usually bother me (too much) though because of their fantastic no questions asked return policy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. trolley Aug 25, 2012 01:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YAY- Chia seeds. you really can't go wrong with chia seeds as they're just seeds but glad they're available now at TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. AmyH Aug 26, 2012 01:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay- cilantro salad dressing. Delicious and not overwhelmingly cilantro.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay - refrigerated cinnamon rolls. Not a replacement for homemade, of course, but way better than the preservative and artificial flavoring filled dreck sold in other grocery stores.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay - everything bagel chips. Very tasty, nice balance of flavors. Not too salty or oniony. Nice crunch, not too dry and hard.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay - English toffee with milk chocolate. Wow this stuff is good! I just wish the pieces were about half the size that they are. It's a big piece.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay - peanut butter cups with dark chocolate. Great balance of peanut butter and chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          AmyH Aug 28, 2012 05:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay - refrigerated crescent rolls. So much better than Pillsbury, and without that nasty aftertaste from all the artificial ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Ruth Lafler Aug 26, 2012 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not sure how new these are, but yay for the Tuscan cheese soaked in wine and yay for the 3-year "Artisan" extra-sharp cheddar, which is not only sharp but also somehow lemony, and is creamier than most extra-sharp, long-aged cheddars. Nay on the 1000-day gouda. I love aged goudas, but this was disappointing. The Old Amsterdam TJ's also carries is better.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            angelsmom Aug 26, 2012 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay to a brand of cheddar cheese called unexpected!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RedTop Aug 27, 2012 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay--Trader Joe's Coastal Merlot; vintage 2010, $4.99.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. clubtraderjoes Aug 27, 2012 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kind of a quirky item I saw recently at Trader's. Chia Seeds! At first I was was like what am I going to do with these things, but my wife really likes them on yogurt and there are a myriad of things you can do with them. I guess in Mexico they put them in fruit drinks were they swell up like little gelatinous balls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: clubtraderjoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dommy Aug 27, 2012 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yup! They are like Mexican Boba... They are an interesting addition to refridgerator oatmeal... they make it almost pudding like!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: clubtraderjoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    trolley Aug 27, 2012 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm addicted to adding chia in drinks. Was so happy when I saw them on the shelf!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Vidute Aug 27, 2012 10:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chia's the new uber-weightloss phenomenon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John Francis Aug 27, 2012 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yea - Eggplant Cutlets (frozen). Breaded with seasoned crumbs and (it says in the ingredient list) some Parmesan and Romano cheese, though I don't taste them; 12 thin rounds per 1-lb box. Probably best when served with an Italian sauce, but pleasantly savory on its own. Instructions say to sauté 3-4 minutes per side; 3 minutes is more than enough

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      coney with everything Aug 27, 2012 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like those, baked until seriously golden then topped with mozzarella and tomato sauce. World's easiest eggplant parm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coney with everything
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower Aug 27, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We tried the frozen eggplant cutlets a few weeks ago and liked their taste, sauteeing them just like John did. Next time we purchase them though will try baking them to get them just a tad bit crispier. Also want to try topping them with the mozzarella and marinara sauce as well...should make a good product even better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower Aug 27, 2012 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay: Real Mayonnaise...made great deviled eggs. I'm not even a big mayo fan and found myself liking a little bit on toasted bread when making sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay: All Natural Chicken Wings...went alongside the deviled eggs, the family agreed that not only did these wings taste better than what we were purchasing at our local supermaket, but there wasn't the grisle that you sometimes find on other brands of chicken wings. Definite repeat buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Savour Aug 30, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TJs mayo has replaced Hellman's/Best Foods for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nay: trader Joel's taco seasoning. So spicy I couldn't feed to the kids, and even had to add cream cheese to the chicken to make it palatable for the adults. It would have been OK if I knew what I was getting into..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Savour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Aug 30, 2012 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the Taco Seasoning review...can't take spicy foods too well so will prob. pass on this one - will stick with another brand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I also made the same switch from Hellman's to TJ's....tastes even better in my opinion and maybe a bit healthier ingredients, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Savour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cathy Aug 30, 2012 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The taco seasoning packet is the same size as sold in other stores, but TJs label is to use with 2 pounds of meat; the other brands are for one pound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cathy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              trolley Aug 30, 2012 03:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NAY- on the taco seasoning. i've only used a sprinkle of it and it's still too spicy. i'm into spicy (think sriracha on almost anything) but this has some other issue. i think the flavors are unbalanced and needs to be ground a bit more. the spicy overpowers whatever else is in the mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cathy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Savour Sep 6, 2012 11:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, but I only used half a packet. It's really spicy. And I like spicy. I think they're heavy handed with the cayenne.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower Sep 13, 2012 05:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A word of advice on the chicken wings...bought another package of them and they were unfortunately just not as good as the ones we had tried a few weeks ago. These wings were much bigger and the chicken was a bit tough. I will buy these wings again but will make sure that the wings are smaller in size like the first package we bought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. tracylee Aug 27, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just got back from TJs so I haven't had a chance to try my new items, but I was thrilled to find a few items sweetened with stevia extract: Lite Lemonade and Crispy Protein bars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I picked up some dark chocolate PB cups based on the Yay I read here, and the cashier said they were "the best thing ever" without me even asking. I'm looking forward to trying those later tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also picked up a couple of the cans of protein drink. I'd be interested to see if anyone has tried them and if they're better than Boost or Ensure?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tracylee Aug 27, 2012 08:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OK, I've tried a few things this evening and so for it's all good:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay - Crispy protein bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay - Oatmeal/Cinnamon mini cookies in the tub
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay - Low Calorie Lemonade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay - Raspberry Blueberry bran muffins

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower Sep 1, 2012 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tracylee, have you had a chance yet to try the protein drink cans? I saw that they had a chocolate and vanilla one, and was tempted to purchase the chocolate...just want to be sure it tastes better than Ensure or Boost does (blech!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    tracylee Sep 1, 2012 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I haven't yet, but I like that you can buy one can at a time to try them, instead of investing big bucks in a 4-pack of something icky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tracylee Sep 3, 2012 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OK, took one for the team this morning :-) . The chocolate is quite good, thinner and more flavorful than other canned protein shakes. For testing, I drank it right out of the can when I pulled it out of the refrigerator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower Sep 3, 2012 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chowhounds GMTA...Great Minds Think Alike! I too bought a can of the "Frosty Chocolate" Protein Shake and thought it tasted a lot better than Boost or Ensure. Best when drinking it very cold...make the mistake yesterday of trying it semi-cold and it was okay but after putting it back in the refrigerator to set longer, it was quite good when very cold. I will try the Vanilla flavor next. Thanks for letting us know about this TJ's product tracylee or else I probably would not have tried it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          cyclecat Sep 12, 2012 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yep, it has to be cold to the point of slushy. Both flavors (esp. the vanilla) benefit from the addition of a shot of espresso. Dump in, put your thumb over the opening in the can, and shake HARD. There are worse breakfasts out there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            tracylee Sep 12, 2012 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you find that you like either flavor, I found them at Target for <$7 a 4-pack. They also have Pure Protein bars and powders in more flavors. The bars are sweetened with sugar alcohols, and I didn't look at the info on the powders, since I have a big tub of a different brand to use up first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Transplanted Texan Aug 28, 2012 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YAY YAY YAY!!!! Thomcord fresh grapes. I adore Concord grapes with every fiber of my being. Haven't found any yet down here, but found this hybrid at TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I just ate the entire 1 pound carton of Thomcord grapes and they are OMG wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Alas, although I was just at TJs yesterday afternoon, I will have to make another trip to GET MORE GRAPES!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Transplanted Texan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        AmyH Aug 29, 2012 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I loved the flavor of the Thomcord grapes but wasn't crazy about the little seeds. They reminded me of blackberries in that way, and I'm not crazy about them for the same reason. My teenage son absolutely loved these grapes and would pop about 10 in his mouth at the same time, his eyes lighting up with joy when he chomped down on them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          greygarious Aug 29, 2012 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          TJ's calls them seedless, and the bunch I had met that criterion. I love Concord grapes despite their seeds, which CAN be chewed and eaten but seem to be a little bitter. Concord seeds are more stubborn than the seeds in red or black supermarket grapes. They really want to cling to the pulp. Nothing like that with the Thomcords.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            givemecarbs Sep 4, 2012 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Grabbed some of the thomcords last nite from TJs because hounds are howling about them and they were gone within an hour. No seeds, very sweet and tasty. Now I want MORE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: AmyH
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Transplanted Texan Aug 31, 2012 07:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm with your son! The bitty seeds didn't bother me in the least and I pretty much crammed as many as I could in my mouth at once. The taste is simply astonishing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              gmm Aug 31, 2012 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I picked up a carton yesterday and wasn't impressed. I love Concord grapes, but these tasted pretty much regular grapes and they definitely were not seedless. Maybe I got a bad batch.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Transplanted Texan Sep 1, 2012 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, pooh! That's too bad. Not sure where TJ's source the grapes from, but if they come from the east coast they may lose all their umph before they get to your neck of the woods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TJ's produce can be kind of sketchy, I've noticed. I buy from my farmers' markets all summer/fall, and then from the organic market the rest of the year. But when I saw those grapes, I had to try! Especially since Concord grapes haven't yet made it to our markets this year.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gmm Sep 1, 2012 11:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I was a bit bummed. Growing up, my best friend's family had Concord grape vines growing in their backyard. I have fond memories of sitting on top of a concrete wall with her, with a big pile of grapes. We just pinched the insides of the grapes into our mouths and pitched the skins.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Transplanted Texan Sep 3, 2012 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, lucky you! What a wonderful memory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    clubtraderjoes Sep 2, 2012 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm pretty sure they only grow Thomcords in California. Only seasonal too. Only for a few weeks. I love the flavor. A bit like real wine grapes with a little kick of Concord in them. Thompson Seedless are a dual use grape. The really big guys like Gallo use it for wine and also they are used in raisin production.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    www.clubtraderjoes.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                GourmetLight Sep 5, 2012 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I stopped by last night and nibbled a couple of the Thomcords just to test, but what did my eyes spy instead, Champagne Grapes!!!! Oh so sweet and succulent!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Transplanted Texan Sep 9, 2012 07:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ooh, I saw those as well -- I'll try them next time! Glad to know they're good.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Aug 29, 2012 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay: Lime Fruit Floes - liked these better than the Strawberry Fruit Floes...slightly tart and refreshing. It tastes like frozen limeade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Big Yay: Dress Circle Crispy Crunchy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - these were the sample of the day. As soon as I tasted it I said out loud "YUM!" Delicious...crispy but not too crispy and tiny/bite sized (at least the samples were!). Could barely see a raisin speck or two and couldn't really taste the raisins by themselves but that was perfect for me personally. A great oatmeal cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay: Organic Apple Raspberry Fruit Wrap - liked this a bit better than the apple strawberry one...reminded me of what Hawaiian Punch would taste like in a fruit wrap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay: 1/2 Gallon Whole Milk (rBST-free) - priced thirty cents cheaper than what I used to pay at another grocery store (and that wasn't even rBST-free), also the milk tastes better/creamier and the best part of all? The milk doesn't start to turn until least three or four days after the sell by date where other milks usually are starting to turn at the sell by date itself.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John Francis Aug 29, 2012 08:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The 1/2 gallon fat-free milk is also a good deal cheaper than in the food store down the block; can't compare flavors but the TJ milk tastes fine to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. aching Aug 29, 2012 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yay for Mango! Mango! Fruit & Yogurt Gummies - delicious gummy candy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    vttp926 Aug 29, 2012 06:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My fave! I buy these every time I go and I can't resist them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. clubtraderjoes Aug 29, 2012 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For all you Vegans out there, I really enjoyed the Trader Joe's Vegetable Pad Thai from the frozen section. Unlike that junk they sell in the box (yuck, petooie) this is the real deal and it's a product of Thailand! a big Yea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dommy Aug 29, 2012 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks so much for the Pic! I might have to go pick some up today! :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      --Dommy!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dommy Aug 30, 2012 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Okay, tried the Pad Thai and it was suprisingly delicious!! It even had little bits of peanut in it, although I missed the squirt of lime. Sadly this is not going to be on the regular rotation... it's quite the calorie bomb and a touch greasy. Fortunately they actually say the nutritionals are for 1 serving, unlike some of their other indulenent lunches...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We also got a chance to try the Thomcord grapes. Absolute hit for my super picky grape eating husband (he only like Kyoho grapes). They do have tiny little seeds, but they aren't as bothersome as the ones usually found in concords... So they probably would taste AWESOME frozen!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. aching Aug 29, 2012 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meh to the Mushroom Tortolloni (fresh, from the refrigerated case). With spinach and asparagus and a bit of creamy sauce, it was exactly what I thought I wanted for lunch today, but it turned out to be only okay. The mushroom flavor was very faint, and some of the asparagus was tough. I'm not saying I would never have it again, but it didn't live up to its potential.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. coney with everything Aug 30, 2012 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Finally succumbed to the lemon-gingersnap ice cream and all three of us give it an unqualified YEA!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also tried TJ Greek Honey yogurt and liked it. Now that Liberte has gone done the crapper it might have to be my yogurt of choice.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Aug 30, 2012 12:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Isn't the lemon-gingersnap ice cream the best?! Hard to resist eating too much at one sitting!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            coney with everything Aug 31, 2012 04:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Loved the little bursts of lemon. I can't think of another ice cream that has that.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower Aug 31, 2012 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Speaking of lemon, the freshly baked lemon tart was the sample of the day...not even sure how to rate this one, because lemon tarts are not really a go-to dessert of mine. This one definitely didn't end up in my basket because it was very mouth puckering tart! This is coming from someone whose fav. fruit floe is the lime. So...if you like foods that are extremely tart, go for it, otherwise have to give this a pass.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chompy Aug 31, 2012 10:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's funny, I had the lemon tart as a sample the other day too, and it reminded me of a fairly decent lemon bar. Not amazing, but pretty good, and not extremely tart. So maybe these can be inconsistent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: coney with everything
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Craig234 Sep 4, 2012 05:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, with all the positive reviews, I tried the lemon ginger cookie ice cream, and it's a nay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The lemon flavor was weak and not great, and the lemon peel was about the worst texture I've had in any ice cream, like picking out bits of coconut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like lemon-flavored things like cookies, and I like ginger cookies too, but this was just not an enjoyable ice cream to my taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Craig234
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yummfood Sep 5, 2012 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree with you about the ice cream. Bought it, the first couple of bites were delicious, and then the taste and texture started to become unpleasant.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                opinionatedchef Sep 7, 2012 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Craig234
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                toodie jane Sep 12, 2012 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                very wierd and unpleasant gritty texture. Like someone dumed some drywall patch into it. Disappointed--I love lemon ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think they should stay away from exotic mix-ins and keep to great flavors. Love their coffee and vanilla.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LaLa Sep 16, 2012 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really like that honey Greek yogurt with some of the praline granola!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                jontda Aug 30, 2012 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yea -Birdsnests, mac and cheese, mac and cheese balls, Mexican quiche, pulled pork, organic popcorn with olive oil

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  aching Sep 21, 2012 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I bought the pulled pork last night on an impulse and now I'm not quite sure what to do with it. Any suggestions? I guess sandwiches would be the obvious choice but if there are other good options I'd love to know!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chez cherie Sep 21, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it's good in (or on) scrambled eggs, over noodles or in a tortilla. i had some leftover mac n cheese, and stirred some in and loved that. but my fav is on a bun or ciabatta roll with some crunchy, tangy cole slaw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <