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Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - January 2013 [OLD]

MplsM ary Jan 2, 2013 12:18 PM

New year, new thread.

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  1. trolley Jan 2, 2013 05:01 PM

    i'll go first.

    Nay- Thai green curry simmer sauce. Upon opening the texture though liquid, reminded me of the green slime stuff that came in a little garbage can when i was in grade school. there's something really off about this sauce. there's too much acid in it or something.

    Yay- homemade tamales. tried the chicken and the veggie. both are pretty small yet caloric but tasty.

    7 Replies
    1. re: trolley
      Will Owen Jan 6, 2013 03:06 PM

      One of our favorite vegetarian dishes, an invention of mine, uses equal parts of that sauce and the light coconut milk added to sautéed onion, de-pulped Roma tomatoes and whatever other vegetables strike my fancy all cooked together, and marinated cubes of firm tofu, all served over rice. I can see how the sauce's flavor might not be agreeable to some, especially cilantro haters, but those to whom I've served this have at least claimed to like it.

      1. re: Will Owen
        trolley Jan 6, 2013 05:49 PM

        will owen, i think you've touched upon something here. maybe it needs to be cut with something like coconut milk. i found the acid in it too intense and not balanced enough. i do like cilantro but the other thing is my sense of smell. as discussed in my other thread it's still only at about 50%. that could very well be a factor. perhaps i'll give it a go once i'm smelling at 100% if that day will ever come :(

        1. re: trolley
          Will Owen Jan 6, 2013 08:31 PM

          trolley, it is a sauce, not a soup or beverage. Although I don't mind it if I sip some to get some idea where to go, I sure wouldn't want to sit down to a bowl of it. And I think for our taste it needs the coconut to be what we want.

          FYI, the tofu takes a strong position in my dish, although it's the last component to go in before the curry/coconut sauce. I toss cubes of that with Vietnamese fish sauce and Sriracha at the beginning and let that sit while everything else gets done. The vegetables, cooked after the onions are sautéed, were this time the cleared-out tomatoes, halved and cut into about five pieces per half, two zucchini cut into dice, and baby carrots. These were cooked over low heat for about half an hour until just tender, then the (drained) tofu and curry/coconut sauce were added, and everything simmered for another 15 minutes or so.

          I use only half a jar of the curry and half a can of the coconut for each 4-quart pan of this, which means I can make Mrs. O happy by making some more in a couple of weeks.

      2. re: trolley
        NuMystic Jan 8, 2013 04:23 PM

        Add another Yay on the Veggie Tamales (frozen). Steamed as per the instructions and they were damn good for a frozen entree. Topped it with:

        Yay - Fire Roasted No Salt Added Salsa - Very flavorful considering. Could use a dash more salt, but I rather like being able to add that myself in moderation when so many salsas are scary high in that dept.

        Yay - Dark Chocolate Almonds - Just what you'd expect

        Nay - Dark Chocolate Raisins - Shockingly not the same as the above almonds. Had an almost boozy/tart/alcohol note that I didn't care for. The ingredients list does vary slightly from the Almonds so it seems they're using a different chocolate on these that I didn't care for. Not inedible, but not something I'll buy again.

        1. re: NuMystic
          trolley Jan 8, 2013 05:13 PM

          Second theYay for the Fire roasted salsa. my husband has to watch his sodium intake so i end up buying a lot of low sodium foods which are often disappointing. This salsa has great flavors and a dash of salt makes it perfect.

        2. re: trolley
          Mattapoisett in LA Jan 15, 2013 08:07 PM

          I will have to add my Nay for the Yellow Curry Sauce. Dommy and I had it for Dinner and the flavor was overwhelmingly Cumin. We had to cut it with a couple of things to make it taste OK.

          1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
            1
            1MunchieMonster Jan 22, 2013 11:34 AM

            Is this the "Thai Yellow Curry Sauce" in the shelf stable glass bottle? I used to love that stuff. (Yay!) I would have it on tofu for a quick lunch-component, cold or warm. Actually, I put it on most everything. Anyhow, I don't remember it being Cumin-y.

        3. d
          DGinDC Jan 3, 2013 08:24 AM

          Nay - Winter cookieland sugar cookies. I just should have known better.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DGinDC
            olyolyy Jan 3, 2013 07:22 PM

            at first glance the box looked like something at a dollar store

          2. l
            littleflower Jan 3, 2013 08:44 AM

            Yay: Turkey Meatballs (frozen) - these were very good, everyone in our family thought that they were flavorful, by themselves and with sauce. This will be a repeat buy.

            Yay/Meh: Chicken Noodle Soup with Veggies (small box on aisle with canned soups) - the broth tasted close to homemade with just a little salt and pepper added to it and the corkscrew shaped pasta (think it's rotini) were both yays. The veggies were the usual carrots, onions, celery and were a okay for me if a bit soft so just a slight meh for that as well as for the inclusion of some dark meat chicken pieces. Overall not bad considering I tried it with fairly low expectations.

            11 Replies
            1. re: littleflower
              j
              jujuthomas Jan 3, 2013 10:44 AM

              going to have to check out the turkey meatballs.

              1. re: jujuthomas
                l
                littleflower Jan 3, 2013 11:41 AM

                Yeah I tried one without any sauce on it and actually said "yum", was surprised at how good they were considering they're made from turkey...since then we tried them both as crockpot meatballs with the TJ's Kansas City Style BBQ sauce mixed with TJ's Grape Jelly and with TJ's Organic Tomato and Basil Marinara sauce and both ways prepared were quite tasty!

                1. re: jujuthomas
                  GraceW Jan 3, 2013 04:07 PM

                  They were definitely a staple for my parents when I was growing-up (although I don't buy them)--my dad only likes steaks and 'real-meat'... but actually thinks they taste "rather meaty" despite that they are turkey.

                  1. re: jujuthomas
                    greygarious Jan 3, 2013 04:13 PM

                    I would not buy them again. They are rubbery and the package I bought tasted like the fatty portion of the meat that went into them had been a bit old, if not outright rancid. But I DO like both the flavor and texture of the frozen meatless meatballs a lot. They taste meatier to me than the turkey ones do, and I am a regular meat eater.

                    1. re: greygarious
                      Dommy Jan 3, 2013 04:36 PM

                      I agree, their texture was a bit too 'bouncy' for me to consider them 'great'. but for lunches at work, they worked really well. I made a workaholic's gruel, TJ's Turkey Meatball/TJ's Frozen Brown Rice/TJ's Low Sodium Red Pepper Soup (In the box). Nuke it all together, cut up the meat ball and spoon it all in... and it was a substantial, easy, cheap and quite tasty lunch....

                      --Dommy!

                      1. re: greygarious
                        l
                        littleflower Jan 3, 2013 11:56 PM

                        Thanks for the suggestion, grey - I'm always looking for decent substitutions to beef so I will have to take a look at the frozen meatless meatballs as well. Although definitely not the same as homemade or beef meatballs, we thought that the batch of TJ's turkey meatballs that we tried comparatively were better than some of the other turkey meatball brands out there.

                        1. re: greygarious
                          mcel215 Jan 16, 2013 02:17 AM

                          Grey,

                          I will second the yay on the Meatless Meatballs. I have served them to a friend and didn't tell her they were meatless until after dinner. She said they were good too.

                          www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                      2. re: littleflower
                        j
                        John Francis Jan 4, 2013 04:45 AM

                        The turkey meatballs for me too, because TJ's has really got the seasoning right. Not the texture, which is a bit odd, but not much of a problem for me.

                        1. re: John Francis
                          oliviasaru Jan 4, 2013 10:36 AM

                          I had tried these once before on the stovetop and wasn't impressed, but I had another bag and decided to give them a try in the crockpot. What a difference! I cooked them all day on low in tomato sauce, and made meatball sandwiches out of them. They tasted just as good as "real" meatball sandwiches, without the stomach-bomb feeling afterward. Tasty, simple weeknight supper.

                        2. re: littleflower
                          Atomica Jan 5, 2013 06:14 PM

                          We've bought the Turkey Meatballs many times. I think they're surprisingly good.

                          1. re: littleflower
                            l
                            Laura4378 Jan 23, 2013 11:16 AM

                            love the turkey meatballs

                          2. Savour Jan 3, 2013 09:02 AM

                            Yay - Dukkah - this is brand new. I think you're supposed to use it to dip bread in but I added it to roasting broccoli and it added a nice crunch and flavor.

                            Meh - Regular chicken broth. They were out of the organic free range at my store (hopefully temporarily) and I missed its intense chickeny ness. The non organic was a pale imitation.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Savour
                              EM23 Jan 3, 2013 09:52 AM

                              +Yay on the Dukkah - sprinkled on some cream cheese stuffed celery, made for a tasty snack.

                              1. re: Savour
                                c
                                chez cherie Jan 3, 2013 11:15 AM

                                added some panko , red chile flakes and chopped hazelnuts to the dukkah, and used that to crust a rack of lamb. (used hot and sweet mustard as the "glue".) delish!

                              2. greygarious Jan 3, 2013 09:50 AM

                                S/he who takes over the shepherding of renewing threads such as this also needs to report the old thread to ask the mods to add "[old]" to the title of the previous thread so it phases out. You also need to post on that thread a link to the one replacing it.

                                1. AmyH Jan 3, 2013 01:40 PM

                                  Yay/Nay - lowfat Protein Power banana chocolate chip muffins from the bakery section. My daughter got these. She didn't like them at all, thought they were too dense (like rocks) and tasted like artificial banana. I had one today and thought it wasn't bad. It was dense, but the taste was pretty good and it's a healthy snack with only 130 calories and 2 grams of fat. The first 2 ingredients are banana puree and applesauce, so you get your fruit servings.

                                  1. olyolyy Jan 3, 2013 07:46 PM

                                    Yay - basil plants. even though the farmers market has better basil for cheaper these are still great.
                                    European cookie tin. heavy on the dark chocolate but delicious
                                    Parmesan Potatoes with garlic (frozen). wanted an easy side for steaks and this looked good. However the potatoes are coated in this powdered Parmesan cheese, and then there are frozen chunks of garlic. No other sauce and they instruct to heat in a sacepan. It smelled great and was pretty tasty, but I needed to add heavy cream and cook differently to salvage. So, yay but the instructions are lame.

                                    Nay - blue cheese pecan dip. was just not a fan but everyone else who tried it loved it.
                                    French onion soup (frozen). Tried it out of curiosity since its been around for so long...was nothing to rave about and went in the garbage. Something about freezing the bread crouton in soup did not translate well after reheating and the cheese topping completely disintegrated (which I should have anticipated as the heating instructions said to top with extra cheese and place under broiler).

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: olyolyy
                                      c
                                      chocomel Jan 6, 2013 06:57 PM

                                      Agreed with the NAY - French onion soup was horribly salty and tasted a little off.

                                    2. Disneyfreak Jan 5, 2013 07:54 AM

                                      Yay -- Mandarin Orange Chicken. It is a frozen product. You cook the chicken in a pan with some oil and then heat the sauce in a sauce pan.

                                      The chicken pieces got nice and crispy. They have a coating on them which really got crispy when we cooked them - which is nice because sometimes these frozen products just get soggy. Basically they are like deep fried chicken pieces. I thought they were a nice fast dinner idea for one of those "I don't know what to make, but I'm hungry" nights. My daughter enjoyed them too. I would buy them again.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Disneyfreak
                                        g
                                        givemecarbs Jan 5, 2013 09:26 PM

                                        There are worse things than soggy, disney. My friend John bought there awhile back but since he is a beginner cook he has that odd overconfidence.
                                        He didn't bother to read the directions and just squeezed the sauce packet on the chicken and nuked the heck out of it. Unfortunately I was there to try it. Very hard and crunchy. He insisted it was good although the two of us couldn't finish one package. (I'm a good friend but not that good. I didn't want to risk the dentist bills)
                                        The next day he and his mom split the leftovers and she proclaimed it wonderful.
                                        I bought the Orange Chicken later and followed the directions. Very tasty.

                                        1. re: givemecarbs
                                          Disneyfreak Jan 7, 2013 01:25 PM

                                          Sounds like you were a good friend in just eating the portion you did.

                                        2. re: Disneyfreak
                                          greygarious Jan 6, 2013 02:56 PM

                                          I like the MOC too, so I recommend to you the Szechuan Beef and Broccoli. The frozen beef, veg, and sauce are in separate packets. Cooks the same way as MOC - I find the somewhat spicy sweet/sour sauce (similar to General Gau's)to be stretchable to a second meal so I use half the packet, putting the rest back into the freezer for my next from-scratch stir-fry.

                                          1. re: greygarious
                                            Disneyfreak Jan 7, 2013 01:27 PM

                                            I'm going to have to give that one a try. Sounds like something I would like for a quick meal. Did it have a Szechuan kick to it? I don't mind the spice.

                                          2. re: Disneyfreak
                                            NuMystic Jan 7, 2013 01:24 PM

                                            These are even easier (and a touch healthier) just tossed in the oven so you're spared the extra oil. Come out just as delightfully crispy.

                                            If you put them on parchment/foil you'll want to turn once, but I just place them on a wire rack and forget them until done without any turning necessary.

                                            I always cook longer than the directions waiting until the edges are starting to brown.

                                            These are a staple with mixed greens in our house when we need a super fast meal without having to resort to take-out.

                                            We usually eat them on the side, but they'd work just as well sliced up as a salad topper. Dipping sauce is just bright enough to work as dressing too. (though I personally would add a touch more lemon/vinegar when doing that)

                                          3. c
                                            chez cherie Jan 5, 2013 04:12 PM

                                            OH NO! our new product shelf is featuring crunchy cookie butter today. gah! just when i have weaned myself of my regular cookie butter addiction....bye-bye new year's resolutions!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: chez cherie
                                              fame da lupo Jan 22, 2013 08:33 PM

                                              ooooooh

                                            2. c
                                              calmossimo Jan 5, 2013 06:11 PM

                                              These products are new to me, although I know they've been around for a while:

                                              Yea -- tarte d'alsace (frozen section), raisin rosemary crisps, triple gingersnaps, and mango & cream bars (frozen).

                                              Mixed reviews -- BBQ brisket (refrigerated section). I thought this was pretty decent; the friends I ate with didn't care for it much and said they wouldn't buy it again. I would get it again if I were craving BBQ and needed a quick, simple, and inexpensive option.

                                              19 Replies
                                              1. re: calmossimo
                                                l
                                                littleflower Jan 5, 2013 07:07 PM

                                                Glad to see a good review for the mango & cream bars, we have been eyeing those for awhile now but weren't sure how they tasted. This will definitely go on an upcoming TJ's shopping list!

                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                  c
                                                  calmossimo Jan 5, 2013 07:14 PM

                                                  Yes, I liked them, but I thought they were a little awkward to eat because they are not on a popsicle stick. I thought they were pretty good though! I'd try the other flavors too.

                                                  1. re: calmossimo
                                                    l
                                                    littleflower Jan 15, 2013 11:20 PM

                                                    YAY: Mango and Cream Bars - refreshing...reminded me of a tropical flavored creamsicle! The mango to cream ratio is about four to one...which is perfect because it gave just a hint of cream flavor to balance out the sweet-tangy mango flavor. We kind of wish it was on a popsicle stick though to make it easier to eat...will definitely buy again though.

                                                    NAY: BBQ Chicken Pizza - okay, I rarely give a product a nay, and realize that many on here do love this pizza but will list the reasons why we won't buy it again...crust was void of any flavor, bbq sauce was pretty much non-existent, just a few pieces of white meat chicken were provided, and the last two I am not even sure what was on it since we had already thrown away the box but it was not palatable...dark meat chewy mystery chicken pieces?? some herb or spice that did not blend well with the pizza...cilantro??? The cheese was pretty decent as well as the few pieces of white meat chicken but other than that we have a hard time finding good things to say about it...

                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                      c
                                                      calmossimo Jan 26, 2013 12:49 AM

                                                      The other thing I like about the mango and cream bars is the small snack size. Perfect for a light dessert!

                                                      1. re: calmossimo
                                                        l
                                                        littleflower Jan 26, 2013 05:11 PM

                                                        Yes! I am a tiny girl with a small stomach, and the size of these are perfect! I am considering trying the raspberry and cream ones, too, but have not yet for fear they may have tiny seeds of raspberry in them (not a big fan of those!).

                                                2. re: calmossimo
                                                  b
                                                  brilynn79 Jan 5, 2013 09:38 PM

                                                  I adore those raisin rosemary chips.

                                                  I like the BBQ pork/chicken and beef and often eat it at work. That sauce is a little spicy.

                                                  1. re: brilynn79
                                                    aching Jan 8, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                    My husband eats those raisin rosemary crisps by the boxful. It's nice to have an affordable alternative to Rainforest Crisps (that's what the originals are called, right?), and I actually prefer the more petite size.

                                                    1. re: aching
                                                      firecooked Jan 18, 2013 07:47 PM

                                                      The crisps are too sweet for me unless pared with a creamy cheese...

                                                      1. re: firecooked
                                                        aching Jan 19, 2013 10:05 AM

                                                        I think they pair well with creamy or blue cheeses, and my husband eats them with hummus.

                                                        1. re: firecooked
                                                          Dommy Jan 19, 2013 06:40 PM

                                                          On their own, they are quite sweet... But that is what makes them ideal for cheeses, dips and pate... So I've found them to be quite versatile as an accompaniment.

                                                          --Dommy!

                                                        2. re: aching
                                                          m
                                                          Mother of four Jan 26, 2013 05:21 PM

                                                          They used to carry the ones just like the Rainforest Crisps,but I haven't seen them for some time. I really prefer those. I like both with their Cranberry Goat cheese.

                                                        3. re: brilynn79
                                                          AmyH Jan 19, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                          I really like the raisin rosemary crisps, too! They make a nice nibble just plain, but I can see how they'd go great with a goat cheese or blue cheese.

                                                          1. re: brilynn79
                                                            j
                                                            John Francis Jan 20, 2013 12:23 AM

                                                            The enthusiasm for the raisin rosemary crisps persuaded me to get a box. Pleasant enough, but for me not so special - I won't be a repeat buyer.

                                                            1. re: John Francis
                                                              Rilke Jan 20, 2013 01:06 PM

                                                              Did you try them with brie, or the Délice de Bourgogne?

                                                              1. re: Rilke
                                                                fame da lupo Jan 22, 2013 08:34 PM

                                                                I'm still shocked that TJ's stocks the delice - such a fantastic, character-full cheese.

                                                                1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                  Dommy Jan 22, 2013 09:45 PM

                                                                  It's not the same as getting from the cheese monger (It seems to lose a little bit of the lively flavor) but it's nice option for when you need it quickly or for a recipe... Keep an eye out for their Spotlight Cheeses... Really some special ones there..

                                                                  --Dommy!

                                                                  1. re: Dommy
                                                                    fame da lupo Jan 23, 2013 10:57 AM

                                                                    I find TJ's very "lively" but also haven't had it freshly sliced off a wheel. I find it supremely annoying that they wrap it in 3 layers of plastic, which pretty much is death to a cheese like delice. But I suppose not having a real cheesemonger means I can afford to buy it on the regular.

                                                                    1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                      Dommy Jan 23, 2013 02:07 PM

                                                                      There is a certain trade off... For parties and something where the cheese is to shine of its own... I go cheese monger (it's also easier to plan a trip for such occassions). But I SO grateful to have a TJs nearby where I can buy such wonderful cheeses on a whim and for a discount when I need them for a recipe or to bake. Also ask if there is a cheese expert at the store (There usually is...) which can help guide you for what you are looking for and for something new and delicious... :)

                                                                      --Dommy!

                                                                      1. re: Dommy
                                                                        Dommy Jan 23, 2013 02:13 PM

                                                                        Oh... and when I bring home my TJ cheeses, I unwrap them and put them in proper cheese papers, like these:

                                                                        http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                                                                        It prevents the dreaded slimy rind that happens to so many of their otherwise wonderful cheeses...

                                                                        --Dommy!

                                                        4. l
                                                          littleflower Jan 5, 2013 08:03 PM

                                                          SUPER HUGE YAY: Honey Tangerine Juice (Refrigerator Juice section, Quart size) - Absolutely OMG delicious - it was like I had just freshly squeezed the sweetest, best tangerine imaginable. I do not remember seeing this around last year at this time at TJ's, so this may be a brand new product and definitely seasonal.

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                            olyolyy Jan 6, 2013 08:40 PM

                                                            This is definitely seasonal, get it while you can and thanks for the heads up I love that juice.

                                                            1. re: olyolyy
                                                              l
                                                              littleflower Jan 6, 2013 10:54 PM

                                                              You're welcome, oh and one thing for everyone to know that I forgot to mention is that this juice is fresh and I do not think it is pastuerized so the shelf life is pretty short. This is not a problem at all for us obviously because we went through a quart of it in just one day!!

                                                              1. re: littleflower
                                                                s
                                                                sciencediet Jan 21, 2013 04:20 PM

                                                                It is pasteurized, but has no preservatives. Mine disappeared fast too, in part because my daughters and their friend made shakes with it and some raspberry sorbet. Pretty awesome.

                                                                1. re: sciencediet
                                                                  greygarious Jan 22, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                                  I loved that juice too - so glad I saw the recommendation here. I made jello with half of it so I wouldn't be tempted to down big tumblers of it!

                                                                  The heirloom navel oranges, a brief seasonal item, have appeared in the Nashua NH store. When I first saw them a couple of years ago I thought "heirloom oranges. Right - next it will be heirloom milk". But these are wonderful. Smaller, sweeter, less acidic than supermarket navels.

                                                                  The clerk pronounced the almond Danish ring, new to the bakery section, to be "awesome". I have not opened the clamshell yet so will report later.

                                                                  1. re: greygarious
                                                                    l
                                                                    littleflower Jan 23, 2013 02:21 PM

                                                                    The Honey Tangerine juice is what we have been practically living on lately. Realizing that because tangerine season is fairly short-lived, we're enjoying as much of it as we can right now...and yes, the heirloom oranges are less acidic and we have already gone through four bags of them in just a couple of weeks!!!

                                                                    Ooh that almond Danish ring sounds outstanding...can't wait to hear your take on it, grey!

                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                      greygarious Jan 23, 2013 08:49 PM

                                                                      The almond Danish is like the frozen almond croissants, without your needing to do the baking. The pastry is 5-7" in diameter, with a big puffy rim and a flat center, which is where the sliced-almond-topped almond paste layer is. One quarter of the pastry is about equivalent, in portion amount, to one of the croissants. I warmed a slice in the oven to crisp it up. My only quibble is that it fell apart as I picked it up to eat it. The heavier, almond paste part broke off from the airier rim portion. It wouldn't lend itself to using a fork so I think the options are to eat it unheated, or in private!

                                                                      1. re: greygarious
                                                                        l
                                                                        littleflower Jan 26, 2013 06:55 PM

                                                                        Thanks grey, would you mind telling me how much it is priced? I live on the East Coast/Mid-Atlantic, but regardless I doubt that there is much price variation regarding location. Sounds pretty tempting...and it will more than likely just me eating it warmed up so no worries here on it not staying intact!

                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                          greygarious Jan 29, 2013 10:27 PM

                                                                          $4.49

                                                          2. pamf Jan 5, 2013 10:25 PM

                                                            YAY - La Fondue, product of France, microwaves in it's own container and the consistency is very smooth. Has a very full cheese flavor. It's comparable to fondue I have made from scratch (not that I make the world's best or anything) and it requires no effort. The approx. 18 oz container is plenty for an appetizer for 4, maybe more.

                                                            The ingredient list is short: emmental, comte and gruyere cheese, water, white wine,modified corn starch, garlic, kirsch, salt, white pepper.

                                                            Fresh & Easy has an almost identical product (packaging, ingredients, heating instructions) labeled with the President brand and they are charging 8.99 vs. TJ's 5.99 for their private label version.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: pamf
                                                              y
                                                              YvonneChristine Jan 27, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                              I bought La Fondue after reading this review (I've picked it up and thought about buying it a few times but just couldn't believe it would be good at all). It was OK but I felt it was much too dry. Granted I dumped it into a fondue pot to slowly heat it. It came out of the container in a big gelatinous lump but it broke down pretty easily. I did add a little wine to help moisten it. Thought it could use a touch more garlic. But overall, for the ease of prep and the price, I agree it's a YAY.

                                                            2. h
                                                              HungryPixie Jan 6, 2013 09:32 AM

                                                              yay - crab + langoustine rangoon. really really REALLY tasty. i cook them longer than called for (anyone else notice TJs cooking times are a little off?) and they turned out so delish. made a dipping sauce with TJs dijon and sriracha ... have had them twice now.

                                                              yay - portobello garlic pizza in the fridge section never disappoints.

                                                              yay - frozen Indian food is amazing.

                                                              yay - their smoked mozzarella is super soft, creamy and not overpoweringly smokey ... yummmmmmmmmm

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: HungryPixie
                                                                fame da lupo Jan 22, 2013 08:35 PM

                                                                Scamorza huh? Anyone else see this at their TJ? It's not in mine (SoCal).

                                                                1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                  NuMystic Jan 22, 2013 09:15 PM

                                                                  Who mentioned Scamorza?

                                                                  1. re: NuMystic
                                                                    linguafood Jan 23, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                                    I believe s/he is referring to the smoked mozzarella. They're not the same cheese, but similar.

                                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                                      fame da lupo Jan 23, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                                      Woops, learned something there. Always used scamorza as shorthand.

                                                              2. l
                                                                littleflower Jan 6, 2013 06:52 PM

                                                                Meh: Minestrone Soup (large can with big letter "M" on front - soup aisle) - flavor was pretty bland, even with some doctoring up with salt, pepper, and some spices. Wide variety of the usual minestrone vegetables that were cooked well, and the broth of the soup itself had a thicker consistency than normal broth-based soups. It was okay and we ate the soup with dinner but won't be buying this one again.

                                                                1. TrishUntrapped Jan 6, 2013 10:59 PM

                                                                  Yay: Cocoa Drizzled Kettle Corn. Bet you can't just eat one... bag. Yay for the $2.69 per pound ground beef. Great price, perfectly okay meat.

                                                                  Nay: Rack of Lamb in the fresh meat section. Expensive and vastly inferior to lamb I buy at other markets.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                    Atomica Jan 10, 2013 06:04 AM

                                                                    Is it loose ground beef or patties? The patties turn out really dry and I don't like them at all. Whole Foods' cheapest ground beef is fabulous compared. I also object to a lot of TJ's meat coming from the other side of the world.

                                                                    1. re: Atomica
                                                                      TrishUntrapped Jan 10, 2013 06:48 AM

                                                                      Loose. We have a Whole Foods opening this spring nearby. Look forward to trying it.

                                                                  2. j
                                                                    John Francis Jan 7, 2013 10:43 AM

                                                                    The nationwide yeas, according to Trader Joe's:

                                                                    1. Speculoos Cookie Butter
                                                                    2. Mandarin Orange Chicken
                                                                    3. Triple Ginger Snaps
                                                                    4. Hummus (All Varieties)
                                                                    5. Charles Shaw Wines (All Varieties)
                                                                    6. Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Choc Almonds
                                                                    7. Frozen Croissants (All Varieties)
                                                                    8. Dark Choc Covered Candy Cane Joe-Joe's*
                                                                    9. Dark Choc Sea Salt Caramels*
                                                                    10. Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup
                                                                    11. Candy Cane Joe-Joe's*
                                                                    12. Pumpkin Butter
                                                                    13. Greek Yogurt (All Varieties)
                                                                    14. Pumpkin Bread Mix*
                                                                    15. Frozen Organic Brown Rice
                                                                    16. Joe's Diner Frozen Mac & Cheese
                                                                    17. Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries
                                                                    18. Nourish Facial Cleanser & Moisturizer
                                                                    19. Tomato Basil Marinara
                                                                    20. Corn & Chile Tomato-less Salsa
                                                                    21. Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds
                                                                    22. Natural Jerky (All Varieties)
                                                                    23. Candy Cane Green Tea*
                                                                    24. Dark Chocolate Stars*
                                                                    25. Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip
                                                                    26. Chicken Pot Pie Bites*
                                                                    27. Sipping Chocolate*
                                                                    28. Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

                                                                    *Seasonal Product

                                                                    27 Replies
                                                                    1. re: John Francis
                                                                      c
                                                                      chez cherie Jan 7, 2013 11:04 AM

                                                                      i find this list so interesting. noting that they call the list the "most favored"--different than best sellers. seeing as how cookie butter was out of stock for quite a while, i have trouble thinking that it was their top seller of the year. in addition, a good many of the items are seasonal, decreasing the possibility that they are best selling items. very interesting...thoughts?

                                                                      1. re: chez cherie
                                                                        NuMystic Jan 7, 2013 01:31 PM

                                                                        Edit: Ah! This being poll results makes a great deal more sense and would explain basically every one of chez cherie's thoughts. Thanks for clarifying that for us John.

                                                                        1. re: NuMystic
                                                                          l
                                                                          littleflower Jan 7, 2013 02:10 PM

                                                                          I kind of wish they separate the lists, and have one list just for top seasonal products and one list for products they carry year round. May not be as feasible, but I personally keep two lists on hand of my favorites to send to friends who ask what is good to buy at Trader Joe's.

                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                            GraceW Jan 8, 2013 06:01 PM

                                                                            I agree--I feel like it is a bit 'cruel' to post/boast about the seasonal products. 8 out of 28 products are seasonal.. you would think it would be better advertising and more strategic to highlight products that others could purchase year-round. However, I suppose they were just accurately reporting the data that they gathered.

                                                                            1. re: GraceW
                                                                              aching Jan 10, 2013 05:53 PM

                                                                              I just broke into my package of Candy Cane Joe-Joes (I had so many other sweets around before Christmas that I just hadn't made it to them until now). Man, are they good! They have they great flavor of a thin mint but in a much more substantial format. My only complaint, I guess, would be that they're a bit messy to eat - but worth it.

                                                                        2. re: chez cherie
                                                                          j
                                                                          John Francis Jan 7, 2013 02:15 PM

                                                                          These are presumably the results of their annual poll - I got an email a while ago inviting me to submit my top 20 list. Not a best-seller list, or it wouldn't include seasonal items.

                                                                        3. re: John Francis
                                                                          v
                                                                          Val Jan 10, 2013 05:09 PM

                                                                          yah... that Joe's Diner Mac & Cheese is DA BOMB!!! Son loves Stouffer's too but says TJ's edges them out.....sooooooo delish!

                                                                          1. re: John Francis
                                                                            c
                                                                            calmossimo Jan 26, 2013 12:43 AM

                                                                            I'm surprised the TJ's coconut oil wasn't on the list. I feel like CHers have talked it up quite a bit, especially consider the value for the size/price.

                                                                            1. re: calmossimo
                                                                              NuMystic Jan 26, 2013 01:13 AM

                                                                              I'm not surprised at all actually calmossimo. Coconut oil for all it's recent buzz is still far from a standard staple in most households. If you look at that list it's filled from top to bottom with items that have massive mass appeal.

                                                                              1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                c
                                                                                calmossimo Jan 26, 2013 03:07 PM

                                                                                I suppose there's truth in that. However, this could just be me (and my single-person household), but I wouldn't imagine that Trader Joe's moisturizer and face wash would be staples in most households. I don't ever buy, or consider buying, toiletries at TJ's. I also wouldn't have guessed that "chocolate covered powerberries" would have more mass appeal as a standard staple than coconut oil.

                                                                                1. re: calmossimo
                                                                                  NuMystic Jan 26, 2013 03:51 PM

                                                                                  It's just you. :)

                                                                                  Trader Joe's doesn't devote entire sections of their store (for long anyway) to items that aren't being purchased by a great many people, and there are a full 6 shelves of toiletries at my location.

                                                                                  I don't buy my Toilet Paper and Paper Towels there either but thousands of others do.

                                                                                  Meanwhile Coconut Oil is far from a standard staple in most households (even if it should be!). I introduce a lot of people to it, and the vast majority have never used it in their own kitchens.

                                                                                  I can assure you that ANYTHING covered in chocolate has more mass appeal than Coconut Oil. :)

                                                                                  It's easy to forget that most others don't share our own less mainstream culinary habits. I've been cooking Quinoa for decades now, and even though it's made it on to TJ's and major supermarket chain shelves, it's still something that most people have never even tried.

                                                                                  1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                    l
                                                                                    littleflower Jan 26, 2013 05:08 PM

                                                                                    I will fully admit to being a part of the crowd that has never tried coconut oil (though I have had quinoa - even know how to properly pronounce it! a few times before) and am starting to incorporate more food items into my diet that I have heard are good for you - this being one of them.

                                                                                    However, I do not really care for anything that has a strong taste of coconut in it - have avoided buying coconut oil from TJ's for fear that all my foods cooked in it with taste like coconut! I don't think I have asked for feedback on this topic here yet, and any would be appreciated!

                                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                                      v
                                                                                      Violatp Jan 26, 2013 07:22 PM

                                                                                      The virgin, unrefined coconut oil (such as TJ's sells) does lend a coconut flavor to foods. The refined kind has no taste/scent but isn't as good for you.

                                                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                                                        NuMystic Jan 27, 2013 02:05 AM

                                                                                        Definitely give it a try without fear littleflower. My wife shares your distaste for strong coconut flavors and has never once had it affect her enjoyment when I've used it in our cooking.

                                                                                        Definitely depends on the application. There are some things that put it front and center like raw fudge recipes, but if you're just using it in place of a few tsp/tbsp for something like mirepoix, stir-fry, etc you won't even know it's there.

                                                                                        1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                          b
                                                                                          Bloombee Jan 29, 2013 07:56 AM

                                                                                          and the coconut oil is great for moisturizing dry skin too

                                                                                          1. re: Bloombee
                                                                                            emily Jan 31, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                                            Also great for making homemade magic shell!

                                                                                          2. re: NuMystic
                                                                                            l
                                                                                            littleflower Jan 29, 2013 10:13 PM

                                                                                            Thanks for your feedback, and very much appreciate hearing that your wife doesn't notice a coconut taste in her food when cooked with TJ's coconut oil We really do need to give it a try, especially since I have heard such good things about cooking with that kind of oil. Plus, you can't beat TJ's price for it!

                                                                                        2. re: NuMystic
                                                                                          c
                                                                                          calmossimo Jan 30, 2013 01:04 AM

                                                                                          "I can assure you that ANYTHING covered in chocolate has more mass appeal than Coconut Oil. :)"

                                                                                          Touché.

                                                                                        3. re: calmossimo
                                                                                          Rilke Jan 26, 2013 08:30 PM

                                                                                          I worked briefly at TJ's. People are serious about their Powerberries. They were out of stock for about a month and I can't tell you how many customers had come in just for them and were very unhappy.

                                                                                          1. re: Rilke
                                                                                            c
                                                                                            calmossimo Jan 30, 2013 01:01 AM

                                                                                            Fascinating. I've been sad because I haven't spotted the veggie masala burgers in the frozen section lately. I should probably just ask an employee...

                                                                                            1. re: calmossimo
                                                                                              j
                                                                                              John Francis Jan 30, 2013 04:48 AM

                                                                                              They're still stocked in the Brooklyn TJ's I use. When I don't see any, I interpret that as meaning that they're still popular and have sold out.

                                                                                              1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                m
                                                                                                Mellicita Jan 30, 2013 02:45 PM

                                                                                                They are also here in Dallas... I bought them for the first time, but have not yet tried them.

                                                                                                1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                  calmossimo Jan 31, 2013 11:50 PM

                                                                                                  Thanks, good to know. I'll keep checking for them.

                                                                                        4. re: calmossimo
                                                                                          c
                                                                                          Cathy Jan 26, 2013 03:23 AM

                                                                                          The price is lower at Costco.

                                                                                          1. re: Cathy
                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Jan 26, 2013 09:42 AM

                                                                                            Sure, it's cheaper at Costco, but have you seen the size of the tub? I personally don't have space to store that thing in my kitchen.

                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                              c
                                                                                              Cathy Jan 26, 2013 10:45 AM

                                                                                              I was just responding to the statement of being surprised the CO was not on the TJ 'nationwide yeas' list.

                                                                                              A substantial number of Costcos appear to be co-located with TJs, especially in California, and I think that probably affects some of the product sales numbers (which is what I would think the 'nationwide yeas' is based on). I buy things at TJs that I can't get elsewhere or are a lesser price per unit than elsewhere.

                                                                                          2. re: calmossimo
                                                                                            v
                                                                                            Violatp Jan 26, 2013 06:28 AM

                                                                                            I'll add a big YAY for the coconut oil. I see someone below says it's cheaper at Costco (I think they're referring to the CO) but I don't go to Costco that often, myself. And $6 a jar is pretty darn cheap, especially since I've been buying coconut oil for about 5/6 years now and when I started, I couldn't find it for less than $12 a jar or so. And, as far as I can tell, the quality is equal to the Nutiva I used to buy.

                                                                                        5. goodhealthgourmet Jan 7, 2013 01:53 PM

                                                                                          A big fat NAY on the red pomelo. Bought one that was wonderfully fragrant & nicely heavy for its size. Cut it open and discovered that it was about 80% rind & pith! It weighed about 22 oz total, and the actual fruit inside - which was so dry & devoid of juice that it was almost crunchy - amounted to a scant 4 oz. What a waste.

                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                            l
                                                                                            littleflower Jan 7, 2013 08:02 PM

                                                                                            Sorry to hear that you did not have good luck with their pomelos, ghg...in the past TJ's fruit has been a bit hit or miss, but have to yay a couple of ones we've had recently.

                                                                                            YAY: Honeycrisp Apples, individually selected - they are huge and are a much better price for the size and taste than I can get elsewhere right now. I remember reading on the previous thread that some people did not like the honeycrisp apples that they purchased from there but we have been extremely pleased this year with them.

                                                                                            YAY: Navel Oranges, individually selected - sweet, juicy and the best we've tried anywhere so far this season. Cannot wait for the arrival of their Heirloom Oranges again this season!!

                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Jan 8, 2013 08:57 AM

                                                                                              Yes, produce has always been hit or miss there. Earlier in the season I bought a bag of clementines and the first one was delicious and juicy...but within 2 days, half of them were black & rotten.

                                                                                              But I can always count on them for good organic zucchini!

                                                                                              1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                g
                                                                                                gnomatic Jan 9, 2013 12:19 AM

                                                                                                I got a bag of the Sky Valley Heirloom Navel oranges this past Sunday. I had a bag of the regular navel oranges (from the produce area) in my basket, but swapped it for the heirlooms, when I saw them on display near the cash register.

                                                                                                1. re: gnomatic
                                                                                                  EM23 Jan 11, 2013 11:06 AM

                                                                                                  Gnomatic - thanks for the heads up. Are they as good as usual?

                                                                                                  1. re: EM23
                                                                                                    g
                                                                                                    gnomatic Jan 11, 2013 08:38 PM

                                                                                                    To be honest, I don't recall how they tasted last year. I just remember liking them. But they are good, nice small size, sweet and juicy.

                                                                                                    If they don't have it in the produce section, look around. My local store had it near in a big display with the regular & organic navel oranges, out by the cash register, where they usually had the seasonal item display.

                                                                                                    1. re: gnomatic
                                                                                                      EM23 Jan 12, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                      Thanks:)

                                                                                                      1. re: gnomatic
                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                        littleflower Jan 17, 2013 09:55 AM

                                                                                                        Another YAY for the Sky Valley Heirloom Navel
                                                                                                        Oranges - we picked up a bag of this year's round of Heirloom Navel Oranges and they were ever bit as sweet and flavorful as last year's stock. They are a bit smaller in size than a regular navel orange, but the juice/pulp inside was a gorgeous bright orange color not pale orange as are some oranges that we have tried from other stores. The color matched the sweetness - highly recommend picking up a bag of them! Thanks gnomatic for the heads up that they are now in stock at TJ's.

                                                                                                    2. re: gnomatic
                                                                                                      AmyH Jan 20, 2013 07:59 AM

                                                                                                      We had some of the heirloom navel oranges with breakfast. They were good, but IMHO not that much more spectacular than regular california navel oranges. The rinds were quite thick, too. But they did taste good.

                                                                                                      Also, yay to the multigrain baking and pancake mix. They made a good batch of pancakes without tasting overly "healthy". I did add a dash of Penzey's baking spice and some vanilla, though.

                                                                                                2. b
                                                                                                  BuildingMyBento Jan 7, 2013 05:30 PM

                                                                                                  好- Sweet and spicy pecans. It helps to really like pecans, but it's a very nice mix, definitely a good balance of the two tastes.

                                                                                                  好- Pumpkin pie spice mix. I dust cereal with cinnamon and this stuff. Will do again and again.

                                                                                                  Somewhat 好- Dark chocolate speculoos bar. I could taste the speculoos, and TJ's speculoos spread is a 好, but I don't feel like it works too well surrounded by dark chocolate. A bit overwhelmed, it seemed.

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: BuildingMyBento
                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Jan 7, 2013 07:33 PM

                                                                                                    Glad you explained what you liked about each item, otherwise I wouldn't have known if that Chinese character meant yea or nay ;)

                                                                                                    1. re: BuildingMyBento
                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                      tarilyn Jan 10, 2013 08:51 AM

                                                                                                      Definitely agree with the 好 on sweet and spicy pecans. They are addictive. A little spicier than I was expecting, but I eat them with the dried cranberries to add sweetness anyway.

                                                                                                      1. re: tarilyn
                                                                                                        NuMystic Jan 10, 2013 09:55 AM

                                                                                                        Okay, not sure if this is a bug with the new forum, but I'm also just seeing Chinese pictograms not Yea or Nay in both BuildingMyBento's post, and tarilyn's reply?

                                                                                                        1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                          AmyH Jan 10, 2013 11:30 AM

                                                                                                          I don't even see the Chinese, I just see a little square.

                                                                                                        2. re: tarilyn
                                                                                                          Dommy Jan 10, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                                                                          We LOVE those sweet and spicy pecans... we use them in baking... like adding to brownies because it gives a unique nuance... :)

                                                                                                          --Dommy!

                                                                                                        3. re: BuildingMyBento
                                                                                                          v
                                                                                                          Val Jan 10, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                                                                          So glad you mention the sweet/spicy pecans...added it to my DENTIST's holiday thank you basket...(yes, I ♥ my hygienist but have to thank EVERYONE there)...also gave them local oranges/grapefruits and other nuts...but have never actually TASTED the pecans myself...thanks! good to know that they are *good*!

                                                                                                          1. re: BuildingMyBento
                                                                                                            linguafood Jan 14, 2013 12:59 PM

                                                                                                            Dangit, I wish I had never read about the sweet & spicy pecans. I could eat the whole bag in one sitting. And they have a really nice kick to them, too... not just "spicy" in name only.

                                                                                                            1. re: BuildingMyBento
                                                                                                              Tripeler Jan 16, 2013 12:56 AM

                                                                                                              Bento...
                                                                                                              I can't see why you used the Chinese character in the context of an English description. Many people can't read it, and even fewer can understand it.
                                                                                                              自分はそんな事はあまり好きじゃないですね。

                                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                                              minglumama Jan 7, 2013 08:12 PM

                                                                                                              yay- For the kids: flour-less chocolate cake, chocolate gobs, carrot cake gobs (gobs are good... aka whoopie pies), mozzarella string cheese, the cream yogurts, esp. vanilla!
                                                                                                              For us: Persian cucumbers, morelo cherries, speculos, pumpkin spice coffee, the chicken breasts, sausages, steaks, TJ's Indian appetizers, their mixed frozen "fresh" seafood... AND, BTW, last year our store carried the Euro cookie tin, this year no, so I found an equally divine Euro cookie w/Belgian chocolate @Costco!
                                                                                                              Nay- Have not liked much of the previously mentioned frozen foods such as: mac n'cheese, mandarin chicken, turkey meatballs. But, hands down something all 4 of us can agree on is: THE MANGO PEACH OJ!!!!!! wow, great w/vodka or tequila...that's a cocktail...happy new year!

                                                                                                              1. Disneyfreak Jan 8, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                I forgot about the Olive Tapenade (Yay!)-- at least I think that's what they call it. My sister brought it to my parent's house over Thanksgiving. You can find it in the refrigerator case near the cheese and ravioli. It is nice and flavorful and was great on pita triangles.

                                                                                                                She also picked up a goat cheese with cranberry -- which we all enjoyed.

                                                                                                                1. AmyH Jan 8, 2013 03:44 PM

                                                                                                                  Yay - marinated chicken breasts (frozen). These have a really tasty Asian sauce on them and microwaved quickly for a nice dinner... BUT the bag said approx. 5 servings. When I opened it they were frozen into a solid block. My husband pried them apart with a table knife. There were two little breasts and one gigantic breast. We ended up cutting the gigantic one in half and the halves were about equal to the two small ones. So we were able to feed the 4 of us. They also took longer to microwave than the instructions said, but that's par for the course with TJ's.

                                                                                                                  Yay - spicy peanut salad dressing. Yum! Nicely spicy.

                                                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                                                    serious Jan 9, 2013 02:06 AM

                                                                                                                    From the new stuff shelf: Almond Bark Thins - delicious.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: serious
                                                                                                                      NuMystic Jan 17, 2013 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                      Another Yay for the Dark Chocolate Almond Bark Thins.

                                                                                                                      Just the right amount of sweetness and the extra dimension of the salt brings something to the party I've not had in other Almond Barks. Bit lighter on the salt than the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almonds which is a plus in my opinion.

                                                                                                                    2. Disneyfreak Jan 10, 2013 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                      Another yay for a not new product -- Trader Joe's Goddess Dressing. Yes it is not a low fat product but it is really good -- I use it sparingly on my salads.

                                                                                                                      1. goodhealthgourmet Jan 10, 2013 06:11 PM

                                                                                                                        Another giant NAY from me: the Guacamole Hummus. I don't know what possessed me to buy it - I never like commercial hummus *or* commercial guac. Lesson learned. The texture was really odd - slimy and whipped - and I could taste that some of the avocado they used had gone off. If you've ever tasted a bad avocado you know what I mean.

                                                                                                                        Blech!

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                          NuMystic Jan 10, 2013 09:22 PM

                                                                                                                          Completely with you on the FrankenHummusGuac. One of the least enjoyable things I've had from TJ's.

                                                                                                                          1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                            Rilke Jan 11, 2013 02:52 PM

                                                                                                                            Thirded. I returned it. And I enjoy some commercial hummuses, and the "reduced guilt" guac at TJ's is all right.

                                                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                                                          CurlieGlamourGirlie Jan 11, 2013 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                          These are not new products, but ones I simply can't live without lately:

                                                                                                                          -edamame hummus. I can't control myself. I eat it with the sweet potato tortilla chips - it's the perfect sweet/salty/umami kind of treat

                                                                                                                          -edamame meatless nuggets. these are delicious. they're not trying to be a chicken nugget, so you don't have that weird texture - it's clearly soy with whole edamame sprinkled here and there

                                                                                                                          -frozen chopped spinach. brilliant packaging. I love being able to just toss some of it in eggs, mac & cheese or pasta.

                                                                                                                          A big NAY on the pumpkin stuff I tried: the oatmeal and the "this pumpkin walks into a bar"

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie
                                                                                                                            v
                                                                                                                            Val Jan 11, 2013 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                            Curlie, PictSweet brand frozen spinach is lovely too because you can just grab a handful or two of it and add to whatever you are making...I'll check out the TJ's frozen spinach too...love the convenience of a "grab-able" amount of spinach...I get the PictSweet at Wal-Mart...$1.50 for 16 ounce bag...and it isn't all stems.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Val
                                                                                                                              v
                                                                                                                              Val Jan 14, 2013 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                              Bought a bag of the TJ's frozen spinach tonight...will check it out...thanks...would rather spend my $$ at TJ's than Wally World...Publix USED to sell the PictSweet spinach and now they don't....ugh.

                                                                                                                          2. trolley Jan 11, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                            Nay- Shade Grown Espresso Blend. Upon opening there was no coffee aroma. made coffee with it and it was just meh. to be fair, i've lost my sense of smell back in Dec. but it's about 75% back. and I opened my old Peet's coffe that's almost done to compare and the coffee scent is still strong.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                              fame da lupo Jan 22, 2013 08:38 PM

                                                                                                                              Not smelling an aroma can also mean the coffee is fresh. Aroma comes from volatile chemicals (flavorful ones) released out of the bean over time. Wonderfully smelling coffee isn't the same as fresh.

                                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                                              sakura33 Jan 11, 2013 03:21 PM

                                                                                                                              NAY- Beef "Pho" (freezer section). I used quotation marks because this is a very far cry from Pho and in addition to that is just really tasteless. It's been about a year since I had it and every time I pass by it in the store I shake my head in disbelief it hasn't been pulled by now.

                                                                                                                              Lemons in the bag (produce)- as stated everyone seems to have hits/misses with their produce. I once bought a bag of lemons and left them on my counter in a bowl and 4 days later moved the bowl and all this "dust" flew up and I horrifyingly discovered all the lemons had gone SO bad that they had literally turned into a molded dust. EW. I was in the store yesterday and needed lemon for a recipe but left empty handed in that case because every lemon I investigated-bags and individual had some form of mold growing on them. I will pass on their produce from now on if those are their standards.

                                                                                                                              YAY- Israeli couscous. Just made this the other day and really enjoyed it. Very easy to prepare too.

                                                                                                                              New Minestrone soup- they were sampling this and it had tons of veggies and seemed like a much better version of canned soup than I have had Minestrone before.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: sakura33
                                                                                                                                TrishUntrapped Jan 11, 2013 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                                I've gotten dust bowl lemons from TJ too.

                                                                                                                                It just makes no sense that hey have such good quality items and such garbage for produce.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sakura33
                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                  CurlieGlamourGirlie Jan 12, 2013 05:10 AM

                                                                                                                                  I've gotten bad clementines. I bought one bag that was perfect. The next bag I bought was half bad. Plan on bringing those back.

                                                                                                                                2. c
                                                                                                                                  chris1621 Jan 14, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                  I don't think this is too new, but I have just discovered the English cheddar with carmelized onions. So good! Can't get enough of this stuff - makes a great grilled cheese sandwich!

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: chris1621
                                                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                                                    CurlieGlamourGirlie Jan 16, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                    Is this sliced or in bars?? It sounds amazing!!!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie
                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                      jawinfree Jan 27, 2013 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                      It comes in different size wedges and I agree, amazing. I have to buy it sparingly or somehow "forget" that it is in my refrigerator!

                                                                                                                                  2. masha bousha Jan 16, 2013 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                    I love the triple layer hummus and the pita crackers (not the wheaty ones, they're gross).

                                                                                                                                    1. s
                                                                                                                                      sakura33 Jan 16, 2013 01:35 PM

                                                                                                                                      just had the puff pastry margherita personal pizza- so good and not too bad for your calorie intake

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: sakura33
                                                                                                                                        NuMystic Jan 17, 2013 09:24 PM

                                                                                                                                        Just asked for the Puff Pastry Margherita Pizza based on your report and they said it's being discontinued. So if you have any more at your location I'd suggest cleaning them out since you enjoyed it so much.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                                                          KellyD123 Jan 18, 2013 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                          This is my favorite pizza ever!! That is such a shame!

                                                                                                                                      2. l
                                                                                                                                        littleflower Jan 16, 2013 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                        YAY: Potato Medley (Baby Red, White, and Purple Potatoes) - found fresh in the produce department, we adore the purple ones the best because they roast up ultra soft and creamy. We combine the red, white, and purple potatoes with olive oil, sea salt, rosemary, and a dash of freshly ground pepper and roast them until tender. We will definitely purchase these again, and can't wait to thinly slice these and saute these up with onions + olive oil for another potato side dish.

                                                                                                                                        YAY/MEH: Chicken Enchiladas (frozen) - we have had these in the freezer for a couple of months and finally got around to trying them. Here are the yays about them - delicious enchilada sauce, very good quality white meat chunks of chicken, tortillas are soft but not too soft, and the cheese was also of good quality and blended in very well. The nays were just that we wish there was MORE CHICKEN PIECES in it! Each enchilada (2 to a pack) only had a few pieces of chicken in each one. Also, it tasted sooo much better than it looked - one look at it coming out of the oven and we thought we wouldn't care for it because the overall presentation was kind of sloppy. Would we buy this again - yes probably because of how delicious it tasted, for a quick lunch but would add a little more chicken to it ourselves!

                                                                                                                                        1. j
                                                                                                                                          John Francis Jan 17, 2013 03:31 AM

                                                                                                                                          Nay - Pocketful of Fiber Pita Bread. Thin and limp, hardly any flavor.

                                                                                                                                          1. l
                                                                                                                                            LoveaFair Jan 17, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                            I bought Trader Joe's ground beef patties and accidentally buried them in the refrigerator.When I unearthed them 2 months later, they were still that same like-new bright red color. It just never occurred to me that TJs would sell irradiated beef! I guess they do. Needless to say, I threw the package out.

                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: LoveaFair
                                                                                                                                              TrishUntrapped Jan 17, 2013 12:01 PM

                                                                                                                                              Uh oh... Now I am wondering about pink slime. Does anyone know if that is in TJ's ground beef?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet Jan 17, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8377...

                                                                                                                                              2. re: LoveaFair
                                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet Jan 17, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                Irradiated products are required to be labeled as such, both with the Radura symbol (see link) and the statement "Treated with Radiation" or "Treated by Irradiation."

                                                                                                                                                http://0.tqn.com/d/chemistry/1/0/q/1/...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                  TrishUntrapped Jan 17, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for TJ's response about pink slime. Wonder why LoveaFair's meat didn't look spoiled.

                                                                                                                                              3. olyolyy Jan 17, 2013 08:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                Has anyone tried the new deep dish pepperoni pizza?

                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: olyolyy
                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                  littleflower Jan 17, 2013 09:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Olyolyy - I have not tried the deep dish pepperoni pizza, but your question reminded me of what I think of each time I am in the frozen pizza section at TJ's...why don't they carry a really good wood fired pepperoni pizza (similar to Freschetta's Brick Oven Pepperoni Pizza but with more natural ingredients)? We are for the most part pepperoni pizza purists although we do buy on occasion those TJ's little bambino pizzas which are just okay tasting, the pizza parlano which in sauce and toppings comes close but the crust is lacking in flavor, and an organic wood fired red pepper pizza which has an outstanding crust but no pepperoni. We tried adding their Ciao pepperoni to it but for some reason it just wasn't the same, and realized after we bought the pepperoni that it contained sodium nitrites (forgot it wasn't a TJ's brand).

                                                                                                                                                  Anyways...sorry for the side pepperoni pizza thoghts........although we do prefer a thin(ner) crust pizza we would definitely give the deep dish a try if we here it is halfway decent.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                    olyolyy Jan 18, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I *think* archer farms(target) makes a pepperoni pizza and they are rumored to have the same supplier as TJs. Just throwing it out there. I decided to grab the pepperoni deep dish pizza but have not made it yet, waiting for one of those nights where I don't feel like cooking to try it. I love pizza in all forms but deep dish is usually too dry which was my concern.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: olyolyy
                                                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                                                      littleflower Jan 18, 2013 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks olyolyy...I have heard good things about Target's Archer Farms brand but have yet to venture over there to try their products. I will have to check it out...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: olyolyy
                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                        littleflower Jan 28, 2013 05:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Olyolyy and Atomica, just an update on trying to find a frozen pepperoni pizza with more natural ingredients...haven't made it to Target or WF lately but did buy a Newman's Own Uncured Pepperoni Pizza Thin n' Crispy which is similiar to what I wish TJ's would carry...thin flavorful crust (albeit a little *too* thin n' crispy), nice robust sauce and great pepperoni slices that even got slightly crisp around the edges. Hope TJ's would carry something similar to this soon - a good thin(ner) crust pepperoni pizza!!!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                        Atomica Jan 22, 2013 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                        If you live near a Whole Foods, their frozen pizza is better than TJ's. On the other hand, the super cheap canned beer at WF is terrible, and TJ's is pretty good. Too bad both items can't be found in one wonderful place . . .

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Atomica
                                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Jan 23, 2013 02:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, Atomica...but yeah we live in the middle between two of them...one an hour and a half away, and another one about one hour and 15 min. away, so with major time constraints it hasn't allowed us a trip to WF in a long time. So, in the meantime, we go for TJ's somewhat eh frozen pizza to avoid the terrible ingredients of other brand's pizza.

                                                                                                                                                      3. re: olyolyy
                                                                                                                                                        e
                                                                                                                                                        elise h Jan 24, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately, a big thumbs down. I wanted to love it, but here's what is wrong: 1. crust is bland. Big mistake. Deep dish crust must be fabulous because there's a lot of it. 2. cheese is too mild and skimpy 3. pepperoni is average. This is disappointing, given that some of their pizzas are knockouts.

                                                                                                                                                        A much better frozen pepperoni pizza (but not deep dish) is the Kirkland brand. More flavorful components and the crust is tasty too. Better value for your money too.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: elise h
                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                          FoodDee Jan 25, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Costco is doing a fresh deep dish pizza in some stores - much better IMHO than the other. Haven't tried the frozen so can't compare.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodDee
                                                                                                                                                            e
                                                                                                                                                            elise h Jan 25, 2013 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                            wow! wonderful. Is it cheese only, or with toppings?Thanks for informing us and I'll look for it in my local costco!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: elise h
                                                                                                                                                            olyolyy Jan 25, 2013 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                            +1. I added like 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella under the pepperoni but the crust still killed it for me.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: olyolyy
                                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                                            DandelionFluff Jan 28, 2013 11:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I tried the deep dish pepperoni pizza today in the store, and then bought one as my daughter has been asking for deep dish pizza. I was fine with the crust, actually, although it's not like real deep dish crust, as far as I can tell. I didn't actually like the sauce, and I only tried a small piece of the pizza, but my daughter enjoyed it. But it's not a huge pizza and 1/4 of it has 330 calories and 14g of fat, so I definitely didn't think it was worth the calories. I'm too busy eating a large portion of the Cinco Lanzas cheese that they still have on hand to waste time with the pizza.

                                                                                                                                                          4. k
                                                                                                                                                            KellyD123 Jan 18, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                            New to me yay- Chili Lime Chicken Burgers. I've always seen them in store but I usually pass over and go to all the new items. I was surprised how much I liked them! Make for a quick salad topping and I'm set for lunch... esp at 150ish cals a burger!

                                                                                                                                                            --Also... does anyone know when the new Fearless Flyer comes out?

                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KellyD123
                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                              littleflower Jan 18, 2013 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                              If memory serves me correctly, I believe that last year they came out with one at the beginning of February in preparation for Valentine's Day. I can't wait until the new one comes out - they are so much fun to read!

                                                                                                                                                              Although I was a bit lukewarm about the Chili Lime Chicken Burgers (I think it was just personal preference of not caring too much for the red/green bell peppers in them), he absolutely LOVES them so we buy these quite often. I have heard many on this board who share in your opinion on these being a winner.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KellyD123
                                                                                                                                                                o
                                                                                                                                                                ohmyyum Jan 18, 2013 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                February 4th! Got a sneak peak! :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                  NuMystic Jan 18, 2013 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Aaaaaand? Highlights? Anything in particular jump out at you?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                    o
                                                                                                                                                                    ohmyyum Jan 19, 2013 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Not too much new. Mozzarella sticks. Indian aloo chat Kati pockets. That gluten free flour which I have yet to see on the shelves here in NC.

                                                                                                                                                                    Also new, ghost chili pepper spice grinder for $4.99. Have not tried it and wouldn't dare bc it smells scary and I am a total wuss when it comes to heat!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower Jan 18, 2013 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    That was kind of you to let us know when the next fearless flyer will come out, but must agree with NuMystic that a highlight or two to tie us TJ's fans over for the next two weeks would be appreciated...! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                      o
                                                                                                                                                                      ohmyyum Jan 18, 2013 10:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Ah sorry sneak peak may have been an exaggeration. I saw a fearless flyer that was printed out and stapled together that said week of Feb 4 and "office copy."

                                                                                                                                                                      However, I did hear there would be a new gluten-free flour coming soon, and that they would be getting the actual speculoos cookies in next week. Not sure what else yet!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                        trolley Jan 19, 2013 06:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        The gluten free flour is on the shelves already or at least it is at my local TJs. In a narrow pink bag smaller than the regular flour.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                        o
                                                                                                                                                                        ohmyyum Jan 26, 2013 10:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Fresh unripened triple creme Brie
                                                                                                                                                                        Speculoos cookies
                                                                                                                                                                        100% cherry juice

                                                                                                                                                                  3. NuMystic Jan 18, 2013 10:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yay - Cheese and Green Chili Tamales (frozen)

                                                                                                                                                                    Used the steamed (vs the microwave) directions on the package and was very pleasantly surprised. Actually better than a few fresh restaurant tamales I've had since moving to NYC!

                                                                                                                                                                    Not very spicy. Topped it with the Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                    Will definitely be a new staple.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. q
                                                                                                                                                                      Querencia Jan 19, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Another ad here for TJ's Sweet Chili Sauce, comes in a bottle for $1.29, tastes hot-sweet like a condiment in a Thai restaurant, makes fish sticks actually good. I can't count the people I have recommended it to who had never noticed it and who then became addicts.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                        LostInLA Jan 23, 2013 11:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        It's a great sauce-- perfect for the langoustine rangoons (another yay).

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Jay F Jan 20, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I am thinking about making a box cake for the first time, using one of TJ's cake mixes (yellow) and frosting (chocolate). Someone was basically raving about them in a thread about "Why would anyone make a box cake?", and made them sound so good.

                                                                                                                                                                        I don't have as much room in my kitchen as I once did, and haven't made a cake in three years as a result. Maybe this will be simpler/easier/require less counter space.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. l
                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Jan 20, 2013 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          YAY: Beefsteak Tomatoes (Individually sold/produce section/purchased 2nd week of January) - normally I wouldn't devote a single entry to a tomato, but after having one recently at a regular chain grocery store that was pale in color, devoid of flavor, and tasted like chemicals, I thought that I would at least have to wait a few more months for halfway decent tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                          We then decided to purchase TJ's Beefsteak Tomatoes this past week which were very good considering it's only mid-January. Obviously not the taste of an August farmer's market tomato, but all things considering these were the best tomatoes we've had since September. Bright red in color, juicy not dry, and they tasted like a fresh tomato. Excellent for this time of year in salads!!

                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                            o
                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum Jan 21, 2013 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Have you tried the kumato brown tomatoes? They are definitely my favorite!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                              NuMystic Jan 21, 2013 01:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm also a huge fan of the Kumatos. Bonus is that they can be eaten even when harder and green, and last for weeks without going bad. (which does freak me out a bit about how heavily hybridized they are lol)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Jan 21, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks to you both on your kumatos recommendation - I recall a few times in the past when CH's have had glowing reviews of them. I will tell him to check them out on our next TJ's run...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                  Disneyfreak Jan 22, 2013 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I just bought a package of 5 Kumatos at Fairway. One was rotten on the bottom -- which you could not see through the packaging.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                AmyH Feb 4, 2013 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                We just tried the kumato brown tomatoes tonight. Very good! Not as acidic as regular red tomatoes. Good flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. c
                                                                                                                                                                              CalicoPaisley Jan 20, 2013 02:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Yay - Goat cheese with honey. Addictively delicious, this was my favorite breakfast for a week to slather on toast with a bit of jam.

                                                                                                                                                                              Nay - Derby cheese with sage. It was a fairly solid derby cheese but the sage was surprisingly understated. I'd save my cash for something else next time.

                                                                                                                                                                              Yay - Simpler Times Pilsner. I'm not a fan of the lager but the pils is great in a pinch when you just want a plain jane beer that's way better than a PBR any day.

                                                                                                                                                                              Nay - Trader Joe's Bavarian Style Hefeweizen. Not my bag, was pretty disappointed in this one, but maybe I'm just spoiled. Definitely needed plenty of lemon to be drinkable.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Berheenia Jan 21, 2013 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Yea on TJ's Highbrow Chocolate Chip cookies! I love these, hubby not so much. His yea is for the regular TJ choc chip cookies in a brown paper package.

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                  NuMystic Jan 21, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea on Steroids - Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Chunk and Almond Cookies - Dangerously good.

                                                                                                                                                                                  In fact these are so good that we actually refuse to keep them in the house because my wife and I are both utterly incapable of self restraint when they're around.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Small, extremely crisp, light, nutty, just the right mix of crunchy dark chocolatey cookie goodness to encourage the shoveling of handfuls like potato chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't say I didn't warn you.

                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                2. EM23 Jan 21, 2013 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  YAYS:
                                                                                                                                                                                  The Sun Valley Heirloom Oranges are fantastic once again – very juicy and sweet.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Pomegranate seeds – handy for nibbling and tossed in the food processor for a nice vinaigrette.
                                                                                                                                                                                  TJ’s goat cheese - mild and creamy.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. trolley Jan 21, 2013 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY- mini seeded buns. we used them for mini burgers. perfect size for my 4 yr old. didn't have to cut the burger in half and the entire burger was consumed. the adults had two each. will buy again.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                                                                      olyolyy Jan 21, 2013 08:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      +1, my 14-month old was a fan and they cost only a dollar and change.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower Jan 21, 2013 08:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      MEH: Sparkling Cranberry Juice - nice blend of flavors but very, very acidic. This one could become a "yay" but only by adding something like apple juice to balance out the tartness. We liked the Sparkling Clementine Juice better.

                                                                                                                                                                                      NAY: Latest Bag of Reduced Fat Baked Cheese Puffs - it has been awhile since we have purchased these from TJ's, and I always remember them to be tastier and having much more cheese on each puff. This bag had NO CHEESE on the puffs, and I was really craving these tonight. It's definitely going back for a refund, and will wait a few months and give 'em another try from a different batch.

                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                        Savour Jan 23, 2013 10:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Try the sparkling pomegranate. That's my favorite, and I don't usually like pomegranate things. They flavor it wth black currant, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Savour
                                                                                                                                                                                          NuMystic Jan 23, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I make my own pomegranate soda using sparkling mineral water, pomegranate molasses, lemon, ginger juice, and sweetened with either honey or maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I won't go near "natural flavors" when they're in anything even remotely close to a vanilla or berry flavor:

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castoreu...

                                                                                                                                                                                          Jamie Oliver should get a medal for spreading the word about the use of beaver anal gland in our commercial sweet treats. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower Jan 23, 2013 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ahhh...NuMystic, sadly you are right and I noticed the "natural flavors" in the ingredients list, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                            TJ's has been a blessing to us of late because we are dealing with health issues in our family which does not allow for too much all-from-scratch cooking. It is nice to have a healthier alternative to fast food or eating out - just wish that their products didn't contain those "natural flavors"!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            The simple convenience of buying an already prepared juice drink is just what we need right now - I am sure others can and will use your recipe to make it from scratch!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                              trolley Jan 23, 2013 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              oh wow! and here i am worried if i ever ate pig rectum as calamari. I don't drink soda but it's worth knowing and spreading the word. i'm sure i've eaten pig rectum in a sausage somewhere down the road so i'm not too concerned. thanks for the link.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Jan 23, 2013 08:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, I can't bear to click on the link and even read the whole article...good for NuMystic that he is helping to better inform us, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Really wish that we had more time and energy to prepare/make more things from scratch, but even on the "good" days lately the best we can do that is close to a homemade meal is saute up TJ's thin cut boneless pork loin chops and pair it with some of TJ's frozen veggies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I know that although not all of TJ's products contain ingredients that are completely good for you, it is the one of the best grocery stores out there for the price and ease of convenience of quality products/ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                            o
                                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum Jan 31, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I also thought the baked cheese puffs were decidedly under-cheesed, and preferred the white cheddar puffs (larger bag, looks like styrofoam packing peanuts).

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Savour Jan 22, 2013 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay: Dried Mixed Mushrooms. I think these are a holiday item, but I pulled them out of the cupboard, rehydrated in boiling water, and added them to bolognese. After the rehydration and simmering for over an hour, they were still tough as leather and I had to fish them all out. Plus, it's mostly shiitake WITH the stems, and there's black mushrooms too, which I would almost never mix with porcini in any dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay: Vermont artisanal cheddar - terrible slicing, but full of flavor and great texture

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay: (Not new) the Fresh Fruit raspberry preserves. Not low sugar or all fruit -- just the classic raspberry jam, and it's a good one.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay: Frozen Kati Rolls -- These are like Indian hot pockets.

                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Savour
                                                                                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                                                                                              elise h Jan 24, 2013 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              The frozen Aloo Chaat Kati Pouches are bursting in harmonious flavor. It is a crispy pastry stuffed with potatoes, chick peas, chaat masala, and tamarind chutney. There's a bit of coconut, sesame seeds, and dates in it too. Another big win in TJ's frozen Indian food line.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: elise h
                                                                                                                                                                                                AmyH Jan 26, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree! They are really tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: elise h
                                                                                                                                                                                                  oliviasaru Jan 27, 2013 07:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  These sound fantastic! I haven't seen them here (outside Philadelphia), but maybe I didn't look hard enough. Are they with the other frozen Indian foods?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: oliviasaru
                                                                                                                                                                                                    e
                                                                                                                                                                                                    elise h Jan 27, 2013 07:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    yes, they are with all the other excellent Indian frozen meals. Maybe call your store first to see if they stock them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: elise h
                                                                                                                                                                                                      oliviasaru Jan 28, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I went in tonight and found one box! The cashier mentioned how good they were to me, as well. Can't wait for lunch tomorrow - thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: elise h
                                                                                                                                                                                                        NuMystic Jan 28, 2013 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Another Yay for the Kati Pouches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enjoyable. Basically a large indian food Hot Pocket. Well balanced flavor, not too spicy, and tasty enough, though not quite the earth shattering delicacy for me that it seems to be for others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        At $2.29 (for a box of 2) though this will certainly be a regular staple simply because it's a very good value for an effortless quick toaster oven snack. (includes a crisping sleeve for the microwave which I tossed)

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower Jan 22, 2013 12:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY/OKAY: Cinnamon Roll Bread - We have always bought our Cinnamon Raisin Bread from Panera, and after hearing really good reviews about TJ's Cinn. Roll Bread we decided to give it a go. I lightly toasted mine and loved the ooey gooey cinn. sugar swirl in it, but he didn't quite care for it as much as the other one we were buying. Has anyone tried TJ's Cinnamon Raisin Bread which is a different item that the cinn. roll bread?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                                                    John Francis Jan 22, 2013 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've tried both. The Cinnamon Raisin Bread is OK but nothing special; the Cinnamon Roll Bread is too gooey for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Jay F Jan 22, 2013 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    NAY: I was going to make my first box cake using TJ's Yellow Cake and Chocolate Frosting Mixes after reading about them in a thread here on box cakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But when I went to TJ's to buy them, they didn't have them. They don't carry them anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is this typical behavior for TJ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Jan 22, 2013 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      From what I gather, yes. So -- if you like something.... better stock up on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jay F Jan 22, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wonder how long box cake mix would last.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood Jan 22, 2013 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Forever ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Berheenia Jan 23, 2013 07:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Try the vanilla cake in the tall box. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and be prepared to brag. Makes excellent cupcakes too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jay F Jan 23, 2013 08:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Okay. I'll try that next. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Do you know why they deleted the original cake and frosting mixes? Were they not any good?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                            NuMystic Jan 23, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            TJ's discontinues LOADS of great products, so it's not necessarily a signal of poor quality. It can be anything from sluggish sales regardless of how good it may be, to simply losing the distribution deal or price they were able to originally secure for the item.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Their business model is to constantly be introducing new items and you can't do that with finite shelf space without cutting items at the same time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                              fame da lupo Jan 23, 2013 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yup, see my RIP post below.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jay F Jan 23, 2013 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The only things I've ever bought there are canned beans, canned tomatoes, and English Breakfast tea, all of which have been on the shelves as long as there's been a TJ here, AFAIK. Oh, and now I can get meat there, which they've never pulled out from under me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So I was surprised not to find the cake and frosting mixes. Pretty capricious, I thought. FWIW, I also liked the packaging. That tall box of cake Berheenia mentioned was not nearly as pleasing to the eye (though I do plan to try it next).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. AmyH Jan 22, 2013 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Meh - Beans So Green (frozen). These looked so good on the package. And they weren't bad, but they weren't that good either. Mostly green beans and peas with a few big hunks of cauliflower and one tiny hunk of romesco. The sauce they were in was just ok. I'll probably just buy the plain frozen green beans and season them myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. fame da lupo Jan 22, 2013 08:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            RIP:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Le petit creme, TJ's best brie of 2012. Bit of research shows that it probably was sourced from the Marin French Cheese Company (Petaluma, CA) who sells it as "Rouge et Noir Le Petit Creme."
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Double creme brie with truffles. Shows on the current Fearless Flyer, but my store manager says it was a limited buy and is now out of stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Gio Jan 23, 2013 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay: Hawaiian Style Hickory Barbeque Potato Chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              My husband is practically addicted to these and has been buying them every week for quite some time. I finally tasted them and have to say they are spicy/mildly sweet, thicker than usual, and very crisp. Delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Laura4378 Jan 23, 2013 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                yay TJ gnocchi and pancetta with peas. delicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. goodhealthgourmet Jan 23, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A general Nay on the ongoing supply problems with almond butter following the Sunland recall. They finally restocked my beloved raw, crunchy almond butter in the glass jar for a few weeks, and now it's gone again. CS rep said they have no idea when they'll get more. I've searched high and low and can't find a suitable substitute - I imagine the Maranatha raw might fit the bill, but I'm not willing to pay ten bucks for an 8-oz jar to find out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NuMystic Jan 23, 2013 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you've got a Vitamix or Blendtec it's much cheaper to just make your own. Can even be done with a good food processor in a pinch but you'll need to add a bit of oil then and work slower.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 23, 2013 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know I could make my own. However:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't own a Vitamix or a Blendtec right now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't like to add oil to my homemade nut & seed butters.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The price of raw almonds here is higher per pound than it is for a 1-lb jar of TJ's almond butter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not all raw almonds taste the same, hence the taste variation across brands, and I prefer the taste of the raw almonds used in the *TJ's* product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NuMystic Jan 23, 2013 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just for anyone else that might take an interest I buy my almonds in bulk online which works out to far less per lb than even TJ's butters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry to hear you're left without a favorite staple GHG. Like so many of us with TJ's faves it sounds like you'll need to heavily stock up when they do finally get some in at your store as a hedge against the fickle supply chain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thankfully jarred almond butter keeps for a long time when refrigerated, so it's an item that can be successfully hoarded. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Jan 23, 2013 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Believe me, if I could find raw almonds that tasted like the TJ's almond butter I'd be buying them and making my own (though it's a PITA in my food processor since I don't add oil). I will have to stock up when it comes back - fortunately I live alone so I can make room for it in the fridge :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NuMystic Jan 23, 2013 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've bought from a lot of different sources and shockingly the best value I've found for delicious raw sweet almonds I've found is CVS when their house brand is on sale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A few times a year they offer anything of their own brand at 50% off and they always have free shipping at $49.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.cvs.com/shop/product-detai...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the end it works out to $2.89 per lb for the almonds. Usually get a variety of other nuts from them at the same time so I always have a freezer full.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At that price I make my own slivered, roasted, pralined, and nut butters with reckless abandon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Totally feel your pain with food processor almond butter, as that's what I did for years before getting the Vitamix. Only really worth the trouble if you're going to do a few pounds at a time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MplsM ary Jan 25, 2013 02:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Whole Foods stores usually have "grind your own" almond butter. No added oil. It's not the same, but it'll save wear and tear on your food processor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MplsM ary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet Jan 25, 2013 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't know about your store, but here it's $12.99/lb for that stuff. I've bought a small amount of it in a pinch, but I can't abide those prices. Thanks, though :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MplsM ary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NuMystic Jan 25, 2013 11:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They have the self grind station at Fairway and all the local health food stores as well. Problem is they all use roasted almonds which is dramatically different than the raw almond butter GHG is referring to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Val Jan 26, 2013 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  GHG, I just bought a glass jar of TJ's raw unsweetened almond butter last night here $5.99; would you like me to buy a few and ship them to you??? Just saying...I'd do it for you...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Jan 26, 2013 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aww, Val, you're such an angel to offer! But that's not necessary - I'll do without it until we get it back in stock here. I'm actually headed over to TJ's in about an hour so I'll check on the status. In the meantime, go ahead & enjoy a spoonful for me, okay? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Val Jan 26, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      well, my TJ's is basically walking distance from where I live...so it's no big deal, especially if your store won't have it re-stocked very soon, just saying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Jan 26, 2013 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I checked today - it's back in the warehouse, headed to my store this week. I can manage for a few days :) Thanks again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum Feb 10, 2013 11:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have you been able to find the raw crunchy almond butter? It's been back at my store (NC) for the past week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower Jan 23, 2013 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY: Tuscan Pane Bread (Regular not Wheat, sliced, already prepared loaf in bread section) - Made for an excellent turkey sandwich...the bread toasted up really well and we paired it with Applegate Farm's Oven Roasted Turkey Breast (also a "yay") found at TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Savour Jan 23, 2013 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, I like the wheat version as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Savour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chinchi Jan 23, 2013 10:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The whole wheat tuscan pane is our go-to bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. linguafood Jan 23, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY: lightly smoked trout filets. Yes, they're more expensive than the smoked sardines, but wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ohmyyum Jan 27, 2013 09:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Are these the smoked trout filets that are in the refrigerated section next to the smoked salmon, or is this a canned product?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  linguafood Jan 27, 2013 09:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Canned. They're right next to the other canned fish. Yumboski.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Terrie H. Jan 30, 2013 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll add a yay for the smoked trout in the refrigerated section. My sister makes a delicious dip with it. I miss the pepper smoked mackerel for similar dips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  vttp926 Jan 23, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SUPER YAY from my friend for the PB & J chocolate bar. I think they were all fighting over it. Too bad I only bought 1 bar but I could have sworn I had 2 in my basket.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: vttp926
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower Jan 23, 2013 08:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is the PB & J Chocolate Bar a new item...sounds divine!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      vttp926 Jan 24, 2013 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It was in the new section when I went to my store. First time I have seen it and the last time I was in Trader Joe's was on NYE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ohmyyum Jan 27, 2013 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes it's new, $0.99, slightly longer but thinner than the cookie butter bar. It is pb and raspberry jelly in milk chocolate. I would have preferred more filling, but it was still pretty good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NuMystic Jan 27, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Another YAY for the PB&J Chocolate Bar. Would have preferred a dark choc. variety but even so one of the two we bought didn't even make it to the register. They had to ring up the empty wrapper. Nuff said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: vttp926
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          q
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          quof Jan 27, 2013 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That sounds like a return product, I know I bought something like it at least 2 years ago and a quick Google shows they had a PBJ bar in 2010. I believe it included potato chips as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: quof
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NuMystic Jan 27, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Definitely no relation to the older bar you're talking about. This is standard thin filled chocolate bar not unlike typical Cadbury types.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That older one was larger and square and did indeed have potato chips. This is just chocolate with a soft pb&j filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: vttp926
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sarah_Jayne_76 Feb 3, 2013 11:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay from me too. I cursed myself for giving into impulse and buying it but after tasting I wish I had bought two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. AmyH Jan 24, 2013 04:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay - Korean style beef short ribs (in the frozen meat section). Delicious! The instructions said grill or fry, but I broiled them and it worked fine. They are the traditional Korean galbi, cut crosswise very thin. The marinade was tasty and the meat was tender. A little fatty, as short ribs always are, but much of that dripped away in the broiler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay - Thai style shrimp gyoza (frozen). Very nice and light. The wrappers were properly thin and the filling had a nice fresh taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. fame da lupo Jan 24, 2013 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Anyone else a fan of the European Style Whole Grain bread? Reminds me of Mestemacher rye bread. Not as good, more nutty and brittle and not 100% rye, but a pretty good approximation of German rye bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mellicita Jan 25, 2013 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay= Refrigerated Beef Stroganoff! I was really thrilled after a bad experience with their frozen "TJs Masters the Art of Beef Bourguignon" Good chunks of beef chuck, slow cooked until tender. The sauce had a delcious flavor, beefy with hints of wine and sour cream. Nice al dente pappardelle noodles. Small whole mushrooms with pleasant mushroom flavor. Perfectly coooked pearl onions, (no harsh oniony taste, but discreete onion flavor to them. Basically, I'm trying to say that the whole dish didnt blend into one flavor from the sauce but retained separate flavor elements of each component. The amounts of beef and sauce and noodles were proportioned well. I tried to find something to complain about for this dish, but I really cant! the only thing I can say is that the package supposed to "serve 2" probably would serve only one hungry male, but its good to want more of something right!? I have a small female appetite and did get two lunch size servings out of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay - tangerine juice, fresh squeezed in refirgerated section.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NAY - buffalo chicken meatballs (refrigerated and fully cooked, but found in raw meat section). These were dark meat chicken, that it seemed someone tried to make taste like beef. This was horrifically paired with some attempt at a buffalo flavor coating on the outside, which really didnt taste at all like a buffalo wing to me. These will be returned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay - Terriaki Just Chicken (refrigerated pre-cooked grilled chicken strips, found in prepacked salad area), Meat was dry, flavorless, no chicken flavor to it and weak teriaki flavor. A grilled chicken patty from your average Burger King is better tasting (and thats not saying alot)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay - golden raisin medley - comparable to what I get form bulk bins in Central Market and Whole Foods but at a much better price

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Big YAY - Trader Joe's Garden Patch V8-style vegetable juice. I tasted a sample and exclaimed "WOW, this is much better than V8!" (and I'm a big fan and frequent purchaser of V8 juice!) They also make a low sodium variety.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay - New Zealand Grassfed White Cheddar from Trader Joe's. Nice creamy, sharp white cheddar. It almost has a mild sheeps milk flavor to it (although its cow milk) And for about half the price I pay for comparable at Whole Foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mellicita
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  shoo bee doo Jan 25, 2013 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I really like the buffalo chicken meatballs. I saute them in butter and put a little extra butter on them when I'm done. I then add hot sauce. It makes them delicious. I recommend them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mellicita
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    trolley Jan 25, 2013 07:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the teriyaki just chicken is a big NAY. in fact, all the "just chicken" items are terrible. just ask graceW.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mellicita
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NuMystic Jan 27, 2013 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mellicita, did you get the name wrong on those raisins?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Checked the shelves here and there were:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Golden Berry Blend
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Jumbo Raisin Medley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Golden Raisins

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All of which had golden raisins in them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For those that it matters to though, none of the above were without sulphur dioxide. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So I'll be still sticking with Newman's and Woodstock organic raisins for now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Jan 27, 2013 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        All of which had golden raisins in them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For those that it matters to though, none of the above were without sulphur dioxide. :(
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's infuriatingly difficult to find golden raisins that aren't treated with SO2. The Hunza brand is great if you can find them, but they run about $12-16/lb depending on where you buy them, and they tend to be out of stock a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NuMystic Jan 27, 2013 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You can also get pesticide and sulphur dioxide free sultanas from Nuts.com for $7.50 lb shipped. They also have occasional sales and coupons too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mellicita Jan 28, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, I just checked my package... its the Jumbo Raisin Medley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And thanks for the info about sulfur dioxide, I wasnt aware of the issue with sulphur dioxide treatment at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        elise h Jan 25, 2013 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hake en papillote (frozen section)-white fish with grilled zucchini and pesto. Big YAY! Deep basil flavor. A few cherry tomatoes. Reminds me of the also excellent TJ frozen cheese tortelloni with red pesto sauce. Made in France. Only 220 calories (so I can pair it with the TJ sweet corn tamale with 210 calories) for a truly fine meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: elise h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mellicita Jan 25, 2013 08:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the review! I almost bought the Hake yesterday, but didnt know if frozen fish would work out well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dave B Jan 26, 2013 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Huge Yay - Kimchi fried rice (frozen)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I saw this recommended on a previous Y/N thread and got a bag to try. So delicious I ended up eating the whole bag myself as a meal. Nicely spicy with a wonderful Asian flavor element in every bite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            shanchamber Jan 26, 2013 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay: Frozen mini gyros bites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay: Steamed plastic-packed artichoke hearts in the refrigerated vegetable section. Tasted like paper pulp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              minglumama Jan 26, 2013 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nay on NY strip steaks....wassup'? I bought them a month ago and they were amazing, I bought them this week and they were shoe leather!!! Cooked exactly the same way. These are from the TJ's in Morgan Hill CA. If you are out there trolling and reading, please take note, the meat dept. is wildly inconsistent. I was super disappointed by this purchase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. NuMystic Jan 26, 2013 04:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                YAY - Organic Frosted Cherry Pomegranate Toaster Pastries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rebranded Nature's Path. Very nice balance of tart and sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                At 200 calories each it's a moderately guilty pleasure and a (slightly) healthier "adult" alternative to commercial Pop Tarts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ohmyyum Jan 26, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Try any of the "this _____ walks into a bar" cereal bars, well toasted. I prefer these to pop tarts at 140kcal each!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NuMystic Jan 27, 2013 01:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Added to my shopping list, hadn't ever thought of toasting those!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ohmyyum Jan 27, 2013 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It didn't occur to me either until I saw them being demoed that way. Use a toaster oven and not a pop- up toaster and let it get crispy. Oh and make sure you let it cool because the fruit filling gets quite hot. I burn my tongue almost every day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GraceW Jan 27, 2013 09:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cereal bars in the toaster are amazing. In high school, for a quick dessert, I used to put an Entemann's chocolate chip cereal bar in a pop-up toaster.. you just have to be careful if it falls over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NuMystic Jan 30, 2013 10:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well I'm going to have to join jill2800 in her big NAY on the Walks into a Bars even toasted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tried the toasting suggestion with the Strawberry variety and while the crisp exterior was nice, it tasted of nothing but sugar, without any hint of lovely tart/sweet I expect from a berry filling. (which is exactly what the Pom/Cherry toaster pastry delivers)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So calories be damned I'm sticking with the ones that were designed for the toaster after all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum Jan 31, 2013 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bummer! I'm sorry you didn't like it! Admittedly, I do have a pretty high tolerance for sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NuMystic Jan 31, 2013 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No worries, my wife enjoyed her strawberry bar enough that they won't be going to waste, and ultimately it's probably a net calorie savings in the end. Forgot how small the "walk into a bars" are and I'd surely have wound up making two at a time for 240 rather than the single toaster pastry at 200. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John Francis Jan 31, 2013 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like the apple bars right out of the box. But I'll put one in the toaster oven, if I have the patience. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower Jan 26, 2013 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SUPER YAY: Boneless and Skinless Sardines in Olive Oil (packaged, on aisle right next to cans of tuna) - these are not smoked and I liked these much much better than the smoked kind also found at TJ's. They are imported from Morocco and were delicious eaten room temperature from the package and dressed up simply with a few squeezes of lemon juice, sea salt, and a dash of freshly ground black pepper. YUM!...and a very quick, healthy snack!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YAY: Organic Creamy Tomato Soup - we bought a box of this and the Tomato/Roasted Red Pepper Soup (havent tried the latter yet). The Creamy Tomato Soup hit the spot when paired with a sandwich for lunch and tasted homemade...only thing I noticed is that it definitely needed a few dashed of salt added to it to really bring out its flavor. Otherwise - very good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        linguafood Jan 27, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cool news about the sardines! I've only so far tried the smoked ones, which I loved. The smoked trout is also quite amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll hafta give the regular sardines a try soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Jan 27, 2013 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Please do...a gourmet find there at TJ's, definitely the best sardines I have tried anywhere - a real steal for the price. They don't have that "fishy" taste at all - very clean and were good enough to be eaten as is with a squirt of lemon and S&P.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. AmyH Jan 27, 2013 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay - Pain Pascal organic demi miche 100% whole wheat artisan bread. Very nice texture and taste. Went well with my soup last night and lasagne tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay -the honey tangerine juice as already mentioned above. Great stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          AmyH Jan 27, 2013 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I should have added yays for the canned marinara sauce (green can) and whole milk mozzarella. They made my lasagne great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. GraceW Jan 27, 2013 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY-Ganache Cake in freezer section--my friends loved this for National Chocolate Cake Day... I've had it before so I didn't have any, but it is very rich!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower Jan 27, 2013 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY: Lentil Soup (new one with the big letter "L" on front of can, canned soup aisle) - quite surprised at how tasty this was - nicely seasoned broth was thickened just a bit probably due to some of the lentils breaking down and lentils had just the right bite to them. Has already become a repeat purchase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BIG NAY: Sparking Lemonade (in tall glass bottle on soda aisle) - where's the lemonade flavor?? This tastes only like sparking water - blech. The Sparkling French Berry Lemonade is outstanding but very disappointed in the regular kind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DandelionFluff Jan 28, 2013 11:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Is this lentil soup the same as the stuff they used to carry in the somewhat barrel shaped can? I always bought the lentil and minestrone, which my kids loved, but it disappeared. Today there was a big display of the normal cylinder shaped cans with paper labels, but I was assuming it was just new packaging.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DandelionFluff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Jan 28, 2013 11:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Actually I think you are right, I believe I did read somewhere that it was just a re-packaging of the products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mellicita Jan 28, 2013 03:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hohumm/yay = vegetable birds nests (frozen appetizer). These basically taste like fried onion rings. They are predominantly thinly sliced onions, with a few shreds of carrots and kale (that really contribute color, rather than any flavor), bound with tempura batter into little latke shapes. The TJs cooking directions are way off. It said preheat to 400 degrees, decrease to 350 degrees and cook 10 min. It took about 20 min more of cooking, with upping the temp to 400 degrees to get these to crisp up. It might be easier to pan sautee them or deep fry them (if you dont mind the unhealthy aspects of that). They are ok, too greasy for my liking, taste like fried onions rings.. But for the price you might be better off just getting Alexia brand fried onions. I was not a fan of the "dipping sauce" which the ingredient label reveals to be soy sauce, water, and sugar. They tasted better with a little ketchup. I wont be buying them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay/ok- chicken pot pie bites (frozen appetizer). Good classic chicken pot pie flavor... a little too much biscuit for the amount of filling to me (it was like eating a biscuit with a schmear of pot pie filling, rather than a mini pot pie). My only qualm is that they cook up to look like very bland mono-color beige blobs... so that I wouldnt want to serve something so visually unattractive at a party, even if the taste is good. Its visually nicer to make your own with those precut puff pastry rounds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Huge YAY/oh darn this is a calorie BOMB! - Honey Greek vanilla yogurt (in refrigerated dairy section)... oh so yummy, thick rich, sweet mild honey flavor. except at 280 calories for a 8 oz, I cant eat this regularly! Darn it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay - Nonfat blueberry Greek yogurt (also refrigerated dairy section). pleasant flavor, not as thick as 2% or ful fat, but ok. Better on the calories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay - "Dynamo" juice drink (non-frigerated bottled juice). This is a 100% juice drink, with apple, pinapple, orange, and lemon juice in it. No added sugar. With vitamins and Calcium added (40% daily value calcium/8oz). It looks (opaque light orange color) and tastes pretty much like V8 fruit juice with carrot juice blends, except there is not carrot or vegetable juice in the TJs version. I love juice but personally try to avoid drinking too much since its still alot of sugar, however natural it may be, but if you do enjoy juice or buy it for your little ones, this is very tasty. I went back for 2 more sample cups!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY= these are old products, but new to me... TJs Pear Champagne Vinaigarette with Gorgonzola refrigerated dressing. So sweet and yummy ,and I dont even like blue cheese! But the blue cheese flavor is not strong at all, ,just adds little bits of creaminess. Only 45 cals/2 tbsp so I can eat a lot of it! Also, Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette = not really very spicy, just a mild peanut/soy sauce flavored vinaigarette. 70 cals/2 tsps, so again better than other vinaigarettes. Litehouse brand dressings makes very similar pear and peanut dressings, but the TJs are far superior in taste when I did a side by side comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                jujuthomas Jan 29, 2013 06:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                big bad NAY for the latest bag of frozen Haricot Vert I purchased! I thought a couple looked a little pale as I dumped them in the steamer. they were grey and flavorless. I've always had good luck with their frozen beans, so this makes me sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Violatp Jan 29, 2013 07:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, that is disappointing! Hopefully just a fluke. I love to dump out a package of these on a half sheet pan and roast till brown and crinkled up. Once, I ended up eating just that for dinner. Yes, a pound and a half of roasted, buttered, green beans was my dinner. Heh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Violatp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jujuthomas Jan 29, 2013 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hmmm... i've never roasted green beans. I'll have to try it. I only used 1/2 the bag last night, trying to decide if I want to return them or just toss. TJs is not on the route of any of my usual errands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Violatp Jan 29, 2013 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you think it'll cost you more in gas & time to return, then I'd go ahead and give the roasting a try. I never eat them boiled or steamed anymore. I just dump them out on the pan and pour some melted butter over (which solidifies immediately, of course) sprinkle some salt over and stick in the oven (I think 400) for as long as it takes. Sorry, I just eyeball it and see how it smells after awhile!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Give a toss every once in awhile, too so it's all butter coated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The smaller ones get a little crunchy which is a great texture thing mixed in with the rest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now I want some. Hmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Violatp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        jujuthomas Jan 29, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        no worries, I roast kind of by eyeball as well. evoo, some penzey's turkish seasoning, and I'm good to go. hmmm... and I'm roasting a pork tenderloin for dinner tonight...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jujuthomas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NuMystic Jan 29, 2013 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is no better way to enjoy Haricots imo than roasted, though I've only done it with fresh not frozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This recipe from Cook's Illustrated is the very best I've tried to date:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In search of a green bean recipe that would breathe life into out-of-season vegetables, we discovered that roasting in a 450-degree oven with only oil, salt, and pepper transformed aged specimens into deeply caramelized, full-flavored beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cut the carrots into matchsticks about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        INGREDIENTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1tablespoon maple syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1tablespoon Dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1tablespoon grainy mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pinch cayenne pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1pound green beans , stem ends snapped off
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 medium carrots , peeled and cut into matchsticks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1tablespoon vegetable oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Table salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        INSTRUCTIONS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine maple syrup, mustards, and cayenne in small bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; arrange beans and carrots on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil; using hands, toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, toss to coat, and distribute in even layer. Roast 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Remove baking sheet from oven. Using tongs, coat beans and carrots evenly with maple-mustard mixture; redistribute in even layer. Continue roasting until carrots and beans are dark golden brown in spots and beans are starting to shrivel, 10 to 12 minutes longer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Adjust seasoning with salt and toss well to combine. Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ohmyyum Jan 29, 2013 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tried the February spotlight unripened Brie cheese today and it was great! $2.99/4oz round. It did not have a rind and the flavor was mild, milky, buttery, and delicious! It is definitely a new fave of mine; I hope they will keep it as one of their regular offerings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dommy Jan 30, 2013 08:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oooooooooo!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      woodlandsprite Jan 30, 2013 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay - Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Slims - the only problem is it's so hard to not eat the whole bag!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay - Cocoa Almond Spread - we've got a nut allergy to Hazelnuts (and some others, but not Almonds) in my house - love it more than I love nutella!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        jll2800 Jan 30, 2013 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love TJs and go there at least once a week. Here are just a FEW of my favorites:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Shredded brussels sprouts. These showed up in the late fall at my store and I have bought at least 1-2 bags a week. I fear they will stop appearing in the spring, but I'm enjoying them while I can. I salt/pepper/oil them and roast in a 400 degree oven for 10-20 minutes until they start getting a little browned and crispy. PERFECT side dish with no cleaning, almost no prep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Broccoli slaw. I toss with a store bought rapsberry walnut vinaigrette, some toasted chopped walnuts (also from TJs!) and some dried cherries. Awesome, tasty, and insanely easy salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: My newest produce favorite is the chopped organic tuscan kale. Again, no work. Throw it in a soup, use it for a kale salad, toss it in with your eggs, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Mint melange tea. I love mint tea and this is a great one. Also makes spectacular iced tea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Freeze dried strawberries. Nothing added to them. I call them "strawberry chips" and my preschooler thinks they're a treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Yogurt pouches. Again, a preschooler crowd pleaser and less yucky ingredients than Go Gurts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Dark chocolate bars with almonds--small bars in a 3 pack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Green chile and cheese tamales. Come out pretty tender, and I like the simple filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Potato tots. TJs tater tot knock off. What can I say? They're tasty, and I delude myself into thinking they're slightly better than actual Tater Tots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Frozen corn. I usually buy the organic version, but the fire roasted corn is also very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Frozen brown rice. Another super quick and delicious side dish for nights when I get home too late to make brown rice from scratch. I like that the rice isn't too mushy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Frozen chicken tenders. I bake them up and use them in wraps, salads, or just by themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Canned beans. I find nearly all the varieties to be wonderful, never slimey or tinny tasting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Thai yellow curry sauce. I see someone else mentioned not liking this, but I saw a demo in the store where they put half a bottle of sauce with a carton of the low sodium butternut squash soup. It is really delicious and a virtually instant main course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Some of the NAYs: Restaurant style salsas (those were some of my fav items but recently it seems they changed the formulas and now the red and green are both not as good), chicken burritos (chicken always is rubbery to me), plain frozen pizza (it's not awful, but it's not great either, too much crust), frozen fruit (again not awful but not as good as brand I get at regular grocery store), english muffins (too dense), "walks into a bar" (all the varieties I've tried have been tooth achingly sweet), most of their juices (I love the sparkling grapefruit but haven't enjoyed just about any of the other shelf stable juices they carry), frozen mini chicken tacos (they were sampling these the other day and they were horrific), frozen marinated mahi mahi (we used to buy these but they have gotten increasingly "fishy" tasting and mushy)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jll2800
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower Jan 30, 2013 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for sharing all of your yays and nays with us...trust me they are extremely helpful and I couldn't tell you the number of TJ's products I have gotten hooked on by reading some of the reviews by others on here...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Quick question on the Frozen chicken tenders...are you referring to the breaded chicken tenderloins? How is the flavor/breading on them...have wanted to give these a try but have heard mixed reviews, some think they are not flavorful enough and some rave about them. I would be using them to dip into bbq sauce or honey mustard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            jll2800 Jan 30, 2013 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yep, I meant the breaded tenderloins. I do tend to sprinkle a little salt on mine, but my husband and son think they are fine as they are (they generally dunk in BBQ or ketchup, which probably compensates for the saltiness). Certainly no gourmet fare, but I personally like them better than the Tyson ones you usually get in the regular grocery store. If you like other store bought tenders you'll probably like these. If you don't, well I don't know if these would change your mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jll2800
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower Jan 30, 2013 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Tyson Southern Style tenders are what we used to buy...good comparison, will most likely try the TJ's brand at some point soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: jll2800
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            CurlieGlamourGirlie Feb 1, 2013 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "deluding myself into thinking they are better"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do the same ALL the time with Trader Joe's products:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            french fries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pizza
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They can't possibly be bad for me since Trader Joes made them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jll2800
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Atomica Feb 5, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I *really* want those shredded Brussels sprouts. I am being told by my TJ's that they are seasonal and have not been in their store since mid-December. Are you still finding them, jll2800?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (And I adore all of your prep suggestions.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Atomica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NuMystic Feb 5, 2013 11:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bought the shredded Brussels just last week in NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              shaebones Jan 30, 2013 11:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hummus w horseradish. YAY!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: shaebones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ohmyyum Jan 31, 2013 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I dipped some shrimp cocktail in it :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. olyolyy Jan 31, 2013 10:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay: high lycopene tomatoes. There have been a reliable winter tomato, and I much prefer them to Campari. Small to put on sandwiches but I make do because they taste so ripe. Is it the lycopene?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mozzarella sticks in the frozen section. It's like being transported back to 1996.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mini Ice Cream Cones- Vanilla. The vanilla ice cream in these kind of tastes like cake batter which I like. I wish they sold the ice cream standalone it is fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay: Milton's Potato Bread. Good taste but terrible texture, way too soft and gummy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Organic Washington Apples: These were mealy, even though they smelled and looked great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Organic Cheese sandwich crackers- ok, not as good as the whole foods version but $2 less.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: olyolyy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NuMystic Jan 31, 2013 10:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How do they high lycopenes compare to the more affordable kumatos?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    olyolyy Feb 1, 2013 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't like the taste of the kumatos, but that's just me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower Feb 1, 2013 01:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Started new yay/nay thread for February 2013 ...follow link below:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888748

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. q
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Querencia Feb 10, 2013 11:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My regular seasonal pitch for Sweet Chili Sauce. I can't believe how many people have never tried this but become instant admirers. An excellent condiment that possesses the magical ability to make common fish sticks taste like an appetizer in a decent Thai restaurant.

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