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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - June 2013 [OLD]

We're heading into summer...can't wait to see what new summertime treats that Trader Joe's has in store for us! Let's discuss any items you have tried recently - would you give them a yay or a nay?

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  1. Last week's honeycot apricots were a great big YAY, but this week they didn't have them. So.... :-(

    1. Yay- Horseradish Cheddar potato chips: I know someone reviewed them in May and thought there were not that "horseradishhy"- but we must have had a different batch. They induced the burn in my nasal passageway. My only suggestion for improvement would be a thinner chip.

      Meh- Refrigerated Lemonade: I wanted something cold that I could drink on the spot. I liked that it has pulp, but it lacks a little pucker for me. I think I prefer the self stable. I bought some organic pink lemonade to try.

      No spotlight cheese in my store for June yet, but got some rosemary and olive oil asiago for snacking.

      ETA: Nay-lemon turnovers (Indiana) High crust to filling ratio- sweet without any tang.

      Was excited to see the spicy peanut dressing back on the shelf. I have a daily craving for it and the organic broccoli slaw. They have definitely become my #1 and #2 favorite TJ buys.

      9 Replies
      1. re: brilynn79

        Agree on the horseradish chips - quite spicy/sharp, but quite addictive.

        1. re: thursday

          I did not like them on first bite, but then I went back for another handful so...
          I don't think these will be a regular purchase for me.

        2. re: brilynn79

          I just did a salad with rice noodles, the broccoli slaw and that peanut dressing, tofu and bean sprouts - perfect hot-weather meal in almost no time!

          1. re: JulesNoctambule

            Oh, yum. That sounds right up my alley. What kind of rice noodles, did you get them at TJ's? The kind you just soak in water? Did you cook the tofu? Um, I guess I'm asking for the recipe! :-)

            1. re: Jpan99

              I just put some things together in a bowl, really! I used pressed, seasoned tofu that's available at TJ's, soaked the rice noodles (I used the thin kind that are easy to find in any Asian grocery), and tossed it with the slaw, bean sprouts, and some dressing with a little sambal oelek mixed in. Use more or less of whatever you want, or add some Thai basil, throw on some chopped peanuts, chill it or not - it's simple and tasty!

              1. re: JulesNoctambule

                Was at TJ's this afternoon and they didn't have the peanut sauce. :-( I may have to try another location. Love your recipe, thanks!

                1. re: Jpan99

                  Just whisk together your favourite peanut dressing and stick it in the fridge for when the urge strikes!

          2. re: brilynn79

            Thanks for the update on the refrigerated lemonade...I lived off of this last year and have been waiting for its return to the refrigerated section. Is the organic pink lemonade in the refrigerated section as well, or is it shelf stable?

            1. re: littleflower

              Shelf stable. You may still love the refrigerated one:)

          3. thanks for starting this littleflower. And thanks I think to the hound who mentioned the shortbread biscuits that only appear this time of year. I scored a package in the refrigerated section right next to the berries. Trying to wait til tomorrow to try the biscuits.
            Was surprised to see pie crusts in the frozen section again so I had to grab a package of them. I plan to make a chicken pot pie with my pie crust as it is a family favorite to use up leftover chicken. Don't care if the crust is a bit sweet and hard to work with, the pie still turns out better than any premade pie I've found.
            Could not leave without buying another almond danish pastry. I am so weak!

            2 Replies
            1. re: givemecarbs

              Absolutely...glad to update to a new thread for June, especially since we have been in the 300-400 posts range for each thread this year!

              1. re: littleflower

                Yes, thank-you thank-you thank-you! Without being a nudge can you remind people to use the Yay Nay Meh format? It's a big help for me.

            2. A big fat NAY on the fact that they just rolled out a brand new *gluten-free* version of the Joe Joe's cookies, but they're made with soy flour so I STILL can't try them :(

              For anyone who's interested, here's the intro blurb from the TJ's site:
              "Could we make a Trader Joe's decade-old cult cookie classic gluten free? For the answer, we turned to a trusted suppler with about 120 years of cookie baking under their belt – they understand the fundamentals of fabulous cookies and pride themselves on their innovative inclination. By Joe Joe's, they did it! Masterfully mixing high quality gluten-free flours, like corn flour, soy flour, rice flour, and potato flour, they came up with legitimately crispy, chocolate-y cookie wafers that sandwich a delicious vanilla bean cream, with real specks of vanilla seeds in the cream. We compared them to “similar” gluten-free cookies. There was no comparison – not in quality and not in price. Our delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Vanilla Creme Joe Joe's Cookies are an exceptional value at $3.99 for a 12.5 ounce box."

              1. It was my first time buying TJ's Almond Croissants (4 to a box) and I was surprised by how tasty they were.

                They are sold frozen. Leave them on a lined baking tray overnight on the counter. In the morning the croissants have risen very nicely, pop in a 350 oven for 20 mins and you have yeasty bakery fresh almond croissants worthy of a cup of Joe and your limited time in the AM. I believe they were about $4.00 (price check?).

                6 Replies
                1. re: HillJ

                  Those croissants are the devil HillJ. One time last winter I went nuts and bought one box of chocolate and one of almond. They make me glad to be alive!

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I love these too, had a box in my freezer for awhile. I forget to lay out on Saturday night to have Sunday morning:( Maybe this weekend...

                    1. re: brilynn79

                      @giveme & @brily, I bought them on whim after shopping TJ's with my son (home from college-loves TJ's) and was so surprised by own tasty they were. Bonus: my kitchen smelled like a bake shop! Good time saving value purchase. I haven't tried the plain or chocolate (yet).

                    2. re: HillJ

                      I'll give those a try. The chocolate ones were delicious, so you should pick up a box the next time you're there.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Yay! I have been eying those almond croissants and finally bought them because of your post. Had a couple this morning. Just as good as the chocolate version. The filling is not overly sweet and just the right amount. Most of the almonds fell off the top but I prefer them without those anyway. The pastry is so light and tasty.

                        1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                          I'm so happy to hear that, Russ! The sliced almonds fell off in our box too and I stuck a few on right before baking. But I agree that they aren't overly sweet and had just the right amount of almond filling. My son bought 4 new boxes including the plain & chocolate(found those in the freezer!).

                      2. This is not a new item but I just started buying it: frozen spinach/ricotta ravioli. You can nuke it or cook stovetop (I did stovetop in a non stick pan). It only takes about 7-8 minutes.

                        In another pot I cooked fresh baby spinach in a little butter, no water. In no time I had a nice little dinner, very little effort, very colorful.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: walker

                          I just bought these ravioli too and thought I'd check this board for the TJ's Yay/Nay thread. Could you please rate them? Inquiring minds want to know!

                          1. re: Berheenia

                            Well, if you're not making your own ravioli or having them in a great Italian restaurant, I think these are the next best thing. It's great just to have them in your freezer ready to go. Maybe it could use a teeny tiny bit of crushed red pepper. I added fresh grated Parm.

                            A definite "Yay."

                            1. re: walker

                              Made them for dinner last night using the skillet method. A big YAY indeed! We had a couple of Italian sweet sausages on the side.

                          2. re: walker

                            I don't like ravioli as a rule, but occasionally buy those for a quick dinner. Not bad with toasted walnuts on top.

                            1. re: walker

                              I think the spinach/ricotta ones are okay.... but man did I love the gorgonzola ravioli. So sad they don't sell them any longer.

                            2. MEH/NAY -- refrigerated meatloaf with tomato sauce. Tasted ok to me, but my kids gave it a big thumbs-down.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Bob W

                                I'm going to follow this up with another MEH/NAY for the refrigerated pasta with grilled chicken, gorgonzola cream sauce, asparagus, and peas.

                                The flavor was ok, but the dish is very unappealing to look at. Nothing like the cover of the package. And the sauce is very watery.

                                One more refrigerated item left at home to try -- the linguini with mushrooms.

                                1. re: Bob W

                                  I did not like that gorgonzola chicken at all. The pasta had a good texture, but that's where the appeal ended. Sauce was 75% bland 25% gross, peas tasted and looked canned, chicken was bleh. I got a refund.

                                  1. re: Bob W

                                    OK, tried the Linguini with Four Mushroom Sauce, and I will give it a MEH/YAY. Good mushroom flavor, pasta had a good bite. Not earth-shaking, but I'd get it again.

                                2. Water.

                                  This morning, a Salvation Army thrift store in center city Philadelphia collapsed, with unknown numbers of people trapped inside. Trader Joe's is across the street, and they are delivering boxes of water and other beverages for the search and rescue crews.

                                  1. Yay/Meh - the Cheesy hot dogs. They're not as flavorful or juicy as the regular beef hot dogs, but they have the oozy cheesy goodness to compensate. I'd probably buy the beef first, but if they were out of stock, these are a good substitute.

                                    1. MEH (at best) - French Vanilla Ice Cream: I bought this based on a few high reviews that I've read about in the past for it, but it wasn't the 10/10 that I had hoped for. My personal preference?...have to give it a MEH because it is WAAAAAY too rich and if there is a such a thing, overly creamy for my tastebuds. I tried the ice cream again by pairing it with root beer (TJ's Vintage Root Beer, a definite YAY) to make a root beer float. The root beer helped cut through the heaviness of the ice cream to make it taste better than just eating the ice cream by itself. Probably won't be repurchasing this one again.

                                      BTW: Thanks for continuing to use the YAY/NAY/MEH format when describing the products you've tried...it is so helpful sometimes to just do a quick scan down the page to see a product and then a rating for it.

                                      12 Replies
                                      1. re: littleflower

                                        It's funny, I don't like superpremium ice cream sometimes because of this. Try Breyer's. Lots of air.

                                        1. re: littleflower

                                          I found that ice cream to be less rich than usual last time I bought it, oddly enough! Far more Breyer's-y and airy; we even compared it with the small amount we had left of a previous container and it's definitely more fluffy and less dense. Too bad - it was perfect over blackberry cobbler before!

                                          1. re: JulesNoctambule

                                            I've been wondering myself if there's been a change in recipe. I used to love the French Vanilla Ice Cream. But the last two times I had it, it had a different texture no longer thought it so great.

                                            1. re: shoo bee doo

                                              The differences in quality in the French Vanilla Ice Cream might be because of differences in regional suppliers. It's been my understanding that, for example, here in the Bay Area, these ice creams have been produced for TJ's by Double Rainbow, a longtime San Francisco maker of excellent ice cream. But as to whether their product is shipped out of the area to other regions, I don't know. Too bad we don't have a TJ insider here on Chowhound to give us the real skinny on this and other topics.

                                              1. re: cmvan

                                                It's Double Rainbow out here, too, or at least it has been. A friend of mine does ordering for TJ's, so I'll see if she has any useful information she can share regarding products!

                                                1. re: cmvan

                                                  In New York, the chocolate and coffee ice creams are still apparently made by Double Rainbow and have not declined in quality. However, I have never bought vanilla. I would think if it is Double Rainbow on both coasts, that it would be everywhere.

                                                  The last pint of Pomegranate Blueberry Sherbet I bought was not the usual quality; it was not mixed properly and some of it had no fruit and the wrong color. Not sure who makes that, though I don't think it's Double Rainbow.

                                            2. re: littleflower

                                              I've had french vanilla ice cream in the past and liked the flavor, but just wasn't overly wowed by the TJ's version of it when eating a bowl of it on its own. It was fine when paired with root beer for a root beer float, and will most likely just finish off the rest of the carton using various toppings to help lift the flavor.

                                              Next time I won't be purchasing this particular flavor, but must admit I am curious as to what (if any) flavor will take the place of the now discontinued Lemon and Triple Ginger Snap ice cream. Now THAT ice cream flavor I LOVED and was sad to read that TJ's will no longer be carrying it.

                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                I tried that Lemon Gingersnap and it was too sweet, meh, didn't buy it again but considered it.

                                              2. re: littleflower

                                                If you have any left over, make some affogato, if you like espresso. It'll balance out the richness. Or with some tart rhubarb compote, since 'tis the season for rhubarb.

                                                1. re: breadwinner

                                                  Ooh, the affogato recommendation is a perfect idea (and yes, I have about 80% of the ice cream left still in the carton!), I will definitely give this a try!

                                                  1. re: breadwinner

                                                    Breadwinner...thank you so much for the wonderful suggestion to make an affogato with the french vanilla ice cream! The flavors balanced out nicely and now I have a way to use up some more of the ice cream. :-)

                                                2. Has anyone tried the TJs mayonnaise-- either the regular or eggless? Does it compare favorably to Hellman's? I only like mayonnaise in very limited applications but tomato sandwich season is coming up!

                                                  29 Replies
                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                    A definite YAY to their real mayonnaise for me. I switched from Hellman's after being loyal for years. It tastes more like homemade. No sugar, so the vinegar is a little more forward. EXCELLENT in tomato sandwiches. WHEN will my tomatoes be ripe?

                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                      Savour, how does it compare to Kewpie, if you've tried that? I love the tanginess, but don't love the price and would like to find a cheaper substitute since we go through a lot of mayo in this house.

                                                      1. re: Isolda

                                                        I think it's similar, but less sweet than Kewpie. And no MSG. Though it's been a while since I've had kewpie.

                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                          Glass. Also, it has no sugar in it, so it's less sweet than many other brands. It's also made with canola oil instead of soybean oil.

                                                          1. re: Savour

                                                            I'll have to try it; I can't find Hellman's in glass, that's a biggie.

                                                            ETA; after reading some more, I think I'll pass.

                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                              You might be one of the lovers! We seem to be pretty evenly split between lovers and haters on the real mayo.

                                                              1. re: Savour

                                                                I seem to have more in common with the haters, history and preference wise. Any hint of sweet or Miracle Whip and I'm so done. I love Ojai Cook products, just ordered some plain in a glass jar from amazon.com. Their Lemonaise is really good.

                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                  I'm with you on MW - I don't get the sweet from TJ's though- as far as I know, it's the only widely available commercial mayo that has no sugar. It does have a slightly more assertive vinegar tang, but I think that's a plus. It tastes like European mayo.

                                                                  1. re: Savour

                                                                    Not home so I can't be positive but I don't think Dukes mayonnaise has any sugar. And no canola oil! That is most important to me.

                                                                    1. re: ElsieB

                                                                      Dukes regular mayo doesn't have any sugar. I am not sure about the canola oil. One of my work moms had said there was no sugar and I had to look to make sure. Love me some Dukes because of it!

                                                            2. re: Savour

                                                              The jar I got recently was in plastic, not glass. It was my first time trying it. I didn't loathe it like some on this thread, but didn't love it either. It did seem greasy to me, maybe because I'm used to low-fat Hellman's. A bit sweet, too. I doubt I'll be buying it again.

                                                              1. re: Savour

                                                                Savour, I don't know when they made the change, but the real mayonnaise is in plastic. The reduced fat eggless mayonnaise is still in glass, as is the smaller jar of organic mayonnaise. I still haven't tried the real mayonnaise-- but wow! What a wide range of opinions!

                                                                1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                  I may try the organic. I love Hellman's, but I want to get away from plastic.

                                                          2. re: ohmyyum

                                                            Their eggless/light version is my go-to mayo. I prefer low-fat mayos so your opinion may differ.

                                                            1. re: ohmyyum

                                                              I haven't tried it myself because I'm not a fan of jarred mayo, but I bought some for my mom a while back and she liked it so much she made the switch from Hellman's. She uses it on her tomato sandwiches too :)

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                But... is it better than Duke's? Or Kewpie?

                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                  Couldn't tell you, I don't like jarred mayo. I've never tried Duke's, and the only time I've had Kewpie is in a spicy tuna roll (and I haven't eaten a spicy tuna roll in ages).

                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                    I can't vouch for how it holds up to Duke's or Kewpie because I haven't tried those brands, but if you are at all curious I definitely would give TJ's Real Mayo a try because it is THAT good.

                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                      I might. Of course, we just got our order of four 32 oz. jars of Duke's.... so it might be a while :-D

                                                                2. re: ohmyyum

                                                                  HUGE YAY for the TJ's Real Mayonnaise...I used to only use Hellmann's, but tried TJ's Real Mayo based on a few recommendations on this board last year. I agree with the others that it tastes like homemade mayo, and in my opinion it tastes even better than Hellmann's. Now TJ's Real Mayo is the only kind of mayonnaise that we will buy...if I were you I would definitely give it a try!

                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                    I have not yet tried the real mayo because when I tried to buy it my TJs was sold out of it. I said something to the cashier and she said she didn't like it and preferred Hellmans. She thought the TJs tasted more like Miracle Whip. I was surprised to hear that. I still intend to buy it and try it myself.

                                                                    1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                      I tried the eggless mayo - it's the only TJ's product I've ever returned. Really disliked the taste. But I see that others like it.

                                                                      1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                        Loyal helleman's customer here, usually the reduced fat or regular, TJ's was horrible. Like seriously so bad i threw it out. Months later i tried the eggless one in an effort to avoid going to another store. Bad idea. Also terrible.
                                                                        No comparison to helleman's.

                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                          I have, and it's revolting. I'm taking it back today if I can remember to.

                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                            Sorry to hear you gave it a try based on the reviews on this board and you didn't care for it linguafood...it appears to be a bit like cilantro in the sense that people have some pretty strong opinions about it. Those who like it REALLY like it and those who don't like it REALLY do not. :-)

                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                              It is kind of weird though, in that (commercial - compared to homemade) mayo isn't generally as *pronounced* in flavor as any product heavy on cilantro would be.

                                                                              I'm def not someone who has hang-ups about fat or fat flavors, and as I've mentioned before on this thread, am very happy with Duke's -- which I have to order online, but it's well worth it.

                                                                              So as a mayo lover, I was very curious to try the TJ brand -- and yeah, I guess it's just not my thing. Did I get a rancid one? Who knows. I'm just not invested enough to keep buying it, and I do plan on taking the mayo back.

                                                                            2. re: ohmyyum

                                                                              I thought I would love it, as I love most of what I purchase at TJ's. Yuck. It tasted like Miracle Whip to me. Too sweet and too tart all at once. I'll stick with Best Foods.

                                                                            3. Big Yay for the Chocolate European Style Lowfat Yogurt!! This stuff is delicious. A little bit tangy but mostly just a delicious chocolate flavor. I'm less enthusiastic about the Mocha flavored one.

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Briek

                                                                                I recently bought their plain European-style yogurt (nonfat I believe) and I gotta say a BIG FAT NAY. To my palate it was sour, rather than tangy. And way too runny for my taste.

                                                                                But a BIG FAT YAY to their halloumi cheese—they've just begun carrying it. It comes in a small pack of six slices. That's six slices of heaven.

                                                                                1. re: DeborahL

                                                                                  Is that the one in the 32oz tub? I bought the organic European style yogurt (whole milk) and loved it. It's definitely not as thick as Greek yogurt, but it was wonderfully creamy. It's supplied by straus family creamery in my store in NC. It is tart, however.

                                                                                  I have not tried the halloumi but I've eyed it every time I've browsed the cheese section! Glad to hear it's a yay because it is so affordable compared to the most widely available brand.

                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                    Yep, the 32oz tub of the yogurt. I usually get Brown Cow but since I was at Trader Joe's and out of yogurt, I decided to try theirs. Maybe Brown Cow's tends to be a little sweeter somehow because I also find that Nancy's is more tangy/sour-ish than I like. (Brown Cow uses pectin in its plain nonfat and Nancy's and TJ's don't--but pectin is a thickener rather than a sweetener. So maybe it's just the texture I really like better!)

                                                                                    I didn't see halloumi in the cheese case but I decided to ask a staffer. First person said they didn't have it but a staffer standing nearby said they did, and that they'd just started carrying it. It's a pretty small container so maybe just ask someone. Found this photo of the packaging on Twitter:


                                                                                  2. re: DeborahL

                                                                                    Holy cow, they have halloumi now? I've never seen that there, and I pay a fortune ($10.99 for an 8 oz package) at Whole Foods regularly.

                                                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                                                      Yep, pretty sure it's $4.99 too. :)

                                                                                      1. re: DeborahL

                                                                                        I checked my local TJ's for halloumi last night based on this post, and I scored! It's going into my zaatar & roasted vegetable stacks.

                                                                                    2. Just bought the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles.

                                                                                      Oh dear, wish I hadn't. So good!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                        Sounds very tasty -- quite a huge name, as well.

                                                                                        1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                          :o I thought those were a Christmas seasonal thing. Haven't seen them in my store in awhile.

                                                                                          1. re: Rilke

                                                                                            I was surprised to see the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles at my montgomeryville pa store recently. I had to back away slowly. I ate them way too quickly during the holidays. Darn! Now I want some.
                                                                                            I tried the shortbread biscuits that I scored in the refrigerated section with the berries and they were tasty and really convenient. I had them with aerosol whipped cream and fresh strawberries and blueberries.

                                                                                        2. YAY for the Baked Lentil Chips, Salt and Pepper flavor. Great crunch and nicely peppery.

                                                                                          1. I love TJ's frozen naan and their Indian simmering sauces are very good too and their Greek plain yogurt is perfect for making raita. TJ's Thai Vegetable Gyoza are delicious as well (I make a simple Vietnamese dipping sauce to go with them). If you like chai tea, TJ's Spicy Chai Tea Latte Mix is wonderful. I also like their frozen peas. Lots of Yays here! Sometimes I like to pick up a package of crumpets as they're not sold in many supermarkets in my area. Almost forgot my newest big deal: I love Trader Joe's Extra Virgin California Estate Olive Oil. It's only about $5.99 and is just as good as a $29 bottle of Olio Santo. I now buy 2 at a time.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: meem

                                                                                              Everyone keeps raving about TJ's California Estate Olive Oil...I am tempted to give it a try once the olive oil that I am currently using has been used up.

                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                Do it! Best budget olive oil I've ever tried, and the only one this cheap I've had that provides the signature peppery burn at the back of the throat that guarantees it's a genuinely fresh quality oil.

                                                                                                This means it still has all the antioxidant phenol goodness that has long vanished in lesser oils:

                                                                                                1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                  One of the employees let me sample a few because they already had them open, and I thought the "pepperiest" by far was the organic Spanish olive oil, also $5.99 for the same size bottle. But I MUCH preferred the California Estate for its grassy, fruity notes. It was definitely the most unique of the bunch.

                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                    Good to know that the Spanish also has that fresh peppery finish at a budget price.

                                                                                                    I completely agree that the California Estate has a wonderfully forward flavor good enough for straight dipping and drizzling. It's this distinctive flavor (rather than the peppery finish) that makes it a pantry staple and favorite for me.

                                                                                                    Bought two more bottles today in fact. It goes fast since it's my go-to for vinaigrettes.

                                                                                            2. YAY -- the Dutch double cream gouda is pretty damn awesome.

                                                                                              YAY -- the herbed goat log (chèvre).

                                                                                              1. YAY - the spicy and creamy hummus. I'm decidedly not a passionate hummus eater, but this is very good. Creamy with a little kick.

                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                  Yea - roasted red pepper hummus, which looks almost identical to the Sabra product but costs less and, I think, tastes even better.

                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                    i would hope that tj's would be better than sabra which is half-owned by frito lay (which, in turn, is owned by pepsico).

                                                                                                    one of the reasons i favor the tj's brands is that they are produced by smaller operations and i've heard that they eschew gmo ingredients.

                                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                      Whoever makes it, Sabra's hummus is a good product, and the main difference between it and TJ's imitation (I have to call it that because of the packaging) is price.

                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                        I think both Sabra and Tribe are mediocre to the point that I'd sooner go without than buy either.

                                                                                                        I find Yorgo's carried by Fairway far superior and the only commercially packaged brand I've found that can hold it's own against a high quality home or restaurant made hummus.

                                                                                                        Westsidegal, you should know that an enormous amount of TJ's products are simply familiar supermarket brands private labeled for TJ's. It's true that they promote TJ's labeled items as being GMO free (a claim challenged by anti-GMO action groups btw) but John is probably right on this one.

                                                                                                        If the packaging is identical apart from the label, in most cases it's the exact same product from the same manufacturer.

                                                                                                        Many TJ's products are indeed by smaller operations but far from all. Just as many of the familiar "small" gourmet and organic labels are in fact owned by the huge conglomerates. General Mills (who owns Cascadian Farms and Muir Glen amongst others) is just one example with many of their products on TJ's shelves.

                                                                                                        1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                          Hummus is so easy to make (and a LOT less expensive than buying it) but once you try it, you're spoiled. Using a significant amount of tahini and good quality olive oil makes a huge difference. I make up a big batch in the blender and then put it in small containers and add different spices and flavorings to each one.

                                                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                            I'm with you Russ. No question that hummus from scratch has ruined me for most store bought.

                                                                                                            My fresh basil hummus topped with hot pan roasted pine nuts and drizzled with EVOO has been a dinner party and potluck hit for years.

                                                                                                            Smoked Paprika or Za'atar are my two favorite toppers for fresh plain hummus.

                                                                                                2. breaks my heart to report that mache is d/c. my favorite salad green and the only other place around me that ever has it is $$whole$$foods.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                    NOOOOOO! Are you sure?? It's not just seasonal? We go through 3 bags a week-

                                                                                                    1. re: thursday

                                                                                                      i KNOW! checked with my captain, and he said discontinued, not temporarily out of stock. i'm so bummed. please use the website to register your dismay--they've brought stuff back before and really do listen to customer input:

                                                                                                  2. YAY- chia seeds that are cheap! Awesome.
                                                                                                    YAY- " high protein tofu" has an extra firm texture, mild flavor and grills well
                                                                                                    NAY- kale chips. Tasty but crumbly mess amd expensive for what i got
                                                                                                    YAY- baslamic glaze. I put it on everything and anything-crazy good.

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                      Yes! I LOVE the balsamic glaze. It makes salads so much easier these days.

                                                                                                      1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                        Is the balsamic glaze in the aisle with the bottled (shelf stable) salad dressings? I've never seen it, but it sounds great!

                                                                                                        1. re: Mellicita

                                                                                                          It's with the Olive Oils and Vinegars in my TJ's.

                                                                                                      2. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                        the high protein tofu also can be used to make a mean version of tofu fajitas. it DOESN'T fall apart when sauteed.

                                                                                                      3. Nay nay nay to the beurre meunière popcorn. I don't know if it was the lemon or the thyme but it tasted like cleaning products.

                                                                                                        16 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Savour

                                                                                                          Totally agree!!! I got this for our poker game on Friday, and it was more than a "nay". More like a WTF?

                                                                                                          Tossed the bag after one try. Never again.

                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                            I had to eat something else to get the flavor out of my mouth.

                                                                                                            1. re: Savour

                                                                                                              I had to drink (more than) something to erase the memory from my mind.

                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                Had to brush my teeth with Sriracha to exorcise the taste from my palate.

                                                                                                                (haven't actually tried this, but couldn't resist piling on)

                                                                                                              2. re: Savour

                                                                                                                Although I love many of TJ's products, it is ones like the beurre meuniere popcorn that really make me wonder if they even bother to test their products on any type of focus group before deciding to carry it in the stores.

                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                  Ah, everytime I see the word meuniere I think of the movie Tampopo. What a shame that you say the popcorn is bad-I may have to try it just to enjoy with the business lunch scene.


                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                    I caught my husband eating it and I said in disbelief, "You like that?" He was like, "Yeah, why not?" Maybe that's their focus group.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                      Thank you for the laugh, Savour! :-)

                                                                                                              3. re: Savour

                                                                                                                TJs " Movie Theater Popcorn" is great! Corn, oil, butter, salt. I usually pop my own, but this is a very acceptable substitute.

                                                                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                  The Dill and herb Popcorn and Kettlecorn are both good. Sorry the lemon one isn't good!

                                                                                                                  1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                    Yep. I have two bags of the Herb popcorn at home.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                      Add another YAY for the - Herb Popcorn.

                                                                                                                      So good we've taken to transferring it to a gallon zip lock to smuggle into movies with us. (less noisy than the bag it comes in)

                                                                                                                  2. re: Savour

                                                                                                                    I think they needed to add salt(aside from including it in the 'seasonings' as well...but yeah I only ate a couple of handfuls and didn't finish the bag.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Fromageball

                                                                                                                      The salt level in the Movie Theater Popcorn varies wildly from batch to batch.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                        I've noticed major salt variations from bag to bag with their roasted, in-shell pumpkin seeds too. They're now officially gone until the Fall; I hope the next generation is seasoned more consistently.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                          Ugh, I noticed this too. Some bags are so delicious and others are pretty much too salty to eat [well, I eat them anyway, but they are not good].

                                                                                                                    2. Bought the S'mores ice cream sandwiches. Not sure if they are a new product or not, but we really enjoyed them..

                                                                                                                      1. Big yay to the hobo bread in the fresh bakery section. I don't know how new this is, but it must have shown up in the past couple months. Dense and sweet and filling. I love it with cream cheese.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                          Sounds like something we may enjoy...Rilke, can you elaborate a little on the hobo bread? Is it filled with anything or does it have raisins in it? Also, how much is it for a loaf of it?

                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                            It has raisins and walnuts in generous amounts. I don't remember the price but I want to say $3.99. The label says twelve servings. . . . I won't get that many :-P It's a cylindrical shape, not pre-sliced but a butter knife is enough.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                              I think it is 'boston brown bread'!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                Thanks - I'll have to see if our TJ's carries the hobo bread. They do not carry the fresh almond pastry in our bakery section which is much loved on this board and one product that I really wanted to try!

                                                                                                                          2. I finally got the dried mandarins (soft & juicy), and I agree with everyone else - big YAY!

                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: aching

                                                                                                                              Glad to hear they're back in stock!

                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                Checked with our Las Vegas TJ, and they're still not in -- the computer still says "back in July".

                                                                                                                                1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                  They had them in Westwood (LA), but not very many - they may have been the end of their supply.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                    Pasadena and Studio City (Los Angeles area) Trader Joe's both said back in September-

                                                                                                                                    1. re: thursday

                                                                                                                                      As of last night, West Hollywoods computer said back in July :( I'm going to stalk the place until they're back. I think I'm going to buy like 10 bags!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                        Delaware's computer also said July, and I will also be buying 10 bags :-P I actually think I might ask one of the mates to put them aside for me.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                          Home! But I was gonna go to target. I need a new watch!

                                                                                                                              2. I mentioned this on the old May thread, but it's such a revelation it bears repeating:
                                                                                                                                the Belgian Butter Waffle Cookies are a small yay on their own, but add a smear of Nutella and they become a huge YAY! It's everything those chocolate hazelnut sandwich cookies are trying to be but can't quite accomplish. It's got the buttery crunch of the cookie and the soft creaminess of the Nutella. I can't get enough of it, much to the despair of my waistline.

                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                  Hahahaha oh Amy, try them with some cookie butter and your life may be transformed.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                    I tried the Belgian Butter Waffle Cookies last year and was lukewarm about them when eating them plain. I love Nutella and am my curiosity has made me want to try these cookies again in the near future along with a smear of Nutella. Sounds fantastic and thanks for the idea!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                      For me they were "ok" plain..... but really good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream smushed in between two of them! The flavor and texture reminded me of a cross between an ice cream cone and a waffle cone - hence the idea.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                      BETTER than the nutella, try the YAY tj Cocoa Almond Spread.
                                                                                                                                      also the TJ stuff does NOT contain artificial flavor.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                        We had the butter waffle cookies dipped in the cocoa almond spread for aftershave last night...yum!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                          I'm hoping that was an autospell thing.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                            Lol! How strange! Yes almond spread...not aftershave!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                              Yay to the new Lattemiele cookies. Lovely honey flavor. Also very good with the cocoa almond spread.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                Great, NOW you tell me. That spread did absolutely NOTHING for my razor burn. :P

                                                                                                                                        2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                          Gotta disagree with you.
                                                                                                                                          Those chocolate hazelnut cookies are trying for something totally different. (of course, if they actually called them hazelnut shortbread, then folks would know what they were buying!).

                                                                                                                                          I love the belgian cookies for hikes (does anything at Trader Joe's have enough salt for hiking??? bah! stupid store! why must they sell SWEET beef jerky????)

                                                                                                                                        3. YAY: Tuscan Melon - Ripe, sweet, and delicious - similar to a regular canteloupe in taste but has a more complex flavor. Very refreshing when eaten cold on a hot day and will definitely be a repeat buy as long as TJ's is carrying it this summer.

                                                                                                                                          1. YAY! Watermelon. Yes, you can buy watermelon anywhere but not for $3.99! Sweet, juicy, crisp; fantastic chilled! Also looking forward to trying it grilled.

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                              Someone else mentioned this on the May thread...great to hear that the watermelons that TJ's are carrying are now "in season". I tried one earlier on this summer and it was not at all ripe but will definitely give the watermelons another try, especially for that price!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                The one we bought two weeks ago went back it was so bad, so it's definitely still very much a case of YMMV.

                                                                                                                                                Watermelon is the one melon I buy already sliced open and saran wrapped since they can be so hit and miss. When I can see the interior color before buying it's never a miss.

                                                                                                                                            2. Yay - Gazpacho. It may be the best gazpacho I have ever eaten! Yay - Italian Country Salad. Perfect size, great taste and the best dressing. Yay - roasted Coconut Chips. Perfect amount of sweetness. Yay - little packs of Summer Fruit, donut peaches, nectarines etc. Yay - creamy hummus. Yay - frozen kale and spinach bites. Yay - cinnamon raisin swirl bread. Too good. Not one Nay!

                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: flowergirl

                                                                                                                                                If you think the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl bread is good, you should try their Cinnamon Roll bread...it is delicious and has become a staple in our house. The Cinnamon Roll bread tastes like what the name suggests - it is ooey gooey like any good cinnamon roll should be when warmed up in the parts of the bread that contain the cinnamon sugar mixture. I like to eat it warm (it comes pre-sliced) with Kerrygold butter spread on top and a dash more of sugar - truly yummy!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                  For me the cinnamon roll bread is too much of a good thing, and maybe a misnomer - "bread" shouldn't be gooey. But I'm a repeat customer for the cinnamon raisin bread.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                    As much as I have grown to love the Cinnamon Roll Bread, I do have to agree with you John that "bread" is really not what it should be called. Perhaps Cinnamon Roll "slices" or something similar would more accurately fit the description!

                                                                                                                                                2. re: flowergirl

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the review of the premade salad! The few I've tried have either been a huge YAY or a icky Nay... I'll give the Italian Country salad a try now!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                      I like the gazpacho but found it needs to be thinned a bit and benefits enormously from a slug of red wine vinegar and some fresh chopped cilantro.

                                                                                                                                                      Without that it's more salsa consistency than gazpacho and too heavy on the cucumber to my taste.

                                                                                                                                                  1. New to me, new flavors for the frozen macarons. I haven't open the box yet, but they are $4.99 a box.

                                                                                                                                                    1. NAY: 2% Reduced Fat Milk (Non-organic)

                                                                                                                                                      This one's definitely not a new item, but I can't say that I'll ever buy milk from TJ's ever again. I'm not sure why, but every time I get get their milk, it goes sour ridiculously fast. (I'm in the SF Bay Area, by the way.) I know it's not because of my fridge because I keep it at the second-to-coldest temp, AND I just moved to a new apartment with a different fridge and it happened again. A week ago, I bought a gallon size of it. I opened it the day after I purchased it. Two days later, I pour myself a glass and it's already sour. A near-whole gallon of milk, spoiled! The expiration date was about two weeks after the day I purchased it, and it's happened to me with different sizes, too. I know I should try the organic milk, but my past experiences left a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak. I'm sticking with either Berkeley Farms or Clover from now on.

                                                                                                                                                      YAY: European-style Whole Milk Yogurt.

                                                                                                                                                      Though it's a little runnier than I expected, I found it perfect for smoothies. Also, the tartness is very light, but it's oh-so creamy. I think it would be great for salad dressing.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: breadwinner

                                                                                                                                                        Definitely take that milk back for a refund. TJ's doesn't always handle perishables well, to say the least. My store doesn't even put water in the flower buckets.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Yay - Spinach kale balls
                                                                                                                                                        Yay - Coconut body butter - not food but I couldn't resist
                                                                                                                                                        Yay - Nonfat plain Greek yogurt - I add fresh fruit
                                                                                                                                                        Yay - Cut up fresh pineapple
                                                                                                                                                        Yay - Gazpacho - the best!
                                                                                                                                                        Yay - Frozen Coconut fruit bars
                                                                                                                                                        Yay - Greek Chicken with orzo
                                                                                                                                                        Yay - Ground turkey - I use in Ina Garten's turkey meatloaf

                                                                                                                                                        1. YAY---Not new at all, but the goat's milk brie is absolutely delicious and is almost always ripe enough to eat it the day you buy it. I can down half a round in one sitting with no problem and no guilt.

                                                                                                                                                          ETA: forgot the yay on my first post

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                            Interesting. I thought it was kinda bland.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Nothing new but some favorites:

                                                                                                                                                            Yay! for the frozen BBQ chicken pizza. Nice crust, right amount of toppings, nice sweet onion flavor, barbecue sauce is not overwhelming. With a little dried pepper, it's perfect. I usually bake it on a cookie sheet for half the time and then just on the rack.

                                                                                                                                                            Yay! for the frozen Margherita pizza from Italy. I usually add a little spinach, goat cheese, and dried tomatoes but it's good right out of the box. Nice crust when baked on the rack.

                                                                                                                                                            Yay! for the Tuscan Pane bread. I prefer the plain over the whole wheat. It makes nice sandwiches and very good french toast. Sometimes I toast it with butter in a cast iron pan and it is so yummy with honey or preserves. Also makes a great grilled cheese.

                                                                                                                                                            Relatively new: Yay! for the Habanero Sauce. I like the Tabanero brand better because of the lime juice but the TJ's version is nice and hot with that fruity habanero flavor.

                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                              I too love the Tuscan Pane bread but have yet to use it when making french toast - good suggestion and will have to give this a try.

                                                                                                                                                              As far as the BBQ Chicken Pizza, we were not as thrilled with it as you were. I am not a huge cilantro fan, and that is the flavor that I thought I detected in it. The crust was a bit so-so as well.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                Did you bake it on a sheet or straight on the rack? I think that helps the crust.

                                                                                                                                                                I didn't recall the cilantro so much but now that you mention it, the sweet onion flavor may be overwhelming a hint of cilantro flavor. That may be one reason I like it so much because I like cilantro. It definitely has cilantro listed as the last ingredient and some people don't like cilantro because of a gene that makes it taste soapy to them.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                  Hmm...it's been awhile but I *think* we cooked it straight on the rack. I tried the BBQ pizza as a sample a few years back and liked it, but for some reason this time around it just wasn't a favorite of mine. Glad that you tried it and liked it though, RTR!

                                                                                                                                                            2. YAY for peonies! I don't know if it's a local thing, but every year about this time for a very short period my TJ's has the most gorgeous peonies, and at $6.99/bunch they're extremely affordable. I bought four bunches on Saturday for a party, and everyone kept saying how gorgeous they were.

                                                                                                                                                              1. YAY = Bunch O' Basil. Nice big leafy green basil plants! for 2.99

                                                                                                                                                                Yay = mango lemonade (shelf stable) this was a sample. Sweet, tart, mango-y.

                                                                                                                                                                Yay = Just Turkey Bolognese. Old product, but they were sampling it and I liked it so much I bought a package, which I've already eaten part of at home! Its just a very nice rendition of Bolognese made with ground turkey. I would swear it was beef if I wasn't told it was turkey. I appreciate no noodles in the package.

                                                                                                                                                                Yay - halloumi cheese is available in my store too! I haven't tried it yet, but I'm assuming it will be on par with TJs other cheeses....TJs generally does well in the cheese department.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mellicita

                                                                                                                                                                  The Mango Lemonade is a great shelf stable lemonade. This is the only shelf stable lemonade that I have tried that I've liked. Your description of it is just right.

                                                                                                                                                                2. In the June Fearless Flyer, they advertise Corn & Chile Salsa. Does anyone know if this is different from their Cowboy Caviar? It looks like the same product in new packaging! (Not that I'm complaining, I love the cowboy caviar!)

                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AshB1022

                                                                                                                                                                    No beans- just corn with a little heat, a lot of sweetness (and whole coriander seeds). It's frequently on my list (a Yay) - I like it on hot dogs, turkey burgers, Carne Asada tacos, salads ...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AshB1022

                                                                                                                                                                      I really wanted the Corn and Chile salsa to be a Yay (I tend to like a sweet-savory combination), but found the salsa to be so cloyingly sweet that it was difficult to taste the flavor of the corn. I thought the heat level was pleasant, and the coriander and mustard seeds in nice proportion, but the sweetness was just too out of whack for me. So: a Nay.

                                                                                                                                                                      I picked up some Sweet Potato Tortilla Rounds to go with the salsa, and thought those were a Yay - especially the light crisp texture (I tend to dislike hard, thick gritty chips). These, too, were on the sweeter side because of the sweet potatoes, but pleasantly so. I thought maybe the combination of the sweeter chips with the sweetcorn salsa was the problem, but the fault lay entirely with the salsa on this one - the chips were great with a sour cream and herb dip.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                        I don't usually eat the salsa plain with chips - I think it's a nice counterpoint to savory things, like on tacos or hot dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                        Yay on the Coulommiers - Spotlight cheese of the month. Lots of flavor, and a nice, varied texture - chalkier near the center and creamier near the rind.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                          Good point on the salsa; I think I'll use up the rest as a sweet element in some picadilloesque ground meat dish.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. BIG YAY: Multigrain pita bite crackers. Luckily I got a few of these before the box was emptied. They are really good. Outstanding crunch, lots of flavor like an everything bagel. A superior product.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I may have missed this in previous threads, but does anyone have an opinion on the Organic Peanut Butter? I keep wanting to try it, but don't know if taste-wise it is worth the extra money compared to their regular peanut butter.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. These supplements are essentially generic, but it's convenient to buy them at TJ's, and I've no reason to distrust the quality.

                                                                                                                                                                          Omega-3 Fatty Acids Dietary Supplement - 1200 mg fish oil, 600 mg total EPA and DHA, 90 softgels

                                                                                                                                                                          B-Complex Dietary Supplement - 120 caplets

                                                                                                                                                                          Sinergestic C Vitamin C Complex Dietery Supplement - 500 mg per tablet, 100 tablets

                                                                                                                                                                          1. A big Yay on the Horseradish cheddar potato chips! Makes want a Bloody Mary!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. NAAAAAYYYY on the TJ mayo. After all the recs here I tried it (I'm a Duke gal all the way), and found it borderline disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                                              The mouthfeel is greasy, and it has an oily aftertaste. The good hit of lemon *could* be the saving grace, but it's not.

                                                                                                                                                                              I'll return the jar.

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                Exactly my sentiments. I'm not wild about Duke's either, but but it's a lot better than the TJ product. TJ's mayo reminds me of Miracle Whip. It's going back.

                                                                                                                                                                                I grew up with Best Foods, and although their quality seems to have declined somewhat, I haven't found anything that's better. I plan to try making my own soon.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. YAY on the Cubano wrap (sorry if I mentioned it before, I can't remember). Ham...pickle...Swiss...some other stuff, and a mustard sauce to dip. Filling, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                  My husband and one son really like the Cubano wrap, too. The other son prefers the Italian wrap. I love the wrap with the falafel, tabouli and tahini, but was shocked when I saw the calorie count. So they're a rare treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep on that Cubano. I believe it's a little pork loin in there, too. That's what is usually in the Cuban sandwiches. I try to plan my trip to TJ so I can pick up one of these for my lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Triple Nut & Flakes Cereal is great, we've been telling our friends and they are now buying it. But we Just learned that Trader Joe's has discontinued this really good "Reduced Sugar" cereal! Such a shame. We've been eating it every morning and buy it by the case. We have lots of friends who are just starting to buy it. The shelves were often low on boxes of Triple Nut. But they discontinued it nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Why keep bringing in new cereals, when the ones Trader Joe has are just taking off in buyers. They don't leave them on the shelf long enough to get customers.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Bring Back Triple Nut!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Yay - Hold the Cone mini ice cream drumsticks. Love the chocolate!

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay - Cookie Thins (Toasted Coconut)! Really good and pretty low cal per cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay - Mango yogurt gummies.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Nay - Kimchi Seaweed ramen. Found it by the shelved indian meals. No flavor sticks on the noodles. Not that the broth is any good anyway. Big disappointment.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. The goat's milk gouda and goat's milk brie are just wonderful. I rarely buy them unless I'm serving it as an appetizer for company, because I cannot stop eating them until they're gone.
                                                                                                                                                                                        The Cream Line yogurt is wonderful, and my doggie gets a heaping tablespoon with her dinner every day. She does NOT have gas, ever- I kid you not.
                                                                                                                                                                                        I grew up in Tucson and one of the things my mom would buy while feeling fairly exotic (having come from a podunk town in the midwestern US) was Rosarita mini tacos from the freezer case. It was one of those things I bonded with as a kid. TJ's has a really good rendition, probably even better than the original. It's one of those things that you throw in the oven when you're whooped after a long day at work and feeling needy for some long-ago comfort food. I don't serve it to company, but once one of my guys sees a box of it in the freezer, it tends to get cooked up and eaten straightaway.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Kumato brown tomatoes. Best commercial tomato I've ever had. Not cheap, but great (1lb pack, $3.49).

                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                            I, too, love the kumatoes but recently I tried the golden grape tomatoes and they were a huge YAY. Nice pop, sweet, mellow flavor-- less acidic than regular grape tomatoes. They were $1.99 for the 10.5oz clamshell. I hope they keep these in stock more regularly; they were stocked briefly a few months ago, then disappeared.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                              You know they're GM tomatoes, right? They're my favorites, too, but do a google search on "kumato". It's heartbreaking.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                                Your post worried me a little so I did indeed do a search on "kumato"...and from what I can find, while they ARE a trademarked hybrid, they AREN'T GM. At least that's what everything I read indicated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Which is a relief! I still prefer to buy locally grown heirlooms at the farmers' market but when I can't, kumatos at Trader Joe's are my second choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash


                                                                                                                                                                                                  6th FAQ. From the Kumato website.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Where is the source for your information about GMO?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately, there are many people who automatically assume hybrid = GMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Yay! on the frozen Pear Tarte imported from France. It's every bit as good as what you would find in a bakery in Paris except that it's been frozen. Twenty minutes in the oven to warm it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I served it plain but it would be very good with whipped cream. NIce balance between crust, filling, and pears, texture retained well through the freezing. The frangipane is not too sweet and the almond flavor is not overdone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I may try broiling it next time to brown the frangipane but it might be necessary to put foil over the crust to do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                The ingredient list is a little more complicated than if you baked it yourself but not scary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. YAY: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies (fresh - bakery section) - I was quite surprised at how much I liked these, normally PB cookies with choc. chips in them are a bit too rich for my taste but these were delicious. Each bag contains 8 rather large sized cookies and I liked that they included a few peanuts in each cookies for the crunch factor. The PB and chocolate seem to each enhance each other beautifully making these one of the best store bought cookies that I have tasted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  MEH: Hold the Cone Mini Ice Cream Cones, Chocolate Flavor - I thought the vanilla ice cream hold the cones were much tastier (and a definite YAY), the chocolate ice cream combined with the chocolate coating was a bit too much. The vanilla ice cream provided a nice contrast to the chocolate coating that you just don't get with the chocolate ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. MEH/NAY -- Pizza Parlano. Way too salty. Any other flavor is completely overwhelmed by the saltiness. Also, the crust is too thin for my taste, but that's just personal preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It wasn't so bad that I threw it out, but I won't be buying it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bax

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't noticed the saltiness factor (although admittedly I have a pretty high tolerance for salt in foods), but the reason why this gets a MEH from me is the past couple of times I've tried I have noticed a distinct decrease in the amount of cheese added to it. Also, I do like a thin crust pizza but this crust lacks the flavor that the other TJ's wood fired pizzas have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. BIG YAY TJ'S 8-ounce carton of mascarpone for only $2.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                      at the San Antonio, TX store. I haven't tried many products, since the store has only been open since Oct. '12 and is about 75 miles from me. Reading these posts, I'm certainly going to add many items to my list. Thanks 'hounds Oh, try the mascarpone in a Fine Cooking recipe for Mascarpone Ice Cream. Yummmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. NAY - Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches -

                                                                                                                                                                                                        More "Sub-Par" than "Sublime" I'm afraid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cloyingly sweet (compared to Ben & Jerry's, Haagen Daaz, Cold Stone) and the chipwich style cookie is mushy with much of it coming away on your fingers. This is straight from a freezer cold enough that a regular ice cream needs to defrost a bit before it can be spooned from the pint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good to know, NuMystic - was thinking of either trying these or the mini mint ice cream sandwiches. Have you tried the mini mint ice cream sandwiches? I have heard various reviews on them but most seem to be positive ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Littleflower, I have, and they were a Nay from me. They were a little bigger than an Oreo. It wasn't that they were downright bad, they just weren't anything special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Haven't tried those yet, but I have a feeling the oreo style cookie will be a big improvement over these. Do let us know if you give them a shot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks NuMystic and all for the comments on the mini mint ice cream sandwiches...sounds like a meh so I probably won't be rushing out to buy them! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've tried the mini mint ice cream sandwiches and thought they were pretty meh, myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the cookie sandwiches more than the mint ones, personally, but like the vanilla ice cream gallons, I found that the ice cream in the last box we bought was fluffy rather than firm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JulesNoctambule

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hmm I love the vanilla super premium ice cream because it is so rich and creamy. I hate fluffy ice cream-- that is the reason I returned the (now discontinued) lemon triple ginger snap ice cream, but I have never experienced that texture with the vanilla. Is there any chance you got a bad batch that had perhaps been freezer burned or something? I have noticed that they sometimes overfill the freezer at my TJs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's been the same consistently for a few months, so I don't think that's the cause.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you want a really good ice cream sandwich, combine Biscoff cookies (Trader Joe's has a knockoff called Bistro Biscuits) with the TJ's coffee ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    TJ's is now stocking authentic Speculoos… which Biscoff is actually a knockoff of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Biscoff is a brand of Speculoos, not a knockoff. It's sold in Belgium.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Speculoos cookies pre-date the Lotus Bakeries' Biscoff by decades.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By the same semantics TJ's JoJo's aren't a knock off either, they're just a brand of sandwich cookie. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lotus took one of the the most popular cookies in Belgium and sold it under their own trademarked name. (without any clear mention of Speculoos in the marketing or packaging)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My point is that while they acknowledge the speculoos connection if you dig deep enough on their website, they label their cookies as Lotus "Biscoff" rather than Lotus Speculoos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. YAY for what I don't think is a new product, but I sampled the mango sorbet today and immediately grabbed a container.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That stuff's da bomb!!! Dessert tonight with fresh alphonso mango on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. NAY: Joe-Joe's Cream Filled Sandwich Cookies - I didn't like the taste of the chocolate sandwich cookie part in combination with the cream filling. The only thing these did for me was make me want to go back to eating Oreos again! The holiday Peppermint Joe Joe cookies are SO much better than these, perhaps the mint filling complements the chocolate sandwich cookie part in a way that the regular cream filled does not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Yay - Whole milk European style yogurt. Nothing but whole milk and cultures, lovely creamy texture, good tartness. A winner for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay - Tuscan melons, very tasty and reasonably priced, short term item I'm sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nay - Limited edition Ethiopian Peaberry coffee. I've had other Peaberry, this is flat and one-dimensional. Perhaps it is the in-store grinder's fault, TJ's uses a fairly lousy grinder at their coffee station, but this was a disappointment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay - unsalted pistachios, not always easy to find them unsalted elsewhere. Or, as a friend said, "Pistachios with no salt? That's just nuts!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dan D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Their Tuscan melons are the best, and every summer we take full advantage of the time that they are available. You are correct in that they are only sold for a limited time only each summer. TJ's Tuscan melons and the Heirloom oranges that they sell every winter are two of my favorite things I look forward to each year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. The shred parmesan cheese was so salty, it made the entire dish inedible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Israeli couscous worked well with another dish. Only wished that it was whole wheat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Yay-Inner Peas. The crispy baked pea snacks...they are back in a new formula (cashier noted it, now corn-free) and I hadn't eaten them in a while but to my memory, they seem less sweet and taste more pea-like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. NAY NAY HUGE NAY: Lowfat Chicken Noodle Soup in a Can (red label not yellow) - horrible. Picked this up instead of the chicken noodle with vegetables soup that we normally buy from TJ's and the difference between the two is night and day. The CN soup with vegetables in the can with the yellow label that we normally buy contains a flavorful broth with corkscrew pasta noodles. This Lowfat CN soup in the can with the red label tasted and smelled like perfume - completely inedible. So if you are looking to buy CN soup from TJ's definitely purchase the kind in the yellow can NOT the lowfat one in the red one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Nay: Trader Joe's Vanilla Coconut Milk(in the fridge section). This tasted like vanilla water to me. way too watered down for my taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. All their blueberries are a YAY but the big, plump blueberries are a huge YAY. T J's fruit is incredible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Yay to the Angelcot white apricots! 1lb clamshell was $2.99. According the the sample girl, they are grown on only one orchard in CA and have an extremely short season. Extremely juicy, sweet and mellow flavor without the tart tang of regular apricots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I tried to get some last night the guy told me they hadn't had them in a few days. Hopefully they'll have some on Saturday morning. I'm dying to try them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Sandwich makings:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yea - TJ's Muenster Cheese. Has the classic Muenster flavor and texture at a good price. Skip the low-fat version, almost no flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yea - TJ's Smoked Sliced Gouda Cheese. Delicious beyond words.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yea - TJ's Uncured Pastrami. Nobody would mistake it for the real deli thing, but it's true pastrami and makes a good sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yea - TJ's Seasoned Roast Beef. Flavorful and not too chewy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay - TJ's Uncured Black Forest Ham. Very muted ham flavor and a disagreeably tough rind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Several good sliced sandwich breads. I like the honey bran and whole wheat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ditto Yay to the smoked gouda cheese!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Yay for TJ's Unexpected Cheddar. If you like sharp, aged cheddar this is for you. Kind of crumbly with a nice sharp flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The sliced cheddar isn't bad either, though the low-fat variety is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They were sampling this cheddar with their rosemary raisin crackers and quince paste the other day, and it was one of the best bites of food I've had in ages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Also a YAY-the "Ode to the Old Fashioned Potato Chip" or whatever their called. I've never been too huge of a fan of TJs chips-but these are great. Taste like Lays-salty, thin, light. Good stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Meh- tempura chicken with sweet and sour sauce (frozen). I don't know what I was thinking. It was mostly breading surrounding tiny nuggets of chicken. The sauce really didn't taste like anything. I'll stick to the orange chicken in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yay - chicken egg rolls. Not bad. I detected a bit of water chestnut in the filling that added a nice crunch. They crisped up pretty nicely in the oven, although I did them at 400 instead of the package specified 350 because I was doing the chicken at the same time. They were a nice addition to the meal, which also included the frozen Korean beef kalbi ribs (love those things), the frozen char siu buns, and some homemade rice and sautéed chard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. A secondhand YAY to the reformulated Inner Peas. My daughter loves Snap Pea Crisps, which have become a little hard to find around here, and I tried the old Inner Peas once and she was not fooled. Yesterday I bought the new ones (on someone's recommendation here, thanks) and it was hard for me to stop her eating them for dinner and breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Definitely a yay for me too! Chowed down on almost the entire package in 1 sitting. Wish I had bought more then 1 now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We picked up two bags of these this weekend and really like them as well. I wish they were a little saltier but understand that is a personal preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Slightly Sweet Milk & Honey Cookies - yay and yum. They taste like a lighter, higher quality and tastier vanilla wafer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love vanilla wafers so I definitely will have to give these a try. Thanks for letting us know, emily!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. (This might be late, but...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A really loud nay for Trader Joe's sriracha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's not spicy enough, tastes overwhelmingly of garlic powder, and the worst thing of all is it's too sweet. Gross.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HungryGrad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I never even bothered tasting their Sriracha after seeing the ingredients…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Vegetable Extract
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Natural Flavor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Xantham Gum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All things I just don't need in my Sriracha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I stick to the authentic made in Thailand brands that are preservative free:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cock Brand - Not to be confused with the ubiquitous preservative laden Chinese/Vietnamese Huy Fong Rooster brand made in California. (Cock Brand is the red, yellow and green labeled plastic bottle w/ pic attached below)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Chilli, Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, Garlic)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Shark Brand - Glass Bottle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Chile, Water, Sugar, Garlic, Salt, Vinegar)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Panich - Everywhere I went in Thailand this was the brand most likely to be found on tables. Hard to find until recently in the US, this is now showing up on the shelves of Whole Foods, at least in NYC.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Chili, Chili, Sugar, Acidifier, Garlic, Water, Salt)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      These can be found in most Asian Markets that carry a good selection of imported Thai products. I get the Cock brand in Elmhurst here in NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just a follow up to post a picture of the Panich brand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For what it's worth, fans of the TJ's will likely favor Panich as it too has more garlic and sweetness than most others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Cock and Shark brands are closer in flavor and heat level to the U.S. Huy Fong squeeze bottles found everywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Minor NAY - Baked Ziti with Pork Sausage Ragu - our old standby let us down. It contained large pieces of bone - big enough to choke on if I hadn't detected them first. We've had this fairly often in the past but the last two are different and not in a good way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Another NAY - TJ's Organic Valencia Oranges bag of 15 oranges had three oranges with advanced mold growing on 'em... not sure we want to get into home grown antibiotics just yet. Otherwise, we've been shopping at TJs for years and these are our first NAYs - especially at the Patriot Place venue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gr8Grumpy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry to hear you had a bad batch of valencia oranges - I often find oranges hit or miss this time of year as far as quality goes. They usually are a far cry from the incredible Heirloom oranges that TJ's carries in the wintertime.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. YAY: Angelcot fresh apricots. So juicy and sweet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Goat brie. So delectable. Good goaty funk, and that creamy, dense, slightly runny, almost sticky feeling of ripe brie. So much better than the bland, stiff, chalky supermarket stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MEH: Gazpacho. Nothing special. With a fair amount of doctoring, it was good, but nothing great right out of the tub.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MEH/NAY: Trader Joe's Fresh Rice Noodles (refrigerated, product of South Korea). Following the directions, I cooked them in boiling water for slightly less than two minutes, drained, and rinsed with cool water, until the rinsing water was fairly clear. They were still soft, sticky, gummy, and somehow seemed both overcooked and undercooked. I love noodles of all kinds, and I was excited to try these, but no. I don't know exactly what this kind of Korean rice noodles are supposed to taste like, but I doubt it's this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you for this thread! It was so helpful in my trip to Trader Joe's this week!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tartinet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really want to tryo those Angelcot apricots but my store never seems to have them when I'm there. Ugh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But still better than a regular apricot?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not to me. A little cottony (like so many apricots). But maybe I'm just more of a peachy kinda gal '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Donut peaches in particular... not sure if TJ's carries them, tho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I wasn't super impressed either. Not bad, but I prefer regular apricots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks Rilke and linguafood. Now I don't feel bad about missing them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Hey all - the month of June flew by quickly! Let's carry on the conversation for July here:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Sliced Mango - Yay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Coconut Oil - Yay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gazpacho - Yay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Crackers - all - Yay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Asiago Cheese with olive oil and rosemary - Yay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. First time posting but have been reading for eons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay-Almond Croissants. I know these have been reviewed before, but I can't get over how good they are! Buttery, sweet, with the perfect amount of almond. They were out one day, so I substituted the chocolate ones, and it just want the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay- Frozen Beer Battered Cod. We cooked these up in the fry daddy and they were perfect. Great crunch, nice mild fish flavor, and stayed crunchy when doused with a healthy amount of malt vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay- Handsome Cut Fries. Perfect addition to the cod for fish and chips. Best bagged fry I have ever bought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay-Frozen Organic Brown Rice and Jasmine Rice. I cannot cook rice to save my life for some reason, and especially can never get brown rice as dry as I would like. These taste great and are done in 3 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meh- Frozen Chicken Quesadillas. Had an odd taste to them, I couldn't put my finger on it. They were almost too creamy. At the 2 in the box, just won't buy again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nay- Frozen Confetti Rice. Tasted like lemon pledge. The lemongrass was so overpowering, I could barely get through half a serving. Add soy sauce, garlic, and garlic chili paste, and the lemon was still not able to be masked. Had to pitch it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nay- Carrot cake cookies. I know there was some discussion about them below, whether distribution centers affected their taste. I am in Virginia Beach, and they had no flavor. Literally tasted like nothing. The texture was good, chewy cookie and creamy filling, but there was no flavor to any component in this cookie. Very disappointing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sweetlifevb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Welcome to the TJ's threads, sweetlifevb! Thanks for your recommendations - I still have yet to try the almond croissants so I appreciate your take on them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Come join us over on the July 2013 Yay/Nay thread -