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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - December 2013 [old]

I hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday among loved ones and good eats. The holiday spirit is alive and the season promises to be one of happiness, joy, celebration and love. The aisles of Trader Joe's will be bustling with shoppers seeking out old favorites, and new, unique and tasty delights.

What items have you tried recently, would you rate these items with a Yay/Meh or Nay?

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  1. The shelf-stable box of mushroom soup is very good. It's vegetarian, very flavorful, with chunks of mushroom and a nice rich color. The only criticism is it is perhaps just a little on the salty side. I added only a little milk and mostly water to it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RussTheRaccoon

      Yes, I like it too but find it too salty as well. It is definitely too salty to have on its own but added to other things in a casserole (with NO other salt added) it does fine I think.

      1. re: wrldtrvl

        They were still out of it today. : (

    2. A week or two ago I found Danish Feta cubes in brine. Oh salty treat Yum! They might have been there before , but I"m so happy I've made the container last 2 weeks!

      4 Replies
      1. re: autumm

        I love to use these in my work salad... they are cut just the right size and I like the basket i comes in, makes much less of a mess. It'd also be good if you are making a salad in pot luck and don't want to hog someone else's kitchen...

        --Dommy!

        1. re: Dommy

          Agree that the Danish feta is very good, but it will never replace the Greek Feta in brine that's always in my fridge...it's delish and has a ridiculously long shelf life before the expiration date.

          1. re: josephnl

            I feel the same way! But for convinced sake, I'm glad they have the danish. :)

            --Dommy!

            1. re: josephnl

              I agree, love that Greek Feta and it lasts forever if you don't eat it before then. My last tub I think I had for at least 2 months.

        2. YAY: Chocolate lava cakes (frozen item). 45 seconds in the microwave, top w/ a scoop of ice cream = pure deliciousness.

          2 Replies
          1. re: HeyImBack

            Oooh!! My grandsons will love these!

            1. re: Harts52

              When you use the TJ chocolate lava cakes, save the plastic cups they come in as they are perfect for freezing individual portions of mashed potatoes.

          2. Yay! - TJ's organic sweetened condensed milk. If you like your coffee with sugar and cream, try this instead. A spoonful (small or large, to your taste) transforms your daily Joe into a mellow Vietnamese treat.

            Yay! - TJ's Baingan Bharta eggplant curry. Nicely-seasoned: spicy, but not too much, with a smoky undertone. Excellent over rice or as a dip, with chips.

             
             
            12 Replies
            1. re: pugsam

              like the Baingan Bharta

              1. re: ALITIN

                I third that - it's a staple in my house!

              2. re: pugsam

                Yesterday, our TJ's had no Baingan Bharta! And a crewman told us that it's been discontinued!!! Anyone else finding that?

                So, instead, we got the Channa Masala........Haven't tried it yet.........

                 
                1. re: pugsam

                  I really like the Channa Masala. I'm not a frozen meal person... but this is really good!

                  --Dommy!

                  1. re: pugsam

                    I find the Chana Masala particularly good with raita or even just plain Greek yogurt on top.

                    1. re: aching

                      Thanks for the tip. I like the Channa Masala okay, but always thought it needed something.

                      1. re: Rilke

                        Me too!

                    2. re: pugsam

                      Oh no! I love the eggplant. I hope the employee was wrong or maybe just your store isn't going to stock it because it wasn't selling. I have found they are frequently wrong about what has happened to an item that is out of stock.

                      Those shelf-stable boxed Indian meals are made by Tasty Bite so if TJ's no longer is going to carry it, you can find it in grocery stores or order from Amazon. Sometimes Amazon will put Tasty Bite on sale or you can use Subscribe & Save.

                    3. re: pugsam

                      yep, the Baingan Bharta is quite delish! love it!

                      1. re: Val

                        It's been out at our store. Does yours still have it?

                        1. re: pugsam

                          pugsam, pretty sure we do have it...I've been avoiding TJ's the past few days to be honest...just cannot stand the insanity in there before Christmas but will check tomorrow since I need to get over there.

                          1. re: pugsam

                            pugsam, you're right...NO baingan bharta at our store in Naples...I've been twice since Christmas. yikes...well, maybe it will show up again. Their organic green tea (bags) were MIA for a while but are back now...but have noticed their organic frozen spinach is still missing after a few months now. argh!

                      2. The frozen petit fours were a Yay at our house; they're faintly almond-y with a little raspberry jam inside, and they made a great pre-Thanksgiving dessert for the visiting family!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JulesNoctambule

                          Someone was on the TJs holiday thread asking for an opinion on these. I forget who....

                        2. Not a new item but a seasonal one. I had my own pre black friday shopping moment at TJs this year. Someone was hastily grabbing boxes of the vanilla cinnamon black tea all decorated with the lemur. I just wanted one box and the eager man stared at me for a moment as I timidly reached for one and then asked the handy tjs employee with a clipboard if they would be getting more in because at his house they drink this tea all the time.
                          Thank goodness he was told that more were incoming and he turned and left a few boxes on the shelf including one for moi. I don't know what would have happened if the guy in the hawaiian shirt hadn't been there. I obtained my box without further incident but noticed there there were no decaf peppermint seasonal teas at all. Gasp.
                          I asked the patient dude and he assured me that two cases were in the back ready to be stocked but that they were flying off the shelves.
                          I decided to get out while the getting was good and stayed home entirely on black friday but I will be back for more of those seasonal teas. I also got the cultivated tea collection and the cinnamon tempest. /glug glug

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: givemecarbs

                            My sister and I fondly refer to this as Lemur Tea. We both snagged two boxes before they sold out at each of our stores (Reno and Chicago.) I'll have to check back and see if they got more!

                            1. re: givemecarbs

                              I have been drinking that Vanilla Cinnamon tea every night for at least a month! I like it a lot but the aftertaste reminds me of oatmeal for some reason lol. How is the cultivated tea collection? I have most of my pantry filled with teas so I really shouldn't buy more but it caught my eye

                            2. Nay: Heklas, in the bakery section. Cinnamon sugar pastry dipped in chocolate. Too dry and too sweet.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Savour

                                *L* i thought a big yay for the heklas- nuked for about 8 seconds. the only nay is because my stomach is already too big- and these will only add to it.

                              2. They were giving samples of their corn pudding at our store. My MIL and I both grabbed two boxes! Not sweet, more a stuffing with whole corn. Yum!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: bugablue13

                                  Reminds me of my daughter's recipe for "Corn, Corn, Corn." Calls for 1 box Jiffy Corn Bread (ugh), 1 can corn, 1 can creamed corn, mix and bake. They love. I give it a meh. Kind of reminds me of something I had at a Mexican restaurant once ( think the one that closed down for giving people liver failure).

                                  How would you rate it on a moisture scale?

                                  1. re: Harts52

                                    I'd say a 7, 10 being very squishy. I like a sweet corn pudding and this is more savory with a little sweetness from the corn.

                                    1. re: bugablue13

                                      Thanks !!

                                    2. re: Harts52

                                      I make that but add sour cream. You can dice so jalapenos in there too.... so good.

                                  2. I don't have a TJs that's "on the way" for typical errands. SOOO, if remotely near one, will stop in to browse.

                                    My YAY product is also a "snooze, ya lost" item from a while ago. Had seen some cooking show use solid tuna, in olive oil, in a JAR... never seen in regular markets in my area. At first almost PASSED cuz it was $5+ a jar!?! Then realized it was at least equal to TWO normal sized cans, so bought ONE! That was my SNOOZE moment! It was delicious... better than any other "good" imported tuna I'd ever had. Immediately was wishing I had bought 4-5 jars as a splurge. And ya KNOW I haven't seen this product since!?! WAH!!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: kseiverd

                                      I have seen jarred tunas in other stores and it is expensive--I think I paid $8/jar. Whole Foods carries some and also The Spanish Table if you have one in your area. You might also try Cost Plus. I'm pretty sure they are on Amazon.

                                    2. Two seasonal-item yeas:

                                      Pound Plus Extravaganza - the standard "dark" (54%) chocolate, with almonds, dried cranberries, and candied ginger. The chocolate I keep for eating is in the 70-73% range, but the semisweet works well with the inclusions. I'd prefer more ginger (the other stuff is much more dominant).

                                      Roasted Nut Oil Trio (hazelnut, walnut, pistachio) - I haven't opened any yet, but they get a big yea for the price alone. At $15 for three 250-ml cans, this is a nice deal. Nut oils can turn rancid at room temp, but if fresh when open last a very long time in the fridge, in my experience.

                                      1. Big Yay: Pear cinnamon cider. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it was really great. Both the pear and cinnamon flavors were well balanced. Very nice.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: AmyH

                                          I'm glad you posted this, I didn't see it in the new Fearless Flyer and was worried that meant it might not be back.

                                          1. re: AmyH

                                            I tried that one and thought it might work well in a vodka cocktail :-)

                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              Someone brought a bottle of that Smirnoff Caramel vodka to Thanksgiving and I dumped some into a cup of hot TJ's Spiced Apple Cider. Sweet, but not bad.

                                          2. Just picked up a box of Kouign Amann from the freezer, $3.99 for 4. Won't get a chance to try it out till this weekend though.

                                             
                                            21 Replies
                                            1. re: gnomatic

                                              What's in (on?) them?

                                              1. re: gnomatic

                                                I took two boxes. Have one rising now; same instructions as the croissants (proof 6-8 hours, bake @350º for 25 minutes).

                                                ////////////////////////////////////////////////
                                                Kouign-amann is a Breton cake. It is a round crusty cake, made with bread dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough and the sugar caramelizes. The name derives from the Breton words for cake and butter . Kouign-amann is a speciality of the town Douarnenez in Finistère, in the west of France, where it originated in around 1860.

                                                1. re: gnomatic

                                                  Very buttery, so with the sugar tastes like caramel. Not as flaky/not as many layers as a croissant. Taste and texture like a soft, buttery palmier. Wonderful.

                                                  (first photo shows a pumpkin croissant proofing; you can see size comparison just out of the box)

                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  1. re: Cathy

                                                    sounds delectable! dare I ask about the nutrition info? -cringe-

                                                    1. re: rynnyb

                                                      340 calories; 37 carbs-the numbers I care about. It is quite rich tasting and sharing half is enough.

                                                       
                                                      1. re: rynnyb

                                                        I stopped and looked at it in the store. It's one of my favorite things, but the numbers on the package scared me away!

                                                      2. re: Cathy

                                                        Had these for breakfast this morning. Amazing! Like a sugary, flat, less flaky version of the croissants. Calorie-wise they're only a few more than the chocolate croissants. I'll definitely be buying them again, just not too often.

                                                        1. re: Cathy

                                                          firmly rooted in the knowledge that gym memberships will soon be on sale, I can also confirm that they are delicious.

                                                          1. re: Cathy

                                                            HUGE YAY for these Kouign Amann's! If you love the croissants that TJ's sells (also A-Mazing!), I agree with AmyH that these are like a sugary (but not overly so) pastry dessert version of those.

                                                            The directions given on the box were just right, and at least for my oven they were done in exactly 25 min. as stated. Absolutely delicious warm out of the oven and I set it over the top with just a little Kerrygold butter on top. YUM - rave reviews all around!

                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                              We just had the Kouign Amann's for breakfast and they were delicious. They didn't rise nearly as much as the frozen croissants, and were much denser. Have others found that they do rise nearly as much as the croissants, and do not get much higher than ~3/4" or so after proofing? During the winter when our home is chilly at night, we proof croissants (and these KA's) in our oven which has a 100 degree proofing mode. Even though they were perhaps a bit denser than we would like, they were nevertheless delicious.

                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                I proofed mine, two batches now or two different evenings, at our home in San Diego (ie not that cold!) and they barely rose at all. Still very very good--a favorite with my husband. And, as you said, perhaps a bit denser than would be "perfect."

                                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                                  You are right on target both with the lack of rise and that they were a bit heavier than the croissants, I had the same experience. Glad you liked them as much as I did...they are pretty addictive - already on my second box!

                                                                2. re: littleflower

                                                                  Ours didn't rise at all but the end result was fine. We enjoyed it with Nueske's Applewood bacon. The saltiness and smokiness of the bacon went very well with the sweetness of the KA.

                                                                  1. re: mrsjoujou

                                                                    When I made it, it did rise quite a bit (though not as much of the croissant). It did "unfold" it self on baking despite me gently refolding it after proofing (before going in the oven).

                                                                     
                                                              2. re: gnomatic

                                                                Wow! I can get very good ones locally, but I will have to try these.

                                                                1. re: emily

                                                                  Yummm, these must be new. I think I will need to go to TJs right away. When I lived in France these were a favorite.

                                                                2. re: gnomatic

                                                                  Looked for those today in MA but no luck. :( Hope they show up soon.

                                                                  1. re: gnomatic

                                                                    I keep looking for these in my store, but they are not to be found, and no sign either. I'm in MA. Will ask when I get a chance...am dying to try!

                                                                    1. re: kt1969

                                                                      I would ask your local store when/if they will get it.

                                                                      It might take a awhile for it to get out east (I am in San Francisco). I suspect these (like the frozen croissants) are made for TJ by San Francisco based Galaxy Desserts (they also supply William Sonoma).

                                                                      1. re: gnomatic

                                                                        It got out east really fast... I bought some last Friday, in the Columbia, MD store.

                                                                        1. re: gnomatic

                                                                          Got them today!

                                                                    2. We just bought the "Cranberry Walks into a Bar" cereal bars. Last month, I tried the pumpkin, and thought they were pretty meh. But cranberry is great—major YAY! The fruit filling is tarter than any other flavor, so it's a nice contrast with the sweet cereal bar portion.

                                                                      I'm hoping the cranberry flavor isn't seasonal, since I'd buy this over blueberry or apple any day!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Dave MP

                                                                        Bet it is seasonal, so I'd stock up if I were you. :)

                                                                      2. Meh: Brussels Sprouts Parmeyere - "creamy brussels sprouts, Swiss and Parmesan cheeses, all topped with crispy fried onions" (the tag line on the box)

                                                                        I bought this product on a whim as I'm a big fan of (fresh) brussels sprouts and the photo on the box was enticing (and this was in the fresh refrigerated section, not frozen, I don't do frozen brussels sprouts under any circumstances due to personal preference). My biggest issue with it is that it's a lot gloppier than I had expected for some reason - the sprouts themselves were totally covered in white cheese sauce and the fried onion topping was actually more breadcrumbs than onions. The flavor was okay, nothing I'd go rushing back for but not awful and certainly not bad enough to toss/return.
                                                                        Texturally, the sprouts were softer than I would have prepared them if I was making a rendition of this from scratch.

                                                                        I won't be purchasing it again but I'm quite picky. If you're a fan of soft sprouts and lots of white cheese sauce I say, go for it.

                                                                        1. There is a holiday trio of 8.45 oz. tins of nut oil for $14.99. It has roasted hazelnut, pistachio, and walnut oils. It seems to be camouflaged La Tourangelle oil.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                            Ah, thanks for the reminder. Our local TJ's hadn't gotten them in last week, but they should be there now (if there not gone again already.... fingers crossed!).

                                                                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                              i've been enjoying the pistachio nut oil (of the three the first i opened. i want to open the others only when i've used this up).

                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                FWIW, I don't know if these are in fact La Tourangelle oils, though as RTR says they sure look like it, but in my experience, the LT oils keep a very long time in the fridge if fresh when opened (as in, no rancidity a year - or rather more - after opening). So if it's keeping you're concerned about, just know that kept in fridge once opened, they're unlikely to go off before you get through them, however long that takes.

                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                  I've had walnut oil in the fridge for probably almost a year and it's still good as gold

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                    I've kept walnut and hazelnut oils in the fridge for years....

                                                                            2. Yay! I know the Red Fox cheese conversation started a couple months ago, but I just grabbed one for Thanksgiving cheese plate. Fabulous. There were a couple more when I'd gotten it, so I'm going back to see if there are any more and clear them out.

                                                                              Yay to the Celtic cheese trio. The Scottish and Welsh are the best of the two. All are nice.

                                                                              Yay to the Truffle cheese. Creamy and rich. Would have liked a little more truffle flavor, but for that price it's as I would expect. Very nice with the Rosemary Raisin crisps.

                                                                              Yay to the Marzipan Stollen. Just rich, tense and moist enough without going over the top with sweetness. I'll be slicing this for a holiday snacks platter this weekend.

                                                                              Meh to the Cinnamon Tempest tea. Pretty tin, but the flavors weren't quite as spicy/punchy as I'd wanted. Still enjoyable.

                                                                              Nay to the Taste Test of Caramels. Fun idea, but the majority of the flavors underwhelmed me. I like the Himalayan sea salt (but would rather by a tub of sea salt caramels) and the Fig and Honey.

                                                                              Nay to the Organic Turkish Apricots. Poor flavor, IMO. Will stick with the California slab apricots in the future.

                                                                              That Pound Plus Extravaganza bar sounds delightful. Will have to pick one up on my next trip.

                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                I just tried Red Fox too. A new favorite around my home. Hints of caramel and crunchiness and such a nice price.

                                                                                1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                  Sad to hear that the Taste Test of Caramels wasn't great.

                                                                                  Then again, nothing will ever compare to the divine Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels they also carry this time of year.

                                                                                  1. re: sabastiyah

                                                                                    On the topic of caramels, has anyone tried Caramels Caught in a Blizzard? Described as chewy caramels dusted with powdered sugar, they come in a square tin. I bought some but haven't opened (I may give to a coworker), and the checkout girl paused and said she hadn't seen them before.

                                                                                  2. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                    Another nay to the taste test of caramels. mediocre quality. thicker shell than I prefer, caramel not caramelized enough and flavors uni-dimensional for the most part.

                                                                                    I'm undecided on the chicken holiday tamales. Decent, better than the frozen, but not amazing. Masa was a bit dense, flavor pretty standard chile verde. Salty.

                                                                                    1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                      Regarding the "fresh" tamales; I grabbed a 10-pack of the pork and red sauce variety and while I think they're pretty good, I found them so close in taste to the frozen version (in the 2-pack) with a similar unit per/each price, I see no real advantage or reason to prefer them over the frozen ones. They are still an overall Yay for me however (both versions, fresh and frozen), as I love them both.

                                                                                      1. re: Dave B

                                                                                        I tried the "fresh" tamales for the first time this weekend -- the cheese/veggie version. Found them to be very good, though smaller than the frozen versions but far superior in taste.

                                                                                        1. re: foodiefan6

                                                                                          For these, I have found that smaller is better. Easier to configure the right amount you want to eat.

                                                                                        2. re: Dave B

                                                                                          I tried the cheese/veggie fresh tamale and found the cheese to masa ratio much smaller than the frozen cheese and chili tamale. I much prefer the frozen tamale!

                                                                                        3. re: jsaimd

                                                                                          The Sample Lady was handing out the pork ones a few days ago, and I figured at Bite One that they were the non-frozen ones. I like the frozen ones, too. My problem with buying these is I'd have to get the veggie version (for Mrs. O), but the fresh ones contain red Bell pepper (which Mrs. O loathes).

                                                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                            Seems like most of us TJ's tamale lovers like both versions. Yay to that!

                                                                                            I think my challenge with finding big love for the "fresh" is they are in 10-packs, so I feel pressure to eat them quickly lest they become el stinko. And I don't want to necessarily eat tamales every day for a week. If I buy a 10-pack and eat two tamales EVERY DAY for five days straight, I suppose I'd be fine, but I know what happens when I eat a favorite food too much; I lose my interest and sometimes even develop an aversion.

                                                                                            Nor do I want to bring a 10-pack home and then individually wrap them to freeze them. Seems like that would be a waste of time with no real financial incentive/savings, so the frozen tamales will generally make more sense for me.

                                                                                            I could see the "fresh" being perfect for when feeding several people and they would be used quickly, however. I just wish both frozen AND "fresh" were available year-'round so my circumstances could dictate my TJ's tamale choice. So Yay to the taste of the "fresh" tamales, and a Meh to the practicality of the 10-pack.

                                                                                            1. re: Dave B

                                                                                              I agree. A case can be made or both. I did wrap and freeze my fresh ones. Has anyone tried the pork variety?

                                                                                        4. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                          Dang it. I bought two boxes of those stinking caramels but haven't tried them yet.

                                                                                          They had a similar taster set of 7 kinds of chocolate bars and I was underwhelmed by most of the flavors of those too.

                                                                                        5. HUGE YAY: Mini Croissants (frozen, 8 pk.) - I have been a long time loyal Trader Joe's shopper so not sure what took me so long to try these out. Wow. I am not a huge planner so I had to remember to proof these the night before but they come out of the oven soft yummy and buttery. Best when eaten right away warm out of the oven, excellent with preserves.

                                                                                          AVERAGE YAY: Kosher Half Turkey Breast - we had this for Thanksgiving dinner and the flavor was okay ( we followed Ina's recipe and expected to be wowed by the flavor of the turkey meat itself but kind of wasn't). Plus it was a bit pricey - 2.75 pd. cost I believe fourteen dollars. Probably will just go with a whole turkey breast next time.

                                                                                          YAY: Peanut Brittle - yum. This is not rock hard like most peanut brittles are, and excellent with just a dash of sea salt on top.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                            Dude, those croissants are amazing.

                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                              If you can proof them overnight in a 90 oven (ours has a proofing setting"...they won't be mini in the morning! I love TJ's frozen croissants...best croissants this side of Paris!

                                                                                            2. Yea - Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Butter and Sage (frozen). Not sensationally good but it pleased me.

                                                                                              Meh - Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto (frozen). The flavor is pleasant enough but the rice pretty much melts down into glue.

                                                                                              Yea - Eggplant Cutlets (frozen). Breaded; they saute up nice and crisp.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                +1 for the Eggplant Cutlets - they are quite good and has been a repeat purchase. I also saute them in a little olive oil and it pairs nicely with a side of spaghetti and sauce.

                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                  +1 for Eggplant Cutlets! I love those! Particularly with a little ricotta and marinara, nom nom nom :)

                                                                                              2. I bought a jar of cranberry sauce and wasn't good at all. It had pectin in it which made the texture too gummy.
                                                                                                Also bought a gingerbread house kit...while it did make a pretty looking gingerbread house, it tasted horrible compare to gingerbread house I bought from Ikea which had really good taste.

                                                                                                1. A Nay that TJ's in Athens, GA did not have the hobo bread. I even showed them a picture on my phone and the employee I spoke with had never heard of it. Must be regional?

                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Dax

                                                                                                    asked at a store in FL, and an employee confirmed that it was not going to be ordered here. alas!

                                                                                                    1. re: rynnyb

                                                                                                      Bummer.

                                                                                                      Also a Nay to the Shortbread cookies with the salted chocolate and caramel bar on top. Not bad but not nearly as good as the giant chunks of dark chocolate covered caramel. Those are evil.

                                                                                                      1. re: Dax

                                                                                                        I'm lukewarm on the shortbread w/salted caramel on top as well. They're fine but I still have an unopened box I can't get excited about breaking into.

                                                                                                        What are these giant chunks you speak of? Do you mean the standard dark chocolate sea salt caramels?

                                                                                                        1. re: Frosty Melon

                                                                                                          Yes, those standard ones. Unfortunately BHM does not have a TJs so they are relatively new to me.

                                                                                                    2. re: Dax

                                                                                                      Dax they are regional...I live in the southern mid-atlantic region and our stores do not carry them nor do they plan to anytime in the near future. :-(

                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                        If you're responding to Dax about the Hobo bread, we got some at our store in central VA. We'd give it a yay-minus (or meh-plus). Tastes good (not knocks-your-socks-off good), but is on the dense and sweet side. Pretty good when sliced thin and toasted ALMOST to blackness, so it develops a good crunch - almost a caramelized crust.

                                                                                                        1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                          pugsam thank you for writing to tell me this...just read it and called up my local TJ's and unfortunately one of the managers told me (once again, I ask every few months just to see) that our store doesn't carry it and they are not planning to in the near future. I guess our products come from a different distribution center than yours.

                                                                                                    3. Went in to stock up on the mini pecan pie - out for the season - ARG - why TJ's, whyyyyyyyyyy?????

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                        Ugh, same thing happened to me on Black Friday. Luckily, I checked another Trader Joe's and got the LAST mini pecan pies box. So happy that I'll have a chance to try them at least once, heard a lot of good things.

                                                                                                        1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                          is this a frozen pie or fresh pie?

                                                                                                          1. re: Monica

                                                                                                            Frozen - very small, 6 to a pack. Love em!

                                                                                                            1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                              Just got some of these and they are delicious! Particularly when they are still slightly warm and the filling is slightly runny.

                                                                                                        2. Yay-The "Winter Cookieland: all butter sugar cookies are really good...fun and cute too! I bought them on a whim one day and went back to grab a couple more boxes. I feel like I can really taste the butter.

                                                                                                          1. NAY to the Beurre Meuniere popcorn. I was most excited about the browned butter but I taste it not at all. And I think it needs more salt.

                                                                                                            YAY the chocolate and vanilla macarons. As good as I can get at any bakery in my town (though not as good as I've had in San Francisco).

                                                                                                            YAY the red pepper and tomato soup. So good with grilled cheese this time of year.

                                                                                                            YAY to that one focaccia bread they have with the cheese and olives and tomatoes on it.

                                                                                                            1. Oh, forgot some.

                                                                                                              NAY to the pfeffernuse. Good flavor but too sweet for me and I don't like whatever bit of it is crunchy.

                                                                                                              YAY to the speculoos.

                                                                                                              MEH to the snowman cookies.

                                                                                                              1. YAY -
                                                                                                                Asiago cheese - tastes the same as the cheese I buy at Whole Foods but a wee bit cheaper

                                                                                                                Shea butter hand cream - I still can't find the hand cream trio, but this so far has been great for my very dry hands

                                                                                                                NAY - near-miss towing of my car out of the parking lot, saved by paying the towing fee for a car that hadn't been towed :(

                                                                                                                Lots of new things in the store, can't wait to hear about it all this month

                                                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                  Wtf re the near miss towing?

                                                                                                                  My store has been out of the 3 pack of shea butter hand creams for about a month.

                                                                                                                  As a lover of cheddars, you must try the December spotlight 5yr cheddar!

                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                    Yea, the parking lot was packed an dit's hard to tell what's a space and what's not. I parked direclty across from someone else and came out and was so confused I couldn't find my car. Well, I looked a few feet away and it was up on the truck though the brake was on so couldn't be moved. He refused to give me the car without payment so I ended my shopping trip with a trip to the ATM to pay him and ended with a damaged car. Fortunately I got some goods at TJs.

                                                                                                                    I did spot the 5 year cheddar. I've tried a 4 year and while I love cheddar it gets a little much for me. I hope they offer it for tasting soon or I guess I'll bite and try it. Would probably be great for Christmas with salami.

                                                                                                                    Another YAY - 96% ground beef - I tried this last week and have had it from other stores before but I love that they sell it in 1 lb packages rather than 1.3-1.5 lb packages and it's really tasty, fills a beef craving for the same calories as chicken breast.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                      re the towing situation. Yeah, unfortunately once the tow truck has a vehicle hooked up, it is legally in their possession and technically "impounded" and requires payment to be released. :-( At least it was still there when you came out or you would have had the huge hassle of figuring out where it got towed to and then arranging transportation ...all the while your perishables are perishing.
                                                                                                                      TJ's lots can really be a pain to navigate.
                                                                                                                      You can (and should) file a claim with the tow yard for any damages done to your car.

                                                                                                                      That 96% ground beef has my attention. I will definitely look for it on my next visit.

                                                                                                                      1. re: PasadenaRose

                                                                                                                        Indeed, the driver made a point to mention that at least I didn't have to go find...uh thanks :) I cooperated quickly my first response "ok how much do I owe? There are rules and if I broke one I am responsible for the consequences." My military father drilled that one in my head by the time I could walk :) unfortunately my cooperation is not being returned in kind re: the damage that needs to be repaired.

                                                                                                                        The beef comes in patties and ground. I had to hunt yesterday so make sure to look in the back of the case if it's not in front. I think the label is orange-yellow.

                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                          I'm sorry to hear about your car fldhky, hope the damage isn't too costly to repair. What a pain that you had to experience while you were just trying to do some TJ's grocery shopping! Glad you stopped the driver before it was towed away though, I learned the hard way in college that once it goes to the towing yard it is even a bigger pain to get it out of there!

                                                                                                                          Speaking of ground patties - has anyone tried the frozen buffalo burgers that come three in a pack for 9.99? I love buffalo/bison but it's always great to get a heads up from a review to see how they taste.

                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                            I'm at the mechanic now and fortunately no damage to the actual mechanical parts but unfortunately the truck managed to rip off both sides of the engine cover so it looks like it'll be a couple hundred $ to fix.

                                                                                                                            The good news: there's a Trader Joe's nearby and after this blunder, I'm full on the holiday spirit, letting things roll of my shoulder and thinking another trip today is in order :)

                                                                                                                            I haven't tried the buffalo though I've seen it. I can't remember why though perhaps it was the % lean. I can't remember what it was but I think higher than the ground buffalo I buy elsewhere. They have a grass fed rib roast I'm eyeing for the holidays.

                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                              It sounds like the tow company is denying that they did the damage?? Wow, that sucks.
                                                                                                                              I'm glad your holiday spirit has not been dampened. :-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: PasadenaRose

                                                                                                                                Yuppers, indeed they are! I called them when I left and they refuse to pay. Oh well, my holiday spirit is alive and well. I arrived home to a surprise package from a friend and opened it to find a monogrammed Christmas stocking for our little kitten. It really made my day and even perhaps my entire week.

                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                  Good thing there's small claims court, even tho it's a hassle .. they are betting you won't take the time to sue them.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                    I think I need those mini mint star cookies :)

                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                fldhky -

                                                                                                                                i was just at TJ's and was eyeing that roast also. It's from Australia I believe. Did you try it? What did you think? I've never had grass-fed and was wondering if this would be a good introduction to it.

                                                                                                                                1. re: seamunky

                                                                                                                                  I didn't ever try it. I try to buy most of my meat not frozen and it was a large roast so I'd only buy it for a big party since there are usually only 1 or 2 of us eating. I do eat grass fed beef, probably 90% of the beef that I eat and love it. I might try one of the steaks before a roast.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                    Thanks. I'll keep an eye out for a grass fed steak and try that first so I'm not committed to cooking and eating a whole roast.

                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                          I bought the 5 year for xmas and will let you know. I had the raw milk cheddar in my hand but decided to go with the 5 year. Hope it wasn't a mistake- always loved the rm cheddar.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                            The 5 year is great! Good character without being overwhelming. it also melts beautifully... It might sound a LITTLE undulgent (I have a glut of cheese currently) but I use it shredded in a Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Jalapeno Corn Bread. OMG.

                                                                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                              Yes, smoother than we expected. Considering its age, not extremely crystalline/grainy. (Not that there's anything wrong with crystalline/grainy.........) Excellent flavor.

                                                                                                                              1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                Well the Crystaline and grainy texture comes with what it's inoculated with as well as how it's wrapped. It was wrapped in cloth, then it might be more grainy. But if it's wrapped in a membrane (which isn't always a 'cheap' or bad thing) then it retains a lot more of the moisture... They got themselve a gem! It's not cheap, but compared to Hooks... it's a steal and a lot more versatile.

                                                                                                                                --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                  I prefer the Hook's five year to this. I think I might return this and order form Hook's.

                                                                                                                        3. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                          Are you talking about the black truffle cheddar? I tried a sample and liked it a lot but bought the Italian truffle one I usually buy.

                                                                                                                      2. I'm having one of those twilight zone weeks. I went to TJs yesterday, composed a lengthy post via iphone after and apparently didn't bother to hit "reply"...at least I don't think so. I don't see it anywhere so I hope this isn't repetitive.

                                                                                                                        The mini mint stars are killer YAY.

                                                                                                                        The non-mint larger stars are still YAY but not as enthusiastic. On the plus side, I can eat one of them and walk away whereas the mini-mints turn me into a crazy person with spotted chocolate palms from grabbing too many.

                                                                                                                        YAY for the barbeque beef brisket from the deli.

                                                                                                                        Sort of YAY for the Fish Nuggets. They are beer battered. I ended up getting them instead of my fav Reduced Fat Fish Sticks because - woe - the shipment was arriving later that night (bummer since I'm an hour away). Taste-wise, they are good. I still prefer the RFFS but these are a good second. Five drawbacks - they don't have the count on the box (my box had 17), they require a super-hot 475* oven, they require flippng half-way through, the ratio of breading to fish is greater than with the RFFS and, biggest issue, they have a "might contain bones" warning on the package, so this is not something that can safely be given to a kid (so why call them a nugget??).

                                                                                                                        YAY to the dried orange cranberries. So good. Just the right hint of orange.

                                                                                                                        Don't know if I mentioned this before, YAY for the Cheddar Rockets. More of a real cheese flavor than Goldfish and not as salty.

                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                          Such a huge YAY to those mini mint star cookies. I went back yesterday to pick up another box or two and my store has already sold out. :(

                                                                                                                          1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                                            Oh wow, I need to try them!

                                                                                                                            1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                                              Those mini mint stars are truly evil. I had half a package left and threw them away. I just couldn't handle keeping them in the house. Glad to hear they're sold out and also very glad it's one of their seasonal items. I'll buy one package a year to get my fix.

                                                                                                                              1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                That's my plan as well! Far too addictive! :)

                                                                                                                            2. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                              Agree re the chocolate mint mini stars. Addictive. They remind me of the Girl Scout Thin Mints flavor before they changed up the ingredients years ago.

                                                                                                                              1. re: foodiefan6

                                                                                                                                Oh no, maybe I shouldn't buy them. I really miss those Thin Mints! I'd stock up several boxes in the freezer every year until the ingredients changed.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                I sincerely hope you ate your Fish Nuggets dipped into the Sweet Chili Sauce. Makes them taste as if you are in a good Thai restaurant.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                  Querencia, good idea!

                                                                                                                              3. YAY: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels - after reading all the reviews over the past few years on how great these were I decided to try them even though I am not a huge dark choc. fan. Even though the dark chocolate was a bit too rich for me personally I still had to yay this one based on the large flakes of sea salt that combined so well with the buttery oozing caramel filling. I wish they could just bottle up that filling and sell it, it's that good!

                                                                                                                                MEH: Organic Bolivian Coffee - my friend and her husband bought some of this and gave me some to try. I thought it was a bit on the bitter side, but it seemed to get good reviews online. My absolute fav. TJ's coffee remains the dark French Roast - it is heaven in a cup.

                                                                                                                                Also have to yet to try the following:

                                                                                                                                Mini Pannetone Classico - first of all, how cute is that package?! What a great gift this would make and the price is right, too. Can't wait to try it both toasted with Kerrygold butter as well as using it for French Toast (Giada has a recipe for it that I have seen her make on TV that looks yummy).

                                                                                                                                Set of Four Preserves/Marmalades - has anyone tried these out to vouch for the quality?

                                                                                                                                I eyed the fully cooked pork belly in the deli/meat section - any thoughts on this one? I love pork belly but not sure how it would taste fully cooked then packaged...

                                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                  I can't wait to hear your thoughts of the Pannetone. It's one of few sweet breads I really enjoy.

                                                                                                                                  Also, I'm glad to see you posting here a little more often, I hope that means you're feeling at least somewhat better :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                    Oh no sorry to hear about the damage, it's ashame that they force us to pay for any damage that they actually caused in the towing process. Hope shopping at TJ's cheers up your day - it always makes me feel better!

                                                                                                                                    Thanks for your kind words - I have had a fairly decent past few days energy-wise and am taking full advantage of it! Even made it out once to TJ's which was super exciting! My friends were going and took me with them.

                                                                                                                                    HUGE yay to TJ's employees who couldn't do enough to make my experience an even better one - we called ahead to see if they had a motorized cart available for me to use so I could more easily get around the store and they actually brought it out to the car to me. Talk about going above and beyond for your customers!! Just one of the many reasons why I am loyal to that store.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                      I personally have to MEH/NAY the Mini Pannetone, because of two reasons 1) wow, it is REALLY on the sweet side - too much for me! Although I made two slices of it, I could barely finish just one slice of it toasted up (under the broiler) with Kerrygold unsalted butter and 2) if you do decide to try it (and why not - the mini is only 1.99 and I know a lot of people who do love pannetone) please don't make the mistake that I did and not completely remove all of the wrapping surrounding it!

                                                                                                                                      It's wrapped up more than once - first in a clear plastic and again in a color that is exactly the same as the pannetone! I thought that I completely removed the second packaging but there must have been a third protective covering sitting at the bottom of it that I didn't notice before sticking it under the broiler! Thankfully I broiled it on a piece of foil but still it made my place smell like burnt paper for awhile.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                        I don't know about TJ's, but all Pannetone (mostly imported Italian ones) that I've bought has been baked in a paper wrapper - like a big cupcake. Often I'll slice through the paper and remove it from the individual slices.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                          That is exactly what it was, paulj...and it was the same color as the pannetone. I thought that I had cut and removed all of it but apparently some of it remained - admittedly my error, just wanted to caution others who may purchase it to make sure that all of wrapping is removed.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                          I'm guaranteed to not like anything described as "REALLY on the sweet side." I often find bell peppers to be too sweet :)

                                                                                                                                        3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                          About the set of four preserves/marmalades, I purchased them last year and just bought another set. They are pretty good, I mostly like that they are in small jars, so I get more variety without wasting bottles of old neglected preserves (great for small households).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodiefan6

                                                                                                                                            I used to give in to the temptation to buy the little jars, till I followed Mom's example and started mixing partial jars into a single one. You might rue stirring grape jelly into orange marmalade.... but most combinations will be quite tasty.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                            I have read this far down the thread amazed that nobody is mentioning TJ's Panettone. It is very good panettone and costs $4.99 instead of the $39.95 at one place I am too polite to mention but the initials are WS. One of the great bargains of the season. 750 grams, not a mini.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                              I responded to a mention of the panettone (spelled 'pannetone') http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9262...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                In additional panettone in the big red box, the mini one, my local TJ also had a coffee cream panettone from Italy (made by Scar Pier), wrapped up with wrapping paper & ribbons for $11.99. It comes with a package of powdered sugar inside.

                                                                                                                                                It gets a Yay from me, but I happen to like panettone and coffee cream & chocolate chips.

                                                                                                                                          3. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                            The pork belly is cooked with simple seasonings (salt level is fine). By itself it is just fatty pork. But sliced and fried it is more interesting (just don't expect it to taste like bacon).

                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                              Thanks, paulj for your review of it...now I am intrigued enough to give it a go. I do love pork belly but just wasn't sure how TJ's version of it measured up. I absolutely agree with you that it needs to be sliced and fried - yum!!

                                                                                                                                          4. The Boatswain beer line. All of them are good to very-good for their styles. And, at $1.99 for a 22 ounce bottle, they're an awesome value.

                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                              My hubby is a huge fan on the Boatswain Chocolate Stout. He's a fan of stouts and this is one his most favorite stouts.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Alice Patis

                                                                                                                                                I like those Boatswain beers - except one, I think it's the HLV, that's too hoppy.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                  Yup, that's heavy stuff. An acquired taste!

                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                2. re: Alice Patis

                                                                                                                                                  Yup, mine is a stout fan and of that particular one too. And only $2! Can't beat that.

                                                                                                                                                3. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                  I can only vouch for their chocolate stout, which I use to make beer floats or beer shakes, but the price is hard to beat!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: theresat

                                                                                                                                                    Hadn't thought of a beer float......but it sounds promising!

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                4. I give their chicken pot pies an F but have really liked most everything else a lot, especially the 4 for 2.99 artichokes and the $10 Willamette PN (not on a par with the pricier ones like Archery Summit or Ken Wright but as good as an A to Z or a Firesteed for about $8 less). Looking forward to the whole grain mustard. If is remotely comparable to Pommery it is a fabulous deal.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Has anyone tried the cinnamon rolls or onion dip mix?

                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                      My husband loves the cinnamon rolls. I usually pick them up once a week for him. I don't usually like things like this, but tried a bite and thought it was great! Very large rolls with lots of cinnamon and gooey icing. Very fluffy and moist too.

                                                                                                                                                      Haven't tried the onion dip mix and am curious about it too.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TXMandy

                                                                                                                                                        I am not sure where I read this...I think it may have been on the Nov. thread? but from what I recall there was a general thumbs down to the onion dip mix.

                                                                                                                                                        I can personally vouch for the refrigerated carmelized onion dip though (located next to the bacon ranch dip). Sooo good! Also still like the ol' Lipton Onion Soup mix version that you could mix with TJ's sour cream and I always put in a a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce just to round out the flavor.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                          We LOVE the caramelized onion dip... gonna have to remember that Worcestershire tip! Thanks! :D

                                                                                                                                                          --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                            You're welcome, Dommy - just literally a dash or two is needed (otherwise it could become a bit salty if anyone is sensitive to salt level) and it really brings the flavor out!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                        Love the cinnamon rolls. They are a little tricky to take apart, but they are delicious!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                          I was one of the Nays on the onion dip mix last month. Yucky. And I love the Lipton mix so am not a snob. :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kt1969

                                                                                                                                                            Dogpile! The TJ's version seems like it's just salt, pepper, and dried onions. I'm amazed that the mix can be so bad, while the pre-made version is so great.

                                                                                                                                                            That said, the Lipton's version is nowhere near as good as it used to be, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                            Those cinnamon rolls were our staple xmas morning for years. The sugary and buttery and they smell so good.

                                                                                                                                                          3. Has anyone tried the mini pumpkin pies? I am a little disappointed...I love the mini pecans and read how some stores had sold out...I was excited to see what I thought was them in my TJ...got them home and realized they are pumpkin:(

                                                                                                                                                            Wondering if they are the same crust or different? I bought 5 boxes...they may go back...

                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                                                                                              If you're talking about the frozen mini pumpkin pies, I sampled some at the store and thought they were delicious. Love the sweet crust, so much better than the bland, store-bought pie type.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                                                                                                Those over at the "Eating at Joe's" website gave it an excellent review, even specifically mentioned how great the crust was.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                  If its the same crust as the pecan, I will like them...it tasted like sugar cookie dough to me. I just don't like regular pie crust.

                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe Ill break them open...

                                                                                                                                                              2. YAY for those little chocolate covered waffle cookies with peppermint chips of candy on them.

                                                                                                                                                                YAY for McIntosh only apple juice. This is amazing and well worth the little bit extra.

                                                                                                                                                                MEH for the duo of chicken enchiladas in the frozen section. So little cheese on these that its an insult how little is there. Add cheese is first order of business. Then it almost makes it to a YAY.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Atochabsh

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, yes, yes on the little chocolate waffle cookies with peppermint. Tiny little bite, but it leads to another and another. Quality chocolate... actually quality everything.

                                                                                                                                                                2. YAY for the frozen French fries. I've never made French fries at home before but I had made a huge pot of chili and was suddenly inspired to make homemade chili cheese fries. Those fries are really good - it's probably not a good thing for my health that I found that out!

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                    Did you fry or bake?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                      Baked.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Big yay for the kale and spinach bites. We tried them Friday night and went back on Saturday for more.

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BeachCookie107

                                                                                                                                                                      YAY to these as well. My kids like them, too, which is a plus.

                                                                                                                                                                      TJ's helped me throw my annual holiday party this year - YAY to the spiral sliced ham, the frozen spinach artichoke dip, and the cheap, cheap wines.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BeachCookie107

                                                                                                                                                                        My 2.5 year old twins go crazy for these! One of them had FOUR for dinner tonight!!??

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Nay to Heart healthy blueberry instant oatmeals. Has strange smell...

                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed. My son likes that heart healthy blueberry instant oatmeal, but it stinks up the kitchen with an overwhelming blueberry smell to the point that I don't want to eat my own breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                            That's too funny...I can't buy the TJ's blueberry waffles bc of the smell, almost makes me feel sick. I think they taste fine [at least my 5YO thinks so], but I can't do it. The Eggo multigrain blueberry don't have that problem.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kt1969

                                                                                                                                                                              Then by all means do not buy the blueberry instant oatmeal! You'll be retching all over the kitchen. Funny how the TJ's ones, which should be all natural, are worse than the Eggo ones that are probably all artificial.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                Trader Joes must have some strange blueberry "flavor." I suffered through a box of Blueberry Muesli. Tasted floral/soapy.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Baked Kringle - already sold out - no stores have them. Thanks to whomever posted the link for the supplier.

                                                                                                                                                                          Nay - 10 Petits Fours - way too sweet. If you like marzipan you may love these.

                                                                                                                                                                          Also bought Beef Tenderloin Bites - will post once tried.

                                                                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                                                                            Our store was out of the Kringle for a few weeks but got it back in stock.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                              Kringle's back in stock at my store, too. Also, even though it's offered defrosted on the shelf, you can request a frozen one from the back -- nice for keeping it longer if you want it for a future event or holiday road trip, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the tip! I would have wanted to freeze one for later anyway, as I expect these will only be offered for a very short duration!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                  I just called the TJ in Westlake Ctr in Daly City, and I was told that it was no longer sold in any TJs in the US. Which TJ has this back in stock?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                    I saw them today in Charlottesville, VA.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                                                                                  what's a kringle?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                    A large danish ring. These are almond, with almond glaze. No visible nuts, though - paste filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                      i thought it was some sort of mutated Pringles or something for Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                                                                                    The Kringle may have never even made it to NYC stores - I've been looking for it for the past few weeks due to this thread, but no dice. Instead we have some weird 'danish flower' thing. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I saw the flower thingy too.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Due to this board I tried to tracked down the kringle - never heard of it before. The second TJ's I went to (in CA) told me that the company wouldn't sell to them any more. Then another employee stepped in almost as if the other guy should not have said anything. Weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, I ordered directly from their site.

                                                                                                                                                                                      My lack of control plus this board is costing me a fortune!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                                                                                        Haven't tried the TJ Kringle, but this thread will lead to some excellent ones.
                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/269728

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sloth

                                                                                                                                                                                          The TJ's one comes from O&H Danish Bakery. And costs $7.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                        There's a bakery in Greenwich CT that makes Kringle. (In-laws are Danish). It is one of the best pastries ever. I can't remember the name of the bakery though. I would be interested to see how the TJs verion compares.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. We don't currently live near a Trader Joe's, but I used to always get the Chili Lime Pistachios that were SO good! They had another flavor, too that I can't remember at the moment. Habanero?? Last couple times I was in one I couldn't find these though. My dad used to bring me several bags when he would visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                      My husband & I buy a really good red German wine there, too. Been awhile so I forget the name. Was very reasonably priced as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the TJ brand soy sauce too that is made in Japan. I could sure spend some money in there! I heard some things awhile back about them selling GMOs & not disclosing it. Not sure of the details. I still like them better than Whole Foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                      And almost forgot! They always had this awesome cold chick pea salad that was to die for! I could eat that all day, every day!

                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MrsJTW

                                                                                                                                                                                        The pistachios are gone I think, but the chickpeas are still there; it's called balela, and yes, it is yummy :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                          Aw man! That is a major bummer! I will have to drop them a line. Those pistachios were SO good! Thank GOD the chickpeas are still there! I have yet to replicate it exactly.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MrsJTW

                                                                                                                                                                                          I was just at TJs this past Sunday in SoCal and purchased a bag of Chile Lime mixed nuts. Big YAY...a combo of peanuts, cashews and almonds with lots of dried chilis and lime leaves. Very spicy, which for me is a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gingerleen

                                                                                                                                                                                            those i must look for here in northern virginia.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gingerleen

                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe I can try those sometime then if they don't have the chili lime pistachios anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Nay: The 100% Kona coffee

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've never had Kona coffee so maybe this is what it's supposed to taste like, but I even threw out my first batch and tried again because it tasted watered down and lacked body. I used my usual ratio of grounds:water and a French press so the lack of body is surprising. However, the second batch turned out similarly. This is the first item I'll be returning since it cost $19.99 for 13oz (which may have been too good to be true but I've heard so many good things in the past).

                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: theresat

                                                                                                                                                                                              I've never had ANY Kona coffee that didn't taste downright puny, including in Hawaii. Even had people brew it for me and say, "Okay, now, try THIS!" … and nothin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                              All of TJ's coffee used to underwhelm me, but several of the more recent French and Italian roast varieties they're offering have been better than okay.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                                                                                For the past couple months, I've been drinking TJ's Ethiopian and Tanzanian peaberry coffee which were very good considering their price, but they were limited edition and seem to have run out.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: theresat

                                                                                                                                                                                                I tasted it once in Hawaii and loved it! So I was really happy when I saw it at TJ's. HORRIBLE! One of the first things I took back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                A friend of mine came back from Hawaii and brought me some (peaberry) - I love it and use it for my french press. When I tried to reorder some for me - it was priced at $25.00 for 7oz. (does not include shipping!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can you try and describe what good Kona tastes like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: theresat

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very smooth. No bitter aftertaste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's really beautiful - I love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Based on raves here I tried a couple of seasonal items and didn't like them as much as I'd hoped (so if you're like me and feel like you're missing out this might make you feel better; I had this same "meh" experience last year with the Pfeffermuesse):

                                                                                                                                                                                                MEH: Candy Cane Joe Joes. I don't especially like the tiny bits of candy cane in the filling. I also picked up some dark chocolate covered peppermint joe joes so I'll try them next and it sounds like they may be more yum. But I don't need the extra calories so I'm happy it's taking me a long time to get through this box as well as the other one I opened....

                                                                                                                                                                                                NAY: Weissella soft gingerbread cookies, sugar glazed. There were many boxes of the chocolate covered ones left, but only a few sugar glazed so figuring it was the more popular/authentic I picked that. The bottom of cookie has a papery taste and texture, I thought I must be accidentally eating a thin piece of paper that became part of the glaze. So I tried peeling it off but apparently it is the glaze. I only had one last week and have since had 6 remaining cookies sitting there, I doubt I'll eat them. And I love ginger and all things spice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Upside: I'm keeping these boxes on the counter so friends happening by (next year) will marvel at my seeming self-control!

                                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Niblet

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Having lived in Germany for many years, I'm so happy to see the Weissella gingerbread cookies that I grew to love. The bottom of these cookies are baking wafers (oblaten) the Germans use instead of parchment paper or instead of greasing the pan. They are the same substance as a communion wafer. They are edible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  They are different from our ginger cookies, but I imagine if you took small pieces with your coffee, you would grow to like them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                                                                                                                                    i love lebkuchen -- esp. when a german friend used to send the tins from nürnberg. but over the years, i have found the tj's product to be less and less tasty. i find them very dry, and almost flavorless -- nothing like the rich, moist lebkuchen i know and love. http://www.lebkuchen-schmidt.com/en/T...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    and yes, between the two on offer, the plain is better than the chocolate -- even if one loves chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did not care for them either. I ordered some Leckerlee lebkuchen; perhaps I will like those better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                        You're absolutely right, alkapal. I do remember those glorious lebkuchen in the tins from Nürnberg. They were soft and lovely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That was almost 40 years ago and I'm not there now. The best I can say is that the TJ's lebkuchen is far better than the Cost Plus lebkuchen. Now I'm aching for the real thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm going to order some from Leckerlee also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i've never had leckerlee -- just the schmidt. a german friend of mine was here in the states and she would get her relatives there in germany to order them. i don't know if the company or relatives shipped them, or the relatives brought them to her. bless you mrs. schulhofer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i never had a problem with them being stale or dry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Niblet

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yah, what shoobeedoo said. The bottom is made of the same crap you're fed in church -- tasteless wafers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Niblet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        As a general rule, if I can't tell what is the food and what is the packaging, I won't eat any of it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Niblet

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Considering this thread has been revived, I can add thoughts on 3 more holiday items I picked up:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY - Belgian Dark Chocolates collection. Amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY - Dark chocolate covered peppermint cookies, these went so fast I don't even remember what they're called. They're very like the "Mystic Mint" cookies we grew up with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY - Dark chocolate stars. Of all the holiday cookies these are my top pick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Big YAY – possibly California-only – for the Cosmia Pinot Noir. $7.99, screwtop, light and rich and delicious. My red-hating wife took a sip and promptly poured herself a glass. The $3.99 Grifone twins, Primitivo and Sangiovese, are old news, but continue to delight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay for the Vegetarian Chili, a most convincing version. The only thing obvious about its meatlessness is the lack of any glob of orange fat under the can lid. And if you want to save money and make a big pot, the Beefless Ground Beef (Yay), in conjunction with a Carroll Shelby Chili kit from that other store down the street, makes a very good run at disguising its veggieness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. nay -- "lite" champagne vinaigrette. very sharp, vinegary flavor. i mistakenly bought "lite" when i wanted to get the regular one that i had tasted at an event.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. YAY to the bagged tangerines - delicious! I'm used to tangerines being bigger, deeper orange and with a thinner skin; I would have thought these were clementines. But they're super sweet, tangy and juicy, will definitely be a repeat purchase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meh/Nay to the marzipan stollen (a German brand, not TJ's). I don't detect any marzipan flavor, so it just tastes like a dense fruitcake. Disappointed, as the marzipan was the only reason I bought it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I visited TJ's today and was stunned at how many holiday treats there were! Literally shelves packed with new seasonal cookies and chocolates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow! I'm truly surprised about your stollen assessment. I'm not a big stollen fan -- generally find them too dry, and *really* only like it with marzipan. And I thought this was delivering on the marzipan side. The dough is still dry, of course. Nothing like homemade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But this was pretty good... for stollen, that is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is the marzipan in chunks or streaks throughout the bread? Or somehow incorporated into the bread itself? I don't see any marzipan nor can I taste any :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's in the middle of the stollen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You're right; I just popped back in to announce that I found beginnings of the elusive marzipan, three slices into the loaf. There doesn't seem to be that much of it, so the whole product still rates as a Nay for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, it would be better if it were all the way through, since the marzipan is really the only thing that makes this crappy dry thing worth eating :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ha! Well you could do as I just did and scoop the marzipan out. I'm on my way to the kitchen to throw out the dissected carcass of the loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh, that would've made a decent bread pudding!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I found the Aldi's butter stollen far better than TJ's this year. I think there was marzipan in it. There was also an edel-marzipan version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Again, as in the subthread above regarding lebkuchen, I haven't been to Germany recently to be able to have the best stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's all pretty stale once it gets here. Same with German bread. Wah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I know they have a short season, but does anyone know if the fresh brussel sprouts on the stalk are still around? I bought a stalk there the week before Thanksgiving, loved them, and haven't gotten back over there the last few weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I saw them in Pittsburgh last week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Saw them in southern CA today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've also seen them in Maryland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Got them in MA 5 days ago, and though they were $3.49 before Thanksgiving, they are now $2.99 - first quality so I'm not sure why the price dropped. Didn't have enough fridge space so I sawed a fresh cut on the bottom of the stalk and used a glass jar as a vase. I've been keeping it on the windowsill, taking sprouts off as needed, starting at the bottom. They're staying in perfect condition. I hope the stalk will still be good for steaming once all the sprouts are gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Didn't know you could eat the stalk. Do you just cut it up and steam it? Do you slice it thinly, or what? I assume it tastes like the sprouts...right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The "bark" is really tough. I hack it crosswise into three pieces so it fits into a steamer basket. Steam until tender enough to slice lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop out the delicious, green pulp, which tastes like the core of a cauliflower, or the interior of a broccoli stalk, but creamier. Only enough for one person.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I bet it would make a great dip or salad dressing but have never been able to resist it plain. After all, it's something I only get to have once a year. I cook for one, so a stalk of sprouts makes a dozen or more portions. By the time I'd want to eat them again, they are no longer in season. But the core is definitely the most delicious part. Someone told me it tastes like kohlrabi, which I have never had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                regarding cauliflower cores, I shred into a slaw and add soy sauce, a touch of sugar, and sesame oil. never thought to do that with the brussels stalk, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rynnyb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For those of you who like to eat stalks and cores, or those who want to but don't know how, one of the Washington Post food section's top 10 cookbooks of the year was Root to Stalk Cooking: the Art of Using the Whole Vegetable by Tara Duggan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1607...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In some Asian groceries you might even find lettuce stalks. Haven't tried them yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember at the farmers market a few years ago one of the farmers telling me that he sold heads of cauliflower with the leaves still on for Asian shoppers. You'd be surprised how big those caulflower leaves get! They completely hide the cauliflower. I'm not sure how his Asian customers cooked the leaves, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  is it similar to a broccoli stalk that benefits from paring?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's dangerous to pare uncooked - very hard and rather thick.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I spoke to a farmer who mentioned baking the "marrow" with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. She said the peels the stalk to get to the good part but I can't imagine a peeler or paring knife working. Maybe if you hack it into shorter "logs" which you then stand on end so you can use a boning or chef's knife to slice vertically around the perimeter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The stalk is also very tasty in a mixed vegetable stir-fry!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I saw them in Northern California tonight. The sprouts on the stalk looked smaller than the stalk I bought about a month ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. NAY on the carmellos or chocolate covered caramel marshmallows. I was hoping for a fresher marshmallow and deeper caramel for the price, but it seemed average to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Big yay--in fact whoa!--on the English Cheddar with Carmelized Onions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. A yay for the reformulated sweet potato gnocchi with sage butter. I liked the old version but it was awkward to cook; I found I had to microwave it a bit to get it out of the plastic box and then cook it on the stove. This one is in a bag, and the gnocchis are all coated with a dehydrated sauce (gosh, I'm making it sound awful) but you put it in a pan with some water and it turns nice and creamy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    that is how the gorgonzola gnocchi are -- which i forgot to get today -- DARN it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Has anyone tried the spinach and sour cream dip? I got it today when I made a TJ's run on my lunch break. I thought about it all day. I came home and tried it and it's just a meh for me. It's OK. It's very spinach-y but I guess it's not what I wanted from a spinach dip. That sounds funny when you type it out. I'm not going to take it back. I mean, TJ's isn't exactly an easy trip for me anyway. I'm trying to think of other ways to use it besides just as a dip. I went to the store hungry! I'm impressed that I made it out with just over $70 worth of stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Boudleaux

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Could you try it in a casserole, maybe mix in some artichokes an cream cheese and other seasonings and make a chicken spinach artichoke dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good idea! Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Boudleaux

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        re spinach dip -- try adding some salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        of course artichokes never hurt either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. YAY - the fruit jams in the six sided jars with trader joe name are back~BUT~ they are now labelled E.D.SMITH - eastchester had blueberry, cherry and strawberry (3 flavors so far)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 51rich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Eastchester is my store (isn't that parking lot a PITA?). What makes these so special?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            just another good value from trader joes- probably used this supplier all along- just checked ,they are canadian and also supply costco and sam's club. and yes the parking is a pita- especially as i drive myself but navigate the store in a wheelchair.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: 51rich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I bring E.D.Smith jams back from Canada when I go there. What a happy surprise to find them at TH. It's been a standard brand in Canada forever. Sorry TJ hasn't stocked the Midnight Berry but I settled for the Boysenberry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. A hearty NAY to the beef tenderloin bites (freezer section). Either the demo lady cooked the shit out of these, or they're just not great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ditto on the bacon-wrapped scallops, though in this case the bacon was underdone, so perhaps I'll do a better job with them at home. No discernable scallop flavor, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY for both Belgian chocolates, tho my man's a bigger fan of them than I.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh-no - I have 2 boxes of these in the freezer! Oh well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meh - Cranberry Walnut Bread. Was ok. OH loved it. Course his was smothered in butter so how could you not...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yea I wasn't thrilled with the cranberry walnut bread either. I had to smother it in butter too =P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Has anyone tried the satay peanut sauce?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, many years ago. I didn't care for it, I can't remember why, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AllaSiciliana

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I forgot to post. I never got to try it officially but sniffed it. As I was unpacking groceries, I grabbed the jar and the lid literally slid off so I called and they told me to toss it and mention it next time for a refund. However, before I tossed it I gave it a quick sniff and didn't seem very peanut-y at all so I'm kind of glad it was open.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also didn't like the satay peanut sauce. It had an odd flavor to it, and not very peanutty. Basically it tasted like jarred sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I get a superb sauce from just mixing up my own sauce to taste with peanut butter, canned coconut milk (TJs coconut cream works great), lime juice, soy sauce, dash of cholula hot sauce, brown sugar (or honey), and curry powder or Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand available in nearly every grocery store or Walmart). It sounds like a lot of ingredients, but it's just a matter of spooning it the condiments together into a bowl and mixing it up, so it takes about 3 minutes max to put together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Thanks to all for the wonderful sweet treat recommendations. I needed a gift for a few coworkers and chocolate was in the right ballpark. I checked out, left the store, and started the car when it dawned on me that I should utilize the great wealth of TJs treats for the gift. I picked up a wonderful supply - chocolate covered ginger, dark chocolate peanut butter sea salt truffles, and chocolate covered Joe Joe's for less than it would have cost me anywhere else to buy half that much. I'm tempted to break into the chocolate covered ginger, sounds like a great combination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That chocolate-covered ginger is something I just can't buy (along with the dark chocolate PB cups). Not safe to have in the house, just disappears way too fast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Uh oh, maybe I'll keep it or just try it at work when they open it. I also picked up Berger cookies at another store so it's a larger gift than I originally intended anyway. I just needed a quick thank you, so perhaps I can keep the ginger and not feel too bad. It was the last one on the shelf, but I imagine there are more. It's not seasonal right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nope, not seasonal, year-round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Big YAY to frozen veggies - in particular, the Super Sweet Cut White Corn and the Petite Peas. I've been a fan for a while because they are so fresh tasting but I made 6 quarts of vegetable beef soup a couple weeks ago and am just finishing the last jar. The peas and corn still have a snap to them and I'm amazed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been similarly amazed with their fresh organic romaine. I accidentally pushed some to the back of my fridge and came across it SIX WEEKS later. It was still fine! I just couldn't believe it. Stuff I buy at my local grocer goes bad so fast, so I'm really impressed with the freshness of this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now if only I could have the same experience with their limes. I've learned I need to zest, juice and freeze within a day or two. Works, but it would be nice if I could just skip that step.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good to hear about the veggies, as well as the romaine. I always keep romaine in the fridge for sliced meat wrap snacking purposes. The hearts I usually buy at Wegmans hold up pretty well but I think TJs are cheaper. I've been leery to buy given their produce issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the tip on the frozen Super Sweet Cut White Corn. I hadn't noticed it before and today I grabbed some to try. Really good stuff, and I'm thinking of all the different ways I can use it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I even like fresh sweet corn when in season in an omelet (with some cheese and onion) and having a decent frozen corn available makes it possible (and easy!) year 'round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Don't even get me started about now being able to make some really great Southern cream-style corn any time of year. I can't believe I'm so excited about this corn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Try the canned sweet corn. It's pretty amazing, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I always have a few cans in the cupboard. They're great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We've stocked our freezer with those peas and corn for years and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          love them too. I've added the frozen pearl onions to the stash- terrific in a pot pie or a stew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just bought the onions for the first time - my friend was telling me that she makes a "cheesy onion" casserole for the holidays and after her yum noises, I decided I had to try it. It's just a white sauce with cheddar, worchestershire and tabasco mixed with the onions and baked for 1/2 hour (sounds like mac n cheese without the mac?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. picked up a kringle in clarendon, arlington va store.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          employee says they're going fast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          says online purchase from company which makes them is $20 plus shipping.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          can't wait to try it. it is very large! $6.99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Yea - Lemon Bars (frozen). Actually cubes. Intense lemon flavor, nice texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes - Rice Pudding (refrigerated). Someone else didn't like this, but I do. Not the style you find in delis and luncheonettes, it's custardy (the ingredients include eggs). Not overly sweet, but sweet enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh yeah, the lemon bars are awesome. Year round item, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I enjoy the rice pudding too! I sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Big triple NAY on the cornbread stuffing. I had it in the store as a sample and it tasted okay but I just made it following the stovetop instructions and it's horrible. I'll pop it in the oven to see if it is transformed into something edible but I don't have a lot of hope. It's just nasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Glad you posted about the stuffing. I pondered both it and the cornbread mix yesterday but decided against it. Glad I did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hmmm... I really liked the cornbread stuffing, but I made a very doctored up version.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I initially prepared the stuffing according to package directions minus about 1/2 cup of water. This alone didn't really taste that great. The mix consists of a generous bag of unseasoned bread coutons and a seasoning packet. The unseasoned bread croutons are fine and "fresh" tasting. But the seasoning packet was just very oniony. But it's on par with Stovetop or other brands.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I sautéed celery and onion and deglazed the pan with chicken stock (Kitchen Basics brand) and let it reduce to about 1/2 cup. I then added that to the prepared stuffing, along with sautéed breakfast chicken sausage and raisins.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I then mixed up 3 eggs and about 1/2 cup of cream and added that to that stuffing mix. I baked it all for about 45 min in a casserole dish. The result was fantastic! But I don't know that the seasoning packet added anything or just was totally disguised.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would imagine that the mix prepared and cooked in the bird would taste good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My biggest issue is with calling it a "cornbread" stuffing. There is no cornbread in there to be seen.. The bread cubes are regular white bread. A real cornbread stuffing, especially Southern style, has a very distinct flavor and texture to itfrom the cornmeal. TJs stuffing is very much a bread stuffing, not cornbread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mellicita

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree to the absence of cornbread. Very weird that they would call it that when it's not. I tried baking it. That didn't seem to help. My grandsons (11 & 8) came for dinner and I foisted it upon them and even they wouldn't eat it --- and they eat everything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mellicita

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I found the label with ingredients. There is more sugar and salt in it than there is cornmeal. Very odd for them to call it that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.fooducate.com/app#page=pro...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Real cornbread dressing is a whole pan or skillet of cornbread, sometimes with a couple of pieces of white bread and a handful of Saltines crumbled in it. The cornbread can have wheat flour in it as well as cornmeal but it should be mostly cornmeal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The last straw with this wannabe cornbread stuffing --- it gave me a horrible acid stomach. Argh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Mellicita

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just read this again and it made me think you were a contestant on Chopped...LOL. Glad it turned out for you. I'm not that brave. I think I'd end up with all bath water, no baby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Had a small appetizer get together this weekend and sampled some stuff from TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        First the nays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HUGE nay - Beef Tenderloin Bites - AWFUL! 95% pastry and 5% what I think was supposed to be meat. A hard round sized brown thing. Will gladly take the other box back.HORRIBLE!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY - Pastry Bites with Feta & Caramelized Onions - was too greasy for me. Others thought ok but would not buy again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY - Mac & Cheese Bites - I REALLY wanted to like these - way too oily and greasy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY - Light Cheddar Cheese Sticks - now I know the hint is in the "light" part but I usually buy the light string cheese which is really good - this was like orange chalk. Ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HUGE YAY - Shrimp Corn Dogs - so tasty! Generous shrimp and sauce was just right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY - Mushroom turnovers. I really did not think I would like these since I feared a strong mushroom taste - but they were really tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY - Brioche Toast - loved this spread with mascarpone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And as usual - all loved the chick pot pie bites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I liked the pastry bites with feta & caramelized onions... I did have to cook them twice as long as it called for on the box to make them nice and crispy on the bottom. I could see them seeming soggy/greasy otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Firenzilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My family loves these. I have to cook them longer than the instructions, but not twice as long. My family would have these very frequently but I do not think the price is particularly good on this item, unlike so many things at TJs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firenzilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              reminds me of the cooking time error on the package for the large spinach-kale pie in phyllo. takes at least one-third more time -- and that is cooked on a sheet pan (and not in their container, where i don't think it would ever cook properly).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. A moment of silence - no mini dark chocolate mint stars at my TJ's this weekend - cashier told me they are gone for the season! (THat's a Yay, if you're asking)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay to the Kale Spinach bites, the panettone, and the Pepper Jelly. It makes a nice app poured over a block of cream cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They were out at my local store last week :( I never got to try them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ditto. They tell me they are all out of stock in SF and South Bay, that I'll have to wait until next year! Hope they stock more next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I bought the larger dark chocolate stars and don't like them as much. I decided I'd try making them minty so I took peppermint extract and brushed it over the bottoms. The extract is alcohol so it evaporates immediately but leaves the minty flavor behind. YAY!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think they're gone (the mini mint dark chocolate stars). Living in southern CA, there are 6 TJ's within easy driving distance. Called them all, and no luck until next season (when hopefully they'll order more, or I'll freeze some!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. YAY: Kona coffee truffles. Just noticed them today for the first time, although it's been a few weeks between trips so maybe they're only new-to-me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Smooth coffee filing and one is very satisfying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY: my store is still carrying the stalk of fresh brussel sprouts. I grabbed the biggest one I could find. Can't wait to roast them up. I love them so much, I eat them cold right out of the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HUGE YAY: Mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Salty. Mmmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Responding to my own post . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Has no one else tried the kona coffee truffles yet??!! They are amazingly yummy. I'm pretty sure it's just a holiday item so get 'em while you can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        big yay to the triple ginger /dark chocolate cookies- but i think they may be all gone already:(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An overwhelming YAY for me on the Kona coffee truffles also! As soon as I tried one, I knew I had to go back and grab some more for family and friends. As a chocolate and coffee fiend, you can imagine how wonderful I think they are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: theresat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was convinced I was the only person who has tried them. Glad you loved them as much as I did. I'm frankly glad I only got one bag. It's one of those things that I can't really keep in the house w/o eating them all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: theresat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OMG...wish you hadn't mentioned the Kona coffee truffles. Just walked in the door, and I discovered that half the bag evaporated on my way home from TJ's!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Yay to the Triple Ginger Ginger Beer. A nice, spicy flavor without that sour citrus hit that Reed's has. And I love the bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .... And it's gone for the season at my store. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Man, it just came in this week here. I wish this was a year round item. Think of the Dark n Stormys!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've noticed a lot of the holiday items are gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Yea - Petite Seafood Croquettes (frozen) - "made with surimi - imitation crab." Bite-sized soft-textured mini-muffins, savory with a hint of bite. Good for appetizers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Big Yay: Pub cheese, in the cheddar horseradish flavor. Excellent on the bite-size everything crackers. Reminds me of the Win Schulers Bar Scheeze (yes, that's how they spell it) I ate growing up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                have you tried the jalapeño pub cheese ,also very good- i find the plain pub cheese very bland. also it "melts" nicely if nuked for a few seconds

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: 51rich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not a jalapeno fan so that one doesn't appeal to me. I can totally pass on the plain one, too. But I absolutely *love* the horseradish one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Spectacular new product-Scallion Pancakes (Pa jeon). This Korean version is flavorful and easy to prepare (warm up in the skillet). $3.99 for 4 pancakes about 6" in diameter. Frozen section. Also has as ingredients mushrooms, carrots, leeks, and egg. It's a little oily-it always is when I've had it at restaurants. I cook 2 scrambled eggs in the oil left in the pan to accompany the pancake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: elise h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree. I like it best when it is fried in a light amount of oil but at high temperature in order to make it crispy on the outside. I topped it with some TJ Teriyaki sauce. Eggs would be good too. My picky-eater husband loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I feel stupid. I must be the last person to discover TJ's French Vanilla Ice Cream. It's very close to Haagen-Dazs vanilla, same ingredients (cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla), except that the HD costs $4.79 for a pint and the TJ costs $5.79 for a HALF-GALLON. And I do mean half-gallon, unlike other brands that now sell a quart-and-a-half as what used to be a half-gallon. The first thing I noticed about the TJ is that the box is so HEAVY. The ice cream is delicious and has that nice smeary quality of premium ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good to know! I don't often buy ice cream but I will make a point to get this one when I do rather than the Haagen Daaz "Five" variety which I have appreciated due to the limited ingredients. Thanks for the head's up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is off-topic, but regular Haagen-Dazs vanilla also only has five ingredients. They just enjoy relabeling, apparently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TJ's is not Haagen-Dazs relabeled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think Double Rainbow makes Trader Joe's ice cream, though I could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hlk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i think that is the company. are they based in san francisco?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: 51rich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yes they are SF based.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yep. They used to carry Double Rainbow branded ice cream, and when it switched to being Trader Joe's brand it was otherwise still similar packaging and flavors. I've always been a fan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, I know - I was just commenting on the existence of Haagen-Dazs Five being silly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh! Now I understand what you meant. My bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Definitely Double Rainbow. I had the DR in the freezer when they switched over, it's identical, and if you go to the DR website you will see the exact same ice cream flavors, including unusual or seasonal ones like the Lemon Triple Ginger Snap that TJ's used to carry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Yay - whole chicken - this seems like a silly item to comment on but the price was great. I usually buy roast chicken at Whole Foods but since I didn't have time to go to both stores tonight I thought I'd look at TJs. I bought the "for roasting" chicken. The label is odd but the price of $1.50/lb was nearly half the price I usually pay and there were giblets! The chickens at WF never seem to have any giblets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MEH - frozen macaroni and cheese - I admit that I ate the entire 2 servings, but I felt it lacked some flavor. It was super creamy and the cheese/pasta ratio was perfect. My favorite mac and cheese recipe is a baked custard style, so this could explain why I didn't love it as many do. Not bad, I'd definitely eat it again but not a must-have which is probably good as it'd be too easy to just buy a ton of these and heat them in the microwave.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY - caramelized onion dip, I really wanted to like this but it was too caramelized for me which sounds silly but I think I prefer my onion dip more along the lines of Lipton. Perhaps with another dipper I might like it more, what do you like to eat it with?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just wanted to report back on the bird. I used the same cooking method as I usually do and it was a darn good chicken, on par with the organic free range birds I buy at Whole Foods. Just FYI.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fld, so the "the "for roasting" chicken" was Not organic, right? Was it labeled All Natural, or No Added Antibiotics etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I recently tried the whole chicken and really loved it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I eat the macaroni and cheese with sriracha sauce on top - yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ooh that sounds great. I sprinkled smoked paprika on top, but Sriricha or chili garlic sauce sounds awesome! I do have another box because I assumed I'd love it so at least worth a try since it's here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My #1 eating rule - try everything twice, the caramelized onion dip has grown on me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like it with pears if I'm feeling fancy, or with plain old potato chips if I'm not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The chicken has been my go-to for roasting for over a year now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I do a brine, air dry, and roast, it's been deliciously juicy with crispy skin every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I went back today and they had the others in stock and I walked right past straight to the "for roasting" chicken. I asked the cashier and we concluded "it's just a chicken, nothing special." The organic chickens I spotted today were the same price as Whole Foods organic chickens so not much of a deal so I figured another of the chickens at half the price would be great for the weekend and now I'll have enough carcasses for a pot of stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay: TJ's organic whole chicken. We did a salt dry brine, air-dry, roast. Used a basic roast chicken recipe from this month's COTM. Roasted till juices ran clear, inner temp. 170F per recipe. Barely colored skin, flavorless juice, tasteless meat though tender. I've been roasting chickens since Og roamed the earth and this one was a definite Nevermore. Back to Whole Foods we go. Or the farm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow that's unfortunate. I roasted another of the for roasting chickens last night and it was incredible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I notice TJ had several (organic, kosher, brined, etc..) whole chicken to choose from...at least 5. I just go for the cheapest one, the one with the red label.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The red one, that's the one I've been using and it's been great admittedly with a small sample size of 2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Just wanted to say thanks for this thread--It's a far more useful approach than the "TJ favorites" threads. Our store has been open about a month. I stopped in twice, didn't see anything that intrigued me other than sweets I don't bring into my home. After reading this thread, I'm convinced it won't be worth my while to stop in again. Too many "meh's" and "nays", and too many unhealthy "yay"s. I don't have the time or inclination to make a special trip for just a few items. I kinda wish the bookstore TJ's replaced would come back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have you looked at the non-prepared items? I usually buy staples there and find the prices great - butter, Greek yogurt, cheese, almond milk, turkey breasts, cranberry juice concentrate (1/3 of the price I've seen anywhere else), cat food, baking supplies, etc. I rarely buy the prepared food items but have found it's still a worthwhile stop to save more than a few $ every week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd go to my TJs just for the teas. Especially this time of year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's a Halfprice bookstore next door to my TJ. I stop in there first.to check the cookbook section for new bargins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good point, there's a Barnes and Noble next door to the local TJs here and I usually make a stop :) There's also a Pier 1 that I have to resist walking into.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No crème fraîche or cheddar for you? Fresh buffalo mozzarella or hummus? Frozen vegetables and a few nice, low-key apps from the freezer section? Tarte d'Alsace? Cretan olive oil? The trio of nut oils?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh yes, the olive oil! I made a special trip last week for the California Estate olive oil. I can't be without it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't tried the Cali oil, but absolutely love the Greek.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Excellent prices on basics such as Greek yogurt, nuts, olive oil, crackers, pasta, butter, eggs, cheeses, and so much more. For those sorts of items, superior quality and prices to the large supermarkets and Whole Foods (taking price into account). My first stop grocery store always.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kind of surprised to see your take but I look back to my first TJs visit years ago at a store near San Diego and recall the things that jumped out at me then were probably more in the processed category than otherwise. Since then, I've steered as far from processed as is achievable and have to say that, if you don't return, you will miss out on great values on great products. Best prices and best quality I've found on cheeses, fresh & frozen fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen meats & poultry, frozen seafood, great coffee and tea, really good quality canned and dry goods....(I could go on and on.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree! I visited TJs a lot in college over the summer when I did research in Boston and only bought processed items. When my eating habits completely changed after college, I felt I had no reason to go but since returning this year I'm hooked and go every week for mostly fresh foods. Although we've all hashed this out in another thread, so if MommaJ doesn't have a use for it then it's OK. We like what we like right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If MommaJ doesn't have a use for it then its OK, of course. Nonetheless, the way MommaJ dismissed all of TJs just seemed kind of, random, or even childish. Ok, yes, but odd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hey, you must be in my old neighborhood in Miami! I grew up in Kendall, and had my first Trader Joe's experience in the old Borders while visiting my parents this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also bought a ton of stuff you would probably disapprove of. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Fresh sea scallops - I am new to TJs and other than canned tuna and salmon haven't bought any of the fresh or frozen seafood. I was in a rush yesterday and only had time to go to one store and TJs was it. I spotted the fresh scallops and they seemed, through the package at least, to be dry and fresh scallops. I just had them for lunch and they are great! No solutions added, seared up great and are as good as the scallops I buy at either Whole Foods or Wegmans for $6 more per lb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interesting article, from Sept 2012, about water content of supermarket scallops. Mentions TJ's. http://www.boston.com/news/local/mass...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I did read that after I bought them and worried, but they weren't injected. Ingredients:scallops. No leaking water and seared with minimal oil. I guess they found a new supplier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Not that they're seasonal to December, but an absolutely huge YAY to both the plain mini-croissants and the chocolate croissants. Both are superb! Although they rise well on the kitchen counter overnight, if your oven has a proofing setting, or if you can adjust the temp to 90 degrees, the amount of rise is astounding! They are light, flaky and very delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The almond croissants are my favorite and the seasonal pumpkin ones were also excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Semi-YAY for the poutine. The fries, which you bake, are outstanding. Are their other frozen fries the same thing?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So a YAY for the quality. It was my first poutine experience and probably my last. Had I really thought about it before buying, I'd have realized that that combination is, to me, less than the sum of its parts. But were it available, I'd buy the gravy separately to have on hand for other meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Every now and then there's a post similar to Momma J's: "I didn't buy anything and I don't like their products.". For some unknown reason, people seem to feel that if they dislike some TJ item(s), the whole store is no good. I can't think of any other retail business that is held to so high a standard - certainly not other grocery stores!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "For some unknown reason, people seem to feel that if they dislike some TJ item(s), the whole store is no good. I can't think of any other retail business that is held to so high a standard - certainly not other grocery stores!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Totally agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<"Are their other frozen fries the same thing?">>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know if they're the same, but they're REALLY good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Interesting. how long do you proof the croissant in oven?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just had their almond croissant yesterday. I let them rise overnight but they didn't rise as much but still tasted awsome.