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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay - February 2014! [OLD]

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Happy February, we're moving right along through 2014! Punxsutawney Phil will soon let us know whether we should prepare for more polar vortex temperatures or look forward to warmer weather. It may be the shortest month of the year, but February brings many special days to enjoy the unique offerings from Trader Joe's. Perhaps you'll be buying a few extra treats for a Super Bowl party, dark chocolate or a nice fish filet for a special Valentine's Day celebration, or some unique and different International items to celebrate the Winter Olympics.

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

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  1. Surprised at how big last month's thread got. Do you think we will have to start making new threads every week? Thanks for the job you are doing, flkhkybnva.

    27 Replies
    1. re: Tripeler

      And remember how much pushback there was about making a monthly thread from a quarterly one"? Geesh!

      1. re: shaebones

        when I said it was a good idea i got shot down like a dog!

        1. re: trolley

          Well, if it's any consolation, you can now say I TOLD YOU SO!

          1. re: Tripeler

            yes, i remember John Francis was really against it. or maybe he was the only one for it with me? hmmm...it's been so long. ok, here i go...I TOLD YOU SO!!!

            1. re: trolley

              And I still don't think its a good idea, as the merchandise only changes quarterly. It makes it harder to track discussions.. WTG.. NOT.

              1. re: cwdonald

                all the continuing big threads should be broken down like this, in my opinion. just like the WFD thread on Home Cooking. so much easier to manage a shorter thread than having to scroll through hundreds.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  I cannot disagree with you more. There are threads that have been going on for years. Having four versus twelve threads a year makes it impossible to follow a conversation, and you will end up getting repetition upon repetition. I predict rather than four threads, you are going to have 12 threads of equal size but in fact you are going to just find the same people repeating the same thing over and over and over. This could be mitigated if there were only four threads per year.

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    But how would it be mitigated? You'll get repetition no matter what - new people exploring Trader Joe's for the first time will be talking about TJ's brown rice; the roasted corn, the Kerrygold butter, the new filled pastas, etc. All stuff that has been discussed in previous threads - even if threads was broken out on a quarterly basis.

                    This thread is over 500 posts. Add another two months' worth of posts for one full quarter (Jan through March), and one could assume it would go to about 1200 to 1500 posts. No one's going to scroll through a thread that long, especially if they have a slower connection.

                    I actually think it would be much more painful to try and deal with a thread that long rather than less painful.

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      that is exactly what happens on those monster threads - people can't be bothered to read through 500 posts so they repeat. they even repeat themselves. volumes have been working great on the WFD thread, and on this one too. it's easy enough to visit an older volume and address an older question. most don't seem to have a problem at all.

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        How about having a Yay thread AND a Nay thread?

                        1. re: Tripeler

                          And a Meh thread, too?

                          1. re: Tripeler

                            And when the same products wind up on both threads? Talk about disjointed conversations.

          2. re: Tripeler

            Not sure that would go over well :) I'm enjoying my minuscule role, I'm a devoted TJs fan now.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              I would hate an every week thread.

              1. re: Harts52

                Me, too. But I think it may have been asked facetiously.

            2. re: Tripeler

              I think last month (and December) was just bigger because of the holiday/seasonal products.. now that those are gone, perhaps the number will go down.

              1. re: Tripeler

                Part of the problem is the drift and chitchat - recipes and talking about other stores that sell an item. It's natural, people are enthusiastic and want to be helpful so the threads tend to wander a little.

                1. re: MplsM ary

                  Yes, there's no limit to how long a thread can get when people constantly go off-topic. Speaking just for myself, I wish we could go back to the time when every message was yeas and nays about specific TJ products. The other comments, however interesting, get in the way of what I want to learn from this thread, which is what to try and what not.

                  1. re: John Francis

                    I find the context of the rating very valuable, I really hope people don't stop commenting. Plus, we're human beings and we interact naturally. I find value in that, too.

                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                      My first thought "I'll check my human at the door next month." Pretty much impossible for me, so I probably shouldn't participate.

                    2. re: John Francis

                      I'm a big offender when it comes to chitchat, drift and recipes :-( I'm not sure that anything I ever have to say is value-added but I will say that, without others' chat, I wouldn't be so interested in following. Just yesterday I added the spinach artichoke dip to my list only because of the ideas on how people are using it. I would have, otherwise, continued to pass it by.

                      1. re: Harts52

                        Btw spinach artichoke dip mixed with a can of tuna last night-delicious!

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          Oh yay! I get canned salmon from Costco all the time and I bet it will be good in that also! Thanks!!

                      2. re: John Francis

                        A list of yeas/nays without any explanation of how the product might have been used -- either in the "normal" way for that product or differently, based on an idea had by the poster/user -- makes for an extremely boring thread.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          totally agree. and without knowing anything about the poster's other likes, dislikes, restaurant choices, cooking chops, etc., a yea or nay is very arbitrary, and means nothing. Can you imagine a restaurant reviewer just saying "This restaurant was good." or "This restaurant was bad."??? You don't trust and follow a reviewer without having to gotten know their tastes.

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            Very true...for instance you all have probably gathered by now that I can't handle spicy foods and think that some chocolate items are too "rich" for me to enjoy LOL. I enjoy getting to know everyone's varying tastes and pallettes. Hard to believe that not too long ago these used to be quarterly threads. I am glad they went to month to month because for whatever reason more people are posting their yay nays which is the whole purpose of why we love this thread.

                            Suggestion that I know some of us use: let's try using the recommend button if you simply agree with the comment.

                            1. re: littleflower

                              I hit "recommend" the way I hit "like" on Facebook. As a matter of fact, I'm doing that right now to your post littleflower!

                  2. I roasted a pork tenderloin last night and remembered I had bought aioli garlic mustard sauce that someone had written about a few months ago. Served it with the pork and it was a big yay.
                    Working on my TJ list from last months thread. Driving 3 hours to get to TJ and don't want to forget anything!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: BeachCookie107

                      Now you are a dedicated TJs fan!

                      1. re: BeachCookie107

                        My husband loves that mustard and takes a turkey sandwich daily in his lunch. It is a staple on my list.

                        Excited 2 days until the Fearless Flyer, sad that I did not find the cheese of the month for February today. It was so crowded and I was on sensory overload by the time I made it to the cashier, I forgot to ask.

                        between super bowl and the forecast calling for lots of snow and ice. The store conditions were unbearable.

                      2. Cowboy Caviar. Nicely nuanced.

                        Vegetable Fried Rice. Four of us knocked off two pounds, net wt, last night. Good stuff!

                        1. YAY to the organic maple syrup. However, it is so thin! I've had this issue with every organic maple syrup I've purchased in the last few years and I know from reading that it is normal. I also know I could cook it down until it's thicker. I'm wondering, though....would chia seeds thicken it up? Or is that just plumb crazy?

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: Harts52

                            I think you want to ask that question on Home Cooking.
                            Guar gum might work. Cooking it down might make it too sweet and too caramelly.

                            1. re: Harts52

                              The latter!

                              1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                And I just happen to have a ton of guar gum (my grandsons and I make slime a lot).

                                Since they are also the eaters of the maple syrup, they will appreciate an edible experiment!

                              2. re: Harts52

                                If you are used to a Log Cabin style syrup, any pure maple syrup will be too thin.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  The grandsons are used to stuff similar to Log Cabin (Mrs. B, etc.). Their chief complaint was that it soaks into the pancakes rather than laying on top but they know that when they come to "Nannie's," they are going to get a different food experience. They do appreciate "organic" and "real." I asked if they thought we should try guar gum or chia to thicken and they both gave a resounding "leave it alone." <shrug>

                                  1. re: Harts52

                                    I keep a bottle of inexpensive 'pancake syrup' on hand for family members who prefer that lay-on-top experience. Maple syrup is nice (and expensive), but it is not a health food - not even if it is organic and local produced.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      Have to respectfully disagree with you on that one! Maple syrup is a natural anti-inflammatory and has a good amount of anti-oxidant properties. Still sugar but, as sweet things go, a better choice than many!

                                      1. re: Harts52

                                        Speaking of sugar, has anyone tried the coconut sugar? I heard that it does not taste like coconut and it supposedly contains a lot of nutrients in it.

                                        1. re: littleflower

                                          It doesn't taste like coconut at all because it's from the sap of the coconut palm, not the fruit.

                                          I like it and think it works as a brown sugar type substitute.

                                          1. re: littleflower

                                            just bought some, but haven't tried it yet...........will substitute it in my next round of banana-blueberry bread

                                            1. re: littleflower

                                              Haven't tried TJ's specifically but have bought other brands, no coconut flavor, and no molasses flavor like brown sugar either. Great in baking or coffee

                                        2. re: Harts52

                                          try tj's short stack syrup.

                                    2. YAY: Honey Roasted Peanuts - 1 pound of peanuts for only $3.99! The honey roasted flavor really comes through - sweet, salty, crunchy...great for snacking!

                                      YAY: Villa Italia Italian Grapefruit Soda - I love the Blood Orange Soda so I decided to give the grapefruit soda a try. I really like it, it definitely is not as sweet as the bood orange kind but very refreshing. Definite repeat purchase.

                                      22 Replies
                                      1. re: littleflower

                                        The grapefruit soda makes a nice drink with gin, too.

                                        Nay x 1000 Reduced Guilt Filet of Sole. The fish had gone bad but still made it into production. Really makes me question everything TJs after 2 rancid jars of peanut butter and now this.

                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                          I this the frozen sole. I bought 2 packages last week but have yet to eat them.

                                          1. re: MplsM ary

                                            i was speaking with a cashier at the columbia, md, tjs and was told that there have been issues with product freshness and texture because the delivery trucks have been becoming stranded and delayed because of the weather (snow, ice, etc)

                                            1. re: Vidute

                                              That would explain last week's inedible green beans.

                                              1. re: Vidute

                                                A friend in Charlotte said her local store's shelves were bare earlier in the week. And at my store, there was evidence that they had been bare given the number of employees stocking when I went in that same day. You could barely make it through the aisles.

                                                1. re: Leepa

                                                  I went the day after a snow last week and the shelves were bare and they were frantically stocking.

                                                  1. re: Leepa

                                                    I was there when they opened yesterday and was surprised at the bare shelves in the fresh breads/baked goods/meat sections. An employee told me truck was running behind the past few days and hasnt been arriving to restock until around 9:30am.

                                              2. re: littleflower

                                                Love, love, love a grapefruit soda so I'll definitely pick this up on the next TJ's run. If you've tasted the San Pelligrino grapefruit soda, is the Villa Italian similar in flavor?

                                                1. re: FlyerFan

                                                  I was just going to ask the same thing! We love the San P. grapefruit sofa and wonder how the TJ's compares?

                                                  1. re: FlyerFan

                                                    Flyer and joseph, I wish that I could make the direct comparison but have been unable to find San Pelligrino Grapefruit Soda where I live. I CAN tell you that the Villa Italia Blood Orange Soda tastes very much like the San Pelligrino Aranciata Blood Orange Soda - I wouldn't at all be surprised if that is who makes the Villa Italia sodas.

                                                    Regardless, if you like grapefruit sodas you should definitely give this a try. I already have gone through half a bottle in one day!

                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                      Thx! Will definitely try it and report back on the comparison.

                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                        Littleflower, Costco stocks San Pellegrino sodas and has a coupon for them every so often. I've also seen them at Harris Teeter for an exorbitantly higher price.

                                                        1. re: ohmyyum

                                                          Thanks ohmyyum, we have a Costco membership and I bought the multipack San Pelligrino sodas however they do not carry the grapefruit soda! Started going (don't judge here) to Walmart where I can buy the San Pelligrino blood orange soda for $4.99/6pk because with Costco multipack was always left with a bunch of Limonata sodas which I do not care for.

                                                          We also have HarrisTeeter here...do you know if they carry the San Pellig. Grapefruit soda?

                                                        2. re: littleflower

                                                          Thanks - will be on my list this week!

                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                            Anyone have a great non-alcoholic punch recipe with the TJ's grapefruit soda? Sounds like it would make a great base, and I have an event coming up that requires a good punch, since it's a "dry" event :(.

                                                            Lori

                                                          2. re: FlyerFan

                                                            I've just tried the TJ's Italian grapefruit soda, and although it's not bad, it is definitely not nearly as good as that made by San Pelligrino...not even close. Since the SP soda is readily available where I live, I doubt that I'll buy the TJ's brand again. If the SP soda was not available, I might get the TJ's soda occasionally, but I'm not sure.

                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                              Thanks for the comparison, joseph! I'm headed to TJ's this weekend and may still pick up a bottle to try. I can find the SP in my area but not at my normal shopping spots - if the TJ's version is fairly close, I may stick with it...

                                                              1. re: FlyerFan

                                                                josephnl -- I was hoping that they were made by San Pelligrino but it looks like it most likely isn't! Thanks for the update.

                                                                FlyerFan -- I haven't yet been able to try the SP Grapefruit Soda, but I liked the TJ's version so much that I already bought another bottle of it.

                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                  Try to seek out a source for the SP grapefruit soda. I really think that if you like the TJ's grapefruit soda, you'll lve that made by SP!

                                                          3. re: littleflower

                                                            if you're into the honey roasted peanuts, have you tried the salty, sweet, & nutty trek mix? rather munchworthy, imo.

                                                            1. re: rynnyb

                                                              Thanks rynnyb for the suggestion...was also eyeing the bag (albeit tiny bag!) of candied walnuts!

                                                              1. re: rynnyb

                                                                That salty sweet nutty mix is SO good! I'm convinced there's a typo on the servings per bag......;)

                                                            2. MEH/YAY: Reduced Fat Fish Sticks - These are just "okay" I agree with the other reviews that said they lacked in flavor - they really needed a sprinkling of salt and a dip in ketchup to wake these up a bit. My slight gripe was that I baked them for an extra seven minutes and they still didn't get very crispy on the outside just kinda soft and I turned them over halfway through.

                                                              NAY: Five Seed Bars -they were sampling this with yogurt and it went straight in the trash can. Just not my cup of tea.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                Someone earlier had said they pop them under the broiler for a bit to give them some crunch.

                                                                I'm lame --- their bland (memory of elem school cafeteria) a or is what I like :-)

                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                  If the nutritional profile works for you, the beer battered halibut is really good. (We use them in fish tacos)

                                                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                                                    Are you talking the nuggets? I agree, they are good, although they aren't anywhere near the size shown on the box picture. In TJs defense, there is a disclaimer --it's just very small. Seem oilier to me but the fish is good and I can imagine they make excellent tacos!

                                                                    1. re: Harts52

                                                                      I don't think these are the nuggets. These are the Trader Joe's Battered Halibut. Recently repackaged as gluten free, too. These are large enough that we use one piece per fish taco when we make them.

                                                                      1. re: ccbweb

                                                                        Oh yeah, they aren't the nuggets then. I'll have to try them. I could eat fish every day.

                                                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                                                          I've bought at least a dozen boxes over the last several years. At $9 for 10 oz, they are not cheap, but halibut never is. Every single time, there have been 7 pieces in the box, which could be a LOT smaller than it is - the bag really rattles around in there. The pieces have always varied in size. I regard the package as 2 portions so it's always a matter of sorting into the 3 larger pieces and the 4 smaller ones.

                                                                      2. re: ccbweb

                                                                        We use those in fish tacos, too. A hit with the whole family.

                                                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                                                          Thanks for the suggestion - have heard good reviews on the beer battered halibut.

                                                                      3. YAY x 3 - Guilt Free Guacamole, I love this stuff! I am not the biggest avocado fan, and I think the mix of it with yogurt is a perfect balance and the flavor is pretty good. I could probably make this at home but this is convenient and a great price. Also it's better than guacamole for me because I don't have to use the entire container at one time.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          As much as I have tried since it is so good for you, I have been unable to find a way to eat avocado and enjoy it. I will have to take a look at the guilt free guacamole the next time I go to Trader Joe's.

                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                            I buy them occasionally because there are rare days when I find an avocado delicious but it's really not worth buying them and count on having one of those days. I have never understood the fascination but to each his own. I liked the flavor of the guilt free guacamole in general rather than as a food with avocado. I also love yogurt so that might help.

                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                              Avocado makes killer ice cream.

                                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                              I second your Yay for the reduced-guilt guacamole. It was great for super bowl watching last night.

                                                                              Also a big YAY for the caramelized onion and feta mini tart appetizers (I can't remember the exact name). They were really tasty, although I didn't taste a lot of feta. And a YAY for the spinach and kale bites, too.

                                                                              We also enjoyed the cowboy caviar and queso dip.

                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                I just made chocolate avocado pudding. Yummy! I had a few teaspoons right out of the food processor and left the rest in the fridge for a few hours and it thickened up to a thick ganache/soft fudge consistency. I thought it was great, Hubs not so much. But then he loves pudding packs. .

                                                                                Puree all ingredients in a food processor, use your stick blender, or heck use elbow grease to make it.

                                                                                2 avocados
                                                                                1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
                                                                                1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
                                                                                1 teaspoon of vanilla
                                                                                Strawberries or Raspberries for garnish.

                                                                              2. Though I have always thought supermarket blackberries had no flavor, I bought a clamshell of them at TJ this week. They are the largest I have ever seen, and have good berry flavor. Thought I had black raspberry jello mix at home - it was red raspberry, but the color contrast is nice. I really filled the serving bowls with berries before pouring the jello over, so there's just enough gelatin to hold the berries together. I like it as a light dessert - there really IS always room for jello!

                                                                                1. My TJs closed down in August-it was literally a 30 second walk from my place. Now granted I live in LA with about 6 more in a 1 mile radius from my place, however, the parking is SO BAD that I have to be mentally prepared to go, resulting in much, much fewer trips to TJs. I went there the other day to grab some of those refridgerated pizzas, the non-frozen ones that are probably 6 or 7 inch in diameter, and they were discontinued!! I was so sad, are they discontinued everywhere??!?!

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                    Oh no! Someone had just recommended to me to give the basil pesto refrigerated pizza a try! Update: just called my store here on the east coast and sadly yes they have been discontinued!

                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                      Sucks!!! The goat cheese one and the mushroom and garlic were awesome!!! It was perfect with a salad and glass of red for an easy dinner :(

                                                                                    2. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                      Just an FYI, there is a thread created to let people know what has been recently discontinued at TJ'S.

                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/930881

                                                                                      1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                        which one closed? the one in WeHo?

                                                                                      2. YAY: Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate KIND Bar - I have always found protein bars blah but this one I couldn't stop eating - reminded me of a Snickers Bar! For those of you that have seen In the Kitchen with David this is David's favorite KIND Bar flavor! It is only 1.49 and much more satisfying and better for you than a Snickers bar.

                                                                                        YAY: Fresh Squeezed Tangerine Juice - although different from last year's Fresh Squeezed Honey Tangerine juice, the regular quart sized tangerine juice available this year is quite good as well. This is a seasonal item and will only be around a couple of more weeks at the most.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                          I love kind bars! I've been buying them thru subscribe n save on amazon, they come out to be much cheaper. Certain flavors come in mini sizes too

                                                                                        2. NAY. According to two staffers stocking the bread in Burbank, TJ's has stopped carrying the sliced, round caraway "corn" rye bread, labeled Jewish Rye. It was perfect. Dense enough, perfect caraway balance, coarse cornmeal on the bottom. I just can't face adding yet another store to my 3-4 a week run.
                                                                                          Bring. It. Back.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: gnarlex

                                                                                            oh that's very disappointing. I buy that regularly. It's so great toasted w/ lots of butter, or sometimes if I don't have hot dog buns I'll make a hot dog "sandwich" on that bread.

                                                                                            1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                              My mom is going to be so upset. She loves that bread. argh.

                                                                                          2. I find it hard to let a month go by without a huge YAY for the frozen croissants...all of them! TJ's croissants have become a Sunday breakfast staple in our home. Only thing is, we can't decide which we like best...the plain minis, the chocolate, or the almond! It's always astounding how much they rise overnight.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                                              really loved those chocolate ones. way too dangerous to keep buying!

                                                                                            2. Pomegranate Vinegar - YAY! I just keep tasting it and it's so good. I haven't figured out a legitimate way to use it yet other than salad dressing but I hope to come up with something soon

                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                I've only used it in salad dressings so far, but heartily recommend pairing it with walnut oil for that purpose, if you have some around (which you might, if you picked up the nut oil trio in December).

                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                  I do, actually I keep a bottle in the fridge just for salads

                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                  I haven't tried it yet but I like to use vinegar to tenderize beef. I marinate it in the vinegar for an hour or two. I bet pomegranate vinegar would be yummy.

                                                                                                  1. re: susanl143

                                                                                                    Great, idea or even as a pan sauce. I have some london broil in the fridge which would probably be a great cut to try out the idea.

                                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                    That reminds me of an old YAY - the orange champagne vinegar. It's a little sweet (mixed with orange juice) which makes it great for salads or as a "finishing" vinegar.

                                                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                                                      I think that one's called orange muscat champagne vinegar? It's nice for dressing steamed or sauteed vegetables, too.

                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                        I did not notice till months later that the label on the orange champagne vinegar says to refrigerate after opening. Just a heads up. I'm not sure how important it is - ketchup says the same thing but it's not necessary. I'd never before noticed that on a vinegar label.

                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                          Thanks. I have tons of condiments that say that and sit happily on the counter but good to know :) I might give it a try.

                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                            I frequently forget to refrigerate it and I'm still alive. After a while, the color tends to go darker and it's definitely oxidizing.

                                                                                                        2. re: Savour

                                                                                                          I use the orange vinegar all the time for salads.

                                                                                                        3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                          Is this an actual vinegar, or is it just a concentrated pomegranate juice, often called pomegranate molasses? There are lots of middle eastern recipes using the molasses. I would use it in dishes to provide tartness with a sweet undertone.

                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                            It's white wine vinegar flavored with pomegranate juice, it's not pomegranate molasses.

                                                                                                        4. Picked up several "new to me" items today. Speculoos (sp?) -- meh. I really wanted to try the thin Meyer lemon cookies or the ginger but ended up with these instead. They are okay and maybe I'll save them and try another day. I made my grandmothers brandy cookies yesterday and they melt in your mouth so I don't know that any other cookie could get a yay from me today.

                                                                                                          I was on another Chowhound thread recently about English muffins and the conversation prompted me to order a case of Bay's. Yep, a case :-( as soon as I clicked submit on Amazon, someone posted about TJs British Muffins. Someone also posted about the crumpets. So today I bought regular muffins and cinnamon crumpets. Yay to the muffins, meh to the crumpets. The muffins are definitely better than Thomas's. They are going to be my pick for a regular EM, although I do prefer Bay's for a burger bun. They aren't readily available in my area though and I don't see myself ordering another case in my lifetime.

                                                                                                          The crumpets are weird. Too thin to split and too thick to not. The flavor was fine but I guess I just don't get the point. I will say, the bottom gets a nice crisp to it...maybe I should give them a meh plus or a yay minus.

                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                            Harts52 not sure if you live near a Fresh Market but they carry Bay's English Muffins.I buy the TJ's ones because they are cheaper and taste great.

                                                                                                            I only like the Speculoos cookies if they are dipped in honey and a sprinkle of sea salt. The honey and sea salt make them tasty, at least to my taste buds.

                                                                                                            Oh, and I am hooked on the Meyer Lemon Thins...about to start box #3.

                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                              I'm a bit outside of Pittsburgh. When everyone on the other thread was making Bays sound like heaven , I went to their store locator and found a store that carries them about an hour from here. TJs is also an hour, but in a more direct path and a direction that has lots of other things to do.

                                                                                                              My TJs has the dubious distinction of making the news this week. A McDs next door was giving out heroin in happy meals :-(

                                                                                                              1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                Hi, Harts52. I buy [non-cinnamon] crumpets weekly here in CA. I was disappointed as well with the cinnamon crumpets we bought in North Carolina last fall. I wish Trader Joe's would offer the plain ones nationwide. don't split them - I just toast the living daylights out of them, so they are nice and crisp and plop some cheese on top.

                                                                                                                1. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                  I'm in NC and we have both plain and cinnamon. I don't think they're meant to be split like an English muffin.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                    Yikes, I did not notice them in the Cary store. I will definitely look more closely this year. Thank you --

                                                                                                                  2. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                    The plain crumpets are superior to the cinnamon. I'm glad I tried the plain first or I would have written them off altogether. You indeed don't split them... I like them mildly toasted with lots of butter and a little lemon curd or honey, depending on my mood

                                                                                                                    1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                      I like them toasted until the top is crispy, and then enough (really good, like Kerrygold) butter splooged on until they're basically infused with butter.

                                                                                                                    2. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                      Yes, or soak them in the salted Kerrygold butter like I do. Love the plain crumpets.

                                                                                                                  3. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                    They had a TJ demonstration with the Meyer Lemon Thins that caused me to buy them.

                                                                                                                    Take a Meyer Lemon Thin, spread well with TJ's Mascapone Cheese, then place three fresh raspberries on each cookie. They stick to the cheese.

                                                                                                                    Yummers! Fresh and cool. Makes a lovely tea plate.

                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                      We have a Fresh Market opening in the spring. Wonder if they carry whole grain Bay's English muffins. Harris-Teeter only has the originals.

                                                                                                                    2. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                      If you want to use up the rest of the speculoos, try this recipe. It sounds super weird, but it's delicious, and everyone I've made it for loved it.
                                                                                                                      http://leitesculinaria.com/61007/reci...

                                                                                                                      1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                        Super weird is an understatement! But I'm game and I have all the ingredients here except the heavy cream. Suppose I could use the shelf stable whipping cream? Or add some butter to half/half?

                                                                                                                      2. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                        I bought some packs of the speculoos cookies for church and was hajorly underwhelmed by these. there are much better choices in the store includinding the "windmil" cookies and simple graham crackers.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                          Thank God for all the snow. The grandsons came over and finished the remaining five crumpets. I made French toast with three and doused them in butter and maple syrup. They loved them. Then I toasted the remaining two and they gave them a resounding "meh." Glad the crumpets are gone.

                                                                                                                          Yay for the mozzarella cheese sticks. Both boys gave double-yays. I say yay for a home treatment of this but don't expect them to be as good as the ones that have been deep fried.

                                                                                                                          The whole wheat spaghetti is delicious, as is the Tomato Basil Marinara.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                            funny you mention the british muffins. i've been buying the whole wheat ones lately because they are significantly cheaper than thomas'!

                                                                                                                            they're fine, but they definitely rate at the bottom of the list. the best whole wheat muffins i found are from whole foods (but its too far away for me to go regularly), followed by thomas', then TJs.

                                                                                                                            the WF ones are great pricewise, as are TJs. Thomas' I only do if they're on salw

                                                                                                                          2. a yay for the short stack pancake syrup for when you want a change-up from maple syrup.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                              Agreed. It's what I'm looking for when I have regular old pancakes on a Saturday morning. Real maple is too much and overpowers everything. This stuff adds a nice bit of sweet without too much different flavor.

                                                                                                                            2. MEH: Nourish Shea Butter Hand Cream- This does an okay job as a hand cream but less than thrilled with how it smells. Wish it had a better scent, as this is small enough to carry with me in my purse.

                                                                                                                              Word of caution about the almond croissants - about a quarter of the almond filling leaked out while I was baking them and spilled onto the bottom of my oven. I haven't had this issue before but from now on will bake them on a rimmed pan. They are still out of this world though just enjoyed a warm one with Kerrygold.

                                                                                                                              1. New Fearless Flyer

                                                                                                                                http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-fl...

                                                                                                                                1. TJ's Garlic Mustard Sauce is a staple in our house. Good on any vegetable or meat, tofu too, and sandwiches. A definite "yay."

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: naloa

                                                                                                                                    funny, we bought a jar last year and didnt find anything we liked it on. Like garlic, like mustard,....

                                                                                                                                  2. I'm giving a NAY to the new Tallahassee store. Picked over selections. Nothing appetizing, even in the freezer case, except a decent selection of wines and craft beers at reasonable prices versus local liquor stores. Even the coffee selections looked skimpy in unattractive containers. I'l look for the KIND bars next time I walk in but these are readily available elsewhere around here at similar pricepoints.

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: crewsweeper

                                                                                                                                      Did it just open? The shelves should be better stocked once the madness dies down. . . .

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                        I'm also in Tallahassee. The store opened in October. It's always crowded & I can only ever find about half of what I'm looking for. Some things I've liked & some haven't lived up to the hype. I think the only repeat purchase has been almond butter. I wish I'd been able to find chia seeds. I want to try them but not at the price another new store in town has them for.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rissa90

                                                                                                                                          The Shoreview, MN near my house also opened in October and only now is settling in. During the holidays I had to go to the TJs about 25 minutes away to find just about anything new. Lately things seem to be better. Evidently, even though thesenew stores are part of a corporate chain, there is a shakedown period involved.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: crewsweeper

                                                                                                                                        Really? I'm in Tallahassee too and it's usually pretty empty when I'm there (granted, I tend to go in the evening). Sometimes the bakery section is a little sparse but other than that I've always found what I needed...

                                                                                                                                      3. Yay to the cilantro salad dressing! It's great with any kind of Mexican-ish salad toppings. It's also very low calorie, about 20 per tablespoon, which is always a plus.

                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: cbg84

                                                                                                                                          I love to put this dressing on fish, soft tacos. Made with TJ's fish nuggets.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: TXMandy

                                                                                                                                            TXMandy, any plans to start a 2014 version of the thread you began last year asking what are your top 5 Trader Joes Must Haves? My top 5 has definitely changed in a year. That thread was a great complement to this one.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the reminder littleflower! I will do that tomorrow, as my top 5 have definatly changed as well.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: TXMandy

                                                                                                                                              Would the cilantro dressing be worth "smuggling" into Baja?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                I would smuggle it! lol. I love cilantro, so this is great since I rarely have fresh on hand.

                                                                                                                                            3. re: cbg84

                                                                                                                                              Speaking of dressings Huge Yay for the regular Balsamic Viniagrette. Delicious and came highly recommended by a TJs employee.

                                                                                                                                              Has anyone tried the frozen Coq au Vin? I read the review by the people over at the WGATJ website and decided to buy it. Well, I first should have done a quick google search on it because the consensus by manyn who have tried it is that it is pretty inedible - not good.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                By the way just fyi, WGATJ stands for What's Good at Trader Joe's.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                  Thank you! I tried to figure it out and was clueless!

                                                                                                                                              2. re: cbg84

                                                                                                                                                The cilantro salad dressing is also good as a dip for their frozen samosas or when you're having a salad with an Indian meal.

                                                                                                                                              3. Yay for the Mango 100% Juice Smoothie. Great mango taste and nice consistency (not too thick, not too thin).

                                                                                                                                                Yay for the Meyer Lemon Cookie Thins. As many others have reported, these are delicious. I have some leftover cream cheese frosting at home and I'm fantasizing about making my own little sandwich cookies using them. They also would be amazing alongside vanilla or lemon ice cream. I think they would also make an incredible crust for cheescake.

                                                                                                                                                1. YAY - aioli garlic mustard sauce - I'm with naloa, this stuff is tasty.

                                                                                                                                                  I picked up a bunch of new stuff today that I've never tried so I'll be back.

                                                                                                                                                  eta: I smeared the aioli on steak in case anyone was looking for ideas

                                                                                                                                                  1. Trader Joe's iPhone app: Meh. The app basically has a store locator, and a section for featured products. The Featured Products section displays the products, price, tasting notes, serving ideas and nutritional info. I was at my local store in Pasadena and an employee told me that they hope that the app will evolve even further to include customer product opinion, announce when items will be rotated out, etc. Has anyone else downloaded it? I would like to know your thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gingerleen

                                                                                                                                                      Agreed, 7 or 8 products and that's it. Not worth the space on my phone right now. Not sure what sort of functionality they could add. A shopping list, but that'd require just about every product in the store be loaded in and I don't know if their systems would allow for such things any time soon. Real time (or close to it) inventory or at least general product availability would be awesome, but again, that's a whole lot of digital infrastructure to have in place. I suppose a fully digital, easily navigable, Fearless Flyer would probably be enough for me to load the app back up.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gingerleen

                                                                                                                                                        This app is a nay!

                                                                                                                                                      2. YAY: Fusilli with Vegetables and Basil Pesto - Definitely needs a dressing up but a wonderful fast side dish for two at the price of $1.99. Very meh by itself, but after some EVOO, lemon juice, splash of balsamic and a bit of S&P it was really tasty and it was a lot of food for only $1.99.

                                                                                                                                                        MEH: Sparkling Limeade - left a slightly strange aftertaste - won't buy again will stick with Italian Blood Orange, Italian Grapefruit , and French Berry Sparkling Sodas.

                                                                                                                                                        1. YAY! for the fire roasted red peppers in the jar. I had a pasta recipe I wanted to make with roasted red peppers and it's certainly not grilling weather in the northeast and I don't have a gas stove. These peppers in the jar were perfect and so much easier. They were very meaty and retained their good red pepper flavor. I noticed that there was some brown sugar and citric acid in the liquid they were in, so I gave them a quick rinse before slicing them. I'd definitely buy these again.

                                                                                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                            Agreed! I always have them on hand for my white corn guacamole. They are always perfect.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                              Oooh! Feel free to share that recipe, Harts!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                WHITE CORN GUACAMOLE

                                                                                                                                                                2 to 2 1/2 cups frozen white or white/yellow corn, thawed
                                                                                                                                                                1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
                                                                                                                                                                6 green onions, thinly sliced
                                                                                                                                                                1/4 cup to 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, patted dry and diced
                                                                                                                                                                1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
                                                                                                                                                                1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                1 lime, juiced (about 2 teaspoons)
                                                                                                                                                                4 avocados, diced or mashed to your preference

                                                                                                                                                                Drain corn and toss in medium-hot skillet until most of the residual moisture is evaporated. Mix corn, beans, onion, pepper, salt, parsley and lime in a bowl until all veg is evenly distributed. Add avocado and mix. If you prefer a chunky avocado texture, reserve some of the diced avocado to add and lightly toss after everything is well-mixed.

                                                                                                                                                                Chill and serve with chips or use to fill a soft tortilla or lettuce wrap. Also good as filling for a hollowed pepper, zucchini or cucumber boat.

                                                                                                                                                                TIP: For storing, pack into a mason jar. Top with a slice of onion and cap with lid. The onion will keep the avocado from turning brown for a few days (if I'm doing this, I add more lime. It doesn't affect taste).

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks! That sounds delicious. It sure must make a lot!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                    You'd think for as many times as I've made it I could tell you the yield. I'm completely blank :-O

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                              I have had trouble with multiple jars of those peppers going bad after being opened for just about 2 days.. I suppose if you can use them quickly, they are great (I really loved them!)--but I am only one person and got sick of returning jars of white-moldy peppers. ...So you might just want to keep an eye on the jar!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                Now that you mention it, I had that problem once. I usually reseal in a mason jar with my Foodsaver and the one time I didn't it was moldy in less than 48 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                Gives pause...if it goes bad that fast, yikes!!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                  no preservatives=more quickly spoiled. the peppers can be frozen--there is some texture change, but for dips, soups, dressings, that's not a concern. i love these peppers, and if i only need one whole for sandwiches or something, i can always use a little romesco or muhummara made with the other one so it doesn't go to waste. i'd rather toss the occasional roasted pepper that went bad b/c of no preservatives than have a jar full of additive-filled ones hanging around. ymmv.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I stopped buying the jarred roasted peppers after eating some peppers that had gone off. Too bad I didn't notice beforehand. They used to be a staple, but now even thinking about them turns my stomach :-/

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                    Me too - kind of put me off buying them. Mine went bad in 2-3 days - very moldy. Should have returned them - I need to get better about that stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                      I love and have been using the roasted red peppers frequently for years, and have never had an issue with an opened jar going moldy. I, of course, refrigerate the opened jar, and then use them in 3-4 days.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                        The recipe I was making called for 2 roasted red peppers and that's exactly how many were in the jar, so I didn't have that issue. I'll keep it in mind if I ever buy them for anything else, though.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                          I have also noticed that as long as the pepper is submerged in the liquid they are fine. It is when they peek out above the brine is when they turn..

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: andieb

                                                                                                                                                                            jarred roasted peppers are a great product but have a VERYshort life in the frig after opeing if not covered with liquid - no-matter what the source. Not peculiar to TJs. It makes sense to use the whole jar or find a quick use for the leftovers asap.Or the leftover peppers could be drained and frozen. I threw away a lot of peppers before I learned this lesson.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                              THANK YOU for that lesson.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                                Interesting…I've never had a problem, but I guess I must keep them covered by liquid, and also, I use them within 2-3 days. I've learned something here!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                                  Mine were covered with liquid but still went nasty - I believe it may have been longer than 2 days though.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Good to know you can freeze. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                              Love these!!! I use them in salads and paninis and sometimes I whirl them up into a nice sauce or dip!

                                                                                                                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                            3. YAY - jumbo pitted Greek Kalamata olives. I have recently become obsessed with olives and these are very tasty and relatively inexpensive.

                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                You're talking about the ones in the plastic tub, right? If so, I love those too - they're one of my go-tos for entertaining.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                  Are they in the same aisle with green olives or are they in a refrigerator?

                                                                                                                                                                                  I bought a TON of kalamatas a few months ago on Amazon. Someone, I think it was Rachael Ray, had decreed Roland's were the best kalamatas. I ordered what I thought was an ok sized keg - 4#6oz. Whoa that's a lot of olives!! Well, it turned out they sent two kegs! And one had broken open in shipping. I called Amazon, told them of their mistake and that one broke open. They insisted the product description was for two kegs and they would replace the broken one. They shipped TWO!

                                                                                                                                                                                  So now I have tons of kalamatas and that wouldn't be a bad thing but they aren't that great. Really salty and not as oily as I like them. Bah!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, um that's a ton of olives.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                      yeah, ridiculous

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                      Can you donate an unopened keg to a food panty or shelter?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KansasKate

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh my!! I never even thought of that! What an excellent t idea!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                      I bought two - refrigerated and the jarred ones. I also bought the Olive Tapenade in the refrigerated section

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. So YAY for the rice bran oil. Nice mild flavor and like that it is good at high temp. I used it today for the dreaded crumpet french toast and it was certainly hot and bubbly but didn't spatter all over my stove top, which I thought was pretty interesting. Don't know why it does that but that puts it into the super-yay category in my book.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Had a sample of kung pao chicken (freezer bag)...not bad at all. They didn't hold back on the heat!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ceekskat

                                                                                                                                                                                        Standing in line, decided to pick up the 'Lattemiele slightly sweet milk & honey biscuits' from Italy. YAAY, love them. Great snack for after school or to go with your afternoon
                                                                                                                                                                                        tea :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, don't know if someone else has mentioned it but the dried Organic Turkish Apricots are excellent (I've yet to try Apricot King).

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Yea - Cheddar Rocket Crackers. A rip-off of Pepperidge Farm's Goldfish crackers, with almost identical nutrition information. It's up to you which company you want to get your dollars. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                        The monthly threads have gotten longer because people aren't just posting the yeas and nays but discussing all kinds of things, recipes and such. The actual yeas and nays haven't increased that much. So I'm against shortening the threads to a week - that's a real inconvenience to those just looking for reviews.

                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                          I like the taste of the rockets. At first bite, it was iffy but I think it is because they don't taste as salty (don't know what the sodium comparison is). I did compare the ingredients list and TJs are much better.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                            My daughter loves the rockets. They're such a fun shape. Light and crispy, and no cheez it style residue.
                                                                                                                                                                                            (I've never tasted a goldfish so I can't compare)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                                                                                                              There's no Cheez-It residue on normal Goldfish, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I am not a fan of the Rockets. They are basically orange, rocket shaped oyster crackers - not enough cheesy taste for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                              From the nutritional information about goldfish and rockets, the amount of sodium looks just about the same. The rockets do taste a bit less salty; this might be because of the cheese TJ uses, just a guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                              I've seen "Whales" too, somewhere in South Philly.

                                                                                                                                                                                              On another tangent, cheddar arugula-flavored crackers...

                                                                                                                                                                                              Jonathan
                                                                                                                                                                                              http://buildingmybento.wordpress.com
                                                                                                                                                                                              http://collaterallettuce.wordpress.com

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                Whales are horrible. Bad taste and lots of cheez dust residue on your fingers.

                                                                                                                                                                                            4. YAY: Traditional Olive Tapenade (refrigerated section) - I am way too obsessed with olives. Hopefully this phase will pass :) This stuff is very tasty, I wish it had less added oil and more of a the briney taste but overall really good and made for a quick make ahead lunch for tomorrow. Is the jarred version different?

                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                The jarred version doesn't have any excess oil, a nice mix of olives, really great olive-y flavor. The jarred garlic stuffed olives are amazing if you haven't tried those yet....

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think I'd prefer that one. I have the jarred pitted kalamatas and really like them. I will try the garlic stuffed next week. They are green olives right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yup- big green ones with a whollop of garlic....

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                    So which version is the big YAY? I'm making a list for a field trip to NY State. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The green jarred on the shelf "collosal olives with garlic" and the shelf green olive tapenade. Dont forget the marinated mushrooms nearby :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are two olive tapenades- was just at TJs today- the green olive one is my favorite but the black is good too :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. YAY: British Style Crumpets - Thanks to all of those who recently reviewed these, I had tried them last year but split it in half and toasted them and it just kind of fell apart. I threw the rest out after that and glad that I gave them another try. Left them whole this time, lightly toasted it on both sides and per one of your suggestions I drenched the top with the nooks and crannies with Kerrygold butter. YUM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    SMALL YAY: Candied Walnuts - These are good but no where near "candied" in taste. I picked these up in a hurry without looking at the description in smaller print which states "lightly candied". Regardless they are tasty and I will finish the bag but will probably try some other nut choice next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY /MEH: Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels - These are pretty good but personally was a bit disappointed in them after all the hype that I have heard about it. They need something else like perhaps a sweet dip of some sort to make them more snackable to me. A bit blah on their own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have you had the chocolate-covered version of the peanut-butter filled pretzels? I think those are the upgraded version of the ones you tried. (Although I cannot vouch for either--in recent years--I do remember liking the chocolate=covered ones as a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                        No I haven't, I just saw the regular and no salt PB filled ones, and I got the regular kind. I will ask and see if my store carries them ... thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyone know if the PB-filled pretzels and the same as or better/worse than the Kirkland brand sold at Costco?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. YAY to Fleur de Sel caramels and chocolate-covered pretzels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Step 1. Unwrap caramel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Step 2. Place in between two chocolate covered pretzels.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Step 3. Squish together so the caramel is just peeks through the holes and along the edges.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Step 4. Indulge in the chewy/crunchy/sweet/salty symphony of contrasts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Step 5. Promise yourself that you'll have just 1 more.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Step 6. Repeat Steps 1 - 6.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: seamunky

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Why must you people post things like this? Now it won't leave my mind until it happens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: seamunky

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow that sounds like a quick treat to make a bunch and take them to the Office.. to round up some instant love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. YAY: Roasted salted almonds - really delicious and at a great price. Super salty, which, for me, is perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            NAY: Low-fat ice cream sandwiches. If you're in the market for something like this, Skinny Cow products are way better. These are icy tasting and pretty blah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just bought some double cream gouda, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm with you on the almonds. They are the best...always super fresh and crunchy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Agree about the low-fate ice cream sandwiches. And also that Skinny Cow is much much better!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Double cream gouda is a big YAY - super creamy, just what I'm looking for in a gouda for sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The tofutti cutie sandwiches are amazing! No, seriously. And if you hate them you'll get your $ back- really good, and fewer science-experiment ingredients than skinny cow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.tofutti.com/frozen-dessert...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Love the toffuti sandwiches! I buy them all the time. Perfect size for after school snack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Big Yay for the new frozen bake at home pizza crusts! Look for them with the frozen pizzas. They come in a 2 pack for I think $2.99. They're on the small side, probably dinner plate size, but bake up deliciously thin & crispy if you follow the directions to cook directly on oven rack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay - 5 cheese Frusta. Bland, flavorless, and for me not worth the calories. Also, its pretty tiny and would be a stretch to serve 2. Won't buy again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Wondergirl_lolo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I tried the pizza crust tonight and wasn't super impressed, not that crisp...but I cooked it on a pizza stone. Next time I'll cook directly on the oven rack. Guess I should have read the directions more closely :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Obessed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I haven't had much luck cooking their pizzas on a stone either - even one preheated for 30 minutes. Next time - the rack!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Super YAY YAY YAY on the Seville Orange Marmalade. Oh my, this is sooo good. I am always disappointed with orange marmalade, so cloyingly sweet. I don't know how I lived so long without knowing that seville oranges are bitter. I LOVE this stuff. It is so bitter and delicious. It reminds me of Campari, an Italian aperitif. It must be made with bitter oranges. Oddly, I also found out that my favorite scent, L'Occitane The Vert, is also made out of bitter oranges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Very much in the style of the Scottish marmalades, Chivers and Keiller's Dundee (TJ used to carry the latter), but much less expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I picked up "limited" Opal Apples at my TJs today. They're a cross between golden delicious and topaz apples (not sure I've ever had a topaz apple). The crew let me sample a slice and it was tasty enough to purchase a bag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Opal Apples are also great because they don't brown after being cut. I've had them overnight with no browning. I like them in salads and relishes and served with chicken liver Pate or cheeses because of this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Speaking of cheese, YAY to the February cheese of the month - Neufchatel. It's a creamy rind cheese, with some interesting flavors. Served it at a dinner party last night and it was a big hit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love those Opal apples. I will say that they don't all taste exactly the same - some are very good, while others are mind-blowing (you know - for an apple). We've plowed through two bags in the last week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Frozen Garlic Nann. Tried it for the first time last month, and we're now addicted. We use it to make individual flatbread pizzas in our toaster oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Was just reading the Epicurious list of 10 things to try from TJ's and added a few to my list. Will also add the aioli garlic mustard mentioned by BeachCookie107.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KansasKate

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like to keep the frozen nann (from India) in stock, especially for those times when I run out of flour tortillas or bread. Warmed properly it's the best nann I've had outside of a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I always keep the regular frozen naan in my freezer to also use in a pinch for a pita bread substitute. Very convenient.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. HUGE YAY: Cinnamon Raisin Bagels - Who can honestly say the last time they were wowed by a bagel, especially one store bought - I surely cannot! I actually found these buried in the back of my freezer unopened and had bought them four months ago, too!! I thawed one overnight, split in half, toasted it and spread on Kerrygold salted butter. Heavenly I tell you...better than I have had fresh from local bagel shops. Sweet but not overly so, the raisins were still plump and juicy and they tasted like they were just made that day. Definite repeat buy, and a total surprise from TJ's bread department.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY: Fully Cooked Traditional Carnitas -I have yet to make tacos out of these, but actually just shredded some, heated up in the microwave, added some bbq sauce and made a quick sandwich out of them. They had good flavor and appreciate the fairly blank canvas so as to allow for multiple uses in a variety of dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I liked the carnitas too. Straight out of the package, it would be under-seasoned, but I like it - that way, I can season it myself to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What are some good and quick ways to season it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was mostly thinking of just salt, pepper, and red chili pepper, but if you want to get more adventurous than that, the sky's the limit! Additional add-ins that I think would be great include garlic, onion, cumin, chipotle chili, oregano, vinegar, and jalapeno, just to name a few. I even think you could forget that it's supposed to be carnitas and go an entirely different direction with it, like using it in a pork ragu over pasta or polenta, or using it in an awesome chili, or making it part of an Asian meal with soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic chili sauce, etc. Like you said - it's really a blank canvas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the ideas...will try some of these out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Carnitas- maybe a yr or two back I raved about the carnitas. someone suggested frying it in olive oil and finishing it off with orange juice or tequila. i finish it off with juice and it's SO good. I also think the flavor profile would work sliced on ramen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Has anyone had the mushroom & porcini triangoli? They were pimping them out today at our local store, and even though they were completely and utterly overwhelmed by the "40 garlic cloves simmering sauce" (uh, NAY!), I picked up a pack and will make it for dinner tonight, tossed with sautéed oyster shrooms & green asparagus in a white wine butter sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I shall report.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, I can answer my own question: these are a YAY. They're actually truffle & porcini pasta, and the truffle flavor thankfully isn't overwhelming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Served them with a white wine cream sauce and subbed peas for asparagus, just because.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Made for a lovely dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm glad you posted about them, because after trying the frozen mushroom, which I think has an overwhelming truffle flavor, I was hesitant to try these, but now they're on my list to buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cbg84

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frozen mushroom what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. YAY: Breaded Chicken Tenderloins (frozen section) - Giving these a yay based on the chicken itself, really superb - came out moist and there is no question that this is high quality white meat chicken unlike some other brands. The breading however needs a little help in the flavor department so I sprinkled it on both sides with my homemade seasoning salt mixture. Turned it over halfway through (9 min on each side) then put it briefly underneath the broiler to achieve a crispier coating. I probably would buy again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If these are same as I'm thinking, then the breading formula was changed about a year ago to my dismay. They were amazingly crunchy and delicious then I bought them sometime last year and the breading changed. Know why? It had changed to a corn flour base from wheat flour. BLEAH. I honestly felt cheated because it also changed the taste of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cornedhash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting you should say that...as I was eating them I thought how well the coating would be on catfish. Now I know why it is because of the cornmeal crust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. YAY YAY YAY YAY: Yesterday I tried the kouign amann.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They didn't rise too much overnight (not at all like the croissants, which get huge and puffy), but once I baked them they showed significant oven spring and got nice and caramelized. Totally different texture and flavor than what I can pick up in a high-end bakery in the area -- so probably not the most authentic things in the world -- but that said, ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS and highly recommended. Buttery, caramelly, flaky, and perfect with a cup of coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YAY: I also tried the Belgian butter/waffle cookies, which I've never seen before (not sure if it's a new product, like the kouign amann?). Excellent. Crispy, extremely buttery, sweet enough but not too sweet. Very pleased.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MEH: Chocolate heart cookies. Very similar to the shortbread stars sold around Christmas (of which I'm a huge fan), but seemingly not as rich, tender, or tasty. Unlike with the stars, I was NOT tempted to reach in and grab a second (never mind third) handful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The belgium butter waffle cookies been around for a few years. I don't buy them because I would eat the whole darn box.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          +1 from winter hill:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Try them with a smear of nutella!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I unfortunately discovered that on my own the other night. I made Nutella (actually, Rapunzel, which is even better) sandwiches with them. Then put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of two of the sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is unfortunate because I don't generally eat dessert, and now I want to eat dessert every night. Thank you, Trader Joe's, for ruining my fitness goals one bite at a time <g>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                you and amyh are evil, evil people:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What is this Rapunzel of which you speak?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's like Nutella, but better. Not as sweet, much more hazelnut-focused. (At least it's far better than the American version of Nutella. I think it's better than the German Nutella as well; my wife doesn't agree with me on that.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can get it at my local Whole Foods, but here's an Amazon link:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Rapunzel-Organi...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks! We're getting a Whole Foods here soon so I'll look for it. Our local healthy food co-op may have it, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was able to get some Rapunzel at the healthy co-op. Expensive stuff! Now I just have to get some waffle cookies. Thanks for the recommendation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh heck yeah, I used to make homemade ice-cream and eat it with the waffle cookie. So delicious.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Seconding the YAY on the TJ Kouign Amann. I'll buy them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, Yay for the Crispy Milk Chocolate bars, 3 for $1.79. Belgian chocolate with a good snap, lots of crispies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nay - TJ Multigrain Pancake & Baking Mix. I tried it as pancakes and won't try again. They rose nicely enough, but weren't tender or flavorful enough. Am keeping the mix as it may be useful for banana bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Try adding a drop of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon (or Penzey's cake spice or baking spice) to the Multigrain Pancake mix. That will help with the flavor. We thought the pancakes made from it were reasonably tender for a multigrain product. It's never going to be like a white flour mix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the tips. I'm actually working on sourcing flours to make my own mix. I have the KA AP flour and the White Rice flour from Bob's Red Mill. While I know I can get Red Mill products online, I'm hunting for local sources for the Red Mill Light Rye flour and their stone-ground Corn Flour (not the GF variety).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My goal isn't so much a true multigrain heartiness, but more the way "regular" pancake mixes used to be, before the number-crunchers took out all the "good stuff" in favor of profit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I only bought the TJ mix on a whim (it was $1.99) while my sourcing hunt continues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Do you live in a place where there's Ocean State Job Lots or Christmas Tree Shops? Both of them have large selectiosn of Bob's Red Mill products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My husband really likes Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake Mix (I don't love it but think it's fine.) I thought maybe TJ's just used Arrowhead and put their name on it, but it just wasn't the same. We didn't like it much, either, so went back to Arrowhead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What were the differences between them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, I didn't really pay that much attention to the TJ's mix, so I can't say. We just preferred the flavor and texture of the Arrowhead Mills.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also thought the pancake mix had no flavor!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Picked up a can of the Coffee á Cocoa ($5.99 I think for a 12 oz can). Described as "A blend of 100% Arabica ground Brazillian coffee & unsweetened cocoa". Medium-Dark roast (more medium than dark to my taste), with a chocolate flavor that starts out subtly and finishes rich and fudgy. I used a hazelnut creamer and got a slightly Nutella-y result. Quite tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One small complaint, and I'm wondering if anyone else has has this problem....I've brewed this in two different Keurig machines (one of which is brand new) and in both it was exceedingly slow to brew, plus the coffee seemed to absorb the water and not let it pass through, necessitating a second run of water to get a full cup. I'm guessing the cocoa might be the culprit here. Still, tasty, just a bit of a pain in the rear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DarkRose

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They were sampling the Coffee a Cocoa and agree with you that it leans much toward a medium roast. I liked it but definitely prefer their Dark French Roast which is outstanding and my favorite TJ's coffee by far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DarkRose

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I haven't tried the cocoa but chicory will absorb water and clog up any kind of coffee maker that has a fine enough filter, and I suspect the cocoa would, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you for posting this! I have a reusable Keurig cup that I keep filling with Cafe Du Monde chickory blended coffee and I could not figure out why it makes such a terrible cup in the machine. Now I know!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think it is virtually impossible to get a good cup of coffee out of a Keurig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have had my Keurig for about two months now, and what I have gained in time and convienience I have lost in the quality of the coffee it makes. My coffee definitely tastes more watered down, wish that it made a more robust cup of coffee like my old Mr. Coffee did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Use the smallest cup setting for stronger coffee flavor, also try a darker roast coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Littleflower - someone here, I forgot who, recommended an Ekobrew refillable k-cup. I already had the "as seen on tv" kind of plastic ones but figured it was worth trying these. I also got Simple Cups disposable filters. Using the smallest cup button, it makes a nearly palatable cup. I also changed the grind on my TJs French Roast to halfway between drip and espresso. I tried Peets Major Dickason because it's really strong and a fine grind and it didn't make the coffee any better than TJs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My regular coffee pot is a 4-cup generic model that is used in hotel rooms a lot. I love it. I put 4 T coffee and fill it with water and get enough delicious coffee to fill a barista size mug 1-1/2 times. To replicate this with the Keurig, I would have to make four little cups. Same amount of grounds, more mess, less taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think the people marketing these machines should be running the country. They apparently have some kind of genius to make stupid stuff sell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What brand is the 4 cup coffee maker that you use? Thank you for the helpful hints...many people love their Keurig I just wish it gave me that delicious full cup of coffee that I am use to. Reducing the cup size means less coffee for the same amount of grounds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You might try the Keurig Vue line. It provides more coffee size options and has a button for stronger coffee. The down side is that it does not use standard K-cups but a special Vue cup, and there are fewer coffee brand options compared to the standard Keurig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        All that said, I tend to go for the stronger Kcup or Vue cup brands like Newman's Own and Peet's French Roast. The medium and light roasts definitely do not work for those seeking a more robust cup of coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can't beat the convenience, But on weekends I still tend to make a traditional pot of coffee -- since, when time is not an issue, it's nice to have a hot pot of coffee around for a bit so that you can top off/freshen your cup as needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It took some digging to find my order history on Amazon. It is a Hamilton Beech Aroma Express 5-cup. I don't think they make it anymore but there is a guy on Amazon still selling them. It has a horrid rating and I don't know why. I've had two, one I bought in 2010 and the second I bought in 2011 because I was afraid it would break and I wouldn't be as to find one I like as much. I think I'm going to order a couple more. I'm pretty fussy about coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00005V...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. YAY: fresh blueberries. I'm always scared to buy produce at TJ's due to some very bad experiences, but I took a chance on these and I'm so glad I did. They're big, sweet and juicy with great blueberry flavor. They seem really ripe yet not over the line into rotten. I've gotten them two weeks in a row. They were $2.99 for a clamshell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, the bag of sky valley heirloom naval oranges I got were delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We have had great luck with TJ's fresh blueberries in the past. As with all their produce, a careful look is sufficient to judge what will be good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Unfortunately, that's not quite true for many fruits such as strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, etc. which may look beautiful and even smell sweet, but are very tasteless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, since TJ's has a "don't ask" refund policy, it is still not a dangerous place to buy produce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Completely agree that their refund policy is unbeatable!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just bought two boxes of blueberries yesterday--so far, so good. I looked pretty carefully at them before I bought them though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I made some blueberry crumb bars for breakfast on Sunday morning. The recipe called for 3 cups of blueberries, so I grabbed some at TJ's. They were very good. I sometimes find that frozen blueberries, even from TJ's, can have tough skins. The fresh berries were tender and juicy and as AmyH says, $2.99/pint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Trader Joe's Melodious Blend which is a frozen blend of green and red lentils and garbanzo beans. Verdict: Meh but want to try again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought I'd save time by microwaving it and must have nuked it too long because it is dry dry dry!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: generic_fit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did it in a pan on the stove and while it wasn't really dry, it wasn't really tasty either. Kind of blah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. YAY for the Triple Ginger Cookie Thins. I had some orange cream cheese frosting left over from a carrot cake, which I used to make cookie sandwiches with these ginger cookies - delicious. But they're great on their own too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I keep meaning to try the cookie thins, but can't decide what flavor to start with. Coconut, ginger, lemon...they all sound good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TXMandy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They are all good, but would go lemon, ginger, then coconut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BeachCookie107

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks BeachCookie! That's what I'll do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also delicious (and decadent) to make ginger thins sandwich with Speculoos Cookie Butter. Yum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Wondergirl_lolo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do this with the Meyer Lemon thins...agree total yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. YAY: frozen Dover Sole - great price and quality. I just wish they sold smaller packages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It must be a big YAY because it was sold out yesterday in Albany. The frozen food fish section was almost bare- boo. Several other customers were also looking for it, Maybe the usual snowstorm scare but I only get over there every 6 or 8 weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. YAY:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pork belly: I mean, it's pork belly. they fried it. duh.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            hot habanero sauce: hot diggity hot diggity. flavorful (not just spicy), great with eggs; just take it easy if you've never tried it before.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            thai chile and lime almonds: more limey than I expected, but I like it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wild nova scotia sockeye smoked salmon, 8 oz: sliced more thickly than I'm used to, but great price. I've been enjoying this with avocado toast.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            melodious blend (lentils, green garbanzos, frozen): pretty healthy, tastes okay, a bit on the dry side. I'd probably buy this for soups if I didn't already have a stash of beans in the pantry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MEH: cocoa powder. I used this for hot cocoa and was underwhelmed with the flavor. "dust" rather than "chocolate" came to mind. I'm willing to try baking with it, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rynnyb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Can you share some more info on the pork belly? What's the texture like? (Tender? Chewy?) And is it fairly well seasoned already?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm wondering whether I might be able to use it as the basis for making a faux char siu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The cooked pork belly is lightly seasoned and tender. The intention is to give you a blank slate to finish as you'd like. Slicing it (1/4"?) and frying to the desired crispness is a start.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ooh, char siu. one of my childhood favorites! while pork belly is tasty, it's simply a different cut of meat from what I'm familiar with - less fatty, more meaty. I also felt the pork belly had sufficient seasoning and wonder whether it'd take well to additional sauce - too salty and/or insufficient flavor permeation. it might be worth your time to start from a blank(er) slate and marinate raw pork. there are plenty of recipes for char siu floating out there, and most of them look pretty manageable, eg http://momofukufor2.com/2010/03/chine... which uses pork butt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  if you do end up hacking the pork belly, please share. good luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rynnyb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are variations on char siu, some made with lean pork, others with the fatty belly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But if you want a deep penetration of flavor (and bright red color), this precooked pork belly is probably not the way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well the color could work (it's just a glaze in most cases I've seen). Deep penetration, maybe not so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The reason I asked about texture is that I was thinking if it's still slightly chewy, I could simmer it a bit in some sort of sauce in order to get it super-tender and unctuous. Maybe best to start with some raw product for that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My favorite char siu preparation is belly meat in a gua bao (puffy/folded -- I think that's the right term) type bun, garnished with hoisin or similar. As made somewhat more famous by David Chang. (I've had his version, and it is really good; a perfect snack with a few beers.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sliced thin and fried with a sweet soysauce glaze - it work well in those soft folded buns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bought a cple of packs...at $4.99 for 12 ozs it's reasonable....but to be honest, does not have a lot of flavor. Fine as an "addition" to something else, but by itself.........meh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the other hand....picked up some of those scallion pancakes. Served sliced steak over them and topped with a boursin cheese mushroom cap (local).....Yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree, I tried it in the store today and it just tasted like bacon which I understand makes sense but I might as well eat bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think they intentionally kept seasoning to a minimum so it would work just as well for Italian (for example) cuisines as for Chinese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That would make sense

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: rynnyb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay, Pork Belly. Served three of us. Pork-y, not heavy on bacon flavor. Would buy again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay. Pimento stuffed Queen Sevillano Olives. Perfect with a dry Gin Martini.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meh. Puttanesca Spaghetti Sauce. I make my own red gravy, so this is the first jarred sauce we've tasted in years and years. YMMV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rynnyb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The pork bell is great to have available for those impromptu ramen dinners!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. A big YAY for bacon ends and pieces. It's a 1 lb. lump of nitrate free, uncured bacon. Once you get the package open it's possible to separate pretty nice looking slices of bacon from the big ball of pieces. I like bacon for seasoning soups and greens, so this works perfectly. It's great for frying up to make bacon bits. I don't mind bacon for breakfast that isn't pretty! $2.99/lb. and I'll get 5 or 6 packages to put in the freezer. It's my best TJ find so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pat Hammond

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          * no added nitrates except those found naturally in celery etc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pat Hammond

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We've had mixed experiences with the bacon ends and pieces. Some good packages, but a couple that had too many nasty bits hidden inside. Returnable, of course, but queesy-making.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pat Hammond

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              were that i had a freezer big enough to hold 5-6 packages (and everything else:). but i pick up a package or 2 on every trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              unlike pugsam below, i've never found any nasty bits or anything that made me queasy, although, of course, the number of nice looking slices varies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Any salsa recommendations?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think I used to always get the Garlic Chipotle Salsa--or the fresh salsa in the refrigerated section.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Salsa autentica and salsa verde are my favorites, but if you're looking for a chunky salsa, it's not these.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TXMandy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Their salsa verde makes a good cooking sauce for pork and chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's the plan. I also bought new slow cookers today so salsa verde chicken is in the works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: TXMandy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We really like the salsa autentica also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love the peach salsa in a jar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        +1 for the peach salsa, its very mild (i'm a spice wimp!) but i love it for dipping raw veggies in or with those delicious masala burger patties

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like it as a side to chicken enchiladas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, I didn't see most of these messages before I went (it's cold and I wanted to get home). I picked up the salsa verde and roasted garlic. I'll report back of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. FYI from seriouseats.com Sweet Hacks from Trader Joe's for Valentine's Day desserts http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2014/02...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great article fldhky, thank you for sharing it. Has madr me want to try the creme brulee in chocolate cups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. YAY - Green Olive Tapenade (jarred). I definitely like this version better than the refrigerated version. It's a mix of green olives, tomatoes and red peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY - Garlic stuffed green olives - double YAY, large and delicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY - Raclette, super convenient. I haven't worked it out but I think it's cheaper than buying a block of the cheese especially as Raclette is quite difficult to slice so paying for the convenience is probably worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will report back later on a few other items - South African Smoke Seasoning, Spicy Italian Sausage, Salsa Verde, and Roasted Garlic Salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The raclette is great! I always trim off the rind. Does anyone know if this is necessary?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've never eaten the rind on raclette, but it is edible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think it's edible, but it's not that tasty, so I trim it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOVE the TJ's raclette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just got both jarred tapenades- regular and green.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd love to know how you like them. I didn't buy the black olive, just the green olive in the jar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Glad you enjoyed the tapenade and olives! I added a glob of the tapenade to my veggie bean soup at lunch today-its great on everything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. I went today solely to get the cilantro dressing, but after seeing that the first ingredient was mayonnaise, I placed it back down. How's the hummus "dressing?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I did buy some everything crackers, which are surprisingly disappointing. They seem a bit sweet to me, though I do dig the caraway addition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jonathan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://buildingmybento.wordpress.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://collaterallettuce.wordpress.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't remember hearing good things about the hummus dressing but I've never tried it and could be mistaken

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow Bento, I somehow missed that! I love mayo and didn't detect any taste of it. I haven't tried the hummus dressing, but I think it's because the few reviews I've read here and elsewhere, haven't been very positive. If you give it a try, please report back. I would also suggest giving the cilantro at least a chance. If you don't like it, take it back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree that the bite size everything crackers are a bit sweet but I like them that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pass on the hummus dressing, its blah.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Buy their delicious garlic hummus and thin with a splash of veg stock and some lemon-waaay better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I haven't tried the hummus dressing however if you're looking for a tahini type taste, I've found that the Goddess Dressing (unrefrigerated bottle) is extremely good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's definitely heavy on Tahini.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hummus dressing is NASTY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pains me to think about it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Seconded. As is the guacamole hummus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Meh for the probably NY-area only challah rolls. The texture is right, but the flavor isn't there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. NAY - Do yourself a huge favor and DO NOT buy the goat's milk brie by any means. It seriously tastes like plastic. I was so disappointed when I got home and cut a chunk to taste it. I was planning on making grilled cheese with it but it was so inedible to the point where I had to gargle another flavored drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NAY - I tried the TJ's packaged pho from the sample section. It was a disgrace. I'm vietnamese and that is not even close to what pho should taste like. It was bland and the spices and seasonings were completely wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY - Tried the meatless orange chicken at the sample section and tasted almost exactly like panda express orange chicken (which I thoroughly enjoy on occasion).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jennayly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If TJ is going to make something like pho, then they need to run it by a few Vietnamese (like jennayly?) to make sure they get it right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jennayly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nay for me on the goat Brie also. Didn't think it tasted like plastic, but just overly "goaty".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BeachCookie107

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's exactly how I felt about the sheep's milk feta, which is so adored on these threads. If I had wanted goat cheese, I would have bought goat cheese. I don't want my feta to taste like it, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hate goat cheese and don't find the feta to be goaty at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jennayly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That chickenless orange chicken is amazing!! Not health food but hits the greasy takeout craving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jennayly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ooh, really? i love the goat brie - get it all the time! wonder if you got a bad batch?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ok, ETA: the thought of this made me run into to the kitchen to grab a bite, when i realized the one i have is NOT TJs brand. so, apologies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i have to retract my retraction! i went today and saw the goatmilk brie and realized i HAVE had it, many times, and i do love it. bought some and i'm already half-way through it. so creamy and goaty... i'm thinking you got a bad batch, jennayly.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. They sampled the scallion pancakes. Bought a package. They are very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyone try the ghost pepper grinder? I am tempted, but chicken, looking for a guinea pig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: michele cindy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow...ghost pepper?! You have to hand it to Trader Joe's for their willingness to carry foods ahd ingredients that are relatively "new" and on the adventurous side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: michele cindy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have never seen that before but I don't really look at the spices much. If they have it next time I go, I'll definitely get it and try it and report back. Just went yesterday, though!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's apparently a seasonal item available only in extremely limited quantities, so if you see it, buy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: michele cindy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm pretty familiar with fresh ghost peppers so was super excited to find this. It is delicious, but really a different level of hot from anything you find in the average grocery store. I would recommend just tapping the grinder against your hand so the smaller bits fall out to start, taste, and move up from there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: michele cindy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ooh, i'm game. i'll try to stop by there tomorrow. the hotter the better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you! I like heat, and flavor, but I am not a fan of smoked flavor, looking forward to your report.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  got it! i tried a little bit on a piece of brie cheese - nice! definite heat (made me sneeze three times) but a good flavor, not overly smokey, not unbearably hot (though i admittedly love hot food/chilis. i've had fresh ghost peppers too

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have a fairly low tolerance for heat. I bought some for a friend and he dared me to take a whiff of it. Just smelling it gave me a sneezing fit and made my eyes tear up. It is some potent smelling stuff but my chili head friend can't get enough of it and puts it on everything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I'm giving this one a HMMM….not yet a yay, or a nay, or even a meh…the chili covered dried mango. Not a fan at first bite, but have a feeling it might become cravable in the "it MUST be in my cupboards at all times" kind of way. Too soon to tell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love that one although I haven't bought it in several years. The sweet/spicy combo totally works for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't often buy it, because I can't help inhaling it. It's way too cravable!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm updating my HMMM to a YAY. Addictive little suckers :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have to buy one packet each time I go to TJs. Mind you, just one packet...I know my limits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Yay! for the dark chocolate-covered dried cherries. Not really any better than your average dark chocolate-covered dried cherries, but good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        just made a note to look for these on my next trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Don't kill me...but they have an instant coffee that tastes every bit as good as brewed. I think it comes from Germany. I mostly (very much) dislike instant coffee but used this one in a pinch and was pleasantly surprised. I've heard that not every store carries the same merchandise.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They also have a sampling of 8 different chocolate bars from different parts of the world that are worth trying. And who can argue with their selection of wines, especially Italian wines + Proseco.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also like the medley of shrimp, calamari and scallops and then simmer it with chioppino sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just trolling around the store is fun. I always fing something new to try. Stock up while you can still get out of the driveway! Stay warm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: P Macias

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've been eyeing that medley of seafood, I'm glad to read a positive review.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: P Macias

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you are referring to the one in the clear plastic bottle I agree it is surprisingly pretty decent for an instant coffee. My father was so disappointed when they discontinued the decaf version of that instant coffee!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was too! I wish they'd bring back the decaf instant, it was the best I've found. I would have stocked up if I had known it would disappear. I am still a little heartbroken over it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. NAY - frozen Dover Sole. I posted a YAY earlier this month but the quality of the 2nd package was awful, I assume it had a leak somewhere and let air in. I called them and of course they were ever so eager to offer a refund next time I'm in the store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              +1. Yes, they (Almondinas) are low calorie, but so delicious and " light", that it's easy to inhale an entire package at one sitting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                there are issues with a lot of the frozen foods. the weather has caused delays in deliveries and some of the products on these trucks have been thawing and re-freezing. the stores have no way of knowing this until someone buys the product and informs them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Very true, never considered that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Yay! Almondina bars. Thin, light, crispy, loaded with almonds, not sweet except for bites with raisins, low calorie. Really good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. YAY - African Smoke Seasoning, this is really good. It adds a nice smokey flavor and relatively low sodium (3% per 1/4 tsp).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My mom loves this on salmon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the African Smoke spice grinder too. Different, but very pleasing and interesting flavors. I add it to various dishes (when I remember to) and am always happy with it. Different but good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. MEH Columbus Seasoned Roast Beef is not very seasoned and tastes old with a sell by date of March 20 2014.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dover Sole was sold out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You can have mine. Have you tried the sole before?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No but will try to get it next month. I need more fish in my diet and living with a fish hater I don't do well buying fresh fish as something always comes up and I let it linger in the fridge too long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just a side note-I HATE fish, and also won't take fish oil pills because of the fishy aftertaste I've heard people talk about, I started buying a fish supplement at Whole Foods, the brand is Barleans , it's called Omega Swirl in Lemon flavor, you take it by the tablespoon and it tastes exactly like delicious lemon pudding with absolutely zero fish taste to it. It's in the refridgerated vitamin area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Many fish oil pills are coated to avoid the fishy smell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes. I buy the TJ's odorless fish oil capsules (well worth the dollar more than the non-odorless), and they do not smell or taste fishy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Target has the burpless fish oil also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How big are they? Another issue I have had with fish oil pills is the size. (I psych myself out and my throat closes. Weird, I know.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I took a ruler into my bathroom to see. The capsules are just shy of an inch long and just shy of a quarter inch wide. So yes, they're on the large side, but they're soft and easy to swallow (to me). If you look for them, the large print on the bottle says omega-3 fatty acids, with fish oil only in smaller lettering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I tried the Columbus turkey breast and thought the same thing. Sticking with Applegate from now on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the only columbus package i care for at tj's is the toscano salami and a very good price too. But i have also bought columbus toscano salami at fairway and it is completely different- thin salami and much spicier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. big YAY to the bacon cheddar cheese; grilled on whole wheat bread -- perfection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. NAY - sorry, guys, but TJ's Gluten Free Mac & Cheese (rice pasta with a full-flavored cheese sauce) in the frozen foods case was not a good experience. Looked very appetizing but when cooked it was, by far, the chewiest pasta I've ever attempted. I mean, this was work! M&C along with meatloaf are the national comfort foods but, sadly, I couldn't find any comfort anywhere with this one. Sorry TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gr8Grumpy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                +1. when i tried the sample at the store, it was great, so i decided to test it for my gluten free friend. perhaps it was because i made it in a conventional oven rather than a microwave (as they had in the store), but it was horrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gr8Grumpy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ridiculously priced, but delicious is the beecher cheese mac n cheese- available from amazon and i have bought it at fresh market w/ chicken and poblanos (?). a total splurge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: 51rich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bought a 2 pack of the beecher mac n cheese at Costco for about $13. I haven't tried it yet but the price at Costco seems reasonable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not familiar with Beecher mac and cheese. Is there something in particular that makes it so good?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Beecher cheese, a small batch producer based in Seattle (now also in NYC) makes some wonderful cheeses. Flagship is my fave. With packaged mac 'n cheese, it's pretty much all about the cheese, and I'm unaware of any packaged/frozen mac 'n cheese that comes close to Beecher's

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks! I guess I better check it out. A search turned this up:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.today.com/food/cheese-love...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just tried TJ's frozen Mac 'n Cheese for the first time. It was excellent...a very big YAY...but, definitely not in a league with Beecher's, IMHO the gold standard for frozen M/C.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yay for the Mandarins. They're teeny tiny but so delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      +1 on the Mandarins. Bought a bag over the weekend and they're almost gone. We haven't had one bad one yet. They are all super sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Currently snacking on the double cream Gouda with the Pane Guttiau "music paper" crackers. Big YAY to both!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are those crackers new? I don't recall seeing them in the store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I fouud them on the "new products" end cap in my store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          agreed on the pane guttiau. I'm enjoying it as a substitute for chips, although I guess it's still empty calories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rynnyb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, our whole Crew love these crackers. Thinking a lovely creamy cheese as well as some delicious bubbly would be an ideal compliment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I think I previously gave a YAY to their Bacon, Cheddar Ranch Dip. Can I take that back? It's disgusting. I sampled it in the store (starving, tasted great, bought it, gave a yay). The grandson's tasted last week and turned up their noses. Fearing it was going to go bad, I grabbed a bag of pretzels and tried it today. GROSS. Mainly because it has chunks of gummy bacon that tastes like pretend bacon. Chewy, fake-tasting bacon. UGH. And the dip itself is thick...a little gummy itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So I'm revising my yay to a NAY!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. HUGE YAY: Tomato Basil Pesto Flatbread (frozen section): Delicious...crust crisped up very nicely on oven rack, good amount of mozzarella, tomatoes added a fresh aspect to it, and the basil pesto melded well with the other ingredients. I bought this based on an employee recommendation and they haven't steered me wrong yet! Yum Yum and will absolutely be buying this again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NAY: Roasted/Grilled Chicken Strips (fully cooked deli section) - This one is in the similar packaging as the teriyaki chicken strips but those were way better! I tasted one bite and the rest got tossed...the taste left by what I can only guess as being the grilled marks tasted awful. Will buy the teriyaki strips again and definitely will skip the plain grilled strips.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Likewise, a Nay on the Chicken Asada or whatever they called it.....OK taste, but looked like poached chicken.all bleachy white. Sliced it all up, made into Chicken Pot Pie, with the veggies added along with other stuff and it was actually pretty good.......by itself.......meh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Two YAY's for today -

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dorot frozen basil cubes: not a TJs brand product, but it's my first time using them. I tossed a few into a fennel chicken soup and the basil flavor was great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Salsa verde: I need 5 more jars! This stuff is outstanding. I poured a jar into the crockpot with chicken breast and not much else was needed.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Love, love, love those Dorot basil cubes. I dropped a couple into my marinara sauce last night and the basil flavor was perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That salsa verde is great simmered with a little chicken stock as a sauce for enchiladas or chilaquiles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I might buy the minced garlic cubes next time as well. It's easy to mince garlic but it'd be so nice to just throw it in, same with the ginger cubes I've seen at Whole Foods. Great, thanks, that's pretty much what I did today. The salsa is so much better than any other store bought brand I've had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The garlic is so easy to keep on hand, especially for garlic bread! I use about 1/3 of one of those cubes, butter softened in the microwave, and dried parsley for my spread before the bread goes in the oven. The basil ones are awesome on caprese-I just throw one cube into a small bowl of olive oil a few hours before I need it, when it's ready to be drizzled onto salad it's a perfect room temp basil oil.