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Trader Joe's Products (2002–2011)


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Dstone, if that's all you can find, you are not paying attention. We used to go every Sunday to worship at the altar of Trader Joe's. Stay away from the healthy stuff, but check out candy, coffee, dried fruit and nuts, juices, cheeses, chips, canned fish, jellies, etc, etc. Their prices beat every other store-sometimes by 75 to 80%. They even have premium brands like Double Rainbow ice cream, pates, Niman Ranch bacon and Jelly Bellys(my neighbors' kids love them) and Irish oatmeal for huge discounts. Just try some of these and avoid the products you wouldn't eat anyway. We now have a TJ's within walking distance here in Seattle, but if we didn't we'd shlep.

Judy Amster

Cookbook Specialist and Consultant

amsterjudy@gmail.com

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I have a love/hate relationship with Trader Joes. I swear I can't get out of that place with spending at least 50 bucks. Now I have a kitchen full of sauces and condiments and no actual food. :huh:

They have great snacks, organic cereal, some good cheese, excellent frozen scallops, and their house brand of extra virgin olive oil (no, I'm not using the acronym) is really not bad and has become my standard when used in cooking.

Lately I've become addicted to these packaged cookie things called "rocks and rolls". They are very hard, low sugar and fat, and come in almond and lemon flavors. Not the tastiest, but for some reason once I start eating them I can't stop. Good with a glass of sweet sherry.

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I had their beef burrito last night (on a recommendation). It was o.k., but nothing special and nothing I wouldn't expect from any frozen burrito. Perhaps one drawback was uneven heating from my new Sharp Half-Pint microwave. (Very dapper, but I'm beginning to question the power o' the pint.) I didn't pay enough attention to prices. Will do so.

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Uneven heating from a turntable-model microwave? That's odd. One thing you should do is position the food off-center on the plate so that it's not rotating on an axis but rather displaying a variety of positions to the emitter. Also anything thick should be heated-rested-heated-rested to allow the heat to distribute within. But I'm still surprised your HalfPint is letting you down. 600 watts should be plenty for a basic home microwave oven and I've been getting great results from my HalfPint. It seems to be well reviewed by all the consumer electronics sites as well.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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this was my first test of the Pint. The long thin burritos were heated well on the ends, not as well in the middle. I don't have the patience for the heat-rest-heat-rest process, so I guess I should shoulder some of the blame.

But everyone loves how it looks, which is really the most important factor in any appliance.

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this was my first test of the Pint. The long thin burritos were heated well on the ends, not as well in the middle. I don't have the patience for the heat-rest-heat-rest process, so I guess I should shoulder some of the blame.

Clearly it is your fault. Should have bought donut-shaped burritos.

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The frozen green beans, are, so help me, from France! Slim, green, beautiful, tasty. A bottle of pretty decent plonk costs under five bucks. And the cheese is better than acceptable and damn cheap.

And there is, of course, the candy aisle. Thank God I lack the chocolate gene or I would be as chubby a kittycat as Morris!

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I live in lower Manhattan, and I do not own a car. (This is important.)

When I used to read about Whole Foods, I got really jealous. We didn't have any here, and it sounded like Mecca. Then we got one. It's not Mecca.

Now I read about Trader Joe's. I feel jealous again. It sounds like Mecca.

. . .

You get my point? It's not that I believe I have every wonder of the food world available to me; I'm just trying to rationalize away my jealousy. :wink:

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Defintely do some comparison shopping there. Gourmet selection at supermarket prices. TJ's sells this mineral water for $0.99 a bottle where the market next to work in Marin charges $1.59. King Arthur flour (which I've found is hard to find anywhere else here in the Bay Area) is almost $2 a bag less too as compared to the store in Marin.

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When I used to read about Whole Foods, I got really jealous. We didn't have any here, and it sounded like Mecca. Then we got one. It's not Mecca.

Now I read about Trader Joe's. I feel jealous again. It sounds like Mecca.

I certainly wouldn't call Trader Joes "Mecca" or even (Mecha). There are large product categories where they either suck or carry no products at all. But their good stuff is generally either very good or excellent and the cheapest you will find anywhere.

Whole Foods seems like it's trying to be Mecca, and for the most part they are great. Just not the place to go for low prices.

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When I used to read about Whole Foods, I got really jealous. We didn't have any here, and it sounded like Mecca. Then we got one. It's not Mecca.

Whole Foods seems like it's trying to be Mecca, and for the most part they are great. Just not the place to go for low prices.

Trader Joes is great! They have all these wonderful cheeses and things I like mango sauce, passion fruit juice...

I know someone is going to hate me for saying this, but I really dislike Whole Foods.

For the same price, I would much rather go to Bristol Farms. I like the selection of products at Bristols Farms much more.

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Suzanne, if you live in Manhattan you're not missing anything. I don't think I've ever seen a product in a suburban or national chain-type store that we can't get a better version of here, with the possible exception of photo-cakes (has anybody found these in Manhattan yet). Now if you want to talk about price, that's a different story. There are some great deals at Trader Joe's, along the lines of the really good prices you can sometimes hit at Fairway. The closest New York City analog to Trader Joe's is Gourmet Garage, the big difference being that Trader Joe's has a lot of stuff packaged under its house brand and distributed nationally.

We live in Carnegie Hill and we have a car that we park on the street. The rather Byzantine scheme of alternate-side-of-the-street parking combined with our extremely easy access to the Deegan via the Madison Avenue Bridge encourages us to shop for many of our grocery staples in Yonkers, where we have Stew Leonard's, Costco, and a large ShopRite supermarket. We also visit my inlaws in New Haven with some frequency and along that route there's a Trader Joe's. So we buy a lot of stuff at these places. But the reasons we do it are that we save money and the suburban wide-aisles experience is so much more pleasant than the Kafkaesque Manhattan alternative. We're not millionaires so we're not always looking for the best of something; we're often just looking for an acceptable price/quality ratio that fits our food budget (which is of course alarmingly high by normal-people standards anyway). But in terms of actual product available, don't worry, we've got it all right here -- and then some -- on our little island. For example I have never in all my travels seen a cheese selection at one of these places that can rival what we have at ten different stores in Manhattan. Ditto for most Jewish and Italian stuff (though the Stew Leonard's mozzarella is remarkable). And fish, forget about it, we are extremely lucky to be at the distribution nexus for a very large percentage of the fish on this continent (and a fair amount on others too).

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I recall some threads about good wine values at Trader Joes and Costco, but I haven't been able to find them.  Anyone?

One thing we stock up on at Costco is the Gabbiano Chianti. It's usually $7 and change per bottle, and makes a very good house wine.

I rarely buy wine at TJ's but they do have some good wine values there too.

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