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Trader Joe's Products (2002–2011)


Stone
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Fresh Avocados

Olive Oil

Cheap 10 year old 'balsamic'

Nirvana Veggie Burgers (frozen)

Frozen Haricots Verts, Asparagus, Blueberries

Frozen lamb chops and buffalo burgers

Packaged arugula (always cheaper than Shop Rite)

Kashi cereals

Red Stripe beer

Tapenade

They used to sell black and white farfalle but I haven't seen that in years.

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always on my shopping list: strauss family dairy yogurt; pizza dough (the regular), herb salad mix, dried blenheim apricots and dried montmerency cherries. also niman ranch pork. capers. the best mustard. really good cornichons. the cheap olive oil is perfect for cooking.

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Love TJ's! Doesn't carry everything, so I usually go to the "regular" store, too, but TJ's is so cheap, I don't mind the extra half hour that that takes.

Love their: Herb Salad mix (my addiction), sugar snap pea pods (my other addiction), smoked chicken breasts, proscuitto, turkey sausage, smoked salmons, hummus, fresh mozzarella (really excellent for store bought), Dubliner cheddar, Hormone free milk, great eggs, Valencia OJ, Too Many Chocolate Chips cookies, cheeeeep Vahlrona 70%, chocolate dipped toffee, huge selection of nuts, so cheap! TJ's brand liquid soaps (rosemary mint :smile: ) good wine selection, Morningstar farms sausage patties for $1.50 less than a regular store, Batali roasted garlic and fennel pasta sauce, numerous sauces and seasonings, oils, Oh, the Muscat orange vinegar is Sublime with a nut oil as a vinaigrette. They've got the fancy Italian pastas back in the brown paper wrappings. Great prices on beer, waters (San Pellegrino around a dollar for a liter). Excellent prices on frozen fruits, which are perfect for smoothies with the yogurts that they sell.

Not a fan of many of the frozen entrees, or the toilet paper.

Today, I was putting my 4 bags of purchases in my car, when the checkout guy appeared by my side. He had missed putting my second bar of vahlrona in the bag! And I had a lengthy discussion with another staffer about the merits of the different kinds of bbq ribs they sell. The staff is always helpful. If you're missing your favorite item on the shelf, they'll ALWAYS go and look at the delivery log and tell you the day that it will be in.

They're not perfect, and they don't carry everything, but I'm so glad that they're there! :biggrin:

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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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:

I finally visited TJ's when I was in Portland, OR earlier this week.

If I baked more, I would wish for one nearby: the dried fruits and nuts are astonishing, even considering that I'm near Bazzini.

If I cooked less, I might also want one: quite an impressive selection of packaged/frozen entrees.

And, oh yeah, they have Ginger Altoids. :smile:

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And, oh yeah, they have Ginger Altoids. 

Suzanne,

They also have Triple Ginger Snaps: fresh ginger, crystallized ginger and ground ginger. And BUTTER. These are ginger snaps to die for, or if you choose not to take such extreme measures, you could just crumble them over excellent vanilla ice cream :wub:.

That being said, I'm not a huge fan of TJ's in general, but that may be because the only one I've visited so far always feels a little grungy. However there's a new one not too far away.........right near Whole Foods and about ten minutes away from the area's best wine store. A field trip may be in order.

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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?

Stone, I've found some good buys on some of the wines TJ's offers. But you do have to be willing to experiment. Check out The Fearless Flyer when it comes out, take a small glass and corkscrew with you and buy a couple of the ones they are trying to blow out....take them to your car and taste them (then recork and put in a bag in your trunk, hehehe). If they're good, go back and buy a case or two. I can't recall the one I got such a great buy on last year, but it was some Calif. red wine and it was great....unfortunately, it sold like hotcakes!

I rarely find any great deals on wine at Costco...altho I have seen Treana Red table wine for around $25 or so there. Usually grocery stores have better prices on the stuff they've got on sale. Cheers!

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  • 1 month later...

I finally got out of downtown and into the eastern suburbs to TJ's. It was fun.

The wine! I purchased my first prosecco -- and I've tried to locate some through any and all wine shop, wine department or restaurant wine list I've had opportunity to visit. :smile:

My roomie, being a fan of cold white wines during the hot weather purchased:

Grigio Luna Pinot Grigio

Vil-Cerrina Pinot Grigio

D'Aquino Pinot Grigio

Valore Orvieto

Hopefully he'll allow me a thimbleful when he decides to open any of those!

Elsewise, here's what my roomie and I purchased:

key lime marmalade (mine!)

organic white tortilla chips (a necessity after selecting the next item)

salsa

maple horseradish mustard

spinach/fontina chicken sausages

ginger teriyaki chicken sausages

TJ's Best in Show 100% beef hot dogs

Hawaiian Style salt and vinegar potato chips

[can you tell we decided to cook out for tonight's dinner?]

I couldn't resist a block of Plugra, and he a bag of the milk chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels.

The produce was decent, however the prices are always better at my local grand dame hoodie neighbour -- West Side Market.

I got to sample some lemon poundcake that was delicious which I considered and then decided against after the amount of snacks I saw that were going to fill up my kitchen shelves. I saw many other items I know I'll need to seek out in the future. Dried raspberries! Maytag Blue! (however not sure if it is cheaper than at my favourite cheese stand at Westside Market)

Oh, and I got some Burt's Bees Buttermilk hand lotion.

I saw plenty of the Fiji water. :smile: I've had that before and love it. That bottled water is the closest tasting to what we hand pumped in Sitka.

I'll make sure to go back and I'm sure I'll find more that I'd like to purchase. I'm hooked.

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I was in Philadelphia this past weekend and went to TJ's three times-- twice in Center City, for all the jars of spaghetti sauce and jam that I could carry home, and for their lavender soap, which is cheap and smells good. Then I convinced my cousins to stop by the one in Marlton NJ so I could get chocolate and cookies to bring home. I'm munching on the all butter shortbread with chocolate filling as I write, watching the level of cookies go down all too quickly. My latest discovery is the buckeyes, "tasty milk chocolate with a peanut butter center." How have I lived without these so far?

Neil

Author of the Mahu series of mystery novels set in Hawaii.

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  • 1 month later...

I would like to add here that I REALLY like the Trader Joe's caramelized garlic flavor Pistachios. Not for the faint of heart -- mega overpowering candied garlic all over these things.

And the Trader Giotto's Pompelmo (Grapefruit) Italian Soda.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I notice that the only things I get at Trader Joe's these days are Ben & jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream (what a steal at $2.50), and that organic chocolate with pecans and raisins. Oh and they have bars of Scharfenberger now, but I still like that organic chocolate for some reason. It's like a Chunky bar, but better.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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TJ's briefly had some sliced blue cheese that was some of the best I've ever had, but I haven't seen it again. It was a delicate mess to handle, and worth every finger-licking second.

Also good: organic Pink Lady apples on salads with self-same blue cheese, toasted pecans and vinaigrette. Pink Lady apples are my new favorites. They're perfectly crisp, sweet/tart blend, and very fragrant, like an apple rose.

I rarely come home without another $4 dose of the chicken enchiladas (foolishly labelled "with garlic sauce" instead of emphasizing the tomatillos, which add everything to the dish).

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I visited TJs for the first time today. In some ways I was very impressed, in others, rather let down.

The selection of nuts was nice, better than any regular grocery store, and I was about to find Hazelnuts, which I have been looking for everywhere, and TJs is apparently the only place to stock them.

The cheese selection was also very good. By far it bests any grocery store I have come into contact with, it was almost worth the trip for this alone. They also had Usinger's bratwursts and Knackwursts, I picked up a package of each. The brats are amazing, far better than Johnsonville, so I may be returning for these.

The meats were dissapointing, all frozen, prices not very good.

The veggies were OK I suppose, prices might be good for organic, but I don't usually buy organic, so I can't compare. The selection was no better than what I can get at any other supermarket.

Overall the prices weren't bad, but they weren't wonderful either. This was probably the biggest let-down, as I have heard others rave about how inexpensive it is over and over.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I think the inexpensive part depends on what other stores are near you. I'm out in the far suburbs of Chicago, and there aren't many great food markets around here that are inexpensive. We do have lots of megamarts with expensive prices for gourmet items. When I lived in Michigan, there were lots of ethnic markets and mom and pop stores that had great produce and meat inexpensively, so I was less dependent on TJs.

I go to TJs for:

Dried fruit (I make my own granola)

Roasted Nuts

Pasta

Frozen meals for DH's lunch

Frozen Pizzas

Frozen Lamb

Frozen Shrimp

Green Beans (they are the best!)

Frozen artichoke hearts

Cheese

Butter

Chocolate covered espresso beans

Coffee

Whatever they're sampling...usually

Shave shaving cream (its for men or women and its the best I've ever used...not bad for under $3 a tube...it lasts forever too.)

it just makes me want to sit down and eat a bag of sugar chased down by a bag of flour.

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Their Triple Ginger Cookies? Should be known as Trader Joe's Smack-in-a-Box. Those things are almost comically addictive. I can sit down and eat most of a (pretty large) package without thinking about it; if I could mainline them, I probably would.

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The meats were disappointing, all frozen, prices not very good. 

Wow, our TJ's has a whole reach-in cooler stocked with fresh fish and meat. I mean, the works. Niman Ranch and a bunch of other stuff.

Where are you?

This was at the TJs on Concord Pike in Wilmington, DE. They did have some fresh fish near the cheese case, but that was all that I saw. I didn't do an exhaustive search of the store though, so I suppose it is possible they had other fresh meats hiding in a corner somewhere, but if they did there was no signage reflecting where that might be.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I love their frozen seafood. I grew up at the beach in NC, so I'm used to seafood that came off the boat that day. I won't go near most seafood markets especially if they have that smell. :blink: I made shrimp scampi with frozen shrimp last night and it was very good for frozen shrimp. The shrimp was also firm; it had been frozen correctly. Normally when I buy shrimp at markets I throw out shrimp because some are squishy. I also love the fact that the shells are sliced down the middle for easy peeling and already deveined. Not bad for a $6 bag of shrimp. (I was making pasta, so I used smaller shrimp.) The salmon, tuna, and swordfish are also very fresh.

it just makes me want to sit down and eat a bag of sugar chased down by a bag of flour.

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  • 1 month later...

Have to add to my prior list that their tri-tip steak and Korean Bool Kogi Beef Ribs are awesome! Perfect for throwing on the grill with some corn and eggplant slices. I dream about when we can have those ribs again.

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The Bool Kogi Koren Boneless Ribs are good. They are really flank steak, but tasty. Try the Turkey Mignons, they are medallions of turkey breast with a bacon strip skewered around them, serve them grilled over the spinach salad in a bag (spinach, raspberry vinegarett, blue cheese, candied pecans and cranberries), yum.

FYI, the lemon curd will be back in the fall.

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