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justin_mjn's Profile

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Why do people buy organic milk; it tastes the same as regular?

I have never bought organic milk because of its hyper-inflated price. I use 3 gallons of milk per week. Buying organic would cost me an extra $400 per year - that's outrageous!

Oct 16, 2008
justin_mjn in General Topics

WalMart - Yays and Nays

King Arthur flour - great selection, low price
Golden Star jasmine rice
Vinegar - malt, red wine, rice
Kashi TLC crunchy granola bars - great price, I'm a fan of the pumpkin spice flax flavor
Natures Valley granola bars - great prices for all varieties

Sam's choice salsa - typical generic salsa, tastes artificially thick (my ideal mass-market salsa is Pace)
Great Value plain yogurt - this was just too thin and still tasted like artificial thickeners

What good or bad items have you found at WalMart?

Oct 09, 2008
justin_mjn in Chains

Whole Foods consistently overcharges

Customer service at the WF near me is incredibly bad. I check my receipt before I head out the door. I was recently overcharged and went back to the cashier (who was otherwise unoccupied). I was rudely told to go to customer service. After waiting in line for over ten minutes, I reached a surly dismissive lady at customer service. I got the refund, but was treated like garbage, as if it was my fault that I was mischarged. I may have to stop inconveniencing WF with my business.

Jul 04, 2008
justin_mjn in Chains

Mother's day brunch near Market East/Suburban Station

My mother is taking regional rail for brunch this Mother's Day. What are your recommendations for a good brunch not too far from the train station? We like most types of food, but not looking for anything pricey (Lacroix is not an option). Also, places that take reservations may be better so as to avoid the lines. Thanks for any suggestions!

May 03, 2008
justin_mjn in Pennsylvania

04/08 Tofu: Tricks for Extending Its Shelflife?

I regularly freeze firm tofu - it changes the texture in a way that I find appealing. When I ate in Shanghai, restaurants would advertise that tofu was frozen before being cooked. I would try freezing some and see if you like it.

Apr 11, 2008
justin_mjn in Home Cooking

What foods do you find disgusting?

No one has mentioned BLUE CHEESE! I have no problem with mild blue cheese dressing, but just the smell of plain Roquefort, Stilton or other strong blue makes me nauseous.

Mar 31, 2008
justin_mjn in General Topics

Disappointed in Trader Joes...

Here on the east coast, both TJ's and Whole Foods started selling Gerolsteiner in plastic bottles at the same time. Bummer.

Dec 11, 2007
justin_mjn in Chains

Trader Joe's or Whole Foods???

I am astonished by the Whole Foods attitude. Because they overpaid, everything must be more natural and fresh! Try buying similar products at TJ's and compare ingredient lists if you want the truth.

Oct 26, 2007
justin_mjn in Chains

What foods do you HAVE to mail order?

I just checked out the Fireworks Popcorn website. I've never seen those different varieties. Is there a specific type that's recommended? Right now, the best popcorn I've found around me (philly) is the bulk stuff at whole foods.

Aug 15, 2007
justin_mjn in General Topics

Is it ok to not tip in this situation? [moved from Manhattan board]

I believe you were justified in not tipping. The waiter claiming that he was too busy to read specials is suspicious. Maybe he didn't have them memorized and didn't feel like looking them up. Either way, it doesn't take much time to describe specials. Plus, bringing a dessert that you didn't ask for isn't great if you don't want it. It would have been better to discount your final bill.
If I were in your place and never planned on returning, I may have left no tip. If I thought I might return, I would probably be shamed into leaving 10 percent.

Jul 17, 2007
justin_mjn in Not About Food

Whole Foods Overrated? [moved from Manhattan board]

I've only bought mineral water and some bulk foods there. For some reason, WF has the best price for Gerolsteiner water, and their bulk popcorn is reasonably priced and better than most. A few unusual grains and beans in the bulk area also seem reasonable. However, a few times I needed something specific (ie. chocolate syrup) and the only choices available were OUTRAGEOUSLY overpriced (about 5x the generic brand at a regular supermarket).

Jul 13, 2007
justin_mjn in Chains

In defense of Whole Foods!

I've given Whole Foods a few chances and I just can't justify shopping there. Last time I went (on a weekday evening), it was mobbed and I started by waiting in line for the restroom for 15 minutes.
Then I went to the bulk food section and got what I came for (wanted to try the organic popcorn). I wanted to check out, but the registers had huge lines so I walked around a bit. The meat didn't look fresh and I saw cheese (gorgonzola piccante) individually wrapped in plastic that was FAR past its prime.
At this point I was hungry and also checked out their prepared foods. The soup looked decent, but 4-5 dollars for a small cup of something simple (minestrone)? I couldn't justify the expense.
The lines never got shorter, so I left my popcorn on a shelf and walked out. On a positive note, there were several decent samples being given out.
Where I am at, it's cheaper and less frustrating to go to Trader Joes's supplemented by local produce markets and the occasional big grocery store.

Jun 03, 2007
justin_mjn in Chains