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Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 (Part II)

Nu, ~~~ good to read your perspective. I remain a fan of the fresh tamales. We all have our respective Yays and Nays with these TJ's things. I am also a big fan of the frozen ones and ALWAYS have some in the freezer. The frozen tamales are great IMO.... but the texture and denseness of the masa is heavier. Still good for my taste buds.... but heavier and chewier compared to the 'fresh.'

I think your're correct about the sweetness level being higher in the fresh tamale version.... never thought much about it until now. As far as I am concerned it's a welcomed change just for the different taste experience. And thanks for doing the math. I have wondered about that for frozen vs. fresh. Knowing the frozen version is a better value/lb is helpful when making our tamale purchasing calculations. Sometimes it matters! But for me it generally doesn't when a taste preference comes into play.... :)

I remain pleased with the fresh tamales. Still a big yay for me, even though I like the frozen ones too.

Nov 24, 2014
Dave B in Chains
2

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 (Part II)

<<i also saw dried ghostpeppers in a spice grinder amongst the spices.>>

Looks like they are finally back after their initial yet brief appearance -- yay!

Nov 21, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Mid-afternoon lunch near Hooksett IMAX?

Sorry Grey. Didn't notice their schedule compared to your Monday request.

Some regard La Carreta as not being "authentic" enough, but I like them quite a bit. Been many times and everything I've had has been delicious.

Between that option and the places you found, if none of those sound quite like what you are in the mood for, remember you will be only 10 minutes from downtown Manchester where the options are considerably greater.

Good luck, and enjoy the movie.

Nov 21, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Mid-afternoon lunch near Hooksett IMAX?

That's pretty close to La Carreta (decent Mexican, large menu), about a 5 min drive from the theater.

Also, very close, is the New England's Tap House. It's fairly new and I haven't been yet, but the menu looks pretty good. Especially if you appreciate a beer or two, that might be an interesting choice. http://www.taphousenh.com/

Nov 21, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

I bought four more bags today to wrap the individual tamales in pairs and freeze. Just in case the rumors of year-'round availability aren't true.

I did ask an employee who was taking inventory (looked official, with clip board in-hand) if they were now going to be year-'round and she said no, they were a temporary seasonal item to the best of her knowledge and she hadn't heard differently.

We know the employees don't always know...... it's just the way it is. I practiced "better safe than sorry," well, because.

Nov 18, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

Regarding the TJ's ham in discussion, if it is the "Spiral Sliced, Uncured" ham in the silver or gold foil (depending on size) within a black net bag, labeled as nitrate/nitrite free, then yes, and Yay.

The silver foil is the 1/4 ham and the gold is the 1/2 ham.

I started buying this last year, and as soon as I get one home I do portion it into small freezer packs for later use. I have never tried to warm one up to serve as a whole ham and/or apply the included seasoning packet for a drizzle/glaze, although I imagine that would be nice for those looking for that kind of presentation.

IMO this is really great ham. I don't even like ham that much but I like this ham. Not very salty compared to most.

Somewhat seasonal from my observations..... Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter..... although I think I've seen them occasionally at random times. I always want some of this in my freezer.

Nov 18, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

No kidding?! I hope that turns out to be true.

Nov 15, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

Big Yay for the fresh, hand-made Tamales.

Supposedly seasonal-only around the holidays, and this has been the case per my experience. A TJ's employee told me they wouldn't be surprised if they disappeared soon. I take that with a grain of salt though as it isn't even Thanksgiving yet.

Last year when I tried them for the first time around Christmas they were in a larger bag of ten tamales, and this year it is only SIX, not ten tamales per bag. $6.99/bag this time.

Located with the fresh prepared foods, salads 'n stuff.

I thought they were really good last year so I bought two bags this time. There were three different filling choices, two with either beef or chicken fillings, and one vegetarian, IIRC. After getting them home I foil-wrapped pairs for freezing so I'll have some for later because that's a lot of tamales to eat within just a few days before they spoil. Of course I had to taste-test with a little Sriracha (Huy Fong, not TJs). Love these things. Yay.

Nov 12, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 [Old]

I get that, and I agree it's "not bad" compared to other pizza options... still, it's just more than I want if I'm trying to be good. I have a very difficult time not eating an entire pizza of that size once I get started.

I will definitely reiterate the Yay for flavor and the nice crust.

Nov 12, 2014
Dave B in Chains
2

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 [Old]

Yay. Gotta chime in on the Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza ~~

My store was sampling it today. Huge YAY for flavor. The flavor, texture, etc. was very good, but the crust was outstandingly amazing for a frozen pizza.

For this reason, I didn't purchase any; I would have liked to buy five of them and put them in the freezer; Fat content = Bad. No wonder it tastes so good. Others who don't have this concern might love this pizza, and it was only $3.99 and made in Italy. Really delicious. I could eat an entire pizza right now, it was that yummy.

See the photo I took of the nutritional content info. It's a Yay in my book for taste....

Nov 11, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 [Old]

I'm with you on the pork rib bites. Tried them recently and thought they were just OK = Meh.

Nov 08, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Nashua area news?

Thanks for the rec. Will keep that in mind for my first visit to the new location.

Nov 03, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Nashua area news?

Awesome news. I don't do much "fast food," but when on-the-run during the day sometimes it's nice to get a yummy sandwich like they make. A clean and courteous operation. The Pheasant Lane Mall location made that quick drive-thru option impossible for me. I hope they keep expanding in NH.

Oct 30, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: July 2014-December 2014

Time will do something. That's for sure.

I happen to think there is still/now a lot of really good stuff, although the selection is continually rotating.

Clearly TJ's doesn't please all of the people all of the time. That's OK with me. I happen to love the excitement of many of their offerings* I can't get at the "grocery store."

*except for the pumpkin things... no love here, but that's fine... 100's of other cool items I can't get elsewhere.

The more things change.....

Oct 21, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

Don't mind me. Just having a grumpy moment. "Thread-ON!!"

Oct 21, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: July 2014-December 2014

laynsocal

I'm going to opine just for the heck of it because I share your frustration regarding TJ's discontinued items which we loved and lost, BUT:

TJ's has new offerings all the time.... continually rotating goodies.... new things to try. I tend to get bored with certain dishes (even time-proven dishes) and am always interested in finding something new. Some of my go-to items from the past 6 months would probably be relegated to past history once I tired of them anyway. Right now I'm on a fresh pickles kick that isn't even a TJ's item. What can I say.

I get my staples at the regular grocery store. I never think of TJ's as my primary grocer.

I simply feel the need for new and interesting foods and TJ's delivers that. If their selections were stagnant, I would probably lose interest after a couple of years! Why are some of us TJ's fans...... but to find NEW and interesting foods.

I'm thankful for the TJ's product rotation, even though I hate to see a favorite disappear. It's a bit like life.

What turns you off about restaurant restrooms?

My turn-offs?

This trend to use air hand driers in place of good, old-fashioned paper towels. How the hell am I supposed to touch things in these disgusting places where people have seemingly never learned to piss properly.

These places with no paper towels..... I end up having to scrounge for a half-roll of TP just to touch the sink faucet and the door handle. And thanks for the "accommodations" in one of those "paper-free" restrooms.... well... if you don't give me a waste basket because you think you are so paper free, I have no choice but to throw them on the floor when I'm exiting (to be able to touch the door handle).

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

Oh, crap. Now I have another TJ's thread to follow based on the specific purpose of the discussion. One TJ's thread per month isn't enough, evidently. How could I possibly find discussion of pumpkin things or Christmas things in the appropriately seasonal monthly thread?

If this gets more complicated I may have to stop shopping at Trader Joe's.

Oct 18, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

This makes me want to try it.... just to see if it as heinous as everyone says! Knowing the return policy, why not, so I can see (taste) for myself. Gotta love having that option.

If this cheese is crappy, it will only be the 2nd crappy Spotlight cheese I've tried. Most are excellent. Oh, well... life isn't perfect and TJ's isn't either.

Some of us like stinky, putrid, moldy cheeses. We'll see. ;)

Oct 13, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Dinner restaurant along the way traveling 93 from Boston to Meredith, NH?

dfrost -- you took the words (or text) out of my mouth. Before I scrolled down far enough to see your reply I was thinking the Barley House would fit well with what the OP asked for.

The Barley House at this point has stood the test of time......20 years? They've been around for quite a while now and are a IMO dependable and good pub and lunch and casual dinner spot. Nice beer selection, bar, good food. Not high-end dining, but a very solid pub food and drink choice right off the highway in Concord. I rarely have an issue finding a spot to park near there if I spend a minute or two looking, yes, usually right next to the State House on either side.

Oct 06, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

Thanks for the tip on the jalapeƱo Greek yogurt dip. Don't recall seeing any mentions of it previously, or maybe it is that new? Sounds great, and have added it to my shopping list.

Sep 24, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

<<I've dipped them in all kinds of things...ketchup, tartar sauce, chili sauce (ohmyyum), 1000 Island and a fav mix of mine of sour cream, dill, lemon.>>

That's how I enjoy any breaded fish item too! There is no "one" sauce for me, and like you said, even 1000 Island dressing right out of a bottle makes a great accompaniment to breaded white fish.

In addition to your options, I will sometimes use mayo, or blend in a little pickle relish to whatever sauce I'm concocting, and/or add a squirt of Sriracha as 'pug' mentioned.

For me fish-sticks require SOME kind of sauce --- can't imagine eating them plain. I think even plain yogurt as long as it was room temp would be good. Haven't tried that but just thought about it.

Sep 21, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

Same here for the store in NH I shop at = with the meats/sausages, not with fresh salsa & hummus.

Yea, that fermented kraut is good stuff. Quite a twang there.

Sep 19, 2014
Dave B in Chains

What's Best for Cutting Pizza?

The file is not a power tool. Just a file. Very useful for sharpening or trimming all sorts of metal stuff. It would take virtually no skill or expertise to make your dull pizza cutter wheel sing through a hot pizza.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Nicholson-...

Sep 08, 2014
Dave B in Cookware

What's Best for Cutting Pizza?

This discussion is (mostly) crazy. A pizza cutter wheel is the perfect tool for the job. Save your chef's knives for cheffing.

Just use a bench grinder if you have one, or a mill bastard file.

First-world problems.

Sep 08, 2014
Dave B in Cookware
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

Don't do it. Once you have the cashew butter crack, you can't go back.

In two days I've eaten half the jar.

Sep 07, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Looking for whole animals

I can only offer a couple of options local to me in south-central NH, in case these might work for you:

Brookford Farm
http://brookfordfarm.com/

Charmingfare Farm
https://www.visitthefarm.com/viewStat...

Sep 07, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

Huge YAY for the cashew butter. Because of other yays I picked up a jar to try and OMG -- this stuff is downright crack.

Sep 07, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

~~ Strange encounter with the Argentinean Red Shrimp (frozen) ~~

Many here have enjoyed this product so about a month ago I purchased two bags and was eager to try them. They have been waiting happily in the freezer. Last night I sauteed about 1/2 a bag in a little olive oil (after defrosting them in cold water for a few minutes) with some herbs and spices.

When I started eating them, I immediately noticed a very strong ammonia smell. It was so bad I felt nauseous and threw out what I had cooked. Clearly this puts them in a strong Nay position for me based on that experience. Quite a few CH'ers have loved them however, so I'm wondering what went wrong??? My freezer seems fine as I have not noticed any issues there with other foods - no power outages since I bought them where they could have defrosted and then been refrozen.

What the hell happened? Now I don't even want to give them another chance, because, as some might be able to relate to, when a certain food nauseates you, you're not anxious for a return visit.

Sep 01, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - August 2014 [OLD]

Harts - before you give up on "vodka sauce" completely, try the Newman's Own version.

I don't eat much pasta these days :-( for carb reasons, but the Paul Newman vodka sauce is really my favorite jarred/prepared pasta sauce over all others. It's somewhat acidic which I like, but less-so IMO than the TJ's version.

IIRC it might even cost less than TJ's vodka sauce now that Market Basket is back!

Sep 01, 2014
Dave B in Chains