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Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - March 2015

Looking at the ingredients... no shrimp paste listed.

"Sunflower oil, cherry peppers, shallots, sweet soy sauce (coconut sugar, black soybeans, salt, water), garlic, lemongrass, salt, citric acid."

Product of Indonesia

Mar 03, 2015
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - March 2015

Are you referring to the samba mata? If so, then yes -- it was on the shelf as recently as two weeks ago at least.

Got a jar but haven't opened it yet (too many currently-opened jars of 'salsa' in the 'fridge), so unfortunately I can't comment on the taste or anything (yet!).

Mar 02, 2015
Dave B in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Yay - Neufchatel cheese

I ALWAYS try the Spotlight cheese.... I've found a couple of favorites this way. I grabbed a wedge in the white wrapping paper last week == until it sat in the 'fridge until now.

As fldhkybnva mentioned it is similar to Brie or Camembert, so if those flavors aren't in your love house, you probably need not apply.

For me, I'm having trouble not eating the whole wedge in one sitting. No question..... this is not a cheese for those who aren't big on soft-ripened cheeses. To each their own. Big yay for me. I would buy it again, and again.

Feb 24, 2015
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

I'm enjoying the info (thanks NU and others) and banter about cheese types, and those more suitable for a great grilled-cheese sandwich. With all the nice cheeses TJ's sells, I suspect there are several or many which would make a fantastic grilled-cheese sandwich.

Since others are sharing their pro-tips (their favorites), I'll share mine too, and it doesn't happen to be a TJ's cheese, which may be unfortunate considering the context of the thread; Market Basket and some other New England grocery stores have in their delicatessen a Hoffman's Super Sharp white cheddar. Ask for it sliced however thick you would like.

It seems like it may be a processed cheese product and it isn't all that sharp except when compared to typical "American cheese," but I'm telling you it makes a fantastic grilled-cheese sandwich. Melts beautifully and does have more twang and flavor than standard American cheese.

Feb 22, 2015
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Don't see these thin, crispy and tender cookies mentioned often here;

Yay - Cookie Thins, in toasted coconut, Meyer lemon, and there was a third flavor at the store... maybe chocolate?

Had the coconut version at a fellow TJ's lovers house not long ago and thought, "wow." I don't like/buy a lot of sweets, but these made an impression on me and when I noticed them at the store the other day, I grabbed a box of the Meyer Lemon flavor.

Scrumptious, with a delicate texture, without being too sweet. Ingredients look pretty reasonable. Love these thin little cookies. Again, a Yay.

**Pardon the fact that my photo shows only a few cookies left in the sleeve in the box ;-) Don't know what could have happened to the rest of them?? Missing cookies.

Feb 18, 2015
Dave B in Chains
1

Concord NH food news

I am essentially pre-apologizing for this post because it's not really new info or "news" related to Concord; but I can't help mentioning the delicious beef chow foon I got for take-out at Sunshine Oriental today (Loudon Rd, next to McDonald's).

This place has been mentioned a few times here... and I hadn't stopped by in a while. Like a year. For SOME unknown reason, I'd been craving beef chow foon and today was the day.

I'm a sucker for the wide, rice noodles soaked in the sauce, with the tender beef and scallions and onions. Carb deprivation caused me to eat the whole thing in one sitting, when I really should have saved some for later.

Feb 18, 2015
Dave B in Northern New England

Concord NH food news

Thanks for the update to this thread. I don't get into downtown Concord a ton but look forward to stopping in. You have a nice FB page with great photos and regular updates. I do love cheese! :-)

Feb 18, 2015
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

This may seem a bit of a strange question; but what exactly is the process for "returning" a product for credit or replacement?

As in, do you go to the customer service desk and state your case, and they then give you a credit slip to present at the register? Or something similar?

Feb 12, 2015
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Yay - Coconut Chips

I never get excited about coconut flavors (or anything coconut) but someone gifted me a bag. Damn, but I could nibble on these things all day long.

Surprised I have anything nice to say about these, as I just don't usually care much about coconut stuff. They are now on my regular buy list as a sweet treat. I imagine they would be great sprinkled on ice cream or deserts too. I nomed them straight out of the bag and didn't waste any time.

Feb 09, 2015
Dave B in Chains
2

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2015 - June 2015

LaLa, I hope your info means they are back!

Did they look like these (pic)? Or is the packaging different?

Feb 05, 2015
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

<<Absolutely seconding this YAY for pickled beet lovers! Less sweet than the brand I can get in the supermarket (Aunt Nellie's), and nicely textured.>>

Thanks for the info. I sometimes buy Aunt Nellie's and like them well-enough, but now I MUST try the TJ's version.

The pickled beets in jar are now on my ever-expanding TJ's "to try" list.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

<<is "yay minus" not as bad as "a big nay"?>>

Yay Minus = slightly better than a Meh Plus.

;-)

Jan 06, 2015
Dave B in Chains
2

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

It was a Meh (at best) for me. Great pungency, but there was something a little off in the aroma/taste arena.

Jan 06, 2015
Dave B in Chains

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

Yikes! $48 for THREE OUNCES?!

Yea.... I guess the TJ's version is quite the bargain by comparison.

Dec 29, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Oysters at costco

What I've heard: If storing for a period of time in the fridge, oysters will last longer "top side up." The "bottom" of the oyster is more cup shaped, and the top is generally flatter.

Theory being the oyster can open its lid and breath more easily without losing its brine liquid. Don't know if this is true for certain, but I've always done it.

Dec 23, 2014
Dave B in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Vegetable dish for brunch?

Braised cabbage, with other veggies -- super easy.

In covered Dutch oven in the oven, slow-cook @ approx 300 deg for 3-4 hours, or until cabbage is tender and soft. I like to include carrots and onions, and a generous amount of whole grain mustard along with salt and pepper. Garlic is a nice addition too. There are so many possible variations to this... just depends on what you want to include with the cabbage.

While not vegetarian, I'll often include fresh sausage or kielbasa. Just another variation.

Can be made the day before and reheated before serving in the same pot.

Dec 23, 2014
Dave B in Home Cooking

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

Update on the Jamon Iberico, if this is the same stuff (Paleta Iberico - Puro de Bellota) A tale of two TJ's:

The lesson being - ASK, ASK, ASK, your TJ's store staff. In a NH TJ's today, after querying several employees I found one who seemed to know what I was asking for; "Jamon Iberico".

If this is the same product, the labeling/identification is different from what I was asking the VT TJ's folks for last weekend. I did not know it was not labeled as Jamon Iberico, although the description seems perfectly descriptive if one understands basic Spanish.

Pricey stuff @ $6.99 for 2 oz ($56.00 per lb.) Well, I have some now so will give it a spin. The TJ's staff who knew about it said it was "seasonal," not "regional."

Dec 18, 2014
Dave B in Chains

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

NU; I too like the Cabot aged cheeses. I find them flavorful and the quality very good. That being said, they don't stray far from what I consider to be text-book, standard cheddars. They are good, but not as "interesting" as I found the TJ's 6-year to be. That's all I intended in my observation.

I was at the Cabot store in Waterbury just a few days ago.... gobbled quite a few samples, including all their older/aged offerings. All were enjoyable.

Dec 17, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

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

Recent Yay/Meh/Nay observations, from recent TJ's stops. Some items are new for me.

Yay - Wild Salmon Jerky

First time trying this. If one likes salmon in general, this stuff isn't "fishy." It is hard-dried and requires a good chewing. Good stuff. Compared to commercial beef jerky which one can grab from the bag with abandon, the inside of the bag has an oily coating on the inside. Only mentioning that because when your hand goes in the bag it will come out with some coating on it. Have a paper towel ready and don't thrust a long-sleeve shirt into the bag along with your hand. A small price to pay for no nitrates, MSG...etc. Bag says consume within three days of opening. Only mentioning the slight oily factor because I sometime like jerky while driving and this stuff would be a bit of a problem for that if not careful. Still a Yay however. Just not for consumption while driving.

Yay - Blue Cheese and Roasted Pecan Dip

Holy blue cow. If you like blue cheese and things that taste like blue cheese, this stuff is pure crack. http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-fl... Would be great on or with nearly anything.

Yay - 6 Year Aged Cheddar - Vermont

Spotlight Cheese. Funky. I see there are mixed opinions about this cheese, but I liked it. There is an aged stank to this cheese and it works for me. Not your average aged cheddar. If you like a twang in your cheese this has it. TJ's employee said their guess is it's made by either Cabot or Grafton. My bet goes toward Grafton, as I can't see Cabot making anything this flavorful.

Yay - Rosemary Raisin Crackers

A standby for many of us, but I hadn't had any in a while. A nice reminder of how awesome these crackers are. When I first heard yays about these I thought 'yawn,' how good could they be? But they are that good.

Yay - Lucques Olives (in jar)

Buttery and delicious. Small olives, with pits. For those of us who don't mind chewing around the pits, I think these are wonderful and flavorful.

Yay - Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Dip

Smooth and creamy. Not very spicy at all. Perfect for dipping and/or spreading on just about anything. Less thick than hummus, but similar.

Meh - Ghost Pepper Grinder

After a lot of hoopla about the absence of this item, I finally got to buy it and try it. The little sealed packet inside the grinder must be carefully opened and poured into the grinder in order to use it. Then the grinder is 1/2 full of product. Leaves me with a ripped-off feeling. Wonderful heat and nice flavor (a little goes a long way), but why is this sold as a "grinder" product, as the pepper is ground quite fine already so that the "grinder" can be used mostly as just a "shaker." I'm confused as to the purpose of the packaging as no grinding is needed. Very hot.... so unless you're into that (I am), you may want to skip this item.

Meh/Nay - Creamy Gorg cheese

Thought I would like this cheese based on its rotten, putrid, lumpy, semi-rotten appearance. I like stinky, strong-flavored cheeses and this didn't seem to deliver on its visual promise. It's OK, but a little off-tasting. I'll eat the rest of it but I wouldn't buy it again.

Dec 15, 2014
Dave B in Chains
2

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

I went looking for it at the Burlington, VT store and a team leader was familiar with it, but says it is regional and they can't/don't get it. Don't know why an item like that would be regional, but that's what I was told. :-(

Dec 15, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Seeking BBQ/ Pig Roast Catering for New Hampshire

Scuba ~

Good to see this old thread updated. Sometimes it's helpful when new info becomes available, particularly for those who might use the Search function and find this thread. Somewhere there is an old thread with me looking for the same thing.... a caterer who would do on-site BBQ in NH. (not bothering to search for it right now) :-)

Love PigTrip.net. Excellent BBQ fan resource for all things New England BBQ (and some NY). This dude does A LOT of eating, traveling, photographing and posting, for our BBQ benefit and enjoyment.

And this brings me to some new info I read in the newspaper just the other day; the new restaurant that replaced to tired, old and lame Clam King location in Manchester, NH is called Ipswich Clambake. Haven't been there yet, but since this is their 2nd location (original in Ipswich, MA) they have some experience. They appear to be seeking catering business, not for just seafood, but for BBQ too. Again, can't vouch for them from personal experience, but they are new to the area so I thought it should be noted.

Dec 11, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Restaurant Gift Certificate for Xmas

Exactly right. Buckley's in Merrimack.

If they wanted to travel 10-15 minutes from Merrimack, then yes, the BVI (Bedford Village Inn) would be a more formal but excellent dining experience.... I'd prefer Buckley's myself in that it is a nice compromise between casual/upscale, with usually great service (once you are seated) and great food. Either place, really, you can't go wrong IMO. Just depends on the environment you think your daughter would enjoy. BVI is excellent, but more stuffy, excepting the Tap Room.

If they go Buckley's, my sleeper dish is the Beef Stroganoff. Once it was served a little dry (without enough sauce to my liking) and the server quickly rectified that. Now, I just order it with "plenty of sauce."

http://buckleysgreatsteaks.com/

Dec 11, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

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

Glad to see your update.

When I read your 'Nay-ish' on the turkey meatballs it caused me a little concern that TJ's had changed the supplier to an inferior one. Or something. I've only purchased them a couple of times but thought they were pretty good.

Some of the hockey-puck consistency could have been due to who-knows-what..... a bad batch... different cooking method.. storage issue..... who knows?

I've only used them one way thus far; slow-simmer down a 28 oz can of tomatoes or two (adding olive oil, spices, whatever, to make a nice tomato sauce) then when the sauce is just about perfect put the turkey meatballs in to warm up until the tomato sauce starts to bubble again, telling me the meatballs will be fully hot and ready. I need to get more creative with them, I know.

Dec 05, 2014
Dave B in Chains
2

Mid-afternoon lunch near Hooksett IMAX?

Glad you found a good spot. The Bedford location of Chen Yang Li is probably one of most dependable examples of "American" Chinese in the area, with a nice upscale environment.

They are still doing it well and one can rarely go wrong there. I'll keep the Two Brothers Special in mind for next time I go. Thanks.

Dec 04, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Taj India, Manchester NH

Nice. I've been there. Not "there" to that restaurant, but "there" in other Indian restaurants in overestimating my ability to handle TRUE HEAT.

I like heat.... have a pretty high tolerance.... but a couple of times I've been too cocky and paid the price.

Sweaty and panting.... can't taste anything. Want to die.

MEDIUM might be the safe bet until one has been to a particular establishment a time or two and then knows how they roll.....

Nov 30, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

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

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) [OLD]

<<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