RussTheRaccoon's Profile

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

MEH for the Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice which came frozen.

Flavor was very good but the shrimp was short grain with lots of broken pieces and had that unpleasant frozen rice texture and was gummy.

I added an egg, peppers, onion, cherry tomatoes, and spinach leaves to make it into a meal, but I am 99% sure that it would have been gummy anyway.

Jul 26, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I had the boxed nectarines a few weeks ago and agree that they were a real YAY! and that the condition was unusually good for TJ's produce.

Jul 26, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Yay! for the Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus. It has an extra blob of blended jalapeño and cilantro in the middle. It's a good flavor combination and I would flavor my own hummus the same way.

It tastes like Indian food to me even though it is probably intended to be Latin American.

Jul 22, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Meh for the new "Fig Bites" in the beautiful pale green package with a design of painted figs and leaves on it.

They are nothing more than FIG NEWTONS. There is nothing on the package to indicate that. I won't bother to take them back, but I feel very deceived thinking that they would be some new kind of cookie.

Even as far as that type of cookie goes, they are just average--fairly dry and not too much flavor.

Jul 21, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Another YAY! for the girasoli.

I just ate some with just butter, black pepper, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. I agree they would go really well with capers or an olive tapenade as they are so lemony.

Jul 21, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

I will be on the west coast for a few weeks and am wondering if there are any items at TJ's such as baked goods , Mexican food, produce, etc. that I should look for that are not available on the east coast?

Jul 15, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Those shrimp just appear randomly in the freezer case and then they are gone for a long time and then show up again. Only once or twice have I seen them two weeks in a row.

The season for them is flexible and is managed by the Argentinean government for sustainability. It's not certain months of the year, as far as I can tell. See if you can make sense of this: "Annually, the Argentine red shrimp fishery begins its activity at the south of the San Jorge Gulf between the months of March and April. By June and July, fishing operations are enabled in national waters outside the San Jorge Gulf, and from the start of the southern hemisphere Spring, catches are centered at the north of the Gulf and off the coast of the province of Chubut (De Carli et al, 2012 )."

As far as cooking them, I also sauté them in butter and garlic, plus olive oil. I also add pepper and a little salt. Sometimes I add a little lemon juice or the TJ's Lemon Pepper Grinder since I discovered that.

They are good plain or with rice or pasta.

Jul 15, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

bad manners to accept preferred treatment

Excellent way of looking at it!

Jul 12, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Not About Food

bad manners to accept preferred treatment

Are you 100% sure that you got got special treatment? If there were four in your party, it may be that you were seated ahead of couples and larger parties when a four-top opened up. A good host or hostess manages the available tables rather than just seating people in the order they showed up.

If it comes up again, you might tell your friend that you would certainly never ask for special treatment, but since you eat there almost every week, they value your patronage enough to seat you immediately because you had guests with you, that it is not something the owner usually does.

To be completely fair, the owner should have offered you a glass of wine while you waited in the bar instead of seating you earlier. That would not have detracted from the other diners' experience by making them wait longer than they otherwise would have had to.

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

I like it but only use one packet of the sauce along with some vinegar, sesame oil, and pepper flakes. Otherwise it is too sweet for me!

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

They only had the organic at my store. I miss it but I have gotten used to not having it so I will probably not be eating nearly as much as I used to.

Jul 11, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

The worker in the produce department at my TJ's had never heard of them. She acted as if it were something strange I had made up. I told her some of the TJ's have them and she said they have cherry tomatoes.

To be fair, I had never heard of them until this thread.

Jul 10, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

They had grapefruit on the new item shelf at my East Coast store today.

Jul 10, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I read those blogs, too. They give enough information for me to know whether or not I want to try them. People in this thread often don't give enough information. Something that makes a food a nay for one person can make it a yay for another.

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

You can't bake anything from TJ's according to package directions. Brown them until they are crispy. I do it on a baking sheet and turn them with tongs a little over halfway through. They are so good!

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

Maybe some of the flavors are only distributed on one coast or the other. Their website almost implies that.

www.spindriftfresh.com/site/about/spi...

Jul 07, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Yes, brown them well so they are crispy. Now I have to check to see if I have any in the freezer to eat tonight! Yummy.

Jul 07, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

YAY! for both the mushroom and the brie and tomato tartes. I eat a couple a week. Sometimes nothing else appeals to me for lunch now.

Yes, they are so much better if they brown well. A trick I have developed for them is to make sure the baking sheet is preheated and to move the pizza from one end to the other about 2/3 way through to help the underside bake. I also turn it while moving it. If you just put these tartes in the oven and then take them out when the cheese is melted, they are just okay. If the cheese is bubbling and brown and the crust is brown, they are wonderful.

I don't think the brie and tomato one is skimpy on the toppings. It is a solid layer of cheese and béchamel.

For the mushroom, I add some fresh sliced mushrooms and sometimes thinly-sliced onion, and for the brie I sometimes add mushrooms and sliced cherry tomatoes. I know that makes no sense, but in my mind they are pizzas, and you should be able to put whatever you want on a pizza.

Since I discovered TJ's lemon pepper grinder last month, I have been putting that on them, too. (Actually I have been putting that stuff on almost anything savory!)

There is mustard in the brie and tomato one, so if someone didn't like mustard, they wouldn't like it.

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

It should have a dairy code imprinted on the container. You can check to see who makes it with that code.

Jul 03, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I don't like it when ravioli or tortellini open up and leak the filling into the water.

It is better to simmer than to boil them, but sometimes there is already a broken one.

Jul 03, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Yay! for the nectarines in the box. Not bruised or mealy at all. The flavor is very good and they ripen fast and are sweet.

Thanks to the posters here for encouraging me to get them. They did get new stock in at my store. Usually I wouldn't buy so many because they all get ripe at the same time but I can always freeze them.

Jul 03, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Yay! for the Shredded Bite Size Wheats.

These are nothing special except that they have only two ingredients: Whole wheat and vitamin E to preserve freshness. Yes, not just wheat, but whole wheat!

I wanted cereal with no added sugar because it makes the milk sweet. People suggested corn flakes and Puffins but they had sugar added. Even the High Fiber cereal has "dehydrated cane juice crystals" aka unrefined sugar.

The little squares are smaller than some similar cereals that I have had.

17.2 ounces for $2.69.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread-June 2015 [OLD]

Does anyone have any idea why comments are being removed from the thread? The only time I had a comment removed from Chow boards was when it mentioned little squeaky creatures in an establishment. I haven't seen any comments that would be problematic like that and deserving of removal. Spam maybe?

Jun 29, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread-June 2015 [OLD]

Oh lower case "yay" for the Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers with Black Beans & Roasted Corn. They're on par with the few other commercial (frozen) black bean burgers that I've had, at people's houses and in restaurants, no big thrill but good enough to eat.

It bugs me that they take healthy ingredients and then add so much fat and salt to them, though.

I just microwaved them and slapped them on bread with ketchup or barbecue sauce.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread-June 2015 [OLD]

YAY! to the cans of San Pellegrino sparkling fruit beverages, blood orange and lemon. I like being able to just buy one can as I don't drink a lot of sodas. Normally I would just buy a bottle of soda and add juice but these are convenient.

Subway made 2 mistakes that are destroying its business

Maybe they should slaughter their own chickens and cows in each restaurant, too. If they did that, people would probably miss that yeasty fresh-baked bread smell!

Jun 25, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Subway made 2 mistakes that are destroying its business

Yes, "artisan" donuts taste better. . .

Jun 25, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Whole Foods overcharging NYers

Here's another way grocery stores overcharge you: Overly-sensitive scanners that ring things up twice! It is very important to watch items being rung up and to check your receipt to make sure this has not happened. It is a frequent occurrence for me at Trader Joe's.

Another grocery store that I shop at often has the wrong price in their computer so something will be on sale but will ring up at the regular, non-sale price. Even when I point it out, they only correct it for my purchase and don't do anything about the problem as far as the price in the system. So watch for that, too!

Something else they do there is use the wrong produce code so that the item is charged as something different that costs more per ounce. For instance, the cashier may not really know what something is, such as a variety of pepper, and just ring it up as some other type.

I will say that everything that I have checked the weight on from TJ's has been slightly heavier than stated, never lighter, but I don't buy many things there sold by the weight that would be expected to vary, just pre-packaged produce.

Jun 25, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread-June 2015 [OLD]

Yes, these have been sitting out for a couple of weeks now. I think the problem is my store is urban and customers have to carry everything home or have it delivered.

Makes you think twice before buying milk AND juice, a five pound bag of citrus, a watermelon, or something bulky like a box of nectarines. I usually dump clementines out of the box into a bag before carrying them home, but nectarines would bruise.

So I think people just don't buy them like they would if they drove to the store, and they sit and sit and then get donated or trashed when they are no longer in condition to sell.

Jun 24, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread-June 2015 [OLD]

In this case, I think the fruit is just old rather than mishandled. It is packed in a box with an insert that cradles each piece. Apricots, peaches, and pears seem to perpetually be either under- or over-ripe and at their peak for eating for only for a day or two.

Jun 24, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains