RussTheRaccoon's Profile

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My Aldi experience!

The purpose of the quarter is to get people to return the carts so they don't have to pay someone to round them up in the parking lot. It works, too! When I lived near Aldi and shopped there, I would always round up all the carts left in the parking lot and return them to the stand and take the quarters. I enjoyed that.

The trick to shopping at Aldi is to go there first, stock up on basics and any of the weekly special products and fresh fruits and vegetables that are good and cheap, and then go to the usual grocery store afterwards, or the next day. Sometimes the prices are unbelievably low.

Depending on where the store is, they may have high-quality baked goods. I used to get the best store-bought cinnamon rolls I ever had for $0.99 a pan there. Lots of raisins and cinnamon and just the right amount of icing on the fresh rolls. I can still remember them as if it were yesterday. They were SO GOOD!

I was so disappointed when I went into an Aldi in another part of the country only to learn that they had never carried them.

Apr 24, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

You would probably enjoy the pear tarte, too. I have gotten both of them to serve at a brunch and they are both yays!, although that was a couple of years ago. Fresh whipped cream or creme fraiche either one is great with them.

Apr 21, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Copycat Carraba's Pomodoro recipe?

Try adding butter.

Apr 19, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I washed them with cold water.

Apr 19, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

I tried the baked tofu at the sample counter mixed with some kind of prepared quinoa dish. It had a pleasant curry flavor. Those were the only two ingredients, because I asked. I haven't seen either one on the shelves in the store, so I'm not exactly sure what I was eating.

Apr 18, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Whole Foods bulk coffee beans -- how fresh are they?

I think if you can't tell, it doesn't matter. Seems like you are happy with what you've been drinking.

Seems like the coffee is actually roasted by Whole Foods.

https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/depa...

Apr 18, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Homemade buttermilk. Just add buttermilk from a carton to regular milk and leave it out for 24 hours or until it is thick.

I don't like very sweet shakes and smoothies. I guess it is like a lassi but without added salt. Sometimes I do add cardamom if I am using mangoes.

Apr 17, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
2

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

I enjoy the frozen figs a lot and gave them a YAY!, but I have only used them to make milkshakes in the blender. They don't need anything else added, but I sometimes put a little honey and vanilla powder, especially if I am using buttermilk, which is sour.

Definitely agree that they are not versatile.

Apr 16, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Yes, they do have more flavor because they have a higher peel to flesh ratio than regular potatoes.

Apr 13, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Yay! for the Teeny Tiny Potatoes. They are so cute! Yes, cute potatoes. Nice flavor and texture when when boiled. I used them for a salade ni├žoise.

Probably won't be buying them often because they are so expensive ($2.29/lb.), but they were fun to try.

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

Yay! Pizza 4 Formaggi. Basic but good. Nice crust balanced with a blend of cheeses and tomato sauce.

Yay! Capers. They are standard capers, but the price is right and the jar is over 7 oz.

Yay! Anchovies in olive oil. Cento brand, good price.

YAY! for the pencil-thin asparagus in bunches. Very tender. I can't get enough asparagus this year.

Apr 13, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I just tried the Chicken-less Strips because they were mentioned here. Cooked them in a pan with olive oil, onion, bell peppers, and garlic, plus black pepper.

The appearance and texture are nice, but not only do they not taste anything like chicken, they don't have much flavor at all other than raw tofu. Not a good flavor at all for a meat substitute. (I like tofu and it eat often.)

The directions did say to use a non-stick pan and I used a well-seasoned cast iron pan and lots of olive oil instead, but they stuck to the pan a lot as soon as they started to brown.

They are a good source of protein and are low in fat and carbohydrates, but a little high in sodium.

I'm going to give them a "MEH" because they would probably work fine in a curry or other heavy sauce. I can't imagine eating them in a sandwich or wrapped in lettuce leaves, though.

Meatless meat is relatively new for me. I'd rather have something that is very much like meat (the meatless meatballs and some of the burgers and sausages) or something not at all like meat (some of the vegetarian patties like the masala or black bean versions). This falls in between: it looks and feels but doesn't taste like meat. If it doesn't taste like meat, why make it look like meat?

Apr 11, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Gingersplat, refrigeration is terrible for baked goods, but I routinely freeze them because I can't eat a whole loaf of bread, kringle, etc. before it gets stale or moldy.

I tend to toast bread if I have frozen it, but I know people who don't even bother to do that. Something like a muffin that is moist doesn't even need to be toasted.

Apr 09, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Sorry, I'm not sure because they moved all the frozen food around a couple of weeks ago in my store and I am still trying to find the things I usually buy, plus I just started getting these. Maybe they were with the other meatballs? The vegetarian frozen items seem to be mixed in with their non-vegetarian counterparts for the most part rather than grouped together, which is odd as the meat substitutes in the refrigerator case are together at one end, from plain tofu to soy sausage.

I just ate some for an early lunch with a mushroom gravy and brown rice and lentils and they were so good!

So far, I have had them as a sandwich with some of the organic marinara and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, in the punjabi eggplant, in the vegetarian tikka masala, and now with the mushroom gravy. I think most people wouldn't notice that they aren't meat when they are served in a gravy or sauce.

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

Another Yay! for the meatless meatballs. I am on my second bag of them. I had some tonight with the Punjabi eggplant shelf-stable meal and rice. Definitely NOT rubbery at all.

Apr 06, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I like the plain bran flakes - Yay! - and just add my fruit.

Apr 05, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Costco Poke - Where is it made?

Hawaii is part of the US. . .

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

I noticed this a few weeks ago at my store (NE) but only saw the nut oils. They were spread out on that little shelf that hovers over the frozen food where the vegetables are. I think the mustards sold out early during the holidays.

I didn't get the mustard pack again this year during the holidays, but I did get another set of the nut oils. I haven't used them yet because I still had a little pistachio oil left from last year's purchase. (I open them one at a time.)

Pretty sure those are camouflaged La Tourangelle oils.

Trader Joe's doesn't put stuff "on sale" but they have marked down seasonal items before without mentioning it. Those boxes of assorted chocolates that they had for several years during the holidays (not this past season) for $10 were marked down to $5 but without noting that it was a markdown or sale.

The nut oils I don't think are on sale.

I agree with you about the blackcurrant mustard. I should have liked it, but did not. The others are nothing spectacular. TJ's regular Dijon mustard is excellent, so I'll just stick with that.

Apr 02, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

It's a yay but almost too chocolatey. I try to avoid looking at them so I won't buy them because they are hard to resist. More of a dessert than a bread, the kind of thing that needs a glass of milk with it. Definitely try it!

Apr 01, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

Patgonian Wild Shrimp - Yuck

That's probably why they were so cheap.

Stuckey's

My parents would never stop at Stuckey's so when I was old enough to be driving on the highway myself, I stopped to get a pecan log.

It was mediocre. The pecans were tiny, almost like meal, and the candy in the middle was very sweet and neither was very flavorful.

I grew up eating good pecans and home made divinity, so I'm not surprised that I was disappointed.

Mar 29, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Discontinued at Trader Joe's - January 2013 through June 2013 [OLD]

If you like Pepperidge Farm Milanos, TJ's has these new Crispy Cookies that are similar, but much better.

Mar 29, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

The photograph on the box is too far off from what is actually inside. It shows at least three times as much cheese as is actually in it.

Mar 29, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

You absolutely cannot trust what the employees say about items at my store.

One told me a few weeks ago that the Inca Corn was "out of season" so I asked her what the season was and she just looked at me and I told her "Uh huh that's what I thought." Of course they had it back in stock last week. It is just one of those items with spotty availability, at least at my store.

I wish they would just be honest and say they don't know and don't have time to check rather than fabricate. They have even looked in the computer and then made something up.

Of course, this is why these threads are so valuable, to find out if it is a local or regional or national issue.

PATHMARK STORES SUCK!!! Unless of Course You Do Not Mind Being Ripped Off.

Make sure you include your business card or at least your full name when you write them. . .

Why does Trader Joe's pasta taste sweet? [moved from General Chowhounding board]

You are confusing nutritional information with the ingredients.

Wheat naturally contains carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with vitamins and minerals. That is why it is a food staple.

The pasta contains sugar because it is made of wheat, not because sugar was added to it. Check the ingredient listing.

Mar 29, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Meh for the Paneer Tikka Masala. The sauce is tasty (if a bit sweet) and the spinach rice is good, but there just isn't enough cheese. If it had half as much cheese as it shows on the box, it would have been fine, but it probably had a third of what is shown.

I added some meatless meatballs and some cashews and had frozen spinach and panner naan on the side, so it made a nice meal, but I added more food to it than it came with.

Oh, I will probably buy it again, anyway, because it satisfies that need for Indian food without having to order in or go out.

Similar problem a couple of days ago with the frozen chicken burrito. Not a single chunk of chicken, just a couple of semi-recognizable overcooked shreds of chicken.

Apparently some of TJ's suppliers are cutting corners on the prepared foods or else quality control is lax.

Mar 29, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

PATHMARK STORES SUCK!!! Unless of Course You Do Not Mind Being Ripped Off.

It's hard to believe that you have held a grudge over this for fifteen years so strongly that you still write about it on internet forums, especially considering that you were wrong. You had too many items. You shouldn't have been in that lane.

The cashier was correct to let you know that you should not have been in that lane, but was still nice enough to ring you up after you were rude to him.

The manager was also correct, yet you were beyond rude to him and called him names.

The head of the company was right to ignore your complaint. I hope he sent a letter to the store in support of the manager and cashier.

Also, have you considered that the manager probably didn't have a business card to give you?

I'm sure they don't mind that you don't drop in more often to buy groceries.

Why is the raw frozen shrimp at Trader Joe's so expensive?

Those are large, wild blue shrimp. Ordinary shrimp are less expensive, especially if they are farmed and/or smaller. That's a premium product.

Mar 28, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Isn't it less than 1% almonds? I doubt that is to reduce cost, though the sunflower oil may be, as well as for texture.

I think the almond butter has 3% cashews, too.

I have no idea why why they are mixing nuts in such a lopsided ratio. Maybe they just don't bother to clean the equipment between batches?

Mar 26, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains