RussTheRaccoon's Profile

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

I had to stop buying the Inca Corn because I would eat the whole package in two or three snacking sessions and it is almost 1,000 calories.

May 22, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Picked up a $12.99 orchid today. They had a few pots with two stems and I got one of those. The $17.99 ones were nice, too.

I picked up a smaller one a week ago for my desk (I think $5.99???) and it has done well.
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May 21, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

One of the TJ's near me has a long line to get in before they open on Saturday and Sunday mornings, people trying to beat the crowds later. I'm not sure about the other one that early, but weekends are impossible in general, so I will only go during the week.

Best time is during the day except at lunch time (1-2 PMish). 5 PM is also okay but after 7 PM is terrible. I think people stop there on the way home after working late or going out for drinks and dinner. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are best. Too early and they are still out of stuff from the day before and by evening they have sold out again.

So the best time for me to go is mid-afternoon on a weekday, preferably Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Try that and see if it works.

The Concord grape juice is good, too!

May 21, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Emmarose329, I'm not sure what the flavor is that you are tasting, but if you got a bad bag, by all means take it back and ask for a refund. They are good about that. Brown rice has a different flavor from white rice, but it shouldn't smell or taste musty.

Like greygarious, I use the brown jasmine rice for everything, including Indian food.

Do you rinse it three times very thoroughly before cooking it? It needs it, both for cleanliness and to prevent stickiness.

I just put it in the pot and fill it with water until the rice is a little less than half the depth of the water, if that makes sense. Then I cook it on low with the lid on until the water is gone. Sometimes I have to add a little more water. Brown rice is slower to cook than white rice and uses more water.

The other thing that I do is put it in the freezer for a couple of days when I get it home. Same with flour and other grains that I will be storing because I once had a weevil infestation and had to throw out a lot of food.

May 21, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Another yay! for the TJ's gummies.

The lemon and lime ones almost look alike, so much so that when I first opened them, I thought that I had a package without any lime.

They're all good, but I think the pink grapefruit ones are best.

May 21, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

What items do you wish Trader Joe's would make/stock?

The coffee ice cream is too good.

Try it with cookie butter or with cacao nibs sprinkled on it.

Also try making ice cream sandwiches with the coffee ice cream and Biscoff cookies or the TJ's version, speculoos or cafe biscuits or whatever they call them these days.

May 09, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

What items do you wish Trader Joe's would make/stock?

I don't know if the Soy Creamy is made by Double Rainbow, just the regular ice creams. May or may not be. Why don't you compare ingredients and flavors?

May 09, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

What items do you wish Trader Joe's would make/stock?

I have never even seen a wrapped bunch of bananas. That is really wasteful and unnecessary.

I don't like packaged vegetables and fruits in general. I prefer picking out my own produce and weighing it by the pound. The plastic clamshells and styrofoam trays really annoy me. The first thing I do when I get home is take the food out of them anyway and put it in the refrigerator or fruit bowl. Then all that waste has to be recycled or go in the garbage to go to a landfill.

May 09, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

What items do you wish Trader Joe's would make/stock?

I rinse off tuna (and all other) cans before opening them to remove any dust or debris but it never occurred to me to wash a banana. I don't think it's necessary.

I do wash oranges if I am going to cut them with a knife but if it is a tangelo or tangerine that I am going to peel by hand, I don't bother.

They don't break up the banana bunches at my TJ's but there seems to be a lot of single and double bananas, probably because TJ's buys a lower grade of banana and because people break them off.

I usually buy two or three greenish bananas so I will pick up singles if they suit me or break them off a bunch if there are no suitable singles. I don't even mind breaking a single banana off of three different bunches to get the ones I want.

May 09, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Whole Foods will open a lower-price grocery chain targeting younger shoppers

There used to be a Gristede's on 14th ST between 5th/6th and it was renamed "Trader John's" after Trader Joe's opened up on 14th ST until TJ's lawyers put a stop to that. They rearranged everything, but the prices were still high and it was still filthy and smelly. It closed.

Associated on 14th ST has some decent specials and Western Beef on 16th ST has decent specials and produce.

D'Ags, Morton-Williams, and Gristede's are just no-go for me. There is a $30 D'Ag's voucher for $15 on Living Social right now and I'm still not tempted.

Food Emporium has prices that are probably higher than Whole Foods, too. Someone bought a bakery cake for me there a few years ago and it was full of mold inside. Still had several days before expiration. I took it back for a refund and the manager at the desk never said a single word to me or even looked me in the eye. Didn't say, "I'm sorry" or even looked surprised. Just put the money in my hand. Last time I went there.

May 09, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

McDonald's Has Revived the Hamburglar Because Nostalgia

He looks sexy in a porno actor kind of way and there's sure to be a porno parody of this soon.

May 07, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Whole Foods will open a lower-price grocery chain targeting younger shoppers

When I saw that article, that's exactly what I thought: Whole Foods is going to imitate Trader Joe's. I go in Whole Foods sometimes to marvel at the prices and at all the people in the check-out line.

May 07, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I think the bars would be better if they switched the raspberry and strawberry. I would rather finish with the raspberry.

May 07, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I think it is deceptive to shrink the amount slightly, especially if the packaging size isn't changed. Next time you are in a grocery store other than TJ's, look at the cartons of orange juice that are a few ounces short of a half-gallon and see if you can tell that they shrunk without reading the label to see how many ounces are on it.

Maybe you don't remember when coffee was sold by the pound but now it is often 13 oz., 11 oz., etc. Tuna fish cans shrank, too.

Standard weights and packaging make it easy to compare prices. I would much prefer they just raise the price than shrink the package or just put less in the same package.

May 07, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Or that photograph is altered and the other posters here are part of the plot. . .

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

I like those little blueberries served with the raspberry-pomegranate sorbet!

May 07, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I agree on the fruit frenzy bars. I thought I would like the grape, tangerine, and blood orange version even better than the excellent raspberry, strawberry, and lemon one, but the flavors in the original both contrast and go together better. The lemon is very sour but it is offset by the raspberry and strawberry.

That's important as you go through the bar from enjoying one flavor alone and then mixed with then next.

I would give the original a YAY! and the new one a yay or even a meh. I haven't bought the new version again, but will probably pick up a pack at some point during the summer.

May 04, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

What items do you wish Trader Joe's would make/stock?

The open chest freezers are more efficient than the upright ones with doors.

The vertical open freezer cases seem inefficient, but at least at my store, they would be open all the time anyway, and the doors would really be in the way, and fogged up when closed.

May 02, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

What items do you wish Trader Joe's would make/stock?

I second the frozen mango, especially the "consistently". Organic is back in stock at my store (finally) but not the regular.

What items do you wish Trader Joe's would make/stock?

You can't always trust what TJ's employees say about product availability. . . try a nearby store or ask the manager to order it.

May 02, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Who makes Trader Joe's private label foods?

What's the point? May people find these discussions interesting and some find them useful when TJ's discontinues a product they enjoy.

May 02, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

Trader Joe's: Rancid Nuts??

I had actually already forgotten about that rancid peanut butter. No problems since then. Maybe it was a bad batch?

Apr 30, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Your favorite omni apps at TJs

Spinach and artichoke dip with crackers, samosas, mini tacos. There is a whole vertical freezer case of appetizers at my TJ's but I don't often buy them. Plus there are selections like the mini tacos, samosas, and cha siu bao that are in with the other frozen foods.

Apr 30, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Who makes Trader Joe's private label foods?

I noticed in the Frequent Flyer today that the Tomato Basil Marinara "supplier has been making this sauce the same way since 1934," a clue that easily leads to this company:

www.giovannifoods.com

They probably make other items, too.

Some of the ice cream (such as the coffee flavor) is made by Double Rainbow:

www.doublerainbow.com

TJ's sold Double Rainbow ice cream and then switched it to their own label. Both labels were even in the freezer at the same time. Same ingredients, same ice cream.

What other items sold by Trader Joe's are known to be made by a particular company, confirmed by checking ingredients or other solid clues, not just by a hunch or guess?

Apr 30, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

ALDI Food Products Country of Origin

Yay! I won the internet! : )

Apr 30, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

ALDI Food Products Country of Origin

That would be very surprising. Their dairy comes from general dairy suppliers. you can check the code on the carton to see where it comes from.

Dairy is very heavily regulated. I don't see why they would risk doing something like that. Seems like it would be a hard secret to keep as all it would take is one single conscientious or disgruntled employee to blow the whistle.

I have noticed Trader Joe's milk goes sour fast sometimes, but I assume that has to do with their handling of it rather than what the dairy sends out.

Apr 30, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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 [OLD]

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 [OLD]

I washed them with cold water.

Apr 19, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
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