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Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

I forgot to mention as a huge yea two yogurts: the full-fat Greek honey flavor (in the yellow tub, and now there is a large 32-oz size as well as the 8-oz!) and any of the 0% fat Greek flavored yogurts in the (5.3 oz?) containers. Mango is my new fave, but the pomegranate and vanilla are delish as well. As for the full-fat honey, I am trying to convince myself that this could be dessert. Because for all the fat and calories, it might as well be. Simply amazing flavor and consistency, though. Have not tried the added-fiber kind and now I know I don't want to! Thanks for the warning.

Sep 12, 2012
cyclecat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Paratha.

Sep 12, 2012
cyclecat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Yeas: Murcia al Vino, Delice de Bourgogne, and most other cheeses. Pricewise, TJ's can't be touched. Most of the frozen Indian entrees, including the naan and the parathas, with the exception of the Masala Dosa. Veggie masala 'burgers' are good also, but not as a burger per se. They're better suited to use as appetizers - cut them into fourths and spear with a toothpick and serve with India relish (which has been disco'd by TJ's - boo). PB with flax seed/Valencia PB. Honey roasted sliced almonds. Japanese and Kimchi fried rice - just add more veggies and you're set. Vanilla ice cream. Garlic aioli mustard.

Nays: OMG seaweed salad on the grocery shelf - only thing from TJ's I've EVER spit out. Completely repulsive in every way. This is a new item which I predict will be gone by the holidays. It makes you shake your head wondering what the buyers were thinking.
Most of the pre-made salads and sandwiches are not awful, but completely forgettable. The pre-made sushi doesn't deserve the name.

Sep 12, 2012
cyclecat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Yep, it has to be cold to the point of slushy. Both flavors (esp. the vanilla) benefit from the addition of a shot of espresso. Dump in, put your thumb over the opening in the can, and shake HARD. There are worse breakfasts out there!

Sep 12, 2012
cyclecat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

I hear that pairing the Delice with the Apothic Red results in a transcendent experience, and I can't imagine that the raisin rosemary crisps would detract from that experience in any way :)

Sep 12, 2012
cyclecat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

I agree with everything you said, jdash, with the possible exception of two pasta sauces - the organic vodka and the puttanesca. I don't currently have any on my shelf so I don't know whether they have oregano, but I will defer to your assertion that they do. I guess I don't find it overpowering or distracting (in the case of the vodka), and the puttanesca has so many other flavors going on that the oregano wouldn't stand out anyway.

Sep 12, 2012
cyclecat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Littleflower, I'd try the Kalamata olive extra-virgin if I were you, and I have tried them ALL. The California Estate was rated very highly by CR, but I find it to be very grassy. I use the kalamata for everything - cooking, salads, and dipping. I find its flavor to be fresh and slightly olive-y, kind of what I would expect olive oil to taste like. The President's Reserve is okay but kind of bland. This one has a nice olive flavor without hitting you over the head with it. I know it's more expensive than the others, but I think you will find that it's worth it.

Sep 12, 2012
cyclecat in Chains

Your disappointing purchases from Costco

Almost had my son's birthday gathering ruined by the WORST 'angel food cake' I have ever, ever, EVER had. And I'm not that picky - the stuff that you make from a box is heavenly compared to what I bought from Costco. It wasn't their brand - I don't remember what the brand was and I've already returned it. But I'm in the midwest so hopefully it's a more local thing and those of you on the coasts won't be subjected to this abomination. I was a little concerned when the (normal-sized cake) package read 30 oz - almost two pounds of angel food cake?? Well, it had the flavor and consistency of angel food cake-flavored styrofoam. It was the weirdest, most unnatural, most disgusting thing ever. No wonder it was hiding near the pet food instead of by the fruit, and no wonder the girl in the bakery department said they didn't sell angel food cakes - she was NOT kidding. Don't ruin your picnic/birthday party by subjecting yourself and your guests to this thing.

Jun 14, 2012
cyclecat in Chains

Rao's Marinara [Split from General Chowhounding Topics]

Jfood, is there any thread I visit on which you don't appear? Do you have doppelgangers?

Sep 03, 2011
cyclecat in Home Cooking

Trader Joes... Please, just ring up my groceries.

I detest being asked what I'm 'doing this weekend' or for the rest of my day, or some such nonsense, unless it's in the context of what we're already conversing about, because I know that they truly don't care. Talking about the food, though - that's another thing, and that seems sincere.

Aug 02, 2011
cyclecat in Chains

Trader Joes... Please, just ring up my groceries.

Heh heh, AMD. It takes one to know one! Thanks for your input and for trying to keep it light.

Aug 01, 2011
cyclecat in Chains

Trader Joes... Please, just ring up my groceries.

Yep, I do. These folks probably don't even shop at TJ's anymore. I was alerted to this thread's revitalization today in my inbox...

Aug 01, 2011
cyclecat in Chains

Trader Joes... Please, just ring up my groceries.

pine time, I'm about 100 percent sure that AMD was being sarcastic.

Aug 01, 2011
cyclecat in Chains

Trader Joes... Please, just ring up my groceries.

I'll say a similar thing to you, indiemaven, that I said to a previous poster. If you're going to complain about how long you have to wait in line, it would really speed things up if you bagged your own groceries. TJ's clerks have to take all the stuff OUT of the carts for you - instead of just standing there watching them do everything, grab a bag and put the peppermint bark into it yourself. It's a win-win.

Aug 01, 2011
cyclecat in Chains

Rusty Taco

I do that! All the time! Ditto on what you said, although it isn't that difficult to order more than you can (I mean should) eat; e.g., chips and queso with that taco (I speak from experience :( )

May 24, 2011
cyclecat in Minneapolis-St. Paul

gastrotruck?

Hmmm...that's as cheap as Rusty Taco's tacos, and I'd be willing to bet their quality and flavor are head and shoulders above RT. Trolling around Capitol streets ISO Gastrotruck tomorrow, anybody?

May 22, 2011
cyclecat in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Rusty Taco

I agree about the fish taco, although I've heard say that the fried mahi one is pretty good. I've only had the grilled and refuse to ever try it again.
As for the meat ones, I have not been disappointed EVER by the brisket (NOT the BBQ one, the regular one). I had the #2 (with shredded pork) for the first time today, subbing out grilled onions for the pickled ones, which just sounded weird, and asking for a little cilantro, and that was delish. Seems like the shredded meats are the best bet for flavor and consistency (as in quality consistency, not mouth-feel).

May 19, 2011
cyclecat in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Restaurants everyone loves--except you

Has anybody mentioned the St. Paul Grill yet? Maybe I need to give it another try, but on my one visit there the food was abominable and overpriced and the waitstaff snooty. When my dinner partner (rightfully) hardly touched his beef tenderloin with weird fig sauce and then had the gall to say he didn't want a doggie bag, the waitress acted like it was a personal affront.
And lest someone think I'm the snooty type myself for not liking their hoity-toity food and 'tude, I will also cast my vote for Keys. What a mediocre breakfast! What a ridiculously high price!!

May 15, 2011
cyclecat in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Rusty Taco

Yeah, plus they make the TJ's employees park there (on Randolph west of Lex).

May 15, 2011
cyclecat in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Shall we talk about brownies again? Your favorite recipes and why they are favorites?

Hmmmm....OR maybe I will add some chopped chocolate to IG's...

May 13, 2011
cyclecat in Home Cooking

Shall we talk about brownies again? Your favorite recipes and why they are favorites?

Well, lilgi and chowser, I think I'm gonna go back to Ina's recipe and do a couple tweaks, for a few reasons: lowest sugar to other ingredients ratio, lower egg to other ingredients ratio, and inclusion of instant coffee/espresso powder. I think that adds a depth of flavor, and I'm aware that I could add it to either of the other recipes. The one change I think I'm gonna make with Ina's is to omit the unmelted chokky chips. I have actually quartered the recipe in the past, I assume with success as i do recall making it several times. But really, a half-sheet pan full?!?! Bad news.
Will be interesting to see (taste) whether I still like them as much as I think I did before. And will DEF try the tweaked Dorie recipe after that...
I'm with you on the NM tweaks, chowser. Too many other yummy-sounding recipes to try (or try again!) first.

May 13, 2011
cyclecat in Home Cooking

Shall we talk about brownies again? Your favorite recipes and why they are favorites?

TJ's 72% Belgian and Ghirardelli 72%, about 25/75.

May 13, 2011
cyclecat in Home Cooking

Shall we talk about brownies again? Your favorite recipes and why they are favorites?

Can you post a link? I couldn't find it using the normal search words (camille glenn brownies apricot)

May 13, 2011
cyclecat in Home Cooking

Shall we talk about brownies again? Your favorite recipes and why they are favorites?

Yep, lilgi, I did try that (after sneaking just a little corner while they were still warm "for scientific comparison purposes." I found them to be much better the next day (and the day after that), but still not so good that I felt possessive. I ended up parting with half the batch for an after-concert reception at my son's high school.
I also found it interesting that NM's brownies didn't have the intensity of chocolate flavor that I was expecting. I noticed your recipe is basically 75% of the main ingredients in his, with the exceptions being half the flour and half the sugar, which to my mind is a step in the right direction. What would happen if I added a titch of baking powder? Is that verboten? I'm still on the fence about whether i should remake Ina's, or try yours. Either way, both will probably be made within the week, in between bike rides to attempt to undo some of the damage to my thighs...

May 13, 2011
cyclecat in Home Cooking

Shall we talk about brownies again? Your favorite recipes and why they are favorites?

Oh, sorry. AND I forgot to mention: NM's seemed almost TOO sweet. I've seen the flour/sugar ratio anywhere between 1:2 and 1:1. His is 1:2, an awful lot considering he doesn't call for unsweetened chocolate. Is there a consensus among the brownie aficionados here as to what the optimal ratio should be? Knowing in advance that the cacao content of the chocolate will affect this somewhat...

May 13, 2011
cyclecat in Home Cooking

Shall we talk about brownies again? Your favorite recipes and why they are favorites?

Okay, my turn to chime in. Finally got around to trying the NM recipe. It was good but I don't think I was bowled over by it like I was the IG one. I don't even look at calorie/fat/choc content; what's the point? Unfortunately it's been years since I made Ina's recipe, so now I've got to go and make it again to see whether I indeed preferred it. Or perhaps I should try lilgi's tweak of the NYT one? Aack. So many brownie recipes, so little time.
<plus i must confess to enjoying them while still warm is that bad??>
And that bold-print caveat about Nick's gave me pause. But I also don't like those rock-hard chokky chips when they're cooled, and I think that gave Ina's a minus. And Nick's had an almost eggy flavor b/c of all the eggs. Would baking powder help? Lower egg to rest of ingredient ratio? Help!!

May 13, 2011
cyclecat in Home Cooking

Size of Tunafish Cans??

Yeah, and don't even get me started with the Haagen-Dazs, following on the heels of Breyers and then Edy's. I agree; just raise the prices. Oh, wait, like another reply said, they already have~
grrrrrr

Aug 27, 2009
cyclecat in General Topics

MSP- Best Croissant?

Wow, so I had to log in just so I could say that I can't BELIEVE nobody's mentioned A Baker's Wife. Tasty, huge, inexpensive croissants. The chocolate ones are great too. And if you're looking for something really decadent and different, I don't know why they call it an 'American Tea Cake,' but it's worth the trip for that alone. Picture croissant dough fashioned into the shape of a giant sticky bun, doused in gooey sticky goodness but still retaining its crispy, flaky goodness on the outside and with a bit of custardy stuff somehow woven throughout instead of hulking in a blob in the middle. And then liberally sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. OMG. Run, don't walk to A Baker's Wife and try one of these.

Looking for a good buffet in MSP

For simple Chinese in the Macalester area, Grand Shanghai isn't half bad, and the same goes for their lunch buffet. I like that their sauces aren't swimming in oil and that they use lots of fresh (and NOT overcooked, which is difficult for a buffet) veggies in their dishes. I have not asked about the MSG, as I don't have sensitivity issues, but I am hoping they omit it on general principle!

Looking for a good buffet in MSP

I was there a couple of weeks ago. It's pretty good, but I'd drive farther and go to Nala Pak any day. Great Southern Indian vegetarian. I'd also 'third,' if it's possible, Himalaya on Franklin. The guy behind the counter is so nice and soft-spoken, the food is great, and the price is right. I noticed last time I was there that they'd toned down the heat somewhat, a bit of a disappointment for me as to my mind it's less authentic that way, but if it will encourage the masses to come, then so be it. I would like to see this little restaurant succeed.